Imagine...a patient goes into the ER with her own equipment and her doctor's cell phone number. (The doctor was on vacation, and it was a Sunday also.) I had everything. I just needed skilled labor. It's okay that they didn't know what to do. I did.
It was worse when I couldn't talk. The Stooges was the norm. People knew what to do, but they didn't know they were supposed to do it. (Like when I coded but then opened my eyes. "Do you still want to be intubated?" I said "no." First of all, you don't intubate a conscious, talking person. Second, I coded? That was never addressed. Why did I open my eyes? Did these people also need to be told what to do? They were a specialized team.
Now I see what was needed...direction. Having the proper tools also helped.
"Talking to me" was a shock. My speech hasn't been that great. It was once non-existent. I listened to my daughter describe how I used to point out letters on a board (Speech Therapists, that's what this is...pointing out and pressing letters on an electronic communication board.) Before pointing, I'd blink.
I didn't have the behaviors.
She says she was wired wrong.
I wasn't even wired.
I speak now, although there are times I am difficult to understand. Loved ones will take the time. Sometimes they will have me repeat it correctly. I was surprised when the GI Specialist called and wanted to speak to me.
I don't talk to people I don't know on the phone. There's a joke with my family that I speak Spanish. A person called once from my daughter's union to give the topic of the up-coming meeting. As soon as I opened my mouth, "Oh, let me go get someone who speaks Spanish." So now I speak. It's just a different language.
If you understand me, remember there were many takes, this was a good day,
and you took the time to listen to me talk slowly.