Let me preface this by saying that I am ok.
Last night, I had a scary incident. Miles, Connie, and I were getting ready to watch Despicable Me 2. It was just on the Blu-Ray menu, which itself was highly entertaining, and I started to laugh at something when I apparently had a bronchial spasm. My lungs completely ceased up for several seconds. There was no gasping for air - instead, there quite simply was no air at all.
I remember starting to laugh. The next thing I know I'm on the floor with Connie and Miles holding me in a sitting position and asking if I can hear them. I passed out and was completely out for several seconds. As soon as I was coherent - which took several seconds after coming to - I asked for my emergency inhaler (albuterol) and used it. That helped.
I did not go to the ER but I did speak with Miles' mother, who is a registered respiratory therapist. She is confidant that it was a bronchial spasm, considering my lifelong history of asthma and my very recent bout with bronchitis. She told me to take my inhaler on a regular basis for the next 24 hours and suggested I visit a doctor soon to get on advair or some other similar bronchial steroid, which I will be doing ASAP.
This was a scary moment for me, not to mention scary for my wife and my friend. They had no idea what was going on (they mistakenly thought I was choking) and as I went unconscious I had no way of telling them. I am very grateful that I was not alone when this happened. I am very grateful I was sitting down and not standing up when this happened. I am extremely grateful I wasn't driving when this happened.
What happened last night could have been so much worse. I could have been out for more than a few seconds. I could have been in a car and crashed. I could have been standing up, fallen, and hit my head or neck. I wasn't. I was sitting down, with friends and family right beside me.
The incident has caused me to think about things in a different light, though. The way I went out so quickly has made me acutely aware of how quickly things can happen, things can change. Quicker than the snap of a finger and I was out. If it had been worse, I could have been gone for good. I wouldn't have had time to say one more thing to anyone I love. It's just over.
I don't want things to be over.
So, even though what happened last night was - most likely, according to a professional opinion - not something I have any real control over (outside of albuterol and possibly advair, which controls but doesn't prevent), it made me acutely aware of the things I DO have control over.
I have talked before about a need to get in shape and lose weight. I've never been able to find the motivation to keep at it once I start trying. I think, perhaps, last night scared the motivation into me. While my weight is not necessarily connected to what happened last night, my weight can lead to something similar happening. I don't want that to happen. I'm only 44 (I'll be 45 in 6 months). I should have at least another 30 years ahead of me, if not more.
This especially hits me hard right now, as it is just a few days shy of the one year anniversary of my mother's passing. Mortality was already on my mind even before last night's incident happened. It is more so than ever now. I have too many things left I want - no, too many things left I NEED to do. Too many places I need to see. Too many photos I need to take. Too many games I need to play. Too many trails I need to hike. Too many books I need to read. Too many hugs I need to give. Too many "I love you"'s I need to say.
Starting now, I am going to do everything I can to make sure these needs are met.