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Survival Instinct

I’m watching Walking Dead for the second time through and just finished the episode where Merle’s hand is found next to a bloody hacksaw and set of hand cuffs. Poor guy had to cut off his hand to escape the Walkers.


That got me thinking about the hiker that had to cut off his arm after a large boulder shifted and pinned him in an area where no other hikers would ever find him before he succumbed to the elements. I remember people talking about this case (he was treated at a hospital here in town) and asking themselves a question I imagine everyone has asked at one point or another: what lengths would I go to survive?

It’s bad enough to contemplate the thought of eating something really gross to stay alive but cutting off body parts takes things to a whole new level. Not only the thought of the pain involved (which I imagine would be pretty damn horrendous), but the blood loss and possibility of infection. You might survive the battle of the moment, only to lose the war down the road.

I often wonder what I would do to survive, what my mind and body would be capable of in the heat of an awful situation where it was do or die. Would I be able to eat a nasty cockroach or worse yet, a spider? *shudders to think* Would I have it in me to munch down on some dead flesh of an animal? What about a fellow human who didn’t survive (totally depends on whether they are zombified or not…)? Could I cut off a part of my body if it meant even the smallest chance of living through the nightmare?

Hopefully I never have to find out…

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2 Comments on “Survival Instinct”

  1. Michael G. Munz (@TheWriteMunz) December 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    I don’t think I could. I once had a nasty cut on my finger that I had to tend to myself, and (though I’ll spare you the details) the nature of it was such that doing certain things caused a nasty bit of pain. I managed, but cutting off my own hand with a saw? Nope, I’d probably just die.

    I’d suck at the gom’jabbar, huh?

    • drshaywest December 15, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      As would I. And Thunderdome definitely wouldn’t be for me. LOL

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