27 October 2004

--- Insightful Pre-Halloween Thoughts

While bloghopping at Medlogs this morning, there was one post from EchoJournal that caught my attention. It was about former US President Bill Clinton, who recently returned to the limelight to campaign for Democratic presidential bet John Kerry. He is quite a campaigner. From Philly last weekend, he went to Florida Monday and yesterday, and will eventually head to Nevada and New Mexico by the end of this week. His recovery has been amazing. I'm glad the Democrats are allowing him to campaign now. I still remember that Al Gore didn't want him on his campaign for fear of scaring away voters who abhorred the Lewinsky affair.

Dr. Michael Ostrovsky of EchoJournal called God an "anesthesiologist" and a "she," after quoting a Sun news article about President Bill Clinton's 'visions' while being operated on for quadruple bypass almost two months ago. Now I won't argue about God being a female or being an anesthesiologist here. Rather, I will give you my 2-cents regarding Bill's 'visions.'

Bill Clinton had 'visions' while on the operating table?

The Sun newspaper article quote used was:

Earlier he said in a TV interview he felt lucky to be alive after surgeons found his arteries were 90 percent blocked.

He told a US interviewer he experienced a series of visions just before his four-hour operation last month.

He said: "I did have a lot of very profound and lasting kind of images flashing through my mind when I was going under anaesthetic, images that clearly connoted life and images that clearly connoted death.

"I sort of gave into it. But in terms of fear I never felt it --- maybe because my mother was a nurse and I had seen surgery, maybe because I knew the greatest risk was over.

"I wasn't frightened. I was just aware of this as a big deal.

He added: "I'm just so grateful I got another chance to keep going." [Online Sun]

"....images that clearly connoted life and images that clearly connoted death."

Now what could those images be? Maybe it was the anesthetic?

Patients put under anesthesia can enter dream-like states and really see 'images.' I have several theories about these visions of his and I'm sure you have, too.

Maybe dear old Bill is just trying to be cute with his campaign speeches so he can swing more votes for Kerry.


But I see this as the trek of the world's former most powerful man in the valley of death. Whether his 'visions' were due to anesthetics or simply campaign rhetoric, the fact remains that every person will at one time have his or her brush with death --- the great equalizer.

No one will be exempted from this journey. Each one of us will have our chance. Every day, we pray and do everything --- mostly with the help of our doctors --- to postpone this trip, but in the scheme of the Grand Design (if there's such a thing), it will come.

I believe doctors and medical advancements can only do so much to lengthen our lives. For me, dreams of immortality through genetic manipulation are just that --- dreams.

Statistics will tell you that each day two wonderful events happen simultaneously: around 130,000 persons die while 400,000 babies are born. Though one is greater than the other in number, you will appreciate the cycle that exists.

Woody Allen, whom I'm sure most of you are familiar with, once said:

It is impossible to experience one's death objectively and still carry a tune.

I beg to differ. I don't think so. I think Bill, and a few people out there can say otherwise.

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