May 31, 2015

She is so alert today. She is trying to hard to communicate something to us, but none of us can seem to get it right. I don’t know how she can even form sentences with that tube down her throat.

First she pointed to her eyes.

“Do you want your glasses?” she nods.

After I put them on her face she tries to take them off.

Everyone is trying to guess and the more we try to help, the more she looks like she she wants to scream. I stand there thinking this is the most fucked up version of charades.

“Do you want to call someone?” She nods.

We list the names of virtually everyone she has ever met, she doesn’t want to call any of them.

Dr. K says she isn’t really asking for anything-she’s confused. But Dr. K hasn’t known her for twenty-six years. She knows nothing about her.

I take my grandma’s hand and I tell her to spell out what she wants by squeezing my hand every time we hit the correct letter in the alphabet. But, I don’t know if I am going too fast or two slow and she’s shaking her head.

I looked at her said, “I think we’re all idiots and you’re the only smart one here” she nods.

It is the first time we have laughed since May 26th. Even my grandma smiles.

Our last ditch effort is to hand her a pencil. I’m holding paper to the clipboard, above her on the hospital bed. She sticks the pencil in her left hand, which baffles us all because she has been right handed for 82 years.

It takes her a while.

But there’s a W…and then an A…

She rewrites the T because the first one looks like an A.

Before she gets to the E and the R, I know what she’s looking for.

She has been begging for water since her eyes first opened. She hasn’t had any in five days.

I want to burst into tears and run out of the room. I can barely look her in the eye to tell her she can’t have any after she worked so hard to ask for it. We take the wet sponge and brush it against her lips, around the inside of her mouth-that was all she was allowed.

She eventually falls asleep and I walk down the ICU hall, out the door into the general waiting area, to the bathroom I have spent every day in since we all got here. I go there to cry so that my grandma doesn’t get scared.

I lock the door and slide down the wall. I’m grabbing my stomach, trying to keep my insides together. I’m screaming but no noise comes out-I don’t want anyone on the other side of the door to know I’m unraveling.

We still have so much farther to go.


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