Richie has always had trouble sleeping, so he's used to taking a type of sleeping medication, which he found to be the only decent one that would work without giving him problems. It is Tylenol Simply Sleep. But when he decided to try a sleep medication called Ambien (CR I think), I noticed weird things right away. He would talk out of his head, and get in like a weird state of mind just in the few times he tried it. Just really strange, and seemed to be heavily affected.
Then, last night it took a terrifying turn. He seemed to be snoring louder than usual, and I woke him once prodding him to turn over and hoping it would help. Then just a short while later, he catapulted awake, gasping for air and choking up. He couldn't speak and was just trying to breathe but couldn't. So I grabbed the phone to call 911, and Gray (Our "Guy on the Couch") was on the phone, so he was like "Hello??" And I screamed "Gray I have to call 911, I need the phone!!!" and he said "Oh, o.k." and I suppose he was trying to get off quickly, and it kind of happened so quick that I freaked out a bit myself. I kept trying to click on the phone and get a dial tone, and Gray was still there. I was screaming "HURRRY!!!".
Maybe it wasn't as long as I thought, but I felt like it took him forever. So Richie came into the livingroom, still gasping, and sat in a chair while Gray tried to relax him. I was on the phone with the 911 emergency people, and they were asking me questions about what he was doing, and if he was able to breathe yet and all. In just a couple minutes, he was able to finally catch his breath. But he said that it was none too soon because he felt like if it had been much longer, he would've lost consciousness. Who knows?? I mean, things like that can be life threatening, and if he hadn't been able to get back to normal, he might have died. It really scared me to death.
The 911 crew got there in quite good time, and I was glad that they were there anyways, just to take his blood pressure (and it was high at that moment-like 150/110, but hell it was probably partly due to being a bit freaked out), check him out and make sure he was fine. They asked if he wanted to go to the hospital, but he declined saying that he was o.k. at that point... If it had happened again, they said we could call them back and they would be right there. I tried to tell him to go to the doctor today too, and just make sure he was o.k., but of course he declined.
Afterwards, he was freaked out and feeling pretty weird all night, and it was quite a rough night. I couldn't sleep, and I think he was too nervous to go right back to sleep, afraid it might happen again. I took a vacation day for today for one, because I was worn to a frazzle after the incident, and I had intended for him to go to the doc. Needless to say, he is going to kick the "sleep aid" habit for good, he has vowed to leave them alone.
Once again, I am faced with the ideas of death, and just how easy it is for something scary to happen to those you love. And if it is you that something happens to, never think for a second that it is no big deal, or that it doesn't affect anyone around you. For your friends, and loved ones feeling helpless, or losing someone is the worst feeling, and most traumatic event that can happen. If someone tells you that you are important to them, or that they love you, realize that. So if you happen to read this, and even for those of you who could care less if you die, stop and think about how it would affect those in your life (this is for those who might think suicidal thoughts, which is not Richie's case, his would've been accidental).
I know that in Richie's case, it was a weird reaction (either allergic, or maybe sleep-apnea-related, ect) although he is not very cooperative when I try to tell him not to "overdo" it when drinking, or taking medications to help him sleep. He never thinks any of those warnings merit any attention. Sometimes over-doing it seems to be his forte... I just want him safe. It is so easy to take people for granted, although I pride myself on not taking my loved ones for granted. Until something happens to remind us that everything is so temporary, and anything can happen in the blink of an eye, in the middle of the night, it's hard to imagine.
That's why I guess I obsess over these thoughts, and worry about my family--my most precious, important loved ones... So, as I've been given another day, another box of hours to spend time, to know them and to love them here on Earth, today is a good day.