Less Clay

breathing room

i woke up this morning dreading a decision to let my father die. by ten thirty this morning, i was busy thinking about how to help him live. the nurses and doctors who are taking care of him in the surgery intensive care unit are everything we could want; they’re careful, empathetic, thorough in their explanations, and want dad to get better.

his health is still on the edge of being really really poor, but he’s awake and making eye contact, which is a significant improvement over the past few days. i had a chance to tell him important things, and had a chance to feel him squeeze my hand in response.

he mouths words silenced by a ventilator tube. his eyes look scared and frustrated, and he wiggles his toes and raises his eyebrows. he kicks his legs and struggles against the arm restraints that are meant to keep him from pulling out the tubes attached all over his body. that struggle is painful to witness, but so awesome that he’s putting up any fight at all. he must be tired after the past few months of illness.

dad’s last words before surgery were “i just want to feel better.” i think he just might.

Posted 12/18/2011

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