I did it! On Tuesday I got off the ventilator and I breathed on my own! Well, it was mostly on my own - I had oxygen running up into my nose. It made me sneeze a lot. That's why I pulled it out. Once it was out I could finally relax, free from all tubes and hoses. But it didn't last long. Soon the machine on the wall was beeping like crazy and my mom noticed that I had taken the liberty of making myself comfortable by removing the tube. So it was back to the plastic up my nose for me.
Are any of you wondering why I wrote "breathed" instead of "breathe," and "it was" rather than "it is?" That's because I'm back on the ventilator. In fact, I was only off it for two hours before my little lungs just couldn't keep up. If you had looked at me, though, you would never have guessed that I was struggling. I was taking deep breaths in and out, and the monitor on the wall showed I had enough oxygen in my blood. But there's no fooling those clever nurses. They kept pricking my heels and drawing blood to find out just how well (or not well) a job my lungs were doing. It turns out that lungs do a lot more than just oxygenate the blood! They've got to exchange oxygen and the carbon dioxide. They also help regulate my pH balance. So although it seemed my body was working hard to inhale and exhale, the blood from my heels revealed a build-up of CO2 and a pH imbalance.
My mom and dad also wanted me to help them express how loved we all feel by your kind words of support, your comforting expressions of love, and the miracles powered by your prayers. I also hope you'll pray for my Grammy Stout, who I haven't seen since my first week in the hospital. She's always wearing herself out taking care of other people and praying for me, and has been sick for quite sometime. Have I mentioned that I have the four best grandparents ever?