Since yesterday, Jan is spending much more time exercising to be able to breathe on his own. Yesterday he spent four hours, during which time he met with his colleagues. Meeting people and being able to chat with them is a very enjoyable experience for Jan right now.
Switching between breathing machines after these speaking exercises is difficult.
While Jan practices to speak, he is using a special tool plugged into the throat. Jan is doing the breathing part on his own. Here he uses different muscles to breathe than the ones he was using before the accident. Therefore he has to train slowly and only slightly increase the time for exercising each day. Otherwise, he starts to experience chest muscle soreness. Also, the air coming to Jan’s lungs through the neck hole (rather than through the nose or mouth) is dry and makes the process a bit harder.
After a few exercising hours, Jan is switched to another breathing machine which mechanically assists with filling his lungs with air. He is still breathing on his own, but the machine is helping to fill a greater volume of his lungs. The switch from breathing on his own to a mechanical lung pushing is pretty uncomfortable to handle.
Doctor prognosis is that sometime later on, Jan will be disconnected from all these breathing machines because it seems that he is making good progress and he might not need mechanical breathing support in the longterm.