Before last summer, I’d never prayed for my life before. I’d never felt the sharp jab of mortality. What I had felt before was the ease with which air effortlessly passed into my body and saturated me with life. What I’ll never feel again is the naive ungratefulness I knew before I almost died.
Unknowingly, I was suffering a severe and life threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis shock. My limbs went numb, my stomach convulsed, and my throat began to close up to the point where I was gasping for air. I clutched for items to hold onto to get some sort of stability and the fleeting normal physical feelings. But all I could think about was how much I had taken for granted in my life as the bulging lump in my throat threatened to take it all away. And then I saw a fuzzy blackness began to crawl over my peripheral vision.
Who was I to be judging the universe? Complaining about trivial things? I can tell you that instances where you had ridiculously complained about unimportant things, like that time you ordered a water with ice and received a warm water with no ice, flash before you when your body is failing fast and life is leaving. You remember how you treasured material things more than the life and feelings of a poor stranger. Then you get smacked in the face. Hard. You see the beautiful shades of color that seemed so ordinary before shining brilliant and vivid, waking you. You fall to the ground with the gravity of the world around you and are instantly and permanently humbled. You realize how small and how big your life is all at once. Everything is pulsing, and in that moment you are truly alive.
You will never be the same. And it’s a blessing.
I was able to ride out this deadly allergic reaction (to Soy) due to the genius of my boyfriend who gave me antihistamines even though he wasn’t sure what was happening while we waited for the ambulance to arrive.
I’m forever grateful for the life that pulses through my veins and the time I have here. Don’t miss a moment. I don’t have to tell you that you never know what will happen next. If I ever feel my spirit dying again, I’ll breathe and remember.