During football season, you often see a player on the sidelines sucking in extra oxygen. I never understood why that was helpful to them. They are big strong athletes in top physical condition, why do they need that? After watching Maggie's long slow recovery, I'm starting to understand it better. It just gives the body a little boost to work more efficiently. Maggie needed it to get back to her baseline. Presumably these guys use it to stay at their peak, Since these athletes are pushing their bodies to the limit, the extra oxygen may help keep them in top physical shape throughout the span of the game. It's the same thing from two different extremes.
Maggie's issues tend to drag on a little longer than a four hour football game, though. After 6 weeks it seems Maggie has kicked the supplemental oxygen habit. She didn't need it over the weekend, but slipped back on Monday. It's pretty easy to tell when she needs a little help because she gets quite pale and her energy level just drops. This is a pretty picture of her I took while Steve was getting the trach mask set up to give her oxygen the other day. She's not jumping around like normal so I got a good shot of her beautiful face reflecting off the light form her dynavox. It's a good example of how we know even without measuring the levels. (but we did that too)
She got sick the first week of May and basically recovered after about three weeks. But she could not keep her oxygen levels up where they needed to be. The doctor said there were likely areas of collapse. Her lungs were not fully expanding. She said it was like trying to blow up a balloon that's wet inside. It can't be done without a lot of effort and Maggie could not provide the extra effort. She was just too worn out. The supplemental oxygen gave her the boost she needed to get her strength back.
Now she's gone another two days without extra "O's" during the day. (Night time is a different story, but that's normal for her) If she needs it again, fine, but the fact that she can go two full days is a sign that this episode is finally winding to a close. And feisty Maggie is back. .
Maybe we'll go hit the 49er training camp. She can show the guys a thing or two..