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I thought I was going to die

(Photo courtesy of Patch Leonard)

I know my title is a saying commonly used to express hyped up feelings for an unexpected situation or surprise. But all kidding aside, I really thought I was going to die.

I went to bed Saturday night, exhausted like any other normal evening. I woke up super early Sunday, approximately 1:30am, like I often do - thirsty - if I didn't drink enough the day before. Slowly and quietly I swung my legs over the side of the bed so not to disturb Bruce and reached in the darkness for my water bottle on the night stand. I proceeded to chug back some H2O when about 3 or 4 swallows in I started to feel this burning sensation and I could not swallow. On occasion, this has happened before, so I braced myself for the intense pain that usually follows and walked to the bathroom. I knew from past experience I would not be able to swallow for a bit and would need to spit out the water that remained in my mouth. I just needed the excruciating discomfort to pass then all would be fine.

Something different happened this time. Not only could I not swallow, I couldn't breathe. All I could do was moan while the water drained from my mouth into the sink. The burning pain only intensified as I struggled to breathe. Then violently my throat, not my stomach started retching. More fluid spilled from my mouth. I am still not breathing. I am trying to yell to Bruce but can't, I can only moan a little louder. I am still not breathing and I start to go faint. I grab the sink and slowly lower myself to the floor. I now can feel a warm hand on my back asking if I needed help but I still couldn't respond. Fighting hard not to black out, all the while my throat is still retching with more water draining to the floor, and I still haven't taken a breath.

I thought to myself, This is it!!! I said a very brief prayer, "God help me!!!!"

I felt Bruce's hand firmer on my back, the retching stopped, and I could breathe slightly, just enough to for the dizziness to wane. Bruce helped me to stand and I walked back to the bedroom where I laid down on the floor to rest. I could not make it to the bed. Then like in the past, the burning sensation was gone, but this time I was left completely wiped out and not sure what had just happened. No surprise, I cried.

I went back to bed still thirsty, but didn't dare drink. When I got up later I wasn't sure if I had dreamed the event. But the residual pain in my throat and body cleared away any doubt it wasn't really. It was quite a sober morning for me. I didn't have an Ah-Hah, a turning point, or any other supernatural feeling, but I sure can say I am so glad to be here.

It truly was a scary experience and it will be interesting to see how I go forward from this moment. I would like to think I will keep the memory, not just in the back of my head but at the front, as a reminder of how quickly things can change.

Happy Hiking,


Health Update:

Along with almost dying, I didn't do too well in the healthy eating. I lapsed a few days.

I have a check-up next week and will be sure to let my Doc know what happened.


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