I was on one side of Tracey’s bed holding her hand while Tracey’s dad, Ken, was on the other side doing the same thing.
I smiled over at him, although I’m sure he had no idea why I was so chuffed.
You see, this is where the experience of spending so much time in ICU comes into its own. Unbeknownst to him, I had manoeuvred things so I had the good hand, the one without all the tubes stuck into it.
We were talking, Ken and me, but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was about. Ken’s a man of few words. Even with a tube in her mouth I’d argue Tracey probably has more to say than her old man. But whatever it was it must have been something innocuous and boring because suddenly Tracey’s hands broke free of ours and were waving weakly for attention.
We looked down at her, waiting. Then Tracey did something totally unexpected.
With just a flick of her wrists she brushed us off.
“Are you saying you want us to leave?” I asked her.
She nodded. One might say, given how exhausted she is from three weeks of sedation, she nodded vigourously.
So Ken and I giggled our way out of ICU – actually, if I’m honest, I did all the giggling but Ken was grinning loudly – because this was the first clear instruction or communication we’d managed to illicit from Tracey since she’s woken up.
And it didn’t stop there. Tracey’s communication has been improving over the last two days as the fog of the sedation (and not having glasses on) has left her.
What Tracey has discovered since she’s ‘woken up’ is she’s lucky to be here and that can be scary. Even today she’s added fits to her bag of tricks, although a CT scan and an ECG have ruled out anything too sinister for now.
What I’ve discovered these past two days is I’m not good at one sided conversations.
People have advised me to talk about what’s been happening, but I’ve basically been splitting my time between the ICU waiting room and getting a bite to eat. Not exciting. Plus I don’t think telling a person who hasn’t eaten so much as a pea for a month, and is unlikely to eat for another two months at least, where I’ve been lunching is very sensitive. Also, I don’t really know what the kids have been up to because I’ve only seen them three times since the 1st of this month.
So I’ve spent some time with Tracey today patting down her head with a wet cloth, being grateful she’s alive and wishing the tube was out.
One thing we have agreed on is for me to bring the kids to see her tomorrow, even if the breathing tube is still in place. I can tell she’s very excited about seeing them because she nodded a lot when I suggested it.
Which got me wondering if maybe she’d like to have a couple of other friends pop in some time soon.
“Do you want me to ask a couple of your friends to come see you?” I asked her today.
I threw out a couple of names I thought she’d like to have talk at her.
She nodded at each of them.
My brother sat listening to this from the bad hand side of the bed. Because he’s a sensitive and wonderful guy he’d flown back early from Sydney to sit with me and visit our sick girl.
“How do you know she’s not brain damaged and just agreeing to everything you ask her?” he wanted to know.
Tracey rolled her eyes at him.
So I suggested something I’ve always wanted her to agree to in the bedroom but have never had much success with.
With two simple gestures Tracey pointed a finger at me and then towards the door. We were being dismissed.
And so again a family member and I got to giggle our way out of ICU.
Seriously, I’m not worried about Tracey’s brain not working properly, I’m more concerned about when her mouth finally does.
~ ~ ~
Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.