I woke up recently. It was scheduled. I always wake up a few minutes before the alarm clock; when I don't, it's a sure sign that something is very wrong and I take OTC medication and go back to bed until the Dreaded Lurgi vanishes.
It usually happens on days where I have no responsibility. Dang it.
I used to take waking up for granted, really. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't. I'm never quite sure where the suggestion of immortality in youth becomes the wretched realization that the road does not, in fact, stretch into infinity.
As of late, I've been having some trouble with sleeping. It may have been the diet of silly food at silly hours of the day and night. It may have been that I wasn't taking the opportunity to exercise at all. I was sloth-like and gluttonous, cursing the dark instead of lighting a freakin' candle.
One morning, early, on one of those days where I actually could sleep through the night, I woke up unable to breathe.
I mean, all the mechanics were working, nothing was blocked, but I was getting no air at all. My throat was on fire and my lungs were expanding to max and collapsing to min and I was getting nothing but a strange kind of helpless wheezing.
I couldn't speak. But I could think.
They say that Air Force pilots are so well trained that in the event of an accident and the rapid decent of their vehicle, they will literally go into the ground at the controls, trying everything to fix the problem, at the risk of their own lives, with no thought of escape. That's what I was doing. I was trying everything to get air into my lungs and out again.
Eventually, it passed; but I had the rest of the dark morning to sit and think and wonder what the hell it was and how the hell to fix it.
Well, it was a kind of reflux; acid moving up and scorching the throat and vocal chords, leaving them temporarily paralyzed. It passed, but it was a wake up call and I am now eating right and exercising and sleeping pretty well.
Living beats all.