I Couldn't Believe It Happened to Me
Epilepsy, neither ignore nor obsess
Epilepsy falls either into one of two modes of thought: the whimsical which doesn’t see it as a problem or the extremist which obsesses and thinks of nothing else. In reality epilepsy is probably somewhere in between. It should never be taken lightly and it should not be allowed to control ones life.
With Medical Cannabis now legal in 38 states and CBD legal in all 50, the ability for epileptics to gain greater control of their lives is becoming increasingly easier more than ever.
Still, we must never forget that epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder that can kill and which takes the lives of approximately 50,000 people each year.
Its because of that fact that I am updating and re-releasing this important 2015 article.
I am updating and re-releasing this article to share with those that have asked, my NDE (Near Death Experience) or as sometimes referred to as an OBE (out of body experience) from 2005. I will attempt to recall as much as possible from the experience; which as most epileptics know memory is usually very difficult following any seizure; especially a Grand Mal seizure.
I am doing this to make what I believe to be three extremely important points:
- Although maintainable, epilepsy is serious and not given the attention by medical research as are other neurological disorders,
- Available resources such as CBD or Cannabinoid (Cannabis oil/ aka medical marijuana) is being politicized by pharmaceutical companies with fake news and junk science to encourage medical doctors in opposing scientific studies which demonstrate proven effective results in epilepsy while continuing to urge State and Federal Government from legalizing.
- Epilepsy even manageable can still be dangerous leading to coma, stroke or death.
I have discussed the fact that I am a Grand General Epileptic; that means I have the alpha waves of my brain shooting wildly all over the place on the EEG machine all of the time.
It also means I can have an epileptic seizure at any time (even with medication) and when I have one it is usually the big one best known to most people as the “Grand Mal” seizure with all of the shake, rattle and rolling, foaming at the mouth and completely passing out for time periods from five or ten minutes to long unstated periods of unconsciousness. My longest seizure lasted nearly 4 hours (including return to complete consciousness). It was also followed by four days of a "post seizure aura from hell".
Although my doctors and neurologist originally thought my epilepsy was caused by a non malignant mass called an angioma in the center of my brain, further MRI’s revealed there was nothing there; well there was a brain just no angioma (a little humor to lighten a very serious topic).
Further study and investigation revealed initially that my epilepsy was of unknown origin but further medical and family history allowed my neurologist to conclude that my epilepsy was genetic.
It seems the big indicator was my grandfather on my father's side. He was known for having the "fits" or "spells", a term used for epileptics back in the day and back then there wasn't much which could be done.
I knew all my life something about me was not right. I would go into dazes while reading, pass out while running, riding my bike, even standing up and often feel shaky. I apparently even had a seizure while on the wrestling team in High School when I passed out in the middle of a wrestling match and slid across the mats receiving second degree “mat burns”.
But the doctors always chocked it up as lack of sleep, wrong diet, teen age stress, etc.
It was not until 2000 when I awoke from an after church nap and had bitten my tongue half off, my face swollen from apparent shaking and the inability to walk on my right side (thinking I had a stroke) that I found out in the ER I was indeed an epileptic.
On Halloween, 2005, I was having lunch in a restaurant with my wife when as I was eating, I felt kind of strange and suffered a major grand general seizure (grand mal).
Prior to my meeting her for lunch, I noticed everything around me had started to turn a pale yellow and I didn’t feel quite all here. It was like I was here, aware of everything around me but that I was also somewhere else. I would later learn this was the much dreaded “aura” feared and hated by all epileptics regardless of the form of epilepsy they have.
The aura seems to be a precursor, a warning or as some neurologists believe the actual beginning of the seizure. For those of us who experience this, it is an absolutely horrible experience.
The Grand general seizure I experienced on October 31st, 2005, changed my life because I experienced something I had only previously heard about and on occasion I had counseled others who spoke of it.
Life after life
I obviously as a Christian pastor and theologian believed in life after death but honestly as a human being I had questions and had been frightened of death all my life; even as a Christian pastor.
I knew the scriptures, had the faith, had preached literally hundreds of funerals but I had the question, “what happens when the body and spirit separate?’
I had read the books such as “Life After Life” by Dr. Raymond Moody and I had a Baptist deacon in a church I had pastored who actually became a featured speaker at other churches to give his testimony of having a life after life experience or what many call an out of the body experience.
But now it was me.
I was told that I started shaking horribly and a gentleman helped get me on the floor and turn me on my side and that’s when it happened;
My OBE/Out of Body Experience:
I was no longer in my body which I didn’t realize at first.
