By Paul Kahn

Illustration by Doug Davis

Many years ago, shortly after I had started using a ventilator, I was sitting in my wheelchair near the back of a theater. As the lights dimmed and the play was about to start, a woman a few rows in front of me turned around and hissed angrily, “Who’s snoring back there?”

The embarrassment of that moment has stayed in my mind ever since. Fortunately, in the close to 19 years I have been using a vent — now a Respironics PLV 100 — there haven’t been