When you have Duchenne's, you can never be sure when your condition will worsen and in what ways. For me, I have noticed a decline approximately every 5-7 years, whether it be nutritional, cardiac, skeletal, or respiratory. When I began using a ventilator following my tracheostomy in 2002, I was able to spend at least a few hours each day breathing on my own or "sprinting". It was very helpful for transfers, bathing, and using the bathroom. I knew there was a possiblity that at some point I would be become completely ventilator-dependent.
Well, a little more than 7 years later, I am quickly nearing that point. After as little as 20 minutes, I am noticeably working harder to breathe, and my CO2 level creeps over 50 (the normal range is between 35-45). This results in headache and fatigue. My heartrate and blood pressure also increase. Fortunately, once I return to the ventilator, everything improves within as little as 10 minutes.
Though I have always been against accepting more medicine or treatment unless it is absolutely warranted, sometimes it is necessary to lose the small battles in order to have a chance to win the big war. In the end, of course, you can never defeat DMD, but I want to muster all the force that I can. So if that means being dependent on a machine 24/7, then so be it. I still have things to do and places to go!