What is the closest you have come to dying?
When a M&M bag got stuck in the vending machine.
I came back and it was gone. Someone got an extra bag of M&Ms!
I've never been the same since.
Once I was driving to Fresno on a very cold day, my car got into black ice, at a speed of 65mph. I was skidding almost 10 seconds. There was an 18-wheel truck in front of me. The distance between us reduced from 10 meter, 5 meter, 3 meter and upto 1 meter. All I could do was just watch me floating in the ice. Luckily I skidded out of the freeway and got control. Weird thing is, once you are in black ice, when you finally get control back, you have no clue what direction the wheels are turned into. Mine was into the freeway again - another 4 lane changes in 0.1 seconds.
That evening, I learned everything I could learn about black ice. I've never been to Fresno after that.
I've been hit by cars twice while on foot (and in a crosswalk no less). I only injured my knee the first time and the second I don't think I was really any more than bruised but those are the only sever accidents I have been in.
Other than that I once had someone throw a liter bottle full of water at my head while speeding past in a vehicle. Had it only been a foot or so lower it would have hit me right in the face and I have often wondered just how much damage that could have caused. At the time I was rather angry thinking that it could well have killed me.
I moved into a new house when I was 8 years old. Before we got our stuff in, there was a new kitchen cabinet set being assembled. In particular, there was a very narrow pantry storage cabinet that was 2 ft across, by 8 ft tall, and it was standing in the middle of the living room.
I opened it up, and at the bottom lay a manual, so got on my knees, and stuck my head inside to get it. Then I felt the cabinet tip with my head inside it. Luckily my dad was 5 ft away on a ladder screwing in a light bulb, and quickly got up and caught the cabinet in a split second before decapitating my head.
Flailing in the water, trying to climb on a log at about four years old.
Frankly, many times we all probably have come a lot closer to death in our daily lives than we think without realizing it...
I thought my heart stopped beating once. Oh wait, there it goes. Wait, it's stopped again.
There was this one time when I was in Mexico and this guy told me he had been planning to mug me. I thought he was so kind I bought him breakfast and gave him a few bucks for helping me carry my stuff. No kidding.
I once had a severe allergic reaction to, of all things, an allergy shot. All it took was a shot of epinephrine but interesting experience none the less.
My wife is allergic to albumen - the vehicle in which most shots (including the flu shot) are delivered.
Have you told this story before? Its very very familiar and I just had a massive sense of deja vu.
yes. I remember him telling this before. 'decapitating' was a catchy word.
My wife had bought some "authentic" cajun seasoning and used it to make a hearty stew one night while I was working. The next morning, I had a big bowl of that stew for breakfast, then headed to a mill in Lincoln. I just about got to the mill and realized that I was "out of it". Apparently, a main ingredient in "authentic" cajun seasoning is MSG, and I was having a very severe reaction. Somehow, I found my way to the hospital there and got to the door of the ER. They bundled me into a wheelchair and got me to the ICU. The doctor asked why I was sick and I told her "MSG" then said "epinephrine". She asked If I had taken anything for the reaction and I told her "Benadryl" (all one-word answers - I was in sad shape). A nurse was monitoring my BP and pulse and she told the doctor my BP was dropping fast, but the doctor did nothing. Finally, the nurse hollered some impossibly-low numbers like 20 over 15 and said "Epinephrine STAT! We're losing him!) The doctor gave me a quick shot of epinephrine and (at some point) put me on a drip, but all I remember of that session was the doctor and two nurses restraining me through seemingly endless and violent convulsions. Eventually, I passed out, and only "came to" sometime in mid-afternoon. When I came around, the doctor was sitting at my bed-side and she was crying. She said "I'm SO sorry." and left me to the nurses. I have never been so sore in my whole life. I felt like every muscle in my body had been pounded with a baseball bat. They had me on all kinds of monitors for a couple more hours, and it wasn't until early evening that I was stable enough to be released.
I had an Epi-pen in my backpack, but hadn't thrown it in my car that day. That mistake (and the misfortune of being treated by a doctor that didn't think an MSG-sensitive person could die of anaphylactic shock) nearly cost me my life. It's sad that doctors are aware of anaphylactic shock with triggers like seafood, peanuts, bee-stings, etc, but can be blissfully unaware of less-common triggers and wait and do nothing while somebody is dying before their eyes. Luckily, the nurse was experienced and on her toes.
OK, turbo-1 wins.
