still, so if you don't like TMI, delete now, thank you.
I almost died the other day. Now, usually, when
people say this, they mean, "I was almost hit by a truck,", etc. In other
words, they were certainly in danger, but it probably wasn't something that
was about to be guaranteed fatal. When I say it here, in reference to the
below incident, I mean that for probably the longest 45 seconds of my life,
I truly believed that I was about to check out.
I was at *funeral* of all places, sitting in the corner with the morbid
people, drinking some water. That's right. Water. H2O. The wet stuff. In a
little conical cup.
I get a little water in the wrong pipe...okay, I'll go outside and cough,
don't want to disturb anyone...
(interlude: Why do people whisper and talk so softly at a funeral? It's not
like you're going to disturb THE DEAD GUY IN THE BIG BOX...)
So I get outside, and the coughing gets worse...hmm...I must have made a
very odd noise, because Jenny follows me outside. HMMmmm...still have
water in the wrong place. I need to cough harder. I'll take a nice big
(interlude2: Did you know that when the shit TRULY hits the fan, it in fact
DOES sound like it did in "Airplane")
The definition of bad: Trying to inhale, and having it NOT WORK. Either I
had a thin film of water over the airway, or my throat just spasmed, but
either way, I.Could.Not.Breathe for about ten seconds. Not "breathe with
trouble". Not "breathe, but not really effectively". I mean, for ten seconds
or so, (estimation, I really wasn't timing it.), it was like I no longer had
lungs, and my trachea just *ended* in a block of glass.
(interlude3: suffocation is a GREAT way to realize just HOW long a second
takes to pass...hint: it's a LONG time)
I would have panicked, but I was rather busy suffocating. So I find that if
I inhale like I'm trying to inhale the parking lot, I can get a WEE bit of
air forced in...getting air out is easier, but not by much. So now, I can
make VERY disturbing sounds, enough to motion to Jenny, that "Hey,
John's fucking CHOKING here, and maybe trying to Heimlich him would be a
REALLY GOOD IDEA!!
Unfortunately, the Heimlich maneuver doesn't work for shit if the person
doing it to you is a foot shorter, and a bit panicky herself. I have to say
that I am now panicking myself, with good reason I think...
(interlude4: I have now decided that the very ESSENCE of "a sinking feeling"
is when the Heimlich maneuver FAILS. It's not supposed to EVER do that.
ESPECIALLY not on me.)
So, I figure, I need a lot of air going out of me NOW so I can get some back
in me...because I'm not liking the fuzziness in the vision, or the feeling
of the base of my brain screaming "BREATHE YOU STUPID FUCK! I NEED *OXYGEN*,
AND *NOW* WOULD BE AN EXCELLENT TIME TO GET SOME!"
So I commence to trying to burp, vomit AND cough at the same time.
Fortunately, (or unfortunately depending on your personal opinion of me.),
this works enough to get usable amounts of air back into my lungs so I can
(Interlude5: Yes, I AM familiar with how to self-Heimlich. However, it's a
parking lot at a funeral home...the only things that would have worked were
the parking bumps, and had I not gotten my air, I would have been doing at
least ONE impact with those.)
So now, my throat feels like I've been gargling with broken glass, but the
feeling of air in my lungs is, for a few seconds, better than all the
sex...hell, better than EVERY other good feeling I have ever had...COMBINED.
It's amazing how good something like NOT DYING can feel. People are a little
FREAKED OUT, because there's only supposed to be one corpse per funeral, and
you aren't supposed to make more on the spot.
(Interlude6: Wendy's Frosties are quite soothing to a racked throat.)
I had two thoughts during the process...
1) DON'T FUCKING DIE DUE TO DROWNING IN A PARKING LOT. Being fodder for the
next two months of morning show jokes about "what kind of dumbass can't work
a glass of water"
2) What kind of attention whore prima donna dies at someone else's funeral?
"John, It's not about YOU, it's SOMEONE ELSE'S DAY" Yes, this was running
through the back of my head, along with "Well, my funeral will be cheap,
Mike and I got along really well, just throw me in the box next to him, I
already have the suit."
Lemme tell you, legitimately thinking "Oh fuck, I'm going to
die...here...now" is beyond creepy. I quite literally cannot adequately
describe it short of putting the person I am describing it to through the
I could have gone a LOT longer without knowing what I learned today. (And
this is the most sincere thing anyone will ever hear me say,) I never want
to go through that again.
I think once I get moved, and stop shaking about this as much, I'm going to
get very, very, very, drunk.
p.s. For the next few hours, I had quite a few people laughing themselves
into a coma over how they were going to have to start cutting my food up for
me...and only letting me eat baby food. As one said, "Gerbers....because
John can't manage water"