Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Asthma Attack and the Dream

By April

This incident happened when I was 16 years old, and was the second time I had a serious asthma attack in 5 months. The previous time resulted in cardiac arrest and a hospital stay for 7 days.

It was a Saturday morning and I woke up early to do my chores. I began with the kitchen. I took the floor mat by the door and began to shake it off outside. It sent up a huge cloud of dust into my face. (Yeah, smart huh?) This set off an asthma attack. My sister was next to me and she saw what happened. I told her to get my inhaler for me. Realizing it was getting bad fast, I stopped her and told her to set up my breathing treatment. She ran into my room and I followed her. My chest was tightening up and I knew it wasn't good. I started to panic and I told my sister to get mom and to tell her we have to go to the hospital. I could barely talk. My mom took me out to the car and we left my sister at the house to call my family. I remember not being able to breathe at all in the car. I was trying to sit up straight and I was pushing onto the dashboard stretching my lungs trying to get some air in. I remember that my mom was crying and she was very scared. I remember at one point telling her that I was going to die. I don't know why (or even how) I said that, but I did and I won’t ever forget the look on her face when I said it.

We lived about a 2 blocks from the hospital, (strategic planning by my mom), so when we pulled up to the ER it had only been a few minutes. When my mom pulled up to the entrance, I just opened the car door and sort of fell out. At this point things started to get fuzzy. I remember doing all of this, but I have no memory of sound or why I was doing the things I was doing. I was told later that it was the lack of oxygen. I walked in the door and I leaned up against a little wall that came up to my waist. There were people sitting on the other side waiting to be seen. There was an old woman sitting there and I started to grab at her and pull at her hair. The next thing I knew, there was a wheelchair being shoved under me. I noticed my mom next to me and she looked very scared. They wheeled me in and that is the last thing I remember. The doctors & family filled me in on what happened next. I guess I became extremely combative right away. It was a lot worse than any of my previous attacks, because I hadn't been breathing for about 5 minutes when I got in. They couldn't restrain me. It took seven doctors to hold me down before they could tie my hands and feet down. Before they could I pulled out an IV & kicked a doctor in the face (giving him 7 stitches). I guess I tried to pull out the breathing tube but they stopped me. Once again, my heart started to fibrillate and they had to use the Defibrillator to shock my heart into a normal rhythm and it worked.

They let mom in to see me. The doctors told her that I was very unstable and that there is a possibility that I still may not pull out of this. She told me later that she came in knowing that it may be the last time she could see me. I didn't wake up until the next afternoon.

I had the weirdest dream right before I woke up, and although I don’t remember much of it, it felt like it had an importance to it that I did not recognized until years later. I spoke about this dream, just after it happened, as being a product of the medication I was given due to the oddness of the dream at the end, but I could never shake the feeling it gave me. It gradually became apparent to me that it was more than just a dream. When I talked or even thought about the man in my dream, I tear up and I just know. He was the dream, he was why I was there and he was important. He had a presence of power, the kind that gives the wave of goose bumps and nod of truth. I have written down just the tangible bit I remember, I wish I remember more. I hope I can convey it to you as I know it myself. It is what it is and it was real.

I only remember the dream part of the way through. I don’t know what happened that lead up to this point, but I wish I did.

I was in this very large empty room and it was brightly lit with this cream colored light. I was sitting in a wooden chair along with a man who was also in the room with me. I felt very comfortable and content, we had been talking and I knew what we were talking about was very important. I don’t remember this man’s face, but he and I seemed to know each other. I felt like I could confide in him. I remember very distinctly that he was sitting far from me, about 30 feet away, which only struck me as odd when I woke up later. We had been talking in our normal voices as if we were next to each other and the feeling of the conversation was that we just had a serious talk or that something important had just happened. The heaviness in the dream had begun to lift and that was pretty much where this dream began to be more solid for me. It was as if I was coming out of a dream within a dream. All the seriousness and intensity of the dream began to fade, and he seemed to be getting further and further away from me. I know we had been discussing something about my breathing because I was shifting into another topic on how odd it was that I didn’t have to try to breath anymore. I told him how weird I thought this was and how it didn’t make any sense. I told him that I knew if I held my breath, I would still breathe. And I remember saying “watch this, I’ll show you” and I held my breath & after about 3 seconds, I breathed. I remember saying “Did you see that? This is so weird!” I found this very amusing in a childlike way, I don’t remember him responding and that didn’t seem to bother me, as I was extremely excited and distracted by this discovery. As this was happening, he seemed to be getting even further away and is was as if he was never there. I don’t remember anything after that, only that I was coming out of the drug induced coma with the dream fresh in my mind. I was still on the ventilator when I woke up.

