I have had similar problems before, but only viewed them as a mere physical dilemma, not a Cosmic Joke.
I choked on my own saliva and my throat spasmed entirely shut AFTER the outbreath. Trying to breathe in with a vacuum below the constricted area only tightened the constriction. It took me a full minute plus a few seconds to figure out what to do and how to do it. I could not do anything to stimulate the Vegas nerve ’cause not enough air in the right place. Couldn’t panic or let my fury at this betrayal of myself take over as then the adrenals would just make the cramping worse and also make me try to breathe in, and make me use up the oxygen I did have more quickly. I’ve had other nerve generated spams and I cannot always consciously relax them, though I do try … I do not ever stop with this effort. In this situation it was necessary to wait until the spasm relaxed in order to breath in. There was still some air in the bottom of my lungs which was turning to CO2, but enough for 2 or 3 minutes.
I had to give up breathing in order to breathe. How damn irritatingly ZEN is that? My own personal koan.
HOW DOES ONE BREATHE WITOUT BREATH?
Not a lesson I really want to learn. I was formulating a (most unpleasant) Plan B when The Creator finally laughed.