interesting evening to say the least. First, I picked up SU at the hospital and we went to a resturant in Rice Village called Europa. Very small, quaint, quiet. I liked the food, had quail in a chipoltle sauce, quite spicy. SU had shrimp brochette in a similar sauce and of course I got to share. It’s neat to go to small little places like that and pretend to be in the upper middle class. Just call me Snooty.
Then we went to visit BIL. I hadn’t seen him since last Sunday and he looked 100% better than he did then. I think that those who are caring for him daily don’t see that but wow, what a difference. Last Sunday he was all bloated, most of that is gone. And his color is better. Now, don’t get me wrong, he didn’t look like BIL on a surfboard but considering where he’s been, not too shabby.
It’s hard to describe his mental condition. For the most part, he’s not there. In other words, most of the time when he opens his eyes, there’s just a glazed look, obviously no recognition. And he moves and twitches a lot. He also has pneumonia, so he’s very raspy at times trying to clear his lungs. At one point, he lifted up and repeated, over and over, “I died”, “I died”, “I died”.
Now that’s the bad part. Here’s the good part: when I first walked in the room and started talking to him, he DEFINITELY recognized my voice! No question about it. He opened his eyes and there was a brightness to them, briefly, but it was there. He said “I love you” clearly and a couple of times. He lifted his hand, took mine and squeezed. This was all real, not my imagination. Brief, but real. SU and her sister saw the same thing.
Another thing was the guitar. Yes, folks, SU asked me to bring my guitar and play. And I sucked it up and did it. Now, if you know me, you’ll understand how difficult that was. Walking into a hospitals’ ICU with my guitar in hand. Standing in the middle of his room, with 50 or more instruments blinking, beeping and purring, nurses gawking, playing and singing “River of Life”, “I’ve Been Redeemed”, “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” and others. Again, the recognition. Again, the hope against all hope. When I stopped and started to put my guitar away, he lifted up, shaking his head and hand, as if to say, NO, NO! So I would start again and he would calm down. Awesome.
I have a much better understanding of where he is in this thing. SU says it’s like he’s trapped in there and can’t get out. Now I understand what she means. I don’t know if he’ll ever make it out or not, but I think he just might. In fact, I think he will. He’s been off the ventilator all day and just has the oxygen tubes in his nose. He is under heavy medication right now but they are starting to wean him and see if he can make it back. That is going on as we speak, reducing the narcotics in hourly increments while monitoring his charts. It’s going to be a long night, SILM is staying with him tonight.
Well, that’s enough for now. I think I could write for hours tonight after experiencing this. I wonder if this is what the parents of Terri Schaivo saw. If so, no wonder that they fought so hard and long to keep her alive. I mean, he is “in there”. Alive. Awesome.