It has been several weeks since Jeremy could talk. The trach limits his ability to produce sound, while his facial paralysis makes it difficult to read his lips. It feels especially cruel to me that a man like Jeremy, who typically has a lot to say, is unable to fully express himself.
I won’t ever forget one of the last things he said to me. It was the last time he came off the ventilator for the second time (before he went on the ventilator for a third time and straight to the trach,). Initially, after coming off the ventilator he was able to talk very clearly for several hours until he was no longer able to keep his throat clear. For those precious hours we could talk and know how fully present he is mentally, in spite of his physical appearance.
During that last period, one of the first things Jeremy said to me was “Hey, you should see if the hospital has another bed that we could bring in here. That way you could sleep there and we could hold hands and be together all night.” I smiled at the thought and wondered if Jeremy was completely lucid knowing there was no way another bed would fit in that room. He continued talking and resting for the next few hours but towards the evening he said “Don’t forget about what I said about the bed.”
That night I slept on the sofa in the room and by morning Jeremy was struggling to breath and unable to communicate. We haven’t heard his voice since.
I won’t forget that last conversation. I’m praying we have the chance to talk again.