No, not me. I'm right where I want to be - watching MG as she dozes and wakes, looks around slowly and curiously, tries to adjust her position, then dozes back off to sleep.
This was a great day, a huge contrast to Friday night when MG was so miserable in her attempt at rest that in an act that I can only describe as cowardice, I finally just left. I didn't know what else to do. I couldn't bring her any relief, couldn't figure out what she wanted (because honestly I don't think she really knew herself), and it hurt to see the hurt in her eyes. So I ran.
I came back today trying to brace myself for more of the same. I knew nothing would get better until they got MG off the ventilator and pulled the tubes from her throat. Since it was Saturday, my guess was they wouldn't do anything until Monday.
Then about 2 p.m., they (whoever "they" are) came in and said, "Let's try to pull the ventilator and see how she does."
But first, they had to know she could respond, follow commands and answer questions. The respiratory guy asked if she wanted the tubes out, MG didn't respond. I explained I'd just hit her morphine pump because she was in pain. He said "Then we'll have to wait."
I jumped over to MG and said loudly, "MG? MG! Do you want the tubes out of your throat?""
She woke up and nodded emphatically. The nurses saw it and called to the respiratory guy that she'd "strongly" nodded her head.
"Squeeze my hand!" I told her, and she squeezed my right hand with her left. I changed over to her left hand, "Squeeze my hand again!" I said. She did nothing.
"Come on, baby, squeeze my hand," I said.
She wiggled her toes.
"Good enough," I announced.
Fortunately, the respiratory folks and nurses agreed (concurred?) and within 15 minutes, she was off the ventilator, breathing on her own.
She coughed like a kitten with a fur ball, these cute little soft coughs. I knew her ribs had to be killing her.
After a few minutes, however, she looked at me. Her lips moved. I leaned way down to try to hear what she was saying, the first words she'd spoken to me since the morning she left - exactly two weeks ago - before "the accident."
She said: "I want to go home."
MG spent most of the afternoon in this kind of half-drugged state. I sat with her and tried to talk to her, but the doctors had told me not to let her talk too much because it would wear her out and she needed to rest.
At one point, however, she whispered, "take my shoes off." I laughed. So typically MG.
She was wearing these blue orthopedic booties that are designed to keep her foot at the proper angle. I made an executive decision to take off at least one of them. I went down and pulled off one of these blue monstrosities, held it up, and said, "What do you think? I bought these for you. I got them on sale. I thought they'd go great with my eyes."
She laughed. I don't know that it was me or the morphine, but it was just so great to see her respond, to laugh and smile, that I didn't care.
I sat with her until a little after 6 p.m. when visitors are supposed to leave for the nurses' shift change.
When I got back, the night nurse was with her.
"She asked me if she could see her husband," the nurse said. "I told her yes, that you'd be right back."
Later I would ask MG if she remembered talking to me that afternoon. She looked confused.
There would be a lot of confused looks that night.
The nurse also said - and those of you who know MG won't be surprised by this - "She asked me what the rules are. I've never, ever had a patient ask me what the rules are."
When I walked in after dinner - with SB, who'd come down to have dinner with me - we were greeted by the most wonderful smile and the closest thing to clear eyes I'd seen in weeks.
MG was worried about her father (he's OK, I'd just talked to him a few minutes before). She asked what happened to her. She was still half-drugged, but I told her she was in an accident - she was driving, by herself, when someone ran a red light and hit her. She was the only one hurt.
She looked confused for a few minutes. I could tell she couldn't remember anything.
"No one was with you,'' I said. "I should have been driving. That's why I always drive!"
She looked at me and slowly smiled and started shaking her head, to say "no."
I said, "I know. It was just one of those things."
"It's good no one died,'' she whispered.
Then it got funny. MG looked up at SB and started speaking French. SB has taken quite a bit of French but doesn't like to speak it (she's Southern, after all!). MG looked at me and asked me to speak French. The only phrases I know in French are "How are you" and that song by Lady Marmalade.
I wondered if this was going to be one of those stories you hear about, where the person comes out of the coma speaking with a foreign accent.
Fortunately, The Heir showed up. One of his majors in French. So he started in, and MG just got this big, pleasant smile on her face.
Now, remember, she's still drugged up - awake, but not really.
The Young Prince was there, hanging back. I said, "Gray is here."
Gray stepped up closer, but MG just stared past him, like he wasn't there. He said, "She's not even looking at me. She's looking at the TV!"
MG turned her head to me and winked.
We busted out laughing. She'd "punk'd" all of us.
It was so much fun - the five of us, standing around talking and laughing. At one point she asked me to speak Spanish - I don't know any Spanish either, other than "Jose Cuervo. Pedro Bourbon. Cesar Cedano." I went into my Pepe Le Pew accent, and started singing "Chantilly Lace'' with a semi-French accent (don't ask me do this for you unless you're in the hospital and on morphine), which only lasted a few lines until it became a bad Big Bopper imitation. At one point, MG actually sang part of a line with me - and she never sings.. It was that kind of night. A family night. A great night to be together. A night in which we knew - for sure - that everything was going to be all right.
All afternoon, MG kept asking me to get her out of the hospital. She kept saying, "I don't need to be here,'' and "this isn't a good place for me to be."
I told her if she really wanted, I'd find a way to get her out of here, but that it might take me a few days. I was kind of lying of course. Earlier I'd told her she was going to be in her for "at least a week" and she started crying. I knew she wasn't ready to hear the truth.
This time, she looked at me and whispered something. I leaned in really close again.
"I love you,'' she said.
Choked up with emotion, I told her I loved her too.
And then she looked at me with those deep green-brown eyes and said, "Now get me out of here."
I can't, of course. But with every passing hour, she becomes a little more aware. I know she doesn't know how long she's been in the hospital. I'm almost positive she doesn't understand the extent of her injuries. As she becomes more awake, we can discuss those things, plus what the next few weeks are going to look like.
But as I gave her a tiny sponge of water (she's not allowed to actually drink yet), she smiled and called me her "Aquaman." I have no idea where that came from. The kids were there, and we all busted out laughing. She laughed, too.
I got a text from SB.
"How's Mama resting?'' she said.
I answered with one word: