A little over a week ago, I had surgery in Chicago. Surgery was to implant electrodes in my diaphragm to allow for the diaphragm pacemaker system by Synapse Biomedical. Since then, I have made good progress in switching from the ventilator to it, or pacing as it's called.
After 25 years of using a ventilator, breathing via my nose and diaphragm is a very different experience. It's great being able to smell and not have the constant noise of the ventilator around. When I go without tubes, I love being able to look down at this body I have and just see me.
Talking is different while pacing though. I'm used to being able to continuously speak without hesitation and not need to wait for air. While pacing, I can keep my breath as long as I want and talk, but I haven't mastered talking while inhaling. Granted, I've basically had a week's practice, but it's an item I'll need to work on.
I have figured that if I increase three hours per week, I'll be off the vent during the day by the end of 2010. It's an ambitious goal, but one I want to work toward. Yesterday, I did go over three hours total and am very close today in early evening. We'll see if I can keep up the pace for the several weeks and if I can meet my goal.