"When I was 5, we moved into a house where a massive oleander bush was growing over the fence. Oleander flowers littered the lawn. I played with them and then went inside, had something to eat, and played with my sisters for a bit.
Next thing I remember, I'm in a doctor's office. I'm shivering and I ask for a blanket. The doctor puts a sheet of the paper that they use to cover the bed over me. They explain to my parents that I'm going to be fine and I can be taken home.
When I was a bit older (10 years old), my mother told me that I had been telling her that my chest hurt and I couldn't breathe, and she grew concerned enough to take me to the ER. I had fallen asleep in the car and stayed asleep until waking up in the doc's office.
I googled it and read that oleander is incredibly poisonous and works by paralyzing the respiratory system. Just one oleander flower can kill a horse. People have died from using oleander branches to roast food when camping. I had gotten pretty severely poisoned just by eating food with oleander residue on my hands. If I had bitten or eaten just a bit of the flower (which I very easily could have done since I was a dummy that often ate random things), I would have died pretty quickly.
So, yeah...I survived."
"My life-threatening tornado story started out by me warning my mother that things were flying around us all of a sudden. She was on the phone and waved me away, so I went back outside. Then all of a sudden it went silent and the sky changed colors.
I walked up to my mother, she ignored me, again, until I said, 'But MOM, the sky is purple/green/yellow!'
She literally dropped the phone mid-call, slowly turned to look at me and in the most serious deadpan voice, she said, 'Get in the car right now.'
We barely made it out of our driveway before we watched a tornado touch down in our field. My 13-year-old self just kept screaming, 'I FREAKING TOLD YOU SO!' while we tried to outrun the huge tornado right next to us. And then we drove a couple more hours just to be safe, her asking me where I think we should go. All I could think was how I didn't know, she's the mom here, I'm not about to lead us in the wrong direction. The stress. Turns out mom grew up in a tornado hotspot so she wasn't too concerned until I mentioned the color of the sky. Now she always listens to whatever I have to say and takes me a lot more seriously. Thanks, Mom."
"I was pregnant and in my last trimester. I was having some strange symptoms, but I had just seen my doctor three days before and he said all was good, so I brushed them off. Then that night had a terrific blinding headache, started seeing colored lights all around so I grabbed my phone to call 911. Before I could dial the numbers everything started getting blurry and then black. I woke up 3 days later in an ICU, no longer pregnant and with a tube. Turns out my doctor didn't diagnose my pre-eclampsia and it turned into eclampsia which caused me to have grand seizures for 11 hours, alone, until my roommate came home to find me. She told me later that she thought someone had murdered me. There was blood everywhere, and all over me, since I almost severed parts of my tongue while seizing. There were also bloody handprints in the hall and kitchen since apparently between episodes of seizing I would walk around and try to do things. I have no memory of that. Anyway, after a three day coma, emergency c-section, emergency cut into my windpipe to establish air, lot's of medication to reduce my insane high blood pressure, tongue surgery to piece the sucker back together, then month-long hospital stay to recover, and two month hospital stay for my son, both my son and I survived!
He was only 1 lb and the size of a Barbie doll, now he's almost 7 and doing great. And the doctors said they don't know how I survived, but I know I am super stubborn and wasn't ready to go."
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"I fell into a very, very cold creek when I was 12, wearing a winter coat and insulated boots (which get really heavy when wet, it turns out). The water was up to my neck before I started treading water. It took me three tries to find a branch that wasn't rotted so I could pull myself out. I very easily could have drowned or succumbed to hypothermia. And the only thing I could think was: my mom is going to be so upset with me. I climbed up the bank, facing my aunt's house but on the wrong side of the creek, and clumsily went into the building behind me. I thought it was a rec center, but it turned out to be a fire station. They got me some dry sweats and called my mom's cell (which my aunt happened to have). She called my uncle, who is a drama king, and freaked out, screaming for my mother at the top of his lungs (which got her freaked out).
Then they drove out of the subdivision to pick me up. When they arrived, they informed me that the fireman told my aunt they had rescued me from the creek. I was so furious. My 12-year-old self had pulled MYSELF out of the creek. Jerks, trying to steal my thunder. I still get made fun of for falling in."
Hung Chung Chih/Shutterstock
"When I was 17, my mother was driving us to a nearby town for a lunch. On the backcountry road, we hit an oil patch or something that made the road slippy. The car swung like a horizontal pendulum (luckily there was nothing else coming) for a stretch, we hit the side of the road and the back end of the car rose up and over. I remember when the windscreen cracked because it cracked in slow motion. I instinctively pressed my hands against the roof. The car landed, the roof crumpled in quite a bit, the engine cut off - Katy Perry singing through the radio did not. Myself and my mum were 'trapped' because the doors were below the bank by the road and we couldn't open them. Eventually a car stopped (after we counted about 10 cars driving past) and the occupants prised the door open. Getting out, standing up and brushing myself down, I looked at where the car had landed. One cars length forward, we would have sunk into the bog. Any further left or right, we would have landed on the boulders. The car had flipped into the perfect spot. Crazy moment.
Anyway, we eventually got home then ate locally for lunch. Fish and chips."
"I was on a wildfire and walking behind the tractor plow to make sure it was cutting a good fireline. A tractor plow is just a bulldozer with a fire plow behind it and goes about three miles an hour at max speed, so it wasn't hard to keep up with. Since bulldozers have a strange tendency to knock over trees, you need to stay a decent distance behind them (I have an aversion to tons of wood falling on my brain housing group). Usually, we keep in contact on our radios and I could tell them if they needed to turn around and clean up the line. Unfortunately, my dumb self neglected to check the batteries in my radio and it was dead as a doornail. We were in rather heavy vegetation and my only way out was back down the line we had just plowed. I felt a wind shift (this is a big deal when fighting forest fires since they tend to run in front of the wind) and looked around to see how the line was holding. I discovered that the fire had rather easily crossed the line, rendering all that walking irrelevant and also closing off the only way I had to get out of the area. Since my radio was dead I had no way to contact the tractor operator who was still happily plowing his useless fireline and knocking down trees willy-nilly.
