Each medical specialty has a definite stereotype. I’ve found that most labor and delivery nurses have had cheerleading background. I. Kid. You. Not. For a while, I asked every L&D nurse I knew if they did cheerleading in highschool and ALL said yes.
I found that a very important job requirement for labor nurses because heaven knows if you didn’t have that affinity, you would get TIRED of coaching women through labor shift after shift. I mean, I was rolling my own eyeballs at myself at what a pain I was when I delivered my own children.
Neurosurgeons are the same way. They are very cerebral. Smart. But not always personable. I’ve only met one or two that could interact socially in a pleasant way– like the ham it up, crack-a-few jokes kind.
That is not to say they are not friendly . . . just so above (not in a snooty way) the average person intellectually. I mean, think about how intelligent you have to be to operate on the smartest, fastest biological computer ever created.
That’s the sense that I got about Dr. Alexander. Driven. Uber-smart. I’m sure he has a Mensa card for sure. He bought into all the normally offered medical explanations for NDE.
I think God has a funny sense of humor. I imagine Him thinking– how can I get Eben’s attention? This man who loves the brain and its chemistry and lives and dies to fix it. What would be the one disease I could give him to convince him of My presence?
How about . . . meningitis. And not just your average, run-of-the-mill easily curable kind. But one that is so rare that most people die of it. So rare that you have a risk of 1:10 million chance of contracting the disease. Whereas you have a 30% chance of being in a serious car accident in the next year.
And that’s what happened. Dr. Alexander contracted a rare form of E-coli meningitis. Generally only seen in adults if you’ve had neurosurgery or traumatic brain injury (I’m guessing skull fracture that would disrupt the normal protective nature of the bones.)
Dr. Alexander’s meningitis did not respond to antibiotics. He was comatose for seven days. The family was at the point where they were considering withdrawing life support.
And while he was in that coma– he had a NDE that changed his whole outlook on life and caused him to discount every previous medical theory he’d bought into from a very analytical, scientific point of view. That’s what we’ll talk about next post.