Friday, November 20, 2009
Tonight, I was so mesmerized by the sound of thunder, and the heavy rain that I decided to take a gander outside with my boots, coat and umbrella.
I walked halfway down the block and the rain was coming down on me, and I was just about to turn around, when at that very moment, and at the exact same time: I saw a flash of light, sparks, and felt an intense shock in my hand. I threw my umbrella down on the grass and yelled, "Oh my God!"
That's right, my friends, I believe I was just struck by lightning.
I know it may sound crazy, and everyone may think I'm loony bin nuts and am making it all up, but it is true. I can not believe it. I can't believe that I felt a shock in my hand so intense that I threw the umbrella out of the way. And as I looked up I checked to see if anyone saw anything, and the lights in the street went out.
Now, after doing some research, I've discovered that despite the belief that it is a rare occurrence to ever be struck by lightning, it isn't. In fact, there is about a 1 in 600,000 chance of being struck. And about 2,000 people are injured by lightning each year. Only 9-10% die from the strikes.
There are four different ways a human can be struck: by a direct strike, a 'splash' from nearby objects that are struck, a ground strike near the victim, or electromagnetic pulse from close strikes (EMP).
I feel fine. My hand, where I saw/felt the shock, feels a bit strange, not really weak but sort of off. I suppose it is hard to explain. My umbrella looks intact, although I haven't exactly gone outside to check on it.
It's quite peculiar, though. My dad told me that my grandma was also struck by lightning when she was younger. She, however, wasn't as lucky. Her toenails fell off. I suppose it runs in the family?
Either way, I'm glad it didn't turn out for the worse, and that I am healthy and alive. The whole, "Life flashes before your eyes" phrase may really be true after all.