January 5, 2015
My dad had a big breakthrough today. For the first time in two weeks, he’s fully conscious and cognizant of us. When we talk to him, he can nod and shake his head now, and more importantly, he does so at the right times, so we know that he can definitely understand us:
Mom: “Do you want to go back to the United States?”
Dad: [scowls visibly]
Mom: “Fine, do you want to go back to Taichung?”
By the way, my dad made it perfectly clear years ago that he loves living in Taichung now. It’s definitely way more exciting of a city to live in than Irvine. I think I have to agree with him on that one.
The hard part, though, is that he moves his mouth — a lot — and is obviously trying to talk to us. But he still can’t speak, and I can see the frustration in his eyes when we just can’t understand what the words he’s mouthing. At this point, we should probably just assume he’s saying, “Don’t you take me back to Irvine, dagnabit!”
In a way, it’s sad how your expectations drop when you’re going through something like this….
When I first got to Taiwan, I had this notion in the back of my mind that he would be unconscious for just a few days. And then, one morning, he’d wake up, and he’d be totally alert, and he’d be all, “What the hell am I doing here?!? Get these freaking tubes out of me.”
And maybe he’d even rip them out on his own and march himself out of the emergency room. (Okay, maybe I have seen too many movies….)
And we’d take him home (to Taichung, not Irvine… naturally), and life would be back to normal.
Now… we’re ecstatic that he sees and responds to us, and can move his left arm somewhat. It’s a far cry from the expectations — well, more like fantasies — I had when I first arrived. He still has a long way to go, and we still have no idea how much mobility he’ll ever get back.
But at this point, I guess we just have to appreciate every step forward he makes, small as they may be.