I decided my only course of action was to run up behind him and throw my shovel at the back window. Luckily that got his attention enough to look back and notice the fire roaring straight at us. He opened the door and I jumped in and we escaped from the fire at a graceful three miles an hour.
Upon escape, I was promptly (and correctly) called a dummy by my boss. Frankly, I was just happy I didn't poop my pants."
"About a month into a new job, I woke up mid sleep with crazy stomach pain. It for sure was food poisoning because I proceeded to throw up and unleash everything into the toilet for a good three hours. Back and forth to the bathroom all night, got no sleep. I called into work saying I had food poisoning and got no sleep. The entire day, I was in the bathroom, nothing coming out, but the intense pain was there. The next day, I went into work for a good 30 minutes until my boss told me to go home because I kept dry heaving and had to take breaks to lounge in my chair because sitting up caused so much pain. Went home, taking breaks mid drive on the side of the road to recline until the pain went away.
I contacted my mom because I thought I was dying, she told me to go to the hospital. Due to me trying to be tough, I said I would go the next day. Stayed up almost all night in pain...but when I woke up, the pain had gone from a 9 to a 5... so no hospital visit was needed, but I needed a doctor's note. I went to Instacare because I still didn't have insurance through my new job. They took blood and did some tests. Doctor was 95% sure it was appendicitis. I asked how much it would cost to find out, he said about $10,000. Hard pass. The pain eventually went away.
About 10 months later, on my birthday, the pain came back. Not equipped with insurance, I toughed out the day and went to the hospital; they did all the tests on me and said it was appendicitis. Went into surgery that night. The surgeon later informed me that when he was removing it, that he noticed that it had appeared to have ruptured prior to this, and there was a build-up of tissue surrounding that area. I could have died, thanks to the fear of being in debt for a medical condition that I didn't cause!"
"On my third trip up Mount Baker, I took my friend who had never done any mountaineering before. I showed her the ropes but she's this tiny 110-pound girl who isn't stopping me if I go into a crevasse. But whatever, it's the Coleman Deming route on Mount Baker, nothing is going to go wrong. We reached the summit in good time and on our way down, we can see a direct line to the main high camp (we camped a bit higher to get some privacy) and some people working their way down to it. There's a fairly well-worn boot path, too, so we head down that way instead of the way we came up. Big mistake. The path lead us straight into an icy crevasse field and the group ahead of us was moving so dang slowly. They were placing ice holders and were obviously beyond their comfort zone so we had to wait for them standing on hard ice at a sharp angle above a rather large crevasse. And then my crampons slipped and I fell for just a brief second before I dug my ice ax in and self-arrested.
I played it off to the girl and people but dang, had my ax not bit into the ice, there I was dead and so was she. Moral of the story is: practice your self-arrest people and don't just follow a boot path."
"I had two near-death experiences. For the first one, I survived having five guys beating me half to death. All hits were on my head/face none on my body. The injuries were so severe, cops ruled it as an attempt of murder. They broke everything on my face from the nose down. I can't say I survived the PTSD, though. I still tense up when surrounded by people and prepare for a surprise fight. I live in a country where the cops have no word over the actions of almost anyone. The guys that jumped me were the sons of very important people you can say. They walked free so the situation wouldn't escalate further because it was a religion-related fight and those tend to end in dangerous fights where I'm from in Lebanon.
The other time I almost died, an inebriated bus driver rear-ended me while I was on a motorcycle. The injuries weren't that bad but he could have easily run me over when I was sliding across the asphalt on my back. The bus driver was off duty since it was 11 pm and he was driving around for no reason, apparently. No one was on the bus."
"I was waiting in line at the movies when I was around 10 years old with two little cousins, one 9, one 3 and my auntie. The building had a huge glass dome above the foyer. I heard a huge BANG and instantly everything went into super slow motion, I was running away before I even had time to think, as I ran I could feel lots of small things hit me in the back. Eventually, I came back to my senses and turned around. There was a large glass slab around 10 inches by ten inches and around 5 inches thick, exactly where I was standing, that had fallen from the dome around 40-60 feet above us. Nobody was seriously injured and I got a free ticket to the movie and popcorn and stuff.
Pretty cool to experience so much adrenaline that I could move so fast while everything seemed to me to be in slow motion."
"The girl I was dating tried throwing me off a balcony. I was clinging onto the railing. Her dad had to stop her and pull me up. She tried killing me before and other crazy stuff. I don't remember why we were in this place but I was just looking out while on the balcony and she came up all calm and nice but then put on an angry face and yelled as she tried throwing me over. The other time she tried killing me was when she accused me of doing something to her just so her parents would scream at me. That was the time her grandpa got mad and pulled a weapon on me. He pointed it at me and then looked away. When he looked away, I pushed it away from my body and he shot into the field behind a street. He told me to never touch a man's weapon. I don't think he was going to shoot me at first. He just wanted to scare me and only shot because he probably thought I was grabbing it. He was quite startled when I moved it. A lady looked into the garage where the shots were fired and when I looked at the lady, he shot a round off next to my ear. He then offered the weapon to me, which I took and put up to my head as a joke. My girlfriend came up and pulls the trigger, seeing as it would look like a suicide but I pushed it away from my head and the bullet went through the wall. She is a really big psychopath who really doesn't care for people.
I have a crazy and terrible life. Be careful of psychos and help out anyone who has to deal with them. They ruined my life because I was dumb and didn't understand stuff."