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What is the closest to death you have come?
Old 02-24-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
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What is the closest to death you have come?

Title says it all. What is the closest you have ever come to dying, whether it be from medical reasons, near-misses, accidents, crime, etc. I realize a rather morbid topic but it came up on another message board I go to and I was curious to what the responses would be here.

for me:

I was 21. Was home visiting my family with my first wife. My older brother had just purchased a new motorcycle and I borrowed it. It was quite a bit larger then any motorcycle I had ever been on before. But hey I was a young man who thought I could handle anything right?

The thing is my parents frontyard faced a pretty major highway with lots of big trucks racing down it at 70 mph. So my wife and my mom are sitting on the front porch, I start the motorcycle and pull out of the driveway. As I pull out a diesel tops the hill and is coming down the road at 70 mph. And since it is a much bigger bike then I was used to I really didn't have it under control. I had swung wide into the oncoming lane (the lane with the diesel!) and the motorcycle still wasn't under my control.

There is a moment on a motorcycle where you know it is going to tip on its side or you can recover. I was at that moment with a diesel coming at me at 70 mph.

Luckily I was able to pull it up and zip right into my lane and went up the road and back. Also luckily both my wife and mom were totally oblivious to how close they had come to see me being smashed/mangled/crushed under a 18 wheeler! I know the trucker saw me because I could see it in his eyes--that 'oh ****' moment right before I pulled it up and zipped into my lane. That was over 30 years ago and I can still remember it as if it was yesterday.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Well, once I was driving a diesel truck on a major two-lane highway when a kid pulled out of a driveway on a big motorcycle, and veered right into my lane....thought I was gonna have to take the ditch at 70mph, but luckily he got it under control and out of the way at the last possible second.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:22 AM   #4
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:25 AM   #5
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When I was very young (about 1 YO), my brother gave me some kerosene to drink... I got pneumonia (that is what my mom says)...

Well, at night if my mom laid me down she said I could not breath.. she had to hold me upright the whole night... she said there were a few times she fell asleep and later would wake up and I was blue... so, if she had not woke, I would not be here...
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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In 1985, I was cutting down a tree for winter firewood. As the tree fell, a ten foot long piece of the tree top was snapped off as it fell into two other trees. The branches of those trees launched the tree top back toward me like a missile. I never saw it coming.

I had just taken a step backward when it felt as if someone hit my left hand with a sledgehammer. Result: A broken left hand and a few nightmares about the possible head/neck trauma that I would have suffered had I not moved when I did
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:44 AM   #7
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Heh, I'd rather not revisit the 5 events.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:52 AM   #8
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another motorcycle mishap here. Had been riding a Harley softail for several years when we went to Austin for the annual bike rally.

A friend (female) had just started riding and had bought a little Yamaha something or other...10 of us rode out to Llano for bbq with me riding behind DH that day. The friend on the Yamaha decided to have several beers with lunch. We tried to get her to not drink but she wouldn't listen. I offered to ride her bike back since I wasn't comfortable with her getting back on her bike after drinking (she's a tiny thing and had less than two weeks of experience on the bike.)

I'm on her bike (with no helmet...yea stupid) riding second back in the group; DH is the lead bike on a two lane road. Woman on a feeder road decides to coast through a stop sign and pulled in front of us. DH swerved and missed her, I hit the brakes which promptly locked up both tires (brakes on a baby Yamaha are WAY different than Harley brakes). So at 70 mph my brakes are locked up and I'm skidding, but keeping the bike straight...so far. I would estimate that I was doing about 30 mph when the back end of the bike fishtailed and I went over the handlebars.

As I was going over the top of the bike, I was saying to myself..."Lisa, you're dead". I remember the white puffy clouds, the excruciating slowness of flying through the air and then I was on the ground and alive.

The ambulance got there fast for being 50 miles outside of Austin and I was being triaged for spinal injury, head injury, blah blah....

very long story short; I ended up with a broken arm that required surgery and zero other injuries. I was very, very lucky. Since it was bike weekend there were lots of fellow motorcycle riders in the ER with me. The man in the next bay died while I was being treated...he also hadn't been wearing a helmet.

That was the last time I ever got on a motorcycle. God was with me that day and he was saying in a very fine Texas drawl 'darlin', you've been given a second change. DO NOT SCREW IT UP!"
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #9
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At the ripe old age of 31 I learned I would die in less than one year.

My life and the needs of my young family quickly flashed before my eyes. Fortunately the doctor quickly followed it up with "if you don't have corrective heart surgery."

Since then I've had an occasional arrhythmia that I've had to be shocked out of. That also causes the life to flash before the eyes... This is now controlled by meds.

