Hey everyone Ralph here with another breathtaking article!
For those of you don’t know, I have a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. (SMA) and ever since I was a young Padawan it has tried to use the dark side to bring its own challenges to bring me down. One of the main things that has been a hindrance on my life has been respiratory problems.
Respiratory problems have caused such a strife in my life that it came into it with a impact bigger than the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. And it wasn’t just something that I can shake off no matter how many times I listen to Taylor Swift. I started with these breathtaking issues when I was only four years old and quickly being diagnosed with chronic asthma. My daily routine started with the simple nebulizer treatment once a day, but as I grew up into the awesome, charming, and powerful Jedi you may see before you at times, once a day quickly turned to an ‘every-four-hour’ routine in my life. I can’t stress this enough, but respiratory issues are a daily affair and often can be more of an inconvenience for me.
Like I mentioned a little bit before I do ‘breathing treatments’ but I also deal with medications, interrupted sleep, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, chest pain and tightness, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Now all of this isn't due to just asthma, but like I said before it was my atrophied condition, and experiences that have caused these problems. It hasn't just been my stunning personality that has a evolved, but my condition as well. With the evolution of SMA it brings on very difficult challenges more than just asthma. Challenges like respiratory failure, obstructive sleep apnea, chromatic respiratory inefficiency, and more. Just like the condition it is up to you (the patient) who must evolve with it. It went from a simple nebulizer machine for me, to a cough assist, and a vest that will shake the horrible tasting mucus loose. These machines keep me alive as well as sleeping with a ventilator. Although it can be scary and tougher than a two-dollar steak dinner it keeps me alive. But as I said, as you grow up and evolve with such a condition so does the condition as well. For those who don’t know about SMA it attacks and weaken the muscles, and not just the main ones, but all of the little ones that are supposed to help me with coughing, and breathing! And on tough days one percent of the Earth’s gravity feels like ten time’s stronger to a person like myself. I can’t use my diaphragm properly to bring up the foul-tasting junk. It can be very terrifying at times, because an average cold can quickly turn into pneumonia for me. And that’s a fight that always gets more difficult and challenging every time. But despite the lows and near-death experiences due to my disease I have stayed positive and worked diligently to improve not only my quality of life but my dashing good looks as well.
I would never have guessed how impactful a quality bed could give my lungs the freedom to do their job uninhibitedly. Most patients with neuromuscular diseases and spinal cord injuries know how impactful gravity alone can be on one’s lungs during breathing. The Freedom Bed gives me the ability to reposition and adjust my body to alleviate the pressure gravity was having on expectorating secretions and phlegm. The Freedom Bed’s ability to adjust positioning during my cough assist machine and CPT machine sessions have made life so much more comfortable and helped give my atrophied airways much needed relief. I guess you can say it is a nice breath of fresh air. I can remember a year ago I had my lung capacity at 19% and dropping at a fast rate.
Now a year of having the Freedom Bed, and working my hardest to improve my lung function I am now blessed to be at 50%. It has also helped immensely with my interrupted sleep patterns and helped me get a full night’s rest. This has helped tremendously with the fatigue I was getting throughout the years. I no longer feel sluggish, and restless. Aspiration is no longer an issue during sleep, It’s slowly getting better and better for me. And I will continue to improve day by day. I can guarantee that as long as I have air in my lungs, I will have fight in my heart. I will never give up no matter what challenges may come my way. It’s tough life, but life didn't realize that I was tougher! Whether it's doing my breathing treatments from my bed or doing my treatments on my wheelchair I will always be able to beat this no matter what. Like everyone in life I have goals and I won’t stop until I reach them.
This is Ralph Garcia signing off.
Until next time remember to stay positive and be free!