My Daily Life
by: M.J. Purk
I peer through the clear
plastic of my mask to see if it is light out yet. I listen to the
sounds in my room to see if Brenda, my caregiver, is awake yet.
"Brenda?" I say, "Can I get up now?"
"Be right there." She says. And so my day begins!
Brenda comes and takes off my mask and eye blanket. I like to sleep
in total darkness so at night I put a bandana over my eyes. I guess
you could call it a permanent side effect of too many hospital
Brenda sits me up in my hospital bed and sets me up to do my two
breathing treatments. I impatiently wait for her to get my tray and
laptop computer so I can check my e-mail. Brenda gets my tray and
laptop and props my elbows up with pillows and stuffed animals. I
open my e-mail window, one-hundred and three new messages.
After reading all my e-mail, checking the SMA message boards, and
finishing both breathing treatments, I'm ready to use my cough
assist. I cough and cough and get up lots of mucus. Brenda uses my
suction machine to clear the secretions from my mouth. I feel much
better and am ready to have some breakfast now. I shouldn't be
hungry though because I "eat" all day and night via a jejunostomy
tube. I also have a gastric tube for medication and air venting.
After breakfast, it is homework time, my least favorite part of the
"Which one first?" Brenda asks, holding up my Physics and
"Neither" I say, but I will end up doing both.
I am an eleventh grader in the honors program. Other than Physics
and Precalculus, I also take English, Forensic Science, Choir, and
American History. I like all my teachers, even though I only saw
them nine days before becoming a homebound student.
After I finish homework, I go back online. I check e-mail again and
instant message a few friends. I also listen to some music or watch
television. I love to multitask! While I am doing that Brenda
usually makes dinner, tonight it's Macaroni and Cheese, my favorite.
Brenda and I have dinner around 5:30pm and watch the news and Oprah
until 8. By 8pm it's time for three breathing treatments along with
my Vest. I use my Vest to loosen the mucus in my lungs. When I can
tell where a plug in my lung is located, I use a percussor instead
of the Vest. When using the Vest, I do three consecutive sessions,
which take about an hour or so to do. Luckily, I can do my breathing
treatments and the Vest at the same time. I watch my favorite
television shows while doing my breathing treatments and the Vest to
pass the time more quickly.
My father and his wife usually get home sometime between 8pm and
10pm. By then they are ready for bed since they both leave long
before I get up. I tell them good night as Brenda gets me ready for
While Brenda makes my Tolerex, my formula that goes through my
jejunostomy tube, I listen to a book on tape or CD. Listening to a
book helps me to relax and get ready for sleep. When Brenda comes
back, she hooks me up to my new food and to my "belly bag". My
"belly bag" is a drainage bag I use at night to let the air out that
builds up in my stomach because of my vent.
After putting on my new food and my "belly bag", Brenda gets my mask
on and fills up my humidifier for my vent. I get covered up and
snuggle under my sheets, My eyes drift closed, as I drift of to
dreamland, where, just like in the real world, anything is possible
if you just believe!