I almost killed myself back in 2014 or so.
No, it wasn't on purpose.
We got more orders than usual, so I went to go pick up a large order of dry ice. I paid for it, and a nice fellow loaded 100 lbs of it into the back of the hatchback.
I didn't know how that would almost kill me.
I got in the car, closed the doors, turned on the A/C & drove off. The dry ice shop is in the Point Loma area and our office is 15 highway minutes south, just south of downtown San Diego, in Barrio Logan.
I called Lee and we talked through what we had to do biz-wise that day, but I felt a bit breathless.
Weird, because even though I'm not in ultra-marathon shape I'm not out of shape, and I certainly don't feel breathless often.
Talking with Lee, it got worse. It wasn't like I was fighting for breath, it just felt like I couldn't finish my sentences.
I'm trying to focus on my conversation with Lee, but it's hard to finish sentences, to even think. I know something's wrong and getting worse, but what is it? I'm healthy, damn it!
There's a part of me wondering if I drank too much coffee that morning; 2 cups instead of 1. No, that can't be right. What else could it be?
Feeling the prickling of sweat prior to blackout, the kind you feel when you stand up suddenly after laying down for a while. On the highway, rolling at 70 miles an hour.
I needed time. To think. The world. started. to. close. in.
Breathing shallow, like when you turn the O2 off on a Draeger, shallow puffs, darkness closing in, you CAN NOT pass out on the highway. NIK, THINK MAN!
This is getting worse, not better. You've got less than 30 seconds and you don't know it. What the fuck!? Be cool. What the fuck is going on!!?
Calm, work the problem.
Draeger, shallow breathing, O2....
CO2! It's the CO2, it's the 100 lbs of dry ice sublimating in the back. You idiot! Just as the first heavy wave of nausea and faintness hits and my head bobs I get the windows down.
Air rushes in and I raise my head. That's it! Just hold on, bubba!
Now I'm focused. I know what the problem is, I can solve it, just have to hang on.
Deep breaths out the window, hand out focusing the air into my face & mouth.
Breathe deep the air, my friend.
Today, you live.
The nausea passes, the faintness fades. No horns honking, no cars swerving, nobody even noticed. I tell Lee what happened.
She (rightly) thinks I'm an idiot. I'm no longer breathless.
Off at the exit, windows still down. What the heck? Did that really just happen? Was I really that stupid? I've driven with dry ice in the car before with the windows up, why this time?
All's well that ends well, thought you would dig my brush with death via the cookie business. Stay safe out there!
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