Not having the ability to breathe independently presents a few challenges in life. Thankfully, God has provided tools to help take care of problems living in a fallen world. The item I talk about the most is my diaphragm pacemaker (DPS), but that's not the only item I use to keep my lungs in good shape.
Since I can't control my diaphragm, I can't cough on my own. I have learned how to manipulate my breathing to somewhat mimic a cough, but I still need help moving junk around in my lungs. Since the time of my injury, I have used a chest percussion treatment (CPT) twice, or more, every night. I have nicknamed the procedure my nightly thumping, or beating, and my nurses are happy to say it's time to beat Joel.
For many years, the machine I used was called a Flimm Fighter. It worked well, but the cord between the machine's base and wand would break after years of getting wrapped up. After I gave my machine to be fixed once, it was replaced with a newer version that has all the mechanism in one piece, with a long power outlet to the wall.
I started searching for an alternate solution, but few people use a CPT anymore and instead utilize a vest that does a similar treatment with air. However, it's not an option for me due to my DPS wires. In working with my new pulmonologist, he also doesn't know of any alternatives. Therefore, it looks like the cycle of equipment problems will continue. When I received my CPT back a few days ago after another round of maintenance, the solution offered was to hit the device on something and that should help it. When you're told to hit your medical equipment with a hammer to make it work, you know it has design flaws.
Such is the quad life sometimes. I'm thankful God has provided equipment that has helped more for 36 years. However, I think more frequently I should have pursued a career in engineering to help with medical devices. I will see if everything functions this week, but won't hold my breath (I can't anyway).