It was an interesting phenomenon, not being able to breathe.
I woke up and realized I wasn't breathing, or, more correctly, I couldn't breathe, because there was some sort of a large mass of something stuck in my throat, my mouth, and it felt like mud, like sludge. That's when I realized I was pulling a Bon Scott, Jimi Hendrix, et al. That's when I realized I was choking on my own vomit.
I struggled for air, for leverage, for a stick to shove down my throat and dislodge this stuff that was in my mouth but found nothing. I tried blowing out as hard as I could but it wasn't working. The vomit was thick like cement, and my heart was racing and pounding like a jack hammer. How long have I not been breathing? I wondered. 1 minute? 2? Fuck if I knew. I was in panic mode big time, and I didn't know what to do. On autopilot I raced for the bathroom, where I started throwing my belly against the sink, like, a Heimlich maneuver on myself of sorts, and after a few tries and hard hits of my head against the faucet I spewed thick, orange vomit everywhere and greedily gasped in as much air as I possibly could, mentally telling myself to slow my heart rate down, to not panic, that the worst was over and that everything was OK. I saw myself in the mirror and was horrified. I was a weird shade of blue-green and covered in spit and vomit. I was drenched in sweat. My lungs were on fire. I shivered from the cold. I cleaned up, both myself and the bathroom, and turned the lights off. I just wanted to lay down.
Erika looked at me when I came out of the bathroom like I was a bloody car wreck victim, asking if I was OK and everything. I couldn't breathe, I told her, and went back to bed. I passed out in seconds, not caring if I lived or died in my sleep at that point. Had to be better than dealing with this shit, I figured.
A few hours later I found myself horizontal in a hospital bed on the Paiute reservation, hooked up to tubes that were feeding the drugs into my body that I need to stay healthy and alive for another week. I threw up into a trashcan every so often, just to make things more interesting and painful. I do this for 4 hours a week every week. This is my life now.
It sucks getting old. Take nothing for granted. Tell everyone you care for that you love them. You just never know if tomorrow is gonna come for you or not. Nothing is for sure, ya know?
Life's too short and I'm running out of time and I think I'm starting to realize that...