Chapter 3: EXCRUCIATING ORDEAL

I overheard one of the doctors in one of their technical exchanges say that I could not continue with the tube in my throat for a long period of time. Therefore, they had to do a tracheotomy on me. I remember the surgeon told me before he went on with the procedure, “Tell me if it hurts…just pat me with your finger”. I nodded. Then when he was starting to cut the skin on my neck, I felt the blade of the knife cutting through. It was not that painful because of the local anesthesia he injected but still, I tried to lift my left arm to tap him just as he said. He was sitting on the left side of the bed so my left index finger touched his back. Funny, he turned to the nurse standing behind him at his right side and asked why. Surprised, she had to answer with “Nothing, Doc”… The nurse obviously did not know why the surgeon turned to her and why she even answered with “Nothing.” I did it one more time and again he turned to the nurse and asked why she touched him. She shook her head and said that she did not touch him. Then the surgeon realized that I was the one who touched him. The nurses laughed. It was a brief comic relief for me.

The surgeon cut a small opening on my neck and inserted a short, plastic tube that went directly into my trachea unto which he connected a respirator. After the doctors were sure that it was working, the cardiologist who was taking care of me pulled the tube out of my throat. It was painful but it was somehow a relief. Nevertheless, I felt I was getting worse. Because of the hole on my neck, I was not able to speak. I could only communicate through writing. However, because of the muscular damage on my hands, they could hardly understand my handwriting most of the time. The paralysis had affected almost all of my body functions. They had inserted a catheter into my urethra so I could release my urine. In addition, the doctor had to perform manual extraction on my body waste. My condition was almost beyond tolerance but I was surviving the hours and the days that passed though, I could no longer determine them…

>Chapter 4: The Diagnosis: Landry Guillain Barre Syndrome

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