One morning soon after relocating to a conventional hospital room, I labored to get air into my lungs and found it difficult to talk. I notified the nurse’s station and was startled when they considered my breathing difficulty insignificant. They declined to do anything, proposing I wait for the physician to come around on his usual rounds. But I had been in the hospital long enough to know that this could take several hours and that it was also possible for the doctor to not show up at all.

I was getting scared as my disorder worsened rapidly, and I did not want to leave things to chance. So I phoned home, and they convinced our family physician to come to the hospital. He discovered that my vocal cords were swollen and restricted my airflow. He then explained that digestive enzymes damaged my vocal cords and proposed that this happened when I puked entering the hospital. He stated that if left unaddressed, a total blockage would eventually ensue, and I would suffocate. He ordered that I be placed on oxygen immediately and scheduled a tracheotomy for the morning.

The operation required that the physicians enter through a cut in the base of my neck. They then had to cut a hole in my windpipe just below my vocal cords and insert a small metal pipe into the hole. This mechanism ensured that the passageway remained open, allowing air to flow into my lungs through the tube even when my vocal cords closed completely. This device became my lifeline to the oxygen that I needed for the next several weeks.

This event was another attempt by the devil to end my life while in the hospital. The next attempt attacked my digestive system.