Earlier this month I woke up at 3 am unable to breathe. It felt like someone had placed some type of screen over my throat and clogged up my nose. I was desperately trying to suck in air, and it just wouldn't go in.
Imagine a scene of a fish flopping when it is dropped on a dock out of water. Like that, just replace the dock with the hardwood floor of my empty apartment.
An immediate care visit would later explain that I had experienced a laryngospasm, described in a medical dictionary thusly:
"....a rare but frightening experience. When it happens, the vocal cords suddenly seize up or close when taking in a breath, blocking the flow of air into the lungs. People with this condition may be awakened from a sound sleep and find themselves momentarily unable to speak or breathe. Though it can be scary while it's happening, laryngospasm typically goes away within a couple of minutes."
So yeah. It did go away in a couple minutes... a couple minutes spent wondering what was happening to me. Wondering if I was going to die alone on the cold floor of this empty apartment. Wondering how many days until they'd find me. Wondering if Jill or my family could ever recover from the news. It sounds overly dramatic now, but this is the state I was in. I could not breathe, could not call out for help.
The best guess at a cause by my doctor was acid reflux had decided to get stuck in my esophagus. This was the best guess because I had explained that I have issues with acid reflux every year in September.
Late August/early September has been a traumatic month for my family and friends and I just haven't figured out the right way to deal with it, as much as I've written about finding the right way to deal with it.
Like, a lot.
So my body instead says "Hey. Jackass. Deal with me. Now."
I haven't recovered from that experience. I'm not actively avoiding going to sleep, but there's obviously some subconscious terror that's not allowing my mind or body to settle down - regardless of the various anti-insomnia routines I've tried. It shook me up pretty good.
It doesn't help that I'm alone in that apartment until Jill joins me in Texas in December. While I'm a decently fit and generally healthy person, I can't help but feel frail and helpless like one of those really old ladies from those LifeCall commercials of the early 90s.
The GIFs from the actual commercial are too depressing, so here's a puppy version instead:
It probably also doesn't help that I'm still adjusting to the newness to a new city and new job too. Though I have nothing but excitement about those, I'm sure there's some anxiety buried deep within the Walls of Coate.
I'm not sure what it is about this month in particular, though, that makes it seem to just pile on every year - death, loss, floods, you name it. In my life, September is a month that takes - from me, and from those I care about. Just this week I learned that September has taken the life of a friend's mother - a person who was nothing but bubbly and fun to the world around her.
Fortunately, at the time of this writing October is mere days away. October has historically been my favorite month because it's the exact opposite. It's been a month of gifts, excitement, and general refreshment.
I get to see Jill beginning Friday, October 2. And then we will spend 3 of the next 4 weekends together, one of them being at the marriage of one of my closest friends, which is also our 1 year anniversary as husband and wife.
I don't know why life has these strange patterns or cycles, or why it seems like I get a year's worth of emotional strife and damage to wade through 1 year each month, but I do know I and the others I've referenced who have similarly had to deal with this crap, have found a way to keep moving.
September. GFY. Seriously.
October. See you soon, buddy.