Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Kinda Sorta of Brush With Death

Last night, I ended up remembering an experience I had as a kid. At soccer practice, someone kicked the ball in my direction and it hit me just right to knock the wind out of me. The previous times I ended up getting winded, I was able to remain standing, and occasionally sputter out a word or two. I didn't have those luxuries, that time.

I ended up falling on my back, struggling to breathe. I was in full view of the coach and my dad at the time, and they didn't overreact. I remember the coach telling someone about my condition of the moment, probably one of the kids who was understandably concerned.

As I mentioned, it was worse than all the other times I had breathing troubles, and at the time, I was worried I was going to die, and I couldn't muster the breath to say anything about how severe it was. I was focused on two things: How to communicate my level of distress and sucking as much oxygen into my lungs as I could. A few very long moments later, I felt a burning in my lungs as they got back to their regular expansion and I could get back on my feet. My dad had to convince me it wasn't as bad as I feared.

During all that time, even despite being a theist at the time, I didn't once think about God or pray for a miracle rescue. I had only the two practical options in my mind: Keep trying to breathe and get help from the people who were really there.


King of Ferrets said...

You're luckier than I was when that happened to me; when I got a soccer ball to the gut, a mosquito flew into my mouth.

That was weird.

MWchase said...

I've had a couple unpleasant times... the closest I've probably come to death, besides those times on my bike (which happen a lot, come to think...) was the time I was sledding, and ended up going directly beneath a... it was a something on wheels, kind of thing, with just enough clearance for the sled. My back hurt for weeks after that. Pretty sure I was already an atheist by then... I was also a snotty pre-teen, so I suppose you can't have everything.

MWchase said...

Oh, but! The most annoying time was when I was choking, and was just surrounded by classmates asking me if I was okay. General life tip: "I was totally going to do the Heimlich maneuver." is possibly the least ingratiating thing that you can tell somebody after they nearly die.

Dark Jaguar said...

That makes me think of the one big horror, that people in general are too concerned about looking silly to be the first to do something to help someone in uncertain danger.

Ya know, it's sad to think I've hurt myself to avoid touching something icky. Heck sometimes I've been IN pain and still had the presence of mind to be grossed out. "Ack I just fell out of a tree and hit every branch on the way down (thus possibly saving me from a neck injury by constantly slowing down my rate of decent in retrospect)... ewww a bug get it away!"

I've had the wind knocked out of me pretty bad like you describe once when I was very little. I was on some neighbor kid's trampoline (yeah it's going somewhere obvious, no Family Guy style scenario where some random animal comes from nowhere) and I remember getting knocked down as a bunch of us were jumping and one of the older kids picked exactly that moment to do one of those "I can do a bigger jump if I tuck in my legs and dive down with the points of my knees" type jumps, and I rolled right underneath that landing when I had fallen due to the nice funnel shape the trampoline had at that moment (I think from some other kid bouncing right then). Well two knees to the chest later I found myself with some nice burning lungs and the complete inability to fill them. Fortunatly I was helped up rather quickly and the neighber kid's father was nearby to see if I was alright. I remember it feeling like a long time but it was probably only 20 seconds at best before I finally was able to get a breath in. A few minutes of short breathing later I was fine but I had decided to go home at that point.

No I didn't suddenly think of god, but then again this was before I really knew anything about religion in general and before I got caught up in christianity. Still as a general rule in life threatening scenarios, which I've had very few of fortunatly, I'm a little too concerned with the immediate situation to bother thinking about anything else, unless there's something gross nearby I don't want to touch.