By: Joe Ball | CNBNews Contributor
I think I know what death is. I had a “near-death” experience.
It was nothing like the recollections of the people featured recently in the Inquirer by staff writer Faye Flan. Those people told of happy near-death experiences involving light, flowers, music, and even a beautiful male angel. T’aint from one who knows (or so thinks)
My experience came several days after an emergency gall bladder operation. I was released from the hospital – weak, but seemingly on the way to complete recovery. My first evening home – three days after the operation – I told my wife, Sandy, “I feel tired. I’m going to bed.” It was about 7 p.m., not quite four days after the operation. She said, “I’ll tuck you in,” from the first floor to our second level.
At the top of the steps, I remember saying, “I don’t feel good.” And I remember falling frontwards, slowly. My hands automatically went out in front of me to break the fall. I knew I was going down, but I do not remember hitting the floor.
My next memory was a policeman and emergency squad personnel surrounding me, while I was prone on our upstairs carpet floor. They were giving me air through a breathing device. The timing of my going down and being “brought back to life” had probably been five to eight minutes. During that there was nothing. No lighted tunnels. No pleasant feelings. Nothing.
I have since thought death is like the moment when one falls asleep: You do not know the instant you move from awake to asleep. So it must be with death – your simply don’t know ts arrival.
Later (after six days of intensive care), I learned that I had suffered post-operation major blood clot to the top of my lungs. My son, a surgeon, told me the clot was such a large size that most people would be dead within minutes. What saved my life was a spontaneous call to 911 by my wife. The local rescue squad (I live in the suburbs) was on the way before my wife hung up.
Three or four months later (there were other clotting situations), I returned to my normal routine. Has my life changed? Yes! I now watch my diet (no alcohol, no caffeine, very light on fats and sugar). And I exercise virtually every day. Long walks and/or light weights. I dislike doing this – but I do so, for I love life.
I see and enjoy the spring rain and flowering nature. I even appreciated Philadelphia’s harsh winter. I’m mellow.
The world will go on without me, I know. I especially know. But I’m in the world. Alive. And so appreciative of just being here.
Published on September 18, 2019.
Related: Author Joe Ball
Joe Ball, Philadelphia-area publisher, advertising agency owner and radio show producer, has been named chairman of the U.S. International Film & Video Festival judges committee in the Business-to-Business category. The subject materials are videos submitted by businesses, production firms and advertising agencies from throughout the U.S. and internationally. Ball continues to lead American Advertising Services, 29 Bala Ave., Ste. 117, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, a firm he founded 55 years ago.