Tag Archives: Attitude and kidney donor

The Light. What I learned from my near death experience

It’s only recently that I fully came to understand how my near death experience so many years ago changed the course of my life.

It was the middle of January and a typical winter day in Rochester, New York when the days are short and bitterly cold. Snow blanketed the ground as I made my daily trip to the hospital to spend time with my son who was two weeks old and cradled in the intensive care unit.  I felt as though my life was frozen in time, nothing else mattered.

My life went from total joy in anticipation of our long awaited arrival to a place of confusion and fear.  The nurses who cared for my son Kyle repeatedly remarked on how thin I was for just having a baby. I was totally unaware of my body. I hadn’t been feeling well for a few days, but I didn’t give it much attention. My only focus was on Kyle.  On this day I gowned up, scrubbed my hands and went through the glass doors to the intensive care unit where a nurse carefully handed me my son who slept in an incubator. I sat in a rocking chair and found being here with Kyle was the only place I felt at peace.

Thirty minutes into holding my son, I felt a drastic change in my body; I knew something was seriously wrong as I hand our son to my husband.

My son Kyle and I

My son Kyle and I

 

By the time I was rushed into the emergency room, I was in and out of consciousness and I didn’t understand what was happening to me.  The room was small and cramped with doctors and nurses rushing in and out of the room. My Doctor yelled orders to the staff and it felt chaotic.  With a nurse on either side of me, I could see the frustration in their face as they struggle to attach an IV to different parts of my arms because my veins had collapsed. I had lost too much blood.  My doctor moved swiftly to stop the bleeding because he knew my heart would not be able to maintain the blood pressure. I was failing fast.

That’s when I felt myself gently float above my body. I felt warmth, peace and love surrounding me with a beautiful soft white light that led toward a tunnel.  As I looked down at my body lying on the hospital bed, I was aware that I was dying but it didn’t feel like a tragedy even though I was just 24 years old.

I pondered in this peaceful place between two worlds and I had no sense of how much time had elapsed. It’s difficult to put into words how I felt, but I will try.  In this place I felt an immense amount of love, acceptance and warmth.  I could see clearly that the many negative thoughts that had previously occupied my mind were in no way justified.  Why had I believed I was such a terrible person, why had I strived for so much perfection, why had I tried so hard to be someone other than myself?

The Flip Flop

I believe it was during that mysterious time between two worlds that I made the choice to begin again. When I awoke my body felt cold. I was confused and in pain. I was missing the warmth and love I had felt in what seemed just moments ago.  I was thinking about my son Kyle, and how we were planning to bring him home the following week. I felt the urgent need to see him right away.

It was 24 hours before they removed the tubes from my body, and a total of 48 hours later when Kyle passed away in my arms. He was barely three weeks old.

Losing my son is all that occupied my mind for a long time. I felt unsafe in the world and desperately wanted and needed something, I couldn’t comprehend that I had the most amazing experience of my life and now I felt empty. It would be months before I felt any of the love and joy that had surrounded me when he first came in this world.

At the same time, I was acutely aware that I no longer wanted the same things out of life. I had worked diligently towards work advancement, material things and always looking my best.  None of these things mattered. I felt lost.

And now…

When I look back at the moment where I left my body and felt the warmth and love through every fiber of my being, I realize that the soft powerful white light was me – my soul. Each and every one of us has this light inside of us.

The only gap between us and our souls are our thoughts.

 

This article was written on the 32 anniversary of my NDE.

Wendy Brabon

 

Attitude – Living Kidney Donor Journey

Friday evening I attended one of my favorite yoga classes of the week. In this class I can usually find myself letting go of my day, my week and my thoughts. When I am in this space I tend to move into a feeling of gratitude which is almost magical where every fiber of my being feels joy.  I let go of my fears and my worries and I am focused on the present, the here, the now.  

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

Wendy, Audrey & Allegra

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Max Planck, Nobel Prize-winning physicist  this is so true for me this past week. Last Saturday I had gone for a bike ride and then became sick and passed out later that same evening and I became overwhelmed with new fears. Then on Monday morning I read a question a member posted on a forum who continues to feel exhausted a year after her kidney donor surgery and wondered if anyone else had the same experience. Within 53 minutes 12 people had responded with the same experience including myself.

The evidence of the post along with the 12 responses backed up my own personal fears. (I was attaching myself to someone else’s experience that I know nothing about) I began to think that I would never feel completely healthy.  My energy was low for the next few days, I felt exhausted and it was difficult to get things done. We all have our own unique experiences;  however I personally feel that our attitude can fuel how we perceive a moment, a memory and life in general.

I often think of bike riding as a metaphor for life, when I am tackling a large hill and I am confident that I can make it up the hill–  the ride is much easier. However, when I am not in a confident state I find myself negotiating….” If I cannot make it up the hill, I can get off my bike and walk the rest of the way or if I do make it up I won’t have the energy to go the distance  and I will need to shorten my ride or even worse I am not good enough, I am not strong or healthy enough”.  By the end of the week I had completed two long bike rides and four yoga classes and I feel great!   I listened to my body, took care of myself and didn’t over push. All of this has left me feeling more confident in moving towards perfect health. 

This week was a great reminder that attitude is a choice and I get to make that choice in every experience.

Cheers to a beautiful productive day!

Wendy