So, two years ago today I got trached. I had a hole cut in my neck, and a plastic tube pushed down my throat. The trache’s great for breathing, I’m alive because of it, but it also ended spoken conversation. Last summer, I tried the Passy-Muir Valve for talking, but it didn’t really work, breathing was really difficult, and my jaw muscles turned out to be gone. I used to talk, now I don’t. I’m used to it, and I’m not. I love the trache, and I hate it. Sometimes I cope quite badly, sometimes quite well.
I’ve been thinking about my last spoken conversation, the last clear sentence I managed before gagging and what-not. I said, “I love everything about you, you know.” And the reply, “I wish I loved everything about you,” or “I don’t love everything about you.” I’m admittedly hazy on the reply, but it was definitely one or the other. Either way, not what I wanted to hear. At least I honestly meant the last thing I ever said. Afterward, though, the idea of bleeding out really started to feel right, that was when I started thinking about it, wanting it. I think a person can only stand so many losses before they break. I sure broke, I’d never felt so completely lost and lonely.
Looking back, however, it’s a pretty great last conversation. It’s beautifully sad, the perfect turning point, when a person’s story goes horribly wrong. That’s how the writer in me sees things. In the very back of my mind I always figure that if something doesn’t kill me, it’ll be something to write about later. The last two years have definitely given me plenty of material, plenty of amazing and awful experiences to turn into words, and sentences, and paragraphs.
I’m definitely not lonely today, I definitely don’t feel like bleeding in the bathtub. I was broken for a time, died again for a little while, but again, it didn’t take. Apparently, the story of me isn’t over, the characters and plot just shifted. I’m happy to keep writing, with this little tube in my throat.7 comments
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