Friday, July 19, 2013


When I came out of a coma, among other things, I could not speak, and I was on a respirator to help with my breathing.  I vaguely remember the doctors asking if it okay to perform the operation, and having me "sign" a release.  I remember them saying that the tube would only be in approximately a week.  The tube remained for about 5 to 6 weeks. 

Now that I think about it, it was after the operation that I started coughing.  I think what it was was that the tube they inserted into my throat caused a build up of mucous, which had to be drained every few hours, or in other words, every time I moved.  To drain the mucous, they would put a narrow tube into the trach tube, and suction the mucous out like a vacuum - my job was to cough to get as much mucous out as I could.  But, sometimes, the mucous would really be thick and get stuck.  Often, this routine would be extremely exhausting. 

Another really annoying thing about the tube was that it jutted out from the throat, so whenever someone had to reach around me, like the therapists and nurses when I had to get in and out of bed, or when I was doing a therapy session, invariably, the tube would shift temporarily, or it would get hit.  And that hurt.

And I don't know whether this was good or bad, but I thik it might have been a good thing.  At the end of June/early July, I had developed a blood clot right above the ankle. I was on two different medications of blood thinners.  One day, the therapist who was scheduled to work with me said, "Do you know you are bleeding?"  I answered, "No."  He said, "Yes, there is blood coming out of your throat."  He retrieved a nurse who called some doctors, and pretty soon, I was surrounded by several doctors, and had emergency surgery done on my throat. And I was awake the whole time.  I'm sure they gave me local, but it still hurt while they operated on me.   I think bleeding out of the traech was a good thing because who knows, I might have had severe internal bleeding if this hadn't happened.

This operation did delay the traech tube coming out, which eventually, it did, but they had to test me in steps.

Was I glad I had this operation done?  You bet.  It was after this was done that marks when I started improving pretty rapidly as far as my breathing, energy level, memory, and mental functions. 

More on that two posts from now. Tomrrow's post:  Inspirational Story #2.

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