A couple of posts ago I had said that anyone who had questions could e-mail me with them and I would answer them in a post. Someone did just that so I decided that everyone should be able to read the questions and my answer to them.
Question: 1.) What is the purpose of what looks like different colored pieces of tape on your tubes? I've seen it like that in a number of pictures and was just curious about it.
Answer: The things on my tubes are velcro clips. They are put around my tubes and then clipped to my shirt to hold the tubes in place. If they are not clipped, my tubes pull down on my trache inserted in my neck. I am not sure why they made them dark green. I wish they had all sorts of colors so I could match them with my wardrobe.
I also have trache ties that go around my neck and then around my tubes at the spot that they hook on to my trache to keep my tubes from popping off. This is a big safety mechanism. Many people who are on ventilators do not have trache ties to hold their tubes on. It can be very dangerous and has sometimes led to death because the tubes pop off with no one around to put them back on.
Question 2.) How do you go about putting a non-buttoned shirt on? It may seem like an odd question but I haven't been able to come up with an answer.
Answer: I have 24/7 nursing care and a personal care assistant (PCA) every day from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM to help assist the nurse with my cares. The process that I go through to get dressed and undressed is actually quite simple, however, it does take a lot longer than it would for someone with the ability to dress themselves.
I think what you're trying to get at is how I get the shirt over my tubes. Something that many people do not know is that my tubes detach from my trache and I am able to neck breathe without them. Neck breathing is a process where I pull air in through my trache essentially taking a breath on my own. The longest I have neck breathed for is about 40 minutes. That was when I was practicing daily. I have not practiced in a long time and am now only able to neck breathe for about 10 minutes; definitely enough time to take my shirt off and put a new one back on.
The picture above is of me with my tubes off. I think I look different without my tubes. I have never actually taken a picture of myself with them off.