I Came Back From The Dead – Part 2

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– Submitted by Bob Livingstone, regular contributor to Your Health Journal…..

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

healthillustratedI finally made a doctors appointment and I immediately took a strong dislike to her. When I finally revealed that I had passed out the week before, she chastised me into a state of humiliation. They did some heart tests which came out negative. She ordered a stress test where you run on a treadmill device. I told her that I could hardly walk much less run.

She sent me home and later called to advise me that she had contacted the department of motor vehicles. She informed them that I had passed out which automatically resulted in the suspension of my driver’s license.

I sat in my chair in the living room wondering what else could go wrong. At this point I could hardly walk from one end of the room to the other without feeling weak and listless. I was now dependent on someone else to drive me around. I hated being dependent on anyone for anything and oh yea-something was really wrong with my body and the doctor ignored my pleas. She sent me home without any plan.

One night I was startled awake by my heart beating really fast and I though I was having a panic attack. Then I passed out. I started traveling past the stars and the pink stuff until I reached two people sitting on a beach. They were drinking lemonade. They both had sunglasses on and were holding hands. They beckoned me come closer to them.

The man was my father and the woman my mother. They both hugged me with all their might and told me that they loved me very much, but the clock had not run out on my life; that I needed to return in order to continue my quest to understand my purpose. My father said, “You can find greater meaning in your work and move others in ways never imagined.”

My mother looked at me calmly and said, “There are life’s mysteries that you are in the middle of discovering. It is way too early to make your final exit.”

They both released me and I fell back to earth. I found myself in a hospital emergency room with a blood pressure device wrapped around my arm. The nurse could not get a reading on the machine and they thought it was defective.

However it wasn’t the machine that was broken, it was me. I literally had no blood pressure and my heart rate was 24. Normal heart rate is around 80.

The doctor informed me that if I waited another minute or day to come into the ER, I may have not survived. Running enabled me to tolerate a heart rate that low while most wouldn’t have lived.

The medical decision was to install a heart pacemaker which was completed on May 1, 2009-May Day and a great day.

Five years later I am getting prepared to run; I notice how strong and agile my body feels. I am honoring the physical and emotional recovery that has taken place during that time. I have learned to live more in the moment and have mastered techniques to lower my life long anxiety.

As my feet hit the ground and I listen to Lady Gaga’s Hair, Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, and Gladys Knight’s The Best Thing that ever happened to me, what will happen next no longer frightens me. Instead I await the magic and beauty that life brings.

You can learn to heal your emotional pain here.

Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.