The Death Tunnel




Christmas was nearly upon us when Dr M's secretary rang to make an appointment for me to see him. This was three days after the operation. I had noticed my groin going black. It spread down my right leg and up my stomach. It looked terrible. But, being a bit thick I thought it was natural.
"I don't like the look of that!" Dr M said, "I'll have to have Dr O look at that."
Dr O looked and inspected it. "You're bleeding internally." He announced. "You need an operation and fast." Everyone was looking at one another.
"I'll come in after Christmas and you can do it then. Eh?" I said. Christmas was five days away.
"If you don't have it done now you won't see Christmas." Dr O said bluntly. I was getting fed up of being inconvenienced so I said. "Right, do it now." I was trying to put him on the spot. He didn't hesitate.
"Come back at 4pm and I will operate at 6pm." And he did, just another Dr with his finger in the pie. Its surprising how quick things happen when you pay for it. "Tell Dr R he can't go in that side again." Dr O said.


It was Christmas Day and he was reluctant to discharge me. So I thanked him for turning out in the festive day.


All went well so we sneaked off on holiday to South America. It was a 3 week tour taking in Rio, Uruguay, Argentina, and the great Amazon River. Everyone advised us not to risk it but I thought, "Sod it, its booked". I was still getting chest pains so we came to the conclusion that Dr R had operated on the easy ones and had let the life threatening until last. I was beginning to doubt the quacks ability and logical thinking.
"What if you dropped dead?" Janet tactfully asked. I stopped and faced her.
"Janet it's my planet, bury me where I fall." I turned and strode off listening to her laughing behind me.



Dr R's secretary rang me two weeks after we got back, "Would it be convenient to see him?" We had a talk and I asked him why he could not do the life threatening arteries first. His excuse was it was experimental and thought it would be best to do the easy ones first. Weird logic. We were to assume the life threateners were going to last out. I also informed him that he nearly killed me with his blundering attempt at trying to sew my groin up. "Very unfortunate, but sometimes it happens" was the only excuse he could come up with.



The date was set for February. We made sure it wasn't the 13th. It was going to be a doddle. A couple of days and I'll be home. I got my old cell back and later that afternoon I was wheeled into theatre; I informed Dr R of Dr O's instructions.
"No problem, we'll go in the other side." He said. All went well until (unknown to me) he decided to get ambitious. Apparently the artery was shaped like a dogs leg and if he inserted a stainless steel tube in the bend. The blood would not congeal and would last for the rest of my life. Great news! Except the thick twat lost it into my blood stream. Panic stations! They X-rayed every part of my body from the top of my head, to the soles of my feet, and after three hours Dr R decided it might have fallen on the floor when he aborted the operation. Nurses were on hands and knees. It will have to be found Dr R flapped. I felt great. I joked with the nurses. I was going skiing tomorrow but I could see the panic in their faces.
"I think we can take Mr Gillespie back to his room. We'll just have to keep looking until we find it." They took me back to my room via another X-Ray Department and did another ½ hours X-Ray deliberation.



Jan came to see me and complimented on how well I looked. "I'm coming home tomorrow whether they like it or not! I feel fine!" I told her.
"Don't rush it, love. Make sure you're okay first." She said hiding a couple of bottles of Rose behind the curtain.
Twelve o'clock. I'd just finished my intoxicating refreshment when Dr R opened the door and tip toed in.
"Don't move, what ever you do. I've located it. Its still in your heart." He took a pillar away and lay me flat. "Don't talk, don't cough and a sneeze is definitely out of the question. I've arranged to operate immediately. The theatre is being prepared as we speak, and my staff nurse is on their way to transport you. Its just a matter of smearing it and pulling it out."
I was disappointed to say the least. I was counting on leaving the next day. I lay on the operating theatre table for about an hour and a half. "I'm getting chest pains." I said. It was the first time I'd had them on the operating table. He ordered a nurse to spray some mint-flavoured stuff under my tongue. "They're getting worse!" I said trying to sound casual. He pulled a chair up and sat down with his back to me.
"Its no good, we'll have to have you opened up!" He said over his shoulder. To say I was narked is an understatement.
"What after all this lot? Just when I thought we were finished." I said.
"Sorry." He said.
"And I'm flooking paying for this!" I didn't have chance to say anything else.



