There are generally two different types of people in the world -- those that thrive on and always need people surrounding them (not a bad thing), and those that can do life alone pretty decently (also not a bad thing.)
Some people always need to live with people -- roommates, a live-in partner, a spouse, an entire family -- while other people feel solace in living alone. Neither situation is a correct or incorrect one, and both situations can serve as an outlet for someone to "recharge their batteries."
It just so happens that for the most part, I'm the latter. I've lived alone (if you don't count my dog, Remy, and the brief time I stayed with my Mom after moving back to New England from halfway across the country) for a good while now, and I almost feel like I'm too good at it at this point.
But for as much as I enjoy it, it definitely comes with its downsides -- one of which reigned supreme in the middle of the night recently in an episode that I'm not even sure I can still comprehend. Because, if you didn't catch on by now, the "Maine man" in question that is recounting a terrifying situation -- it's me.
I woke up out of a dead (pun sort of intended) sleep around 1am to my stomach turning so much that I was convinced it was trying out for a spot on the 2024 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team. Feeling nauseous, I got out of bed and made my way to the bathroom, unsure if I was going to be sick or not.
And that's where I sat, hovering over the toilet bowl like a first-time partier who drank too much (spoiler -- that wasn't my issue) trying to figure out what was going on. And had that been it, I would've been fine. But instead, that's where the weirdness started.
After a couple of minutes of hovering, I almost felt as if I was beginning to sweat, yet I wasn't hot. The sweat-feeling intensified, until I touched my brow and realized that I was sweating (for the record, the heat in my house was at 60 degrees, so it wasn't that I was too hot) and also began to feel a bit clammy.
The weirdness continued, as I almost started feeling a bit like I was getting a bit weak while also feeling like I was in a haze -- a feeling I hadn't felt since I caught either the flu, COVID, or something else on a cruise back in February 2020. At this point, I wondered if I got hit with a bit of food poisoning, but I hadn't eaten anything out of the ordinary.
It wasn't until my vision started getting a bit wonky that I became a bit concerned, though. Because even though my eyes were open, what I saw was mostly darkness. And not just the darkness of the room since the only light in the area was from the TV in my room -- it was actual darkness, only separated by what I can best describe as occasional stars that were allowing me to see small bits of the room and adjacent hallway.
At this point, I'm not sure if I started working myself up into a panic attack (something I'm fortunate to have never had, and probably wouldn't know what it was if I did have one), but I began trying to take deep, slow breaths -- but felt like I couldn't catch a deep breath at all. And all of this happening at once caused the following thoughts to enter my brain:
Am I having a heart attack? A couple of fingers on my left hand have pins and needles, but it's been like that because of a pinched nerve. But am I actually having a heart attack? Am I about to die? Is this literally what's about to happen? I live alone, hours away from my family in Maine, and I'm about to die at 1am without any of them knowing? I'm about to die and literally no one is going to know.
Honestly, that sounds so overdramatic now that I've typed it out (since, you know, I'm actually alive to type this), but it was legitimately what randomly flew into my brain. The crazy thing is -- and I get how absolutely insane and "stereotypical cat lady" this is about to sound -- but I swear Remy knew something was up.
Because as soon as I convinced myself that something serious and severe was about to happen to me (or that I was somehow being exorcised of some demon inside of me without the help of any religious figure -- hey, give me a break, I had no idea what was happening), I felt Remy (who this whole time had been down the hall still passed out on my bed) start to lick my knee.
And it's almost like it snapped me out of whatever was happening. Because as soon as I felt that, I was able to take the deeper breaths I was looking for. The foggy-head feeling I had and clamminess I felt started going away. The weakness I was feeling began fading, and my eyesight was returning back to normal.
And after I sat for a couple of minutes of improvement, I felt completely back to normal again, and went back to bed.
I still have absolutely zero idea what happened to me, but I've felt completely fine ever since. Part of me almost wonders if I dreamt the whole thing, even though I know I didn't. But if there's two things I learned from this:
1) I really should get a PCP and get checked out, and 2) No more making "I'm dying alone" jokes.
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