Today’s “near death” experience

July 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

I’ve had two actual “near death” experiences in my life. And one “sorta like” one…and then another “sort like” one today.

The first real one happened about 20 years ago when husband and I floated down the Illinois River on Memorial Day.  We were—ummmm, a little messed up.  Okay, we were waaaaaaaay messed up! The river was high, too (*grin*).  We got sideways with a log in fast water, the canoe started to tip, I fell overboard, and I thought my life was over. I remember opening my eyes and seeing murky water and submerged tree branches going by very fast.  Talk about a sobering experience… I finally popped up to the surface, and the party was pretty much over after that.

My next near death experience was in Florida a few years later. I was eating out with some family members in one of those restaurants where they cook Japanese food at your table. My older sis and I had indulged in a few fruity drinks—the kind that have umbrellas in them. Something funny happened and we began to laugh. The next thing I knew, a pineapple chunk was stuck in my throat and I couldn’t breathe.  The room was huge, but it seemed completely silent. I looked around and wondered if anyone there knew I was choking. They did. A few tries at the Heimlich later—and the crisis was over.

My first “sorta like near death experience” was in Washington DC a few years ago.  I was there on business with a client wolfing down Mexican food and ogling the cute Latino waiter when I choked on a piece of meat. (Minds out of the gutter, please!) This time, I could still breathe and began to cough…and cough…and cough…and cough… It was very humiliating! I finally went to the bathroom and hacked for another 10 minutes or so until I gained my composure. For a few weeks, my throat sounded like that of a 12-year-old boy going through puberty. And to this day, I wonder why the client never came to check on me.  (Not really.  Truth is, the food was excellent so she just kept right on eating!)

My most recent “sorta like near death experience” happened after husband left for work today as I was eating a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch. A piece went down wrong or something, and I began to cough. That piece wouldn’t dislodge, despite coughing HARD for at least 10 minutes. I’m quite sure I coughed up phlegm that had been there for 10 years or more…and with each cough, I became more agitated and began to have trouble breathing.  Concluding that I would probably die, I scribbled on a Post It note CHOKED ON CEREAL and placed the note beside my bowl on the coffee table.  I figured I may as well save the authorities the time and trouble of doing an autopsy and just tell them how I died. 🙂  I finally settled down awhile later. 

Thus began my Wednesday.  I’m better now, but I imagine I’ll sound a lot like that little boy again for a few weeks.  Actually, with as screwed up my hormones have been lately, maybe young boys and I have more in common than I previously thought.


Entry filed under: Aging gracefully, On the homefront, Random.

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