I’m sitting in my dad’s room in the ICU as he sleeps, working away on my laptop*. The internet is better here than in the lounge, and there is a very large, very loud family group who has been hanging out in the waiting area all day. Plus my dad said that, while he was very tired**, I could hang out if I didn’t mind him sleeping.
I drove in yesterday. Friday evening I felt a sense of extreme relief (finally, I can see him and be back there and be helping!) alongside a sinking sensation of dread (hanging out in hospitals all day is not fun, my friends). I am so glad to be here. Worrying about someone from afar is much more tiring than worrying about them in person.
My dad’s face is relatively unfettered now, with just a feed tube up his nose where before he had the ventilator (now in his neck) and a halo. Now he can mouth things to us, and is much more interested in doing that than other options for communicating. When it works, it’s great.
For years and years, I have said I don’t filter sound well in loud environments, and so I rely on lip reading to help boost my hearing. I don’t have any proof of this, but I think that I do it. (Those of you who know me in real life know that I think I do lots of things that I empirically do not do).
After one day of chatting with my dad, I can say this: I am definitely better at lip reading than someone who has never done it. I am definitely also not good at lip reading. Lip reading is hard, y’all. Dad will spell things by blinking to get me on track if I’ve really missed a sentence, so we’re doing ok. We’ve chatted about work, rental cars, buying a car, how Pea is doing***, and house hunting. It’s mostly one sided, with me updating him, but he can ask questions, and it’s impressive how well expressions work for holding up one side of a conversation.
* Actually, now I am home, several hours later
**He’s running a fever again today
*** Pea made a lasagna from scratch last weekend, including the pasta. I think Pea is bored.