STORY: Near Death Experience

I almost died today. And I say that with all seriousness because it's true. Not a metaphor or hyperbole... literally, I almost died.

I always wondered what dying would feel like. In the movies they always present it so dramatically. The person dying will have a very quick flashback played before her eyes and then she gets to say her last few words. Then the person is suddenly drowned with a bright light and is lifted away from her human body and is pictured as a new peaceful form. 

But this is not the case. (Check my post on fainting and you'll see how often mistaken assumptions happen with me) It was one of the scariest experiences of my life and I was helpless about it. Let me rewind a bit so you have an idea of what went down.

I was sleeping alone in my room. I started smelling smoke and in my deep slumber, I just assumed that my dream felt so real. Perhaps there were men smoking somewhere in my dream that would explain the intensifying smoke I was sniffing? Maybe, but after about an hour (I'm assuming it was an hour since dream time and real time move at different speeds, right? Hello, Inception!), the smoke became too intense for me to breathe. The feeling was similar to drowning. I was struggling to inhale oxygen but no air was getting through. It was then I started waking up... and just in the nick of time. A few more minutes and I could have stopped breathing completely. 

When I woke up, I realized the smoke wasn't in my dream. I was awake and I could still smell it. But it was dark so I couldn't see anything. I got up to open the lights and what I saw was enough to make me faint. My room was all smoke! It was so thick, I could hardly see any of the furniture. I opened the door immediately to see if there was a fire going on. But all I saw was my dad opening all the electric fans and windows. I asked what was going on and he said he had fallen asleep reheating the viand mom prepared for dinner. My mom had prepared hototay, a soupy dish that night. The dish filled an entire pot, a pot which my dad had managed to turn into charcoal. Imagine how long he must have left the fire on to have completely evaporated a full pot? And to have the same stainless steel pot burn? I must have been inhaling smoke for more than an hour already! 

I was dizzy and coughing like crazy. I ran to my mom's room to check if they were sleeping in smoke, too. No, all other rooms were safe. Thank God. All the other rooms had the doors shut so only very little smoke could go through under the door. Although my room's door was shut, too, my room had a special window that overlooks the living room. I had left that window open. So all the smoke (hot air rises!) from downstairs went straight to my window and never left my room. I guess my dad forgot about that small passage way. Anyway, my mom panicked when she saw me! Before I could even tell her there was no fire, she had already ran down to check. She was too sleepy to even talk to my dad about it. She just went back up to ask me if I was okay. She asked if I should go to the ER but I told her I was fine. I was crying and coughing and wheezing but I didn't think it was an ER type of incident. 

After about an hour, I started calming down and breathing better. But I was still scared. Thoughts went through my head about what ifs. "What if I didn't wake up? What if I became unconscious? What if my dad didn't wake up? What if I had to go to the ER but didn't?" After a lot of those what ifs, I imagined life if I did die. And the thoughts that went through my head aren't thoughts I was very proud of. The first thing I thought of was, "The last meal I ever ate on earth was two-piece chicken meal at Mcdonalds. That isn't a great last meal" and I followed it up with "I just updated my new phone, I didn't even get to use it" I'm ashamed at how shallow my concerns were at the face of death but I had no power to dictate it. As much as I wanted to think of not attending my dad's 50th birthday, my sister's debut, my parents' silver anniversary, or my own wedding, the thoughts just didn't register at that moment. How odd, right? I didn't expect that of myself either. 

When my siblings woke up to get ready for school, they all coughed at the remaining smoke in the house. They couldn't stand it. I keep telling everyone to multiply what they were feeling by 100 since I had to sniff 100x more smoke for 100x longer! They could only imagine how scary and painful it felt.

I'm still dizzy right now. I am also having a hard time breathing. Me smelling like smoke doesn't help at all!  Taking a bath did no good since my towel, the bathroom and my room still smelled of smoke. My entire closet smells like smoke, too! I tried to drown the smell out with perfume but no good. My hair and clothes stink! And the more I smell it, the more dizzy I get. I'm just hoping I get through the day without fainting or throwing up. 

Oh Lord, thank you for saving me and my family. Thank you for waking my dad up and for waking me up. Thank you for this wake up call. Thank you for reminding me how any day could be my last. That I should do good each and everyday because tomorrow may never come. Thank you for giving me a second chance. I pray that you guide me as I try to live each day that I would be peaceful knowing was my last. I pray you keep my loved ones safe, that you continue to keep them away from harm. There is just so much to say but I think these words sum it all up: Thank you, Lord. I love you.

No comments: