UK: It happened to me: A sixth sense told me I was about to die
Posted: July 25th, 2009 - 10:01pm
Source: Mail Online
Claire Munoz, 36, was enjoying a meal out with her boyfriend and his mother when she suddenly began to feel strange. What happened next was extraordinary, terrifying and very nearly fatal.
Here, Claire, an assistant producer for children's television, who lives with her dog, Nellie, in Glasgow, reveals what happened…
Tucking into my lunch of tuna steak, salad and chips at a local restaurant, I hadn't realised how hungry I was until I saw that my former boyfriend, Dan, and his mother were still eating their meals by the time I'd finished. But before I'd even put my knife and fork down, I began to feel very strange.
I was slightly hot and had a mild headache but, more than that, an odd sensation suddenly hit me that I was about to die. It sounds melodramatic, but I can only describe it as a tremendous and overwhelming sense of impending doom.
I felt perfectly calm and had no other symptoms – no racing pulse, no nausea or dizziness – but the feeling that I was about to die was so strong that I turned to Dan and said, 'There's nothing wrong with me, but I think I'm going to die. I have to get to a hospital.'
Naturally, he and his mother thought I was overreacting. He looked perplexed to say the least, while his mother tried to appease me with some paracetamol, but I knew that the headache was the least of my worries.
Dan said he'd take me home, but I had this overwhelming instinct to get medical help. I calmly gathered my things up and said, 'You finish your meal – I'm going to hospital.'
By now, Dan could see I was serious and so, having left his mum at the restaurant, we flagged down a taxi and drove to the nearest accident and emergency department.
Dan said later that he could see my lips going slightly blue, but I had no idea and still felt completely at ease. There was no sense of panic, even though it felt as if I was fighting to stay alive.
At the hospital I felt pretty stupid when I said to the receptionist, 'I don't know what's wrong with me, but I think I'm going to die.'
She called a doctor and I was taken into a side room. As I was being examined, I passed out. The last thing I remember is a sign saying 'Emergency in Progress' being turned on at the door.
More doctors started rushing around me. A drip was jabbed into my arm and an oxygen mask was put over my face. At one point I was wrapped in what looked like tin foil to keep me warm – I think I'd gone into shock.
I was shaking uncontrollably and someone was asking me the name of my next of kin. I can remember lying there thinking, 'Ah well, I'm going to die, but I'm pretty happy with what I've done with my life. This isn't so bad.' I was so calm about it.
At some point I blacked out completely. Apparently, I was in the emergency room for five hours while the doctors tried desperately to stabilise me.
As they wheeled me out to intensive care, Dan, who had been waiting outside all the time, overheard one of the doctors saying, 'I didn't think she was going to make it'. It must have been terrifying for him.
Much later, when the consultant, Dr Kirkwood, visited me, I asked her what had happened.
She said she suspected I'd had scombroid food poisoning, which is caused by a bacteria on some fish, and I'd experienced a huge anaphylactic shock – a sudden catastrophic allergic reaction involving the whole body. She said that if I'd arrived ten minutes later at the hospital, I would have died.