I thought I had trouble with scrounged hardware…

“I was sad that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

The Last of the Iron Lungsironlung

These days her biggest concern is the canvas spiral collar that creates the seal around her neck. She used to have to replace them every few months after they wore out and stopped keeping a seal. Back then she could get them for a few dollars each, but she recently bought two from Respironics for a little more than $200 each. She said the company wouldn’t sell her any more because they only have ten left. For years she’s been trying to find someone to make a new collar. She uses Scotch guard on her current supply and tries not to move her neck around, hoping to make them last as long as possible.

I asked her what happens if she runs out. “Well, I die,” she said, in a matter-of-fact tone.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to I thought I had trouble with scrounged hardware…

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    Can’t see the article, since I refuse to enable the ads, but I wasn’t aware that there were any of these ancient machines still in use. And I can’t imagine living that way. I would much rather die.

  2. Robert says:

    “the company wouldn’t sell her any more because they only have ten left” So the company is saving them for…?

    Saw an iron lung in a hospital when I was a child; poor guy was in the friggin’ hallway instead of his own room. My mother just said “polio” and we kept moving. Years later, I realized how bad it was then and how scared my parent must’ve been for me.

    I take care of mobility-impaired people. Dunno if I could handle her case…

  3. Malatrope says:

    It makes no sense that this person is in an iron lung. These days we use ventilators, which allow mobility. WTF?! No way she would “die”, they’d simply put her on a different machine.

  4. Joel says:

    Malatrope, the article points out that she has a positive-pressure ventilator that she uses during the day. It also says there are health issues with full-time use of those ventilators, and that she needs the lung (a “negative-pressure ventilator,” which I did not know) for sleeping.

    She’s been using the things for 60 years, I’m not going to second-guess her.

To the stake with the heretic!