Rhialto wrote on Jun 5, 2017, 12:10:
I've sent the lightning link... pretty amazing, isn't? Man I would have freaked out, I wonder how many decibels it would read? Even if there is more chance to be hit by a lightning than winning at the lotto, I don't know anyone around me who got that close to a strike.
Happened to anyone around you?
I was struck on June 17th, 1998..well, not directly, but it was enough to put me in the hospital for three days and it left some psychological scars. Living in FL, when there could be a lightning strike, literally, any
minute from April/May until October, you have to constantly keep it in the back of your mind when you're outside. Even if you don't see a storm near you, those puffy white clouds could just start building and that first strike could be around you.
Thing was, I wasn't outside when I got hit. I was in my house, getting dinner in the kitchen. It was thundering but nothing too bad, I was barefoot in the kitchen with a plate and fork in my hand and then, all of sudden, I was waking up feeling like I'd been gone a long
time. Really weird feeling, honestly. The lights were out, I never heard the boom, though family around me, my fiance`, my father and my 8 month old daughter, did. So I was out at least four seconds. I didn't know where I was, when it was...I flipped. the. fuck. out. I started screaming and I couldn't calm down for over 20 mins. I was shaking, crying, screaming. I didn't even really know why
, just that I couldn't stop...My fiance` was trying in vain to calm me down but it was impossible. I couldn't. Like the worst panic attack ever long
before I started having them. I wasn't injured, physically. Just mentally, though my right arm was tingling. I was over-anxious and couldn't calm down.
I had to get out of the house. I didn't feel safe. We went to Wal-Mart down the street. You might laugh but I wanted to be somewhere I knew
I couldn't get hit because it was still thundering and there was still some lightning and every time I heard it, it threatened to start me going again. We got there and I sat in the food court (when they had them) and I was just in a daze for like two hours. I didn't say anything. My fiance` was afraid to say anything or do anything except to ask if I was ok. I tried to reassure her I was, I felt bad for screaming at her earlier when I had no control. My best friend came and sat with us. She thought we'd been kidding around but when she got there she knew right away something was definitely wrong. Finally, it was decided I should go to the ER and they admitted me when they couldn't bring down my heart rate from ~200bpm steady. I was scared out of my mind of something I felt could get me from anywhere I went.
They kept me sedated for three days because we had storms every day (it was summer, typical stuff) and kept my blinds and curtains closed. If my heart rate went too far up, they'd sedate me again and those three days are a blur...thankfully. I spent three months getting evaluated and going through counseling. I was diagnosed with a rare form of PTSD, 'shock anxiety'. Basically shell shock. 'Least that's what they told me it was. I wasn't ever really the same after, I had a lot more anxiety than I'd had before, I would get under the table or the bed during a storm until I taught myself to control it. I felt vulnerable constantly. It was there even during the winter because we do get storms in the winter down here. After a while I thought I'd buried it and moved on until some bad years, 2006-2010, with my divorce, the deaths of my sister and my father brought it all up and I started having massive panic attacks. That, too, I learned to deal with.
The funny thing is, if you can call anything that happened that night 'funny', the lightning struck a tree outside our house that had once had a DirectTV dish hooked to it. (We only found this out after
, during the inspection) The dish was gone but the coax cable line was still there and it ran into the house, into the master bedroom closet, which was on the same wall as the living room closet. It traveled inside, started a fire in the closet (my dad had to put it out when we all saw smoke pouring out...well, they did, I was busy falling apart) and then spread out through the floor, a steel-reinforced concrete floor - where I stood in the kitchen in bare feet. That's the explanation we were given during the final inspection for the insurance about a month later. My daughter, amazingly, was in her highchair, a metal highchair but with rubber stoppers on the bottom of the legs, in the dining room, which was part of the kitchen and she wasn't fazed one bit by the noise or the aftermath. She just kept eating. I can thank God for that one thing, at least...
'Sorry, we thought you were dead.'
'I was. I'm better now.'