Dad, surprisingly, started communicating on Friday. He's also opened his eyes for up to a minute on a couple occasions. This are enormous steps on his path to recovery. The nurses are still in shock and awe as he's months ahead of the curve.
My sister called me in a happily frantic state. "Dad told mom not to fuck with him!" The only other signs of life up until this point were him squeezing our hands, and wiggling his toes.
Dad was mouthing a few things, like "What's that?" with regard to the constant beeping and wheezing in his room, "Why?" when ever we told him to stop trying to sit up, and "Ice Cream" when asked if there was anything he wanted. There has been plenty we haven't been able to understand, but only because none of us are experts at reading lips. There is a lot of effort on his part, but much of it is unsuccessfully delivered, frustrating for both him and us.
He's pushed some gurgling air past the tracheal tube to actually vocalize some of this, but it seems uncomfortable to him. When it happens it sounds like he's farting words underwater. I need to find my video camera.
We are constantly telling him that he will be uncomfortable with all the machines hooked up to him, and that nothing is wrong when they shove the tube into his lungs to force him to cough. Much like myself, he's never liked sugared-up answers, nor beating around the bush. When he heard "that noise is nothing" one too many times he replied with, "Bullshit" and "Don't fuck with me." Vulgar as it may sound, all he was stating in his (and my) vernacular was "Be forthright, don't soften the blow."
Dad's really in there.
He's asked for my sister by name, definitely is getting annoyed by mom always yakking up his ear, and squeezed my hand and arm tightly enough to macho-ly let me know his strength isn't lost.
There is still a long way to go, and he's not yet out of the woods. There are a couple complications I'll reserve for later, as to not jinx him. What I will share are a couple of longstanding issues; his heart still needs to be regulated, he needs to breathe on his own without the assistance from the ventalator, and he needs to become more aware of his surroundings before he can leave ICU. I don't believe the tracheal tube will be removed until then.
Cross your fingers (or any of the other things you've been doing). It seems to be working. ;)
I am picking up the phone again. Thanks for the texts and emails - I love lapping up all that great energy.