I thought at first I was standing to the side looking at someone else, but then I saw my wife and she was crying and I suddenly realized I was looking down at all that was going on.
I then heard what sounded like familiar voices which I think were my grandparents, father-in-law, aunts, uncles and a cousin who had all long passed on. I never saw them but I definitely heard them and actually calling my name, “Lee”. They had all been Christians back on earth.
And yes there was the much talked about light way in the distance but I was never drawn to it, in fact I felt the need for some reason to AVOID it. I really don’t know why.
I might have avoided the light as a purely suggestive thing from hearing a famous pastor say one time that he wasn’t sure he wanted to go to the light (when he died) or not. Even though the New Testament tells us Jesus is the light of the world, we should not forget that Satan (ha’ sa’tan in Biblical Hebrew or the evil one) is also known as the “light giver“ or “angel of light” and the Bible tells us he is so, in an attempt to deceive mankind.
Since I am a believer, there is no way Satan could have me or take me (or anyone else as far as that goes; believers or not). The Bible in the book of Job is clear Satan does NOT have power over life or death. He might be the guardian of Hell but contrary to popular belief he can’t take or send anyone there; ONLY God has that power. But like Job of the Old Testament Satan can frighten and threaten even believers.
Make no mistake; I know I was dead or at least “near dead” for a short while and here is why:
As I looked on from wherever I was, the female EMT was shaking her head negatively. They couldn’t find a pulse and I had stopped breathing. My wife who had worked in hospitals for years cried even harder as the EMT was giving the vitals to her colleague and over the radio.
OBE - POLL
Have you ever had an OBE or
Life after death POLL
Do you believe in Life after death?
We lost him twice
She was performing CPR on me the entire time they were urgently moving the gurney to the ambulance and they had me attached to oxygen as well.
During the procedure I noticed the EMT’s name badge was Becky but the badge fell off as she continued to perform CPR on me so she picked it up and put it in her shirt pocket.
I was floating. I felt conscious from wherever (I knew I was at Applebee’s restaurant but I am speaking of “plain of existence” not the physical location of my body) and whatever I was temporarily. Was I in the purest sense of the spirit? Honestly I don’t know.
Physically I WAS GONE. But it didn’t bother me. Let me say it again, it didn’t alarm me or frighten me although I was saddened to see my wife crying.
As I floated into the ambulance above and just back of my body on the gurney, I was suddenly back in my body and as I returned I was totally UNAWARE. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, and what day of the week it was or anything else.
I might add that while I was in the OBE or “out of Body experience” I was very conscious of everything around me and who I was.
Becky (the EMT who lost her badge) yells to the driver, “he’s back, we got him back” suddenly the siren is turned on (it had not been on previously because for all intent and purpose they thought they had lost me) and off to the hospital ER we went. My wife was riding in the front seat with the driver in the ambulance and yelled out “Thank God”.
I began to talk and pull at the oxygen line. Becky (EMT) said, “Don’t do that”. I responded saying “stop it BECKY”. She was obviously shocked that I knew her name and she asked me, “How do you know my name?” I told her it was on her badge but she told me she didn’t have the badge on. I told her I saw it before she dropped it and she said I couldn’t have known that because I had been unconscious, I then told her I saw it while I was out of my body. My wife turned around and looked back and said “What did he say?”
I then passed out again, and was out of my body again, I saw the ambulance pull in from a great distance, I floated closer and finally made it to directly over my body again.
As the ER doctors met the EMTs at the ER entrance and began their examination as they moved me, the EMTs tell the doctors, “We lost him twice”. The ER doctors are yelling, NO PULSE, NO BP, He’s not breathing, let’s move it.
I floated above, following my body to the ER examination room where I went back into my body and ultimately stayed.
I woke up sometime later physically and permanently. They performed the usual epileptic test, CAT scan, MRI, EEG, ECG and blood enzymes.
I was kept overnight because my blood enzyme test confirmed my heart had stopped.
It was an experience I will never forget.
I have had another major Grand Mal seizure since then which lasted four hours in 2008 while I was driving but I did not stop breathing nor did my heart stop so no OBE.
The Bible tells us that all things work together for those that love the Lord.
For me, I believe God allowed this OBE to happen so my fear of death could be removed and it did.
Yes, I couldn’t believe this happened to me but it did and I am grateful that God gave me the experience.
This article is dedicated to epileptics, their families and friends everywhere; estimated to be over fifty million world wide.
Remember that epilepsy is not a disease but a neurological disorder.
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©Copyright 2017 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III