In my last blog I talked about my favorite word—challenge. Now, I will share with you what I have been challenged with over the last few months.
Let’s jump back to when I was 16 and first received my trach. Breathing independently became labor intensive and in order to breath I now need a ventilator.
This vent, called LTV, initiated each breath in the same pattern each time. I did not have to make any effort to breath—the machine did that for me.
However, I struggled because I wasn’t used to utilizing the trach as a means to breathe. I was used to breathing like everyone else. Four months later my body became fully adapted to the vent. This was now my new normal. Effortless.
In early 2017, my respiratory doctor showed my family a brand new vent that incorporated innovative technology. He recommended my brother Tyson and I to attempt a trial run to see if it was a good fit for us.
“The Trilogy ventilator,” as the doctor told my family, “will help strengthen their lungs. It will allow them to initiate intermittent breaths on your own with assistance from the vent. This is one step closer in hopes of getting off vents completely one day.”
Tyson and I had been struggling with lung infections due to being so dependent on the LTV for breathing.
Over the summer I first transferred to the trilogy and…
Oh. My. Gosh.
I never thought I would have such a hard time transferring to a new vent. Every breath I took I feel as if I was on the top of a mountain. The change in oxygen mage my brain fog and I embarrassed myself throughout the whole process. I could not think straight enough to write or even have a proper conversation. I made myself look like a total fool. I couldn’t focus. My secretary even told me, “It was like trying to catch 100 rabbits at once.”
My own personal shoulder devil whispered into my head, why do you need to fight this? You have been fighting for too long. Just give up and go back on your old vent and suffer no more.
Yet, on the other shoulder, I had my angel encouraging me…
Do you want to get stronger? Do you want to improve? If you stay on this vent, you will get better, stronger, and be more successful. Do you want to be more independent? You can’t give in. Fight, Paige.
Eventually I allowed myself to be challenged by fighting against what I believe will help me improve my life. For three months I fought before finally succeeding. I nearly gave up.
Now, I have been on the trilogy full time since the beginning of September! What a huge accomplishment that is!
The good news doesn’t stop there! Tyson also made it through and fully transferred to the trilogy in only ONE month!
While I am thrilled for him, it was hard not to compare myself to his success.
You may not have experienced this particular thing in your life, yet, everyone has their own challenges that others may not understand.
Sometimes we end up comparing ourselves with others when we are battling a challenge. This only leaves us feeling helpless! So DON’T! Don’t even let yourself compare. It sounds too simple, but it is definitely not.
Next time when you are faced with a challenge, remember this story and press on, my friends.
I know I will.