What Does It Feel Like to Be Shot?

What does it feel like to be shot/wounded by a bullet?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.


I was shot with a 9 millimeter pistol, non-hollow point ammunition. The actual shot felt like nothing as my adrenaline was pumping, it wasn't until the 911 operator asked me if I had been hit, that my body relaxed a bit and the blood soaked my pant leg (yes, like in the movies) and the pain was crippling. I fell on the floor with my leg bent. No major arteries, bone or organs were hit - the bullet pierced my upper thigh and brazed my opposite leg. For around 6 months to a year I felt every thing in my leg -- from car doors slamming to intense emotions. I rode my bike a few hundred miles a week and practiced yoga to rehab myself, physically and emotionally.

The story:

Near the end of May, 1999 I was shot by home invaders at my now ex-parents-in-law's house. They lived in a wealthy part of Los Angeles and my wife and I had come home from a late dinner. She was driving, I in the passenger seat. I was to grab something from my car on the street, so I walked towards the street from the parked car in the garage. As I did, and my wife exited the car and walked towards the door to the house inside of the garage, we both saw two men walking up the driveway, one in front of the other, the man in front had a gun pointed at my head. My instinct: spin and turn, run towards the house between the two parked cars in the garage. Her instinct: scream and run into the house. I ran all of the way from the middle of the driveway, through the cars and to the door, turned to go up the stairs when I heard one loud pop -- I knew a gun had been fired. I then met her on the stairs and we ran into the kitchen to call 911. On the phone with 911, adrenaline sky rocketing, I decided that I needed to defend myself if the intruders were going to come into the house. I hung up on 911. I will spare a few details here, but suffice it to say that the intruders did not come into the house. Recalled 911, the operator then asked me if I had been shot, the ambulance and police arrived in 10-12 minutes, I spent 3 hours in the hospital and was released.

It took nearly 6 months to physically rehab my leg and at least another 3 years for the nightmares -- sleeping or otherwise -- to end. I was severally traumatized as was my now ex-wife.

It was one of the worst and one of the best things that has ever happen to me. I am alive and I know it - everyday is beautiful.

More questions on Quora: