But thinking back, for better or worse, I had my first indication of something wrong with my body. I was completely unaware of the situation taking place, but in the morning I was informed that I was making so much noise, from what sounded like gasping for air, they almost woke me to see what was going on… then it stopped. A few days later, heartfelt goodbyes said and hugs given, I was back in a bristling cold Pittsburgh, a time when cold outside mixes with dry heat inside and plays havoc with sinuses. At least that’s what I thought.
I began again having bouts where I wasn’t gasping, but actually wasn’t breathing at night. It was what I can only imagine an asthma attack might feel like and was usually alleviated with a sip of water. A quick visit to my doctor had me thinking very much that it was sleep apnea.
But then began the smells. Acrid scents like chlorine or bleach would fill my sinuses and jolt me awake, like some sort of subconscious smelling salt. That’s when I knew I was having a seizure. Was I shaking? Hard to say. Was I gasping for air? Not just not taking any in, the reflex to gasp and attempt to breath just wasn’t there. After freaking out for what could have been seconds or minutes, I was able to focus and get out of bed, going for that glass of water. Still thinking that possibly it was so dry in the house that my tongue was getting stuck to the top of my mouth and a sip of water would loosen that up enough for me to draw breath.