Life as an Extreme Sport

Obligate Aerobe

Well, that was unpleasent. For a variety of reasons, my sleep schedule has been a bit screwy lately, and taking the time Friday night to indulge in a new passion (or hobby, or addiction – admittedly, the latter being how I refer to it) seems to have reset me to my old, nocturnal patterns. This isn’t a huge deal; I’m relatively good at surviving on no sleep for a day or two while I reset back to whatever time schedule I need to function on.

What sucked was the getting sleepy and dozing off, then stopping breathing. I was tentatively diagnosed with sleep apnea about a month ago, although I’ll need to go in for another round of tests for the diagnosis to be conclusive. What happened tonight seems to verify it, though. I was falling asleep reading when my throat closed up and I felt like I was choking. It’s something I’ve remembered happening for as long as I can remember; it’s similar to that “falling” feeling you sometimes get when falling asleep. Or at least that’s how it always has been, until now – something that occasionally happens when I’m falling asleep, and I sit up and it goes away, I realize it was some weird primordial sleep phantasm that both Jung and Freud had complicated theories for, and fall back asleep.

Tonight, my throat closed and I couldn’t breathe, and I jolted upright, expecting the feeling to go away. It didn’t. I tried and tried to grab air, to force myself to breathe, and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t cough, gasp, scream. Nothing. The clocked ticked by a minute, then two. I was reaching for my phone to dial 911 when I shuddered and gasped and toppled forward. I laid there for a few minutes, then got up to move around the house.

Coincidence moves strangely; maybe I’m picking up some of Douglas’s luck, as I have an already scheduled pulmonology appointment for Wednesday afternoon. Hopefully they can do something for me; while I’ve always hoped that one day I’ll die in my sleep, I also hoped it would be at the further end of a long and well-lived life. I have a bit of ways to go before I’m comfortable saying I’ve fulfilled either of those criteria.