Smiles. Kisses. Even though he's back on sedatives and morphine and shouldn't really even have his eyes open, my brother was alert as can be under the circumstances last evening. My SIL was so relieved, so happy, just elated to hug me and tell me that she'd locked eyes with my brother and he gave her a big smile, that she took his hand and brought it to her lips for a kiss and he pulled her hand back to his lips to return the favor. ; )
After meeting very, very briefly with the neurosurgeon (happy birthday! surgery on Friday morning) before he was called away on an emergency*, I went in to see Michael with my SIL, my mom and my uncle. His eyes were wide open and bright. He saw my SIL and puckered his lips, and did the same when he learned that Mom was there, and again with me -- it was not an easy task to give him a kiss, but we did the best we could. He tugged at my uncle's baseball cap to see what it said. He tried to mouth words -- some we could decipher, some we could not. "I love you" was easy! He is not in pain; we asked. He was inquisitive about the monitors. My uncle told him a little bit about why he was there -- an auto accident, he didn't do anything wrong, it wasn't his fault. I told him about how much his best friend has had to endure in our company, the things he's heard and the topics of discussion amongst a predominantly female crowd, and what a trooper he is; I got that "Geez Vick" look. I can hear him say it in my head; I guess I get that reaction from him a lot.
He's back! I had to tell him about the card I made -- he seemed familiar with it and I wonder if someone has shown him the things that have been stuck to the small bulletin board in his room -- and reminded him, in my big sister, "I can be the boss of you" way, that he has to behave and listen to the nurses and do what they tell him so he can get better and get outta there!
There's a makeshift stabilization thing on his head to keep him from damaging his spinal cord -- the C7 has deteriorated that badly. I'm trying to focus on the now and the future rather than getting worked up over some other things. Okay, like... I can't believe he'd have been cleared for much of anything with a broken neck and many more crushed, broken, fractured, cracked vertebra in his back, all the while wearing a body/cervical brace. Why was he taken off all pain meds and sedation and writhing around in his bed all weekend? Why was he sitting up, strapped into a chair on Saturday when he wasn't even close to being awake? Was he getting rushed out of ICU for some reason? Who, I wonder, would be the driving force behind such a thing? I can't even write the scary words that accompany some of the next thoughts. Don't think like that; focus, Vicki, focus.
*Two weeks ago yesterday, my brother's car was rear-ended by a semi-truck while waiting to make a left-hand turn, pushed into the path of a pick-up; two were injured (one critical), no fatalities. One week ago yesterday, two men working on a highway crew were killed in an accident involving a car changing lanes and reaction of the semi-truck that was cut off. Yesterday, several people were injured, some critically and transported by air to various hospitals (including the hospital where I was, this being the emergency that our neurosurgeon had to attend to), when a school bus was rear-ended by a semi-truck while waiting to make a left-hand turn. This is the last three Tuesdays just in my teeny, tiny part of the Big Woods and it's kinda scary.
Man oh man, two weeks already. Many more to come, lots of twisty, winding roads, but he's back!