Near Death Experiences

I have had a couple of real near death experiences. One when I was in the ICU I actually crashed and my daughter was looking over me as my eyes drifted to the ceiling. What she didn’t know was that I was looking at my parents, who looked the same as they did when they passed, wearing the same embarrassing outfits that always made me walk ten paces ahead of them when we were out (funny how teen age angst is carried over 30 years) and traveling inside the eye of an elephant (you can’t make this up and NO I was not dying from an LSD overdose!) It was like a capsule and I was trying to get in and pretty annoyed that they would not open the door. The next thing I knew I was “back” with a central line in my chest and several people fussing over me, feeling like crap. I often think about that experience and since then have had a new found appreciation for the elephant. In art (see Gregory Colbert’s collection called “Ashes and Snow”) and tell me you are not moved by the talent and the beauty, and in folklore, as apparently, funny enough, elephants are a symbol of overcoming death.
The next near death experience I had was last night. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. from a sound sleep with Criminal Minds re-runs playing on the TV I forgot to turn off, having an asthma attack. There is nothing worse than having one of these sneak up on you in a dead sleep because you go from open mouthed drooling slumber (or so I have been told from some insolent bedfellows) to feeling like you are being strangled and drowned all at the same time. You cannot breath in, you cannot breath out, its like somebody has popped a wine cork down your trachea . Where are visions of elephants when you need them? I was sure this was “it” this time although I have suffered from this before. Only now it was lasting well into a minute and my lips were turning blue and I was starting to panic. It’s the panic that will kill and asthma sufferer faster than lack of oxygen will. Panic because you think the next time you try to inhale you will get a bit of air in and you don’t. The panic that you realize you decided to sleep naked and now your kids are going to find you dead and rigored in most likely an unladylike position on the floor after the dogs have given you a good sniff over. The panic because now you’re pissed off at yourself for worrying about all those things you worried about that day, that really don’t matter at all when you are about to hitch a ride on that elephant!
Obviously I lived to tell about it but not without spending the rest of the night awake because I was afraid to go to sleep again and have that happen. Sometimes larygospasms come in twos. So I got on facebook and talked to my friend who was having lunch in Budapest, checked my online bank balance and only got a  little short of breath, and put on a nighshirt just in case.
Morale of the story is: Don’t sleep naked and hope that if you see the elephant he won’t let you on his back.

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