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Dance of death:
One doctor suggested that my father had no hope of recovery. It’s a long story, the details don’t matter much, but he’s a little bit of a medical curiosity, and as such, he’s been a good patient. Good patient as in an interesting specimen, not as in well-behaved. While he’s not as steady as he has been, he was still motoring around under his own power, after a fashion, and doing well enough.
So the “no hope – bleak outlook” didn’t make sense. However, allow for a stubborn constitution, sheer force of will, and my mother stroking his hand and arm, about the only parts that aren’t covered in tubes and blankets and stuff?
Yeah, that works.
I can’t recall the source, but I’ve heard/seen/read (someplace) that talking to the comatose patient is actually a big help. As the nurse weened my father off his dosage of chemicals, Dad’s eyes popped open. He gestured for pen and paper, as he wanted to converse. Couldn’t write anything, but the fact that he was trying to write, only days later? Amazing. Nurse allowed as how he was progressing a lot more than they would expect.
Both my sister and I would stay bedside until the tears got too hard to hold back. Can’t talk with a tube down his throat, but he was breathing on his on, and he was restrained to keep from ripping the tube out himself. He was awake, alert, and nodding yes and no to mother’s questions.
Which is a problem, too, as I’m sure those very questions are loaded in a particular direction.