Upside of the story: That was the catalyst that caused me to get more serious about my family finances. We became even more serious about saving for the future. I have also been able to limit my work to half-time, enabling me to spend more time with the kids.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #10
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Yet another motorcycle mishap. I was cruising along a country road at about 60 mph when I car pulled out in front of me. Last thing I remember was swerving and standing on the rear brake. Woke up sometime later in a ditch and tangled up in a barbed wire fence. Broken finger, three broken ribs, numerous cuts and one big hunk of flesh gouged out of my arm at the elbow. If it weren't for the blood you could see the joint. Gave up motorcycles after that as that was strike three on people pulling out in front of me.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:06 AM   #11
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Some friends and I caravaned up to Virginia City to see Haley's comet, so I was about 20. Unfortunatley, the sky was too cloudy, so we turned around and drove back. Another guy and I ended up racing down the hill. Lots of curves, very little guardrail. I went around a corner at about 60 MPH and hit black ice. I was headed for the edge of the highway, about to careen down a cliff. Next thing I know, I'm on the other side of the road, backed into an embankment. Don't know how it happened, but I should have dived off the cliff. I still get antsy on curvy roads.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:19 AM   #12
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Motorcycles = Bad News~!!

I have 2, this is the worst:

in the mid '70s I had just moved to San Francisco after graduating from College. I had my own basement apt in Noe Valley - very cool! One morning at 3 am I was awakened from deep sleep to find a strange man on top of me in bed with a knife on my throat and his hand over my mouth. I was all fuzzy headed because I had been in deep sleep so I struggled with him & got his hand off my mouth & said: "Why are you here?" (pretty dumb, but when you are groggy headed and in shock, strange things come out....!) Then I screamed very very loud. This got the guy running out of my house because I had upstairs neighbors....I truly thought I was going to die & still have the knife scar on my hand to this day....

He had broken in through the ground floor window. Pretty creepy!
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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Had a couple motorcycle accidents--one which I still carry the broken elbow evidence of; however, the one closest call that I still cringe over was hitting some black ice in Chicago on the expressway at 65 mph, totally losing control of the car and going from the southbound lane into a huge half-circle that had me crossing a wide boulevard and completely put me in one of the northbound lane going north (that means I was totally put into another set of lanes going the opposite way)....boy! talk about luck. I just missed speeding cars in the northbound lanes by a hair. I literally still break out into a cold sweat if I think too much about that time...

But, since I was somewhat of a tomboy when young, I have alot of close calls in my past. Gosh but I hope those days are over.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by NW Landlady View Post
Motorcycles = Bad News~!!



One morning at 3 am I was awakened from deep sleep to find a strange man on top of me in bed with a knife on my throat and his hand over my mouth. I was all fuzzy headed because I had been in deep sleep so I struggled with him & got his hand off my mouth & said: "Why are you here?" (pretty dumb, but when you are groggy headed and in shock, strange things come out....!) Then I screamed very very loud. This got the guy running out of my house because I had upstairs neighbors....I truly thought I was going to die & still have the knife scar on my hand to this day....

I had the very same thing happen to me but on a train going to Monaco, and he was a very well dressed businessman in probably his mid-30's; plus, my assailant had stolen some pantyhose I'd washed out and hidden on top of my luggage for later. That was scary and I've always wondered what he would have done with them if I hadn't woke up and yelled.

I'm guessing because of my "I'll try anything" personality that I've probably had more close calls than the average women. Trust me...I've grown out of it totally.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
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What is the closest to death you have come?
Today. Tomorrow I will be shorter of breath and one day closer. It says so here:
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:02 PM   #16
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:11 PM   #17
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I dunno. Was it the gang of thugs with the switchblades, the 27' Great White Shark, or the time my ex drunkenly decided to drive on the wrong side of the freeway? The guy with the gun in my back who tried to force me into his car? Or was it the time when, as a teen, my strict parents caught me coming home after curfew?

I've lived a wonderful and eventful life. I wouldn't have it any other way. The good balances the not-so-good very nicely.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:21 PM   #18
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Had more, but two that come to mind...

1) driving in a snowstorm. This SUV in front of me skids in a semi-circle and stops right in front of me. I have nowhere to steer away so just press my brakes down nice and hard. My life flashes before me, I see everthing in slow motion. I say, "this is it, I'm a goner". By luck or divine intervention, after sliding forward about 100 feet, I come to a stop about 3 feet before hitting the SUV. ABS breaks do work after all.

2) walking to a training class in winter. A huge chunk of snow crashes down from the roof of a tall building. Only about 4 feet from me.. My heart drops....Yikes. Lucky!
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:24 PM   #19
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Seems a lot of folks have cheated death on motorcycles.............
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:27 PM   #20
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