Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Day I Died (review)

*This post contains affiliate links that I may make commission from; however, all thoughts are my own.*

Since having my AFE in August, I have really done a lot to try to reconcile what it means to die and come back.

The Day I Died - Steve Sjogren
"The cold voice of the anesthesiologist recited the typical 'count backward from 10' cadence. Darkness closed around me before he got to 7. That's when I found out what it's like to die--and to come back from the dead."

It was a beautiful winter's day, showing no signs of what was to come. Steve Sjogren, pastor of one of America's fastest growing churches, went into the hospital for routine gall bladder surgery and died--twice. What began as a tragic medical accident led to Steve's encounter with death, an experience of unimaginable peace and some surprises, with comforting words from God, a meeting with an angel, and seeing those who had died before him.

If you, or someone you know, are fearful of dying, curious about heaven, or simply desiring to live life to its fullest, this encouraging book could change how you view life and death.

I really struggled with this. Since my experience with death and coming back with it I feel almost obsessed with reading about other people's experiences and comparing them with mine- did they have the same premonitions as I did? Do they feel the same way I do afterwards? So I am admittedly purchasing books left and right without really reading reviews beforehand, I want to go into them with an open mind.

When I read this book I was pretty disappointed because this isn't so much about his actual medical experience but more his life lessons for us on what kind of person to be. He's saying he died so he could come back and be the better husband, father, friend, person, etc. Which... I suppose that's all lovely, but tell me about your experience. What did you see? What did you experience in your medical coma, do you have memories of it? Did you have any odd feelings going into surgery? He actually shared so little of the actual event that by the time I got to the end of the book I didn't even remember what the medical event was. I actually wasn't even going to finish the book but then the last chapter is about Terri Schiavo and that... that hits home for me. I had an uncle who was in an almost identical situation at almost the same time not far from where Terri was and I can tell you right now, that is a diminished quality of life. Nobody, absolutely nobody can tell you that anyone would want to live out their last days immobile and unable to communicate, or do anything for themselves. Just shy of a vegetable. That's not life. If you wouldn't leave your family pet to live like that, you shouldn't leave your loved one like that. And I could go on for days about this, I really could. I could also go for days about the authors almost.. anger at his doctors for wanting to declare him brain dead at one point. He makes it clear from the start of the book that he was clearly at a not great hospital and that every box you can check off under the "It's going to go all wrong" list was checked off for him, and honestly? That's on him. We all put our trust that the hospitals and doctors we trust our bodies and health to know what they are doing. When you think of ALL of the information that these simple human beings are required to know at any given second, at the drop of a dime, at the turn of any catastrophic event, look around every corner and predict any number of things that can possibly go wrong and you know what?

Shit happens. It does. It happens, and it's unfortunate. Mistakes happen to good people. Doctors can make mistakes but all they can do is give us the options based on the information they have on hand at that very second.

Overall? I pretty much hated the book. I felt like the author was angry, a little arrogant, and I can imagine he would be that nightmare asshole patient a doctor would dread having, to be honest. For as much as he claims to be a man of faith, and as full of compassion and love, and how he tries to live life as God intends, this book doesn't come off like he's doing that well. 

1 comment:

Ruth said...

It does sound like it would be about the experience.
He may not even really remember it. My father-in-law was in bad shape. He doesn't remember any of it. In March, my sister had a hemorrhagic stroke and coded and was pretty much incapacitated for over 3 weeks. So far, she doesn't remember anything.
I think everyone has a difference experience.