Update: Turns out I wasn’t in much danger. According to this link, it goes away in a minute or two. Thanks to Lara for the information.
Thirty minutes or so ago, I thought I was going to die. I was drifting off to sleep, when suddenly I couldn’t breathe. It felt like mucus had completely plugged my airway, just as I’d fully exhaled. Because my lungs were almost empty, I didn’t have enough breath in me to cough it out. In retrospect, a full-on rib-breaking Heimlich might have dislodged it, but I wouldn’t have been able to make Vicki understand what I wanted even if I’d thought of it. Instead, I was sort of vaguely gesticulating and she was asking if I needed an ambulance, but I couldn’t answer. I guess we were both a little panicy at that point.
After what seemed like minutes but was probably only a few seconds, I was able to start wheezing in small breaths, but nowhere near a lung full. I felt like I was rapidly falling into oxygen debt as the massive effort it took to get in a small breath of air seemed to take more oxygen than I was taking in. But each breath was opening up the airway a tiny bit more than the last, and after a few I had enough in my lungs to cough, and that really opened the airway to where I wasn’t worried about passing out.
Like I said, it’s about half an hour later, and I’m still clearing my throat almost constantly, and I’m scared to lie down. If you don’t hear from me again, the root passwords and life insurance policy numbers are in a file called “AdministrationStuff” on my home directory on the Linux box.