Janet received a phone call at 2am, "This is the Hospital, I'm afraid your husband died on the operating table." Jan didn't hear anything else. She was stunned. "We have Doctors working on him trying to resuscitate him; we will keep an open line. Please hold." Janet dropped the receiver and wandered outside. It had just started to snow. My life long pal, Jack, lived in a caravan on the edge of our land. She tapped on his door and he opened it.
"He's dead Jack!" She said slowly.
"What? Who's dead?" He asked, fastening his dressing gown.
"Bill, the hospital have just phoned and he's dead." She was in a dream. Jack took her arm and led her back to the house. The snow was getting heavy. "They're trying to
revive him. There's Doctors working on him." She said slowly. Jack didn't know what to do. As he led her back onto the house he saw the phone dangling and picked it up. "'Hello, what's going on?" He demanded. "Who's that?" a voice said.
"I'm Mr Gillespie's brother" He lied. "What's up?"
"I'm afraid its bad news, your brother died on the operating table. The Doctors are trying to revive him. I have no news yet. I will keep an open line until I get confirmation." The voice said.
Jack noticed Janet staring out into the night snowfall. He took her arm and steadied her. There was nothing he could say. He just waited.
Jan took the phone from him, "What's happened to my husband? He was alright a few hours ago." She demanded.
"Bear with me Mrs Gillespie, I'm just getting a report. Good news Mrs Gillespie, they've managed to revive him. He's still being operated on. I'll ring you if there's any development."
Janet hung up and then burst into tears. "I'm sorry to get you up at this time, but I didn't know what to do."
"It's alright, don't you worry about a thing. See if you can get some sleep and we'll sort things out in the morning." Jack said.



I started to come round about twelve the next day. It took me sometime to realize where I was. I was in intensive care.
"Are we coming round Mr Gillespie?" A nurse asked. I was so narky. I woke up in the same mood I had died in. I wanted to tell her to f*ck off but I didn't.
I had tubes down my throat, tubes up my nostrils, and one in each hand. One was sticking out of my ribs. The worst of all was the one leading from my bladder. What a flooking liberty sticking a tube in my manhood.


She called the duty Doctor over. He eyed some notes, and mumbled something to her.


I'd had a vivid dream; I'd seen my father and my brother Dennis. They were both dead! But, it had been so real. I kept thinking about it. I couldn't get it out of my mind. I couldn't speak or anything, all I could do was think about the dream. I didn't know then that I had been dead. Janet arrived at two o'clock, looking very concerned. They told her to expect the worse. I could be a cabbage! They had got no response from me. I couldn't say anything so what was the point in trying to communicate. There I was lying there exhausted. Pipes sticking out all over and my darlings first words were, "How are you feeling?"

She offered me a piece of chalk and held a small blackboard for a response. "FLOOKING BIG BALLS UP!" I wrote. Janet looked at it and winced then quickly rubbed it out.
"He's okay!" she announced.

