Take a deep breath. In, and then out.

That, my friends, is one of the most underrated things in the world. 99% of the time you don’t even realize that you’re doing it.

Let me tell you though, it really sucks when you can’t.


Over the past two weeks I’ve had this nagging dry cough that wouldn’t go away and was getting progressively worse. Last Thursday, I woke up to the sound of a fire alarm in my building. I groggily emerged from my bed and went to put pants on in order to evacuate when I started coughing. I went to grab a drink of water, and then suddenly my throat seized up and I found myself unable to breathe. I stumbled into the hallway and pounded on the walls to try to get someone’s intention. Fortunately a floormate saw me and went to get help. The feeling of being unable to breathe only lasted about 20 seconds, but it felt like forever. After it passed I was left coughing violently and gagging, but able to get air into my lungs in between. As a result of the fire alarm, there were fire fighters in the building, and they were able to get me some oxygen, which helped. They then called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital.

At the hospital they did a basic array of tests to determine if there was anything seriously wrong with me. Fortunately, all tests came back negative, and I was told it was just a respiratory infection, and sent home. The rest of the day went normally. I reported to my concerned friends that I was alright, and I assured them that if it happened again, I would alert them immediately.

That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, it happened again. I pounded on my friend’s door before dropping to my hands and knees, gasping for air. Another trip to the hospital. Again I was assured that nothing was seriously wrong, but I was given some medication to help this time.

Since then I’ve gotten better. I’ve had a few attacks where I find it hard to breathe, but not as bad as the first two. Resting and being careful to not over exert myself have helped, and I’m mostly back to normal now.

Still, scary shit. I shan’t be taking breathing for granted for a while, I’ll say that much.