Today has been emotionally challenging. My mind has been regressing to the things we did with Claire before last Sunday. Needless to say the emotion expended today has been tiring.
The catalyst was this morning’s visit with Claire. She was having a tough morning as the sedative was wearing off. We’ve been warned about some of the things that denote neurological destruction, and Claire was showing some of them. When the brain is injured, there can be miscommunication between it and some motor functions. This manifests itself as ‘posturing’: her limbs will tense and turn in toward her body. When she is agitated, she exhibits some posturing. While she was having her lungs suctioned this morning, she started posturing. But as the late Billy Mays would say “That’s not all.” During the suction Claire reached her left hand up to her throat for the tube. The nurse jokingly said, “I’m going to have to put those restraints back on.” It was encouraging.
I also spoke to the doctor and asked about the posturing. In short the verdict is still out because posturing could just be symptomatic of her functions coming back on, not necessarily an indication of how things will always be. We’ll wait and see.
This time was punctuated with some acute memories and many tears. It felt good to cry.
The tears continued at my next visit. She made eye contact with me. Her eyes weren’t listless as I has seen them before. Her heart rate was at 160 bpm, and I was talking to her. As I looked into her eyes and smiled, her pupils closed down and fixated on my eyes. Her breathing was very high, and as I spoke to her, both her heartrate and breathing started to moderate. As I stroked her forehead, her eyelids slowly dropped, and she went back to sleep.
I held my emotions at bay until we left the PICU where I expressed my relief with more tears. It wasn’t much. It was enough for today.