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Blood started pooling internally. 

“I need pain meds.” 

The nurse walked away. She said, “I’ll page someone.”

Kamal didn’t know it. 

But he was minutes away from dying. 

His artery had burst. Blood was spurting out of his body. 

“It was like a firehose.” 

It hit the bed, the floor, the faces of the doctors around him.

They rushed him to the operating room.

“I’m scared,” he told the doctor. 

She touched his hand. And he knew he had to let go. He was dying. And there was nothing he could do to stop it.

His life was in the hands of medicine.

“I felt like I fell backwards into a dark ocean,” he said. “They put the oxygen mask on me. And I disappeared. If they didn’t save my life, you could be just hanging with my brother in New York, trying to figure out what to do with my body.”

I laughed.

And he laughed with me. That’s the sound of two friends knowing.

“I’m glad you’re here,” I said.

“I’m glad to be here,” he said. I have things to do. I have some great work to put out to the world.”

In this episode, Kamal tells me about the feeling of dying, the feeling of letting go, the feeling of finding peace. He describes how his brain revealed to him what really matters in his heart.

We also talked about medical mistakes. And how to advocate for yourself. This is so important.

I hope everyone listening gets something out of this. About life. Or death. 

Either way, I’m glad you’re here.

  • 3:53 | Kamal tells me what it was like to see blood spurting out of his body.
  • 6:37 | Why I don’t like hospitals.
  • 7:35 | Kamal and I debate the line between functioning at your most optimal level and risking your life with medical procedures.
  • 12:02 | Why nurses don’t always listen. And how to make sure you advocate for yourself properly.
  • 16:02 | How Kamal’s artery burst.
  • 16:52 | The key mistake Kamal made in the hospital… and what he would’ve done differently
  • 19:05 | Mistake No. 2… 
  • 24:38 | “It was pure horror,” Kamal said. “It was like that scene in ‘Aliens,’ when he sees the alien coming out of his stomach. But here I was watching blood come out of my own lower abdomen.”
  • 25:06 | Kamal describes the pain. I asked, “Were you screaming?” “At that point, I probably was, but it was more like, ‘Fucking do something!’” 
  • 28:15 | The most important takeaway: Always have an advocate with you. Kamal didn’t have one. I asked him, “Why didn’t you have an advocate?”
  • 31:25 | When you’re in the hospital, beware of protocols that prevent you from getting the help you need.
  • 36:22 | Everyone was panicked. Except one doctor. Kamal explains how this doctor helped him let go of all his fear and surrender.
  • 38:29 | How doctors use different body parts to fix other body parts.
  • 40:17 | The importance of bedsign manner and how to find it
  • 41:52 | Kamal describes the moment he felt like he was dying
  • 44:09 | He saw flashes. And he felt sad. He thought, “What a shitty way to go.”
  • 45:00 | The science of dying. And living the ultimate surrender. Kamal says, “It’s primal. Your neural cortex, the thinking part… there is no thinking. You are so clear. It’s not like doing any psychedelic where you feel like you have a choice. You are so clear. And there’s a primal part of your brain stem, like an animal part, that’s fighting. It’s fighting desperately. Blood is coming out of you. You’re thinking, ‘Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.’ And then, eventually, you realize… the deeper part of you comes in. And you think, ‘I can’t.’”
  • 46:19 | Why the feeling of ego death and real death are totally different. I ask Kamal if he felt any relief. Or if he felt like surrendering had anything to do with his personality. And meditation practice. But he said no. “It’s a natural thing. You can’t train for it.” He calls it’s “fundamental human experience.” 
  • 49:01 | I ask Kamal if we can practice surrender… giving up control in our everyday lives.
  • 53:43 | Why hospitals hold back on giving you painkillers.
  • 55:39 | Proof that your sense of energy is biological.
  • 57:25 | “Hospitals are not about being healthy. That’s one thing I learned,” Kamal said. “Hospitals are about X and Y.  Healthy is something different. Healthy is about optimizing.”
  • 57:40 | Kamal describes how his body is recovering. “How often in our lives do you wake up feeling better than the day before? I’m feeling that right now.”
  • 58:40 | I ask Kamal if he feels less stress in recovery. And how his state of mind has changed.
  • 1:03:20 | Try this exercise to seperate yourself from the parts of life that drag you down. 
  • 1:08:43 | How this surgery has led Kamal to feel more humility and patience.
  • 1:12:38 | Do you have a choice to surrender? Or are you always forced?

 

 

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