You guys, there are a few things that scare the bejeebus out of me when I'm on the road. I get freaked out when I can't really see past a bush or a tree (or the infamous blue truck at South Grand and West 18th? Who remembers?!) at an intersection.  I also hate it when people do that thing where they turn left and turn in just a way that they're right next to you in the other lane when they do it, and it feels like they're going to hit you? Like, seriously, you could have pumped the brakes just a schosh.  I also have been known to honk a time or two when people get too close to the middle, and they seem to be hugging the line in the center?  You know what I mean.  That scares me!


Of course, the biggest one of all though... sneezing while driving.  When it happens, I almost always get a little moment of "Oh no!".  Because of course, your eyes close automatically when it happens, and you can't control it.  So what do you do?  Do you just sneeze and deal, or do you try to hold it in?

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Sneezing while doing 70 on the freeway can be scary.  But the alternative is terrifying:  A guy in his 30s was recently driving in Scotland when he had to sneeze and decided he'd try to hold it in.  He closed his mouth and pinched his nose, but still sneezed . . . and it tore a hole in his THROAT (!!!!!).


He showed up at a hospital in severe pain, and a scan showed a two-millimeter tear in his windpipe. The technical term is "spontaneous tracheal perforation."  It rarely happens this way, so don't freak out too hard (Easy for me to say, right?!).  Doctors could only find a handful of cases. Thankfully, he's okay and didn't even need surgery.  They gave him painkillers, and the tear healed itself within a few weeks. BUT DANG, if that doesn't give me another thing to worry about.

Experts hope the story teaches people they should NEVER try to hold in a sneeze like that.  If you plug your nose, the pressure in your upper airway can be 20 times what it normally is.  Apparently, he was lucky it wasn't worse.  It can also cause ruptured eardrums, broken ribs, or even an aneurysm.

What's the scariest thing you've seen while driving?

Sneezily yours,

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