I’m going to try not to make this sickly. Or breach confidentiality.
I’ve been nursing a man. I can’t tell you where. Or what ward. Or his name. Or what he looks like.
What I can tell you is that he is aphasic, which means he can’t speak.
When I first started nursing him, he didn’t make eye contact or move either. There is no way to tell what sort of person he might be, whether he’s popular amongst friends, how he dresses, what he likes. There is no way to tell if he understands us when we speak to him. A man, in a gown, in a bed. Unresponsive.
Yesterday, I went back to work and his miraculous brain had begun to fix him. He was moving, making sounds, trying to get a channel on the bedside television. As I was changing him, I turned to the nurse I was working with and said, “I can’t wait until this man finally speaks, it’s impossible to tell from his face, what his accent must sound like.”
He smiled broadly at what I’d said and nodded. He’d understood every word.