George squeezed my hand, I could see him doing it, I could hear him doing it. Jesus, I could not feel him doing it and no matter how hard I tried I could not squeeze back.
Fear struck in the form of ICE, an icy cold came over me. There was no pain, my brain went into overdrive again. George was now fiddling with my feet, again not a thing. Those freaky jelly arms and legs I had watched dancing in the current just a few moments earlier were mine. At the time of course I knew that, the harsh reality just did not register. I had more pressing needs then. Suddenly I was cold, not even the harsh African summer sun could warm me.
Not fifteen minutes had passed since I had glided past George laughing on what surely was my last wave ever. This time I was done, it was over for sure, the unthinkable flashed into my mind, I felt a twinge of anger that I had made it. It had been so peaceful under water, I had been ready, life had treated me well, it had been good. I felt so cold all of a sudden, a lifetime of emotions in such a short space of time. I felt so cold and suddenly so very tired.
I know I am a logical person, science over faith any day. Logic, science and faith all kicked in at that moment. I had done this before I had lived through being told I would be paralyzed before and it had worked out, keep positive, keep the faith, never give up. The emotional rollercoaster I felt on the beach in front of the channel at the Point that day is absolutely impossible to put into words. There was no pain and that terrified me, last time the pain was all consuming, nothing has come close since, not even the day I crushed and pulled the end of my right index finger off came close. There was no pain, it was very, very cold and it was terrifying.
I was going into neurogenic shock. The danger was very real and it was far from over.