127 Hours is about Aron Ralston, a man who is trapped under a boulder while mountain climbing. You see his desperate struggle to survive. As you may have guessed, Aron is stuck under the boulder for 127 hours. This movie is based on a true story, which makes the film even more captivating and grand. For those who have knowledge of the event aside from the information provided by the movie, you know that Aron’s life was changed by this near death experience.
The question this week is: “Have you ever had a near death experience? If so, what was it?” I ask this question because I have a near death experience that I will share with you. If you have had one, share it in the comments.
My near death experience wasn’t something as pathetic as: ‘I was jaywalking and a car almost hit me.’ Although that has happened countless times to me, that can’t qualify as a near death experience. My experience, however, fits the bill.
So I was young. 6 years old. “Ddog, there’s no way that you could remember something from that long ago.” Well, that’s one of the only solid memories I have from when I was a kid. Allow me to tell it.
I was visiting California for my summer vacation. The sun was high in the sky, frying everything within its reach. It was one of those hot days where your energy and effort are completely sucked out of you, and you want to do nothing more than lie down and do nothing. But, being as young as I was, I was eager to do something, despite the heat. I wanted to swim. So my mother and aunt headed outside, geared up for the swimming pool. I ran right in the pool and swam, relentless in my effort to embrace the cool water. I learned to swim at an early age, and I was very good at it. I was under the water then above, under then above, until a couple hours in, I was just about done swimming. The swimming paired with the heat had exhausted me. But I was satisfied. My mom, aunt, and I headed back upstairs after drying off, and I was feeling great. I was relaxed, dry, and to make things better, my aunt’s cat was looking friendly.
My aunt’s cat was a recluse at heart. The cat would just stay under my aunt’s bed and come out for food and water. But today, the cat was out to play. I crouched down next to it and hugged it, petted it, and was playing with it like any kid my age would do. It was soon after when my mom looked at me and asked to see my eyes. She came in close and called for my aunt. They were hovering me like vultures, observing my eyes. I looked at a mirror to see what all the fuss was about, and I was surprised to find that my eyes were glowing red. “Do you think it’s from the chlorine?” my mom asked my aunt. I wasn’t wearing goggles, and I always opened my eyes under water, so that seemed to be what the redness was from. I wasn’t worried. But then I started to itch at my eyes. They were starting to irritate me. My mom and aunt didn’t leave my side as soon as I said that my eyes were itching. Why would my mom make such a big deal over chlorine bothering my eyes?
I was likely going to ask her why they were so worried, but then it got difficult to breathe. As I took breaths, less and less air was getting inhaled. Being as young as I was, I could only communicate this feeling by saying, “I can’t breathe.” That’s when all hell broke loose. Every second that passed, my throat was tightening and it became harder for me to breathe. My mom scrambled to get a water bottle and my aunt rushed for her keys. As they did these things they were yelling from room to room, trying to figure out what this was from. I heard hospital and cat, and then even I knew that it was the cat that was making me feel like this. My aunt ran to her car, and my mom tried to rush me to it, but didn’t push me too hard, because running wouldn’t improve the state I was in. To me, everything was a daze. I could hear my heart pounding hard, and I was taking deep breaths, and blood was rushing to my head, making my head pound. I was in the backseat of my aunt’s car, my mom next to me, offering me water, telling me that we were almost to the hospital.
She tried not to sound panicked, but this whole situation was out of nowhere. Of course she was panicking. My aunt was speeding through the freeways of Los Angeles like a madwoman, yelling to my mom, telling her that she was closer, and that we were almost to the hospital. It was dark outside, and my vision was fading in and out, pulsing. My aunt turned to me as she sped down the freeway, grabbing my hand and asking if I was alright. I remember jerking left and right as she changed lanes every few seconds. I nodded yes when they asked if I was alright, but I was out of it, a puppet with a brain that was in another world. As minutes passed, I was slipping out of consciousness slowly. I was heaving my breath out and sucking air in, trying to breathe. It was like trying to breathe through an airway the size of a Crazy Straw. I was gasping for breath. All I remember is black, and then opening my eyes. I was in a hospital bed. I had a teddy bear and a coloring book in my lap, but best of all, I could breath. I took deep breaths, tasting sweet air once again. After my mom completed the proper paperwork, we had a nice slow ride back to my grandma’s house, which is where we were staying during the vacation. It was about one in the morning. I was hungry, and so my grandma, who was waiting up for us, generously poured me a big bowl of Pops cereal. I ate it all, and then I slept that night like a baby.
Where was my dad throughout all of this? He was back in New Jersey. At the time, he owned two pizza places, and he couldn’t leave the stores. (He owned two Fox’s Pizza Dens, the only 2 in New Jersey. If you’ve been to a Fox’s in New Jersey, it was my dad’s :)) But when he found out what happened, he was shocked and relieved.
It turns out that my aunt’s cat triggered an allergic reaction, setting off an asthma attack as well. We didn’t know that I had asthma until that day, or that I was allergic to cats. My asthma is now controlled with an inhaler. But I still do physical stuff. I’m not the stereotypical ‘can’t walk up the stairs’ asthma nerd. Alright, I might be a nerd at heart, but not because of the asthma 🙂
The cat is now dead. It
finally died a year ago. I was so happy upset to hear that that evil loving cat had passed away.
So that was my near death experience. Have you had one? If so, what happened? If not, what did you think of this story? That’s all for now. As always, thanks for reading 🙂