June 1, 2015

We’re seven days in and I don’t know whether I think it’s gone by fast or slow. All I know is that the 3rd floor of the Skokie Hospital is like living in a different universe.

Either everything changes at once or nothing changes at all. You are never quite sure which one to be hoping for-constantly living on one end of an extreme.

I’ve learned what days they serve chicken fingers in the cafeteria, memorized the nurses schedules. I know when to expect Klara and say hello to Patty after their twelve hour shift change.

I know the reference ranges for bilirubin and an average platelet count.

I know that I can actually survive without sleep for seven days, so far.

My grandma has been sleeping for hours as teams of doctors come in and out. They check her kidney numbers and liver numbers-no real change.

But today the doctor comes in and tells us they are going to begin lowering the saturation on her intubation tube-if all goes well they will attempt to extubate her so she can finally breathe freely.

I don’t want to tell her-lest we get her hopes up, our hopes up.

So, I take my seat in that blue vinyl recliner for the 7th night in a row and I watch her chest move up and down with each breath. It’s the only comfort we have now-the only thing that suggests who she was is still very much alive.


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