Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quotations For A Sunday Evening

{ Excerpts from my journal }

12 Dec 2009 Saturday
I sit beside my Dad having sent my Mom home to rest. Another attempt this morning to bring him out of sedation and remove the ventilator. Unsuccessful.

13 December 2009 Sunday
(Five days of being unconscious)
By his side again - four minutes past 4pm. My Mom got here this morning just before 10:00. The doctor had removed the ventilator at 9:15. Rumor has it he has been a bear all day. His verbal greeting to the doctor and nurses after they pulled the ventilator out of his throat was a raspy, angry "What the HELL?" But my Mom says that he nodded when she asked if he could hear her.

Things have been violent and crazy, doctors in and out, multiple nurses required to keep him down. He's shouting and grunting, mostly slurs. When I got here he had slid down the bed with his right foot on the floor. Ann (the nurse) said he liked that position and they decided to let him stay that way, leaving his legs free while his arms are still tied down.

In the two hours I've been here he has begun to emerge. He is talking - somewhat slurred but mostly understandable. Once he realized I was here and who I am he said (with the most prohibitive dry-tounge lisp you can imagine) "Jeth, do me a favor, bring me a knife. I gotta cut theethe thtraps off."

"Is your leg bothering you?" I ask.
"No," he responds tersely, "but my TIE-DOWNS ARE!"

He tries a new tactic. "Nurthe, if you untie me, I abtholutely promithe I'll be good."
So she did. She told him he could be untied while I'm here.

"Are you gonna feed me ice?" He asks me.
"I don't have any more. You ate it all."
"Yes you do," he accuses, and then demands "go get some more."

In his most imploring abandoned voice he cries "Ohhh pleeease - come on. Can we go home?"

"What do you need Dad?"
This he yells in desperation as his sheet has fallen to one side exposing the nakedness he does not know has been his common exhibition over the past four unconscious days. I have tried constantly to cover him as quickly as his restless body uncovered itself, but at some point nakedness ceased to diminish his dignity. His thrashing meant he was alive and that was more joyful than exposure was embarrassing. But not for his conscious self.

"I'm SO frustrated!" he snarls through clenched jaw.
"About what Dad," I ask in a calm and therapeutic way.
He looks me straight in the eye and says "Figure it out."

The nurse asks him - what's your name, your last name, your birthday, how old are you, all of which he responds appropriately to. Then she asks him who the president of the United States is. Uh-oh, I think.
"Uggghhhh," he says.
"Ok, no political affiliations." Ann deflects. "Just asking who the president is."
"Ohhh - baahma," he answers with a slurry sneer.

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