I’ve talked before briefly about my experiences with death; I feel like now is a good time to elaborate. I was born on a Thursday morning, blue and not breathing (great start right?). At 3 years old I almost drowned. I can still vividly remember water going into my nose and mouth, but I don’t remember feeling fear. In 1st grade I had my first asthma attack, and over the years have been hospitalized more time than I can remember.
Fast forward to 3 years ago, I had one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had. I remember telling the paramedic that I didn’t want to die. After that I only remember flashes, until I saw clouds and columns. My friends were dressed as Greek gods and goddess and they were telling me to let go and join them; and I tried. I struggled to get closer to them but something was holding me back.
Now in reality they had me strapped to a hospital bed because I had stopped breathing on my own and had to be intubated. For those of you who don’t know, intubation refers to the insertion of a breathing tube into the trachea for mechanical ventilation. As I am not a religious person at all I later realized the “Mount Olympus” I had seen was DMT being released in my brain because my body was dying. I was in a medically induced coma for 2 days before I came to.
That experience gave me a whole new outlook on life. I was so optimistic and happy to be alive. I gave to charity, I got healthy, did everything I’d been putting off. I thought I was so lucky to have a second chance. Even though I did have to go through physical therapy to walk again, and had trouble reading for awhile. And I did experience some lasting brain damage (I’m still relearning some math). So even though it was an awful experience, I felt like I had grown from it. But that happy optimistic feeling didn’t last (I am naturally a pessimist and cynic) so I fell back into old habits (mostly smoking cigarettes).
So on Christmas 2016, I had the worst asthma attack I’ve ever had and I remember almost all of it. I remember my face going numb, my skin feeling like it was stretched tight over my entire body, my vision tunneling, my thoughts getting more and more frantic until they didn’t make sense anymore, all the rude comments the paramedics were making (if you’re ever in Nevada DO NOT go to Mountainview hospital, they literally left me in a hallway and I had to beg for help). I could feel my body dying. Eventually my brain told me it was okay to let go, so I did. I pissed myself and went limp.
The hospital stay was a nightmare but that’s a story for another time. I came back from this terrified and weak. I still have flashbacks of that dying feeling and it gives me panic attacks. The worst part is knowing that I will eventually die (because everyone does), knowing I will feel that panic, pain, and loss of self control scares the shit out of me.
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