After two days I was moved back into my 'cell'. I refused to do or co-operate with anything until they took the pipe out of my manhood. One by one the pipes came out. After five days I said I wanted to go home. "My wife is a trained nurse. She can take good care of me." I lied. Dr N said that if I passed the stair test then he would consider it.
A trainee Doctor took me to the steps and watched me climb them. I was in great pain but I talked my way up trying to take my mind off the pain. It was just as gruelling coming down. Then who should I bump into, but Dr R. "Oh, I am surprised to see you so soon!" I think he was surprised to see me at all, seeing as though he nearly managed to do me in. He invited the trainee Doctor and me into an office and sat me down. He explained what went wrong in detail. He blamed the manufacturers of the contraption and advised me not to sue, as there were two companies involved. They would blame each other and it could get very costly for me and probably drag on for years.
"If only you hadn't bothered with the tube."
"If I hadn't you would be at home now!" He sounded very disappointed. So was I.
It took two painstaking hours to wash, shave, and get ready. I thought if I could let Dr N know I could handle it he'd discharge me, he wasn't to know how long it took me to get ready.
In he came with his entourage, he was surprised to see me dressed. "Its imperative that I get home. I have a very important meeting there." I said, lying through my back teeth.
"Okay get your shirt off, and lets have a look!" He said, "Jesus wept," I thought. I turned my back to remove my shirt and tie so he couldn't see me wincing with my restricted movements.
"Okay, you can go home, arrange for his medication and tablets." He said to his second in command. He rambled on with further instructions. Once again 'Robert Newton' wasn't pleased.
"You'll be lucky to get home today." She announced with her usual contempt.
"Just do as the Doctor says and nobody gets keelhauled, okay me beauty?" I said winking at a young nurse who was avoiding eye contact with her.


Jan arrived. I had everything ready, except the medication. We sat about for half an hour. Jan went to see what the hold up was. It turned out 'Robert Newton' had not ordered the medication. She filed it for morning, finished her shift and left. "We may not be able to get it today". A Junior Clerk informed Jan. I dragged myself to the office and informed the senior Clerk we'd been waiting for two hours and would leave without it, and would repeat the whole incident to Dr N. She said to leave it with her. We had more time on our hands so I told Jan the whole encounter of the vivid dream. Janet didn't like it one bit. "I don't want you to tell anyone about it! I don't want anyone to hear." She said half pleading with me. "What happened to the light at the end of the tunnel or the lovely floating feeling that everybody else gets?"
"I don't know. I don't control death tunnels. They just happen." I said.
"Well I don't want you to ever repeat it, promise me?" She pleaded.
"Oh alright!" I said. We eventually got our medication and left by the back door.



I felt terrible and pleaded with Jan not to drive over any bumps as it may loosen some of the seventy or more stitches I had in my chest, groin and legs.
"I mean it what I said. I don't ever want you to tell anyone about your death tunnel experience!"
"I'd no control over it, I can assure you." I said staring straight ahead.
A week later after I'd been taking various pills. We opened a packet with scissors a clip remover and antiseptic wipes. Janet was going to play nurse.
Janet knew nothing about it and that was more than I did. We argued how it was done then a fight broke out. "Get away from me with those bloody clippers. You're not coming near me with those." I shouted.
"Right, get yourself back to hospital and tell them what a liar you are." Jan demanded.

I was just about to answer her when the phone rang. I answered it.

"Hello. My name is Booth I represent the Out of Body Society. It's exclusive to all who have experiences near death or dead. Could you spare a few minutes of your time?" Welcoming the interruption I said yes. Would it be possible to arrange a meeting with him and his counterpart? He said it would be confidential and private. I looked at Jan who was replacing the medical tools in the plastic bag. "I promised my wife I wouldn't repeat it to anyone." I said.
"For what reason?" he asked. I could sense the excitement in his tone. "Well if you must know, it wasn't the run of the mill experience. With nice floaty feelings and lights at the end of the tunnel crap. So I don't think you would be interested."
"Oh quite the contrary Mr Gillespie. Its exactly what we have been looking for." His excitement increased. I heard him mumble something to someone. "Could I possibly arrange a small meeting or perhaps could myself and a colleague visit you. We wouldn't take much of your time." He pleaded.
I glanced at Jan, "Who is it?" She mouthed at me. I held my hand up to her.
"No, I don't think so. I promised the wife I wouldn't repeat a word of it to anyone." I said in a matter of fact tone. He paused for a moment "I think you could have something of importance to contribute to our Society, would you reconsider, and can I call you back tomorrow?"
I was slightly flattered at his enthusiasm. "Yeah, no problem." I said. He thanked me and said he'd ring next morning.
"What's going on?" Jan demanded.
"Some crank wanting to know about my out of body experience." I said casually.
"I thought we agreed not to tell anyone. She said. She was staring at me.
"I won't tell if you won't." I mocked.

(c) William Gillespie 2004



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