I tried to talk and I couldn't, and the tube hurt. It felt like a broomstick was shoved down my throat. It started to gag me and I began to get sick again so nurse came in and pulled the tube out really fast so I wouldn't choke. I was still tied down, both my hands and feet. I had pulled out an IV, so I had blood all over my arm and hand. That freaked me out. That's when everyone filled me in on what had happened. I was in the hospital for 11 days and got out just in time to go to prom (I was a sophomore in high school, but was asked by a junior to go). The doctors let me go on the condition that I took it easy, which I did. I was told by the doctors that it was a miracle that I survived without any brain damage. Another nurse, who was there when I came in 5 months earlier, came in to talk to me when I was in recovery. He sat in the chair next to me, picked up my hand and said when he saw me come in the ER again, his heart dropped. He said I was in such bad shape, he didn’t think I wasn’t going to make it. He told me this with tears in his eyes. He told me to take care of myself and that I truly was given a second chance at life.


  1. Amazing story. My sister had severe asthma and we nearly lost her quite a few times. I remember some of the stories she told were very similar in quality. She called them "a visit to the clinic." I asked her what she meant and she said, that she visited people in a room that felt like a clinic. It had nothing personal about it and a simple light that was bright but not painful and she noticed nothing but the other person(s) who were there and it was as if they were the only thing in the world. I thought that sounded like a rather lovely place to visit, at least. These stories really intrigue me. My father's description of afterlife was quite vivid and unique. Certainly gives you a perspective and probably takes away some fear too.

  2. Autumnforest is right; that is an amazing story and how fortunate you are to have pulled through it all with no damage whatsoever. Your mom must have been one smart woman to have you so close to the hospital. I've had others describe such a place; and once visited while trading services with a hypnotherapist friend of mine.
    It's quite an calm, peaceful place to be; but yet... I'm glad you didn't stay.

    Your talent for writing is lovely, as is your artwork.

  3. I had no idea that April went through this and had a severe asthma attack. Her and Katie were not friends at that time. I could feel the fear that she felt not being able to breathe as I read her story... scary! It seems like she was peaceful while in that dreamlike state and not afraid. I am glad that she made it through and was still able to go to the prom.(That is so important to a teenage girl.)

  4. Autumnforest, I am excited to know that your sister has described something similar to what I experienced. It is much more meaningful now then when I was younger. Much like how different a movie is when they see it as an adult, than when they were a child. Brenda, you are correct, my mom was very conscious of how close we were to the hospital …and she still is today.  The place in my dream was very calming but I also felt like was there for a reason, as Autumnforests sister might say, maybe we were there for an appointment. I wish I could convey the way the dream felt a little more. There was much more to it than what I could visually describe. Oh, and thank you for the complements on the artwork and writing, that means a lot to me.

  5. I'm so glad you shared your story with us. Now I understand why your involved in the paranormal. My husband is also an asthmatic since childhood. He too had several near death experiences. He believes it was the cause of him becoming more "sensitive". My son has "physical activity" asthma. It's hard for me to watch him Fence. Without taking meds before hand, he passes out cold. He's more of a psychic.
    Maybe the paranormal community should do some fund raising for a good cause instead of their pockets. So many to choose from. Take care of yourself. You hear! Lol!