Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Easy As Breathing

You have likely heard of the phrase "as easy as breathing", or "as natural as breathing". For some people, breathing doesn't come so easy. When Norah was a newborn, she was constantly telling us that she needed help breathing. Even today, it is loud and clear when something is wrong. She sometimes grabs our hands to put them on her suction ballard when she needs suctioning.

Norah breathing without the
But today, Norah accomplished something that had multiple people (especially me) crying years of joy. For twelve minutes, Norah was breathing without the ventilator. 

We connected what is called a trach mask to her, instead of the ventilator. The trach mask simply expells moist oxygen into the airspace just outside of her trach. So with each independent breath, she was getting an extra puff of oxygen. Think of an oxygen mask that covers the mouth and nose, but designed for the trach instead.

Norah has tracheomalacia, also referred to as an overly floppy airway. The trach tube stents her airway open while the vent opens up her airway and lungs. Because of this, they considered that she may fail the trach mask trial. I knew she wouldn't. I knew she could do it. She is strong, brave, and amazing. Most of the people in that room had seen Norah at her worst as a baby. We're all amazed at how far she's come. But what's more, is that we are so excited about the future. Norah will someday come off the ventilator. Then she will someday be able to be trach-free. She may have hardships ahead with her multiple medical needs, but there is hope. We have never given up hope on Norah. Breathing may not be easy, but Norah perseveres. We all do. 

PS: She will be home with us in less than one week!

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