I was on an airplane that was taking off when its engine caught on fire. I thought I'd be "done for" when the flames flared up a second time (and I was on the side with the engine problem).. but turned on my teacher-mode... instructing everyone to read their emergency information. It actually was pretty fun later on... we got to use those emergency blow-up slides!
My appendix exploded.
I've heard that's the most painful stomach problem one can have. But it's not life threatening, right?
Very. Thats why they remove it when you get appendicitis.
I'm here. That was a clear win.
When I came around, a nurse asked if I wanted to call anybody. I didn't want to call my wife and tell her that I was in an ICU under constant supervision, so I called the receptionist at the paper mill (a really sweet older lady) told her what had happened, and asked her to call my wife and tell her that I was going to be held up for a while (true!). She said that if the hospital didn't want to release me without a driver, to call her at home, and she and her husband would come get me and shuttle my car and me back home (probably a 3-4 hour project for them). I got released on my own recognizance by early evening, but you'd better believe that sweet lady got a bouquet of roses at work the next day, and a nice box of chocolates on my next visit to the plant.
I plugged 2 keys into a power outlet when I was 2~3 (after seeing my dad plug them into car ignition). I don't even remember it, but I have scars on my hands, and apparently I refused to sleep alone for 3 days?
Once, I was on what I thought was good rock, traversing a cliff about 15 meters high (rocks and surf below) when it gave out under me. As I slid down I instinctively went into spread-eagle position.
I still don't know how I stopped sliding after about 2 meters. It was a bit tricky getting off the cliff but I lived to tell about it, obviously .
I never faced near-death while technical climbing, but there were plenty of times that I was really exited and on-edge. My next-door neighbor in college was a climber who wrote for the Appalachian Mountain Club and he specialized in developing never-before-documented climbing routes. We got into some "interesting" situations.
I cant say for sure if I was near death, but Ive been in a rollover. I've also missed a turn, jumped a drainage dictch(well almost made it, the front bumper planted into the far bank about a foot from the top at which point the vehicle endoed) rolled end over end into a field and I was ejected. I was t-boned by a 3/4 ton ford truck while I was driving a dodge omni hatchback. I have totalled out 2 other vehicles in other sorts of wrecks, and the one where I really cheated death was when I didnt see a train until the tractor I was driving had rolled onto the tracks, luckily I had shifted down and when I gave it full throttle the tractor lurched forward instead of dying, I made it but the bailer I was towing wasnt so lucky, it is now shaped like a boomerang. In my line of work I feel I am near death quite often, I pioneer right of way for natural gas pipelines in a 120,000lb dozer, which takes me through some amazing but very dangerous terrain(2 of the last three jobs I been on someone has died). I love the danger though, there is nothing that reminds a person how great life is until you can see it slipping away, or at least the possibility of losing it. I have made a resolution though, to learn physics from books and other people, instead of through further empirical experiments.
Turbo definitely wins.
I've had a few near misses on planes, including a shuttle landing in Detroit (on Republic out of Cleveland). Just as the rear wheels of the plane touched (hit actually), the pilot engaged full throttle and climbed nearly vertical with a slight roll. After climbing through the clouds and making a turn, the Captain leveled off and explained that we nearly collided head-on with another jet on the runway.
Wrong. It can be fatal.
Almost drowned when about age 3. I was at the bottom of a busy pool and no one could see me.
Nearly went over a cliff in my truck while racing on mountain dirt roads. The rear wheel on the passeger side of the truck was actually over the edge.
Nearly drowned while catching the biggest wave of my life. I did catch one ~20 footer [that's about a 30'+ face], but on my next attempt I had an even bigger wave land on me. At that point I was in real trouble. I was in excellent physical condition but barely made it back to shore. The surf was so intense that the only way to make it out was to dive and crawl on the ocean floor as the wave passed. Come up, grab a breath, and back down before the next wave hit. By the time I got out to the break line I was exhausted. That is when the wave hit me and took my board.
Came within a few feet of going over a 800'+ waterfall. We were past the point of no return and sliding down a sloped boulder when I blindly reached back and found a handhold at the last possible moment [a dead manzanita stump sticking up through a crack in the rock. My buddy was hanging onto my legs and was already a gonner if not for pure luck [or whatever]. Years later, he introduced me to his kids as the man who saved his life.
Came about as close as I could to hitting a car stalled on the freeway [Los Angeles] without actually colliding. I was on a motorcycle and riding in the rain at night. The chances of survival would have been pretty small. Most likely I would have ended up like a flat cat. Not long after that I sold my street bike.
There have been a number of other close calls, but those were probably the closest to near certain death.
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