It was March, I believe, so many things happened between the Spring and Summer. They started trying to feed me real food by mouth, because I was a pain in the neck and keep bugging them every day to do it. It took me a great deal of annoying people in charge to listen to me. I remembered every time a speech therapy came to work with me, as soon as I started coughing a little bit, they went out of my room and told the nurses, “no, he can’t swallow” I just poured a couple drops of liquid and he started coughing. and end of the story. It was so discouraging to heard, I thought, the delicious taste of food would never entered into my big mouth again. I told them a couple times, “why you guys don’t believe I can swallow; I swear I can do it, every time I get a shower I drink lots of water from the faucet while I’ve been spray with the hose”. What!!? they replied in disbelief. Francisco, that is very dangerous, you can chock and the water can go straight to your lungs, you have to stop doing that. It was a  mistake telling them that, the next time I had a shower they put a small rag on my mouth, so it could keep the water out of my mouth. “That’s what you get for telling”, I scolded myself.

I was feeling so downhearted and uncertain, whether I kept pushing them to try to feed me, I cried during my loneliness where nobody could witness my tears. Until one day a truly miracle happened, I said “Truly” because nobody believed me, no one, not even my family; they think I pull it off myself, this is true, believe dear reader. The feeding tube sprouted out, “Yes!”, it came out all by itself, and the weird thing was, nobody could put it back in, which I was hoping for. The problem for them, it was Sunday night, so there were not a doctor  or someone who had the knowledge to stick it in again. The nurses working that night tried for hours without succeeding, so they called the doctor and she told them to leave it for the next day. I was so happy, although, I knew they might try again in the morning, and my stomach was so sore. Monday morning arrived, the doctor came in to see me and take a look at the issue. Then she went back out and didn’t come back. I thought they were going to send me out to the hospital in Santa Rosa to have the tube re-inserted, but they didn’t. Soon, a nurse came in and approach me with a face of happiness and smiling. She said, “well since we couldn’t put back in the feeding tube, we are going to re-evaluated you and try to feed you by mouth. If this doesn’t work and you can’t swallow correctly; then we may send you out to have the feeding tube re-inserted again”. I was so over joy,  I couldn’t stop giggling, but I also was a little bit concern. What if I start coughing?, I know I can do it, but if that happens again, the speech therapy could decide against it once again, I would end all disappointed.

The speech therapy came over and reevaluated me again, I was very nervous, happy but nervous! She tried for while, a couple nurses and a respiratory therapist were there in case something goes wrong. Fortunately, nothing bad happened, I did cough a little bit but not enough to scare them away. I succeed, I could start eating real food again after a long time being fed through my stomach, even though the food had to be pureed. When it was time for my first meal, I was so excited, a nurse came in to feed me in the activities room. She was carrying a tray with food, a glass of thick water, oh yes I forgot to say that I had to start drinking thick liquids too, and a can of powder to thickener anything else I’d like to drink. I hated pureed food big time since the very first day I tasted it, I don’t know if it was me because of the long time real food hadn’t enter in my mouth, or because it was can food bought it from store. See, the place I was, it was a hospital for patients like I previously were, but since I upgraded, they had to feed me.

About a month went by, I was taken to the shower room to take a  bath, when I returned back to my bedroom. The aides in charged of my care  leave me alone sitting on a wheelchair, two hours after a nurse step into the room to check if everything was doing okay, “Oh My God!”, she exclaimed, are you feeling okay? Do you have any shortness of breath or something? No! I node, then the nurse said, “Pancho, your tracher came out from your neck. Let me tell you, “I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, so don’t get too excited; you might not need the tracher to help you breath any more, we will let the doctor know about it and see what she says, and how she wants to proceed”. I started laughing and squealing very happy. I looked up to the sky or ceiling to be exact, and thank God for his mercy towards me. They notified the doctor, I assumed, because the next day she came up to me with two other nurses to try to remove the tracher. She said, “I heard you might not need this any more, I’m going to take it off for while and see how you do without it; if you can be able to breathe in your own, I will take it off for good, but if you start losing oxygen and feeling bad, I will put it back on”. Woohoo! My heart was happy. They removed it and kept checking on me every hour, every two hours, every day, until they were sure I didn’t need the tube in my neck for real.

Time continued its course without further novelty for some months; everything was doing good, I had no feeding tube and no tracher any more, Sweet!, the only thing happening since then, was I couldn’t stay in that hospital any longer, which it was a bitter sweet taste, because I loved that place, well better said, I loved the people work in there; who can love to be in a hospital? So, I was trill to get out of there, but to think that I had to leave my people was very sad. They started looking for some place else for me, not a hospital but now had to be a nursing home. It was going to take long to find a good convenient one, because they were going to try to get me close to my family, in the same town of Sonoma, if possible. I was so looking forward to it, I know I was going to be able to go just to a simple nursing home, not much difference than a hospital, but for a person who had spend a few years on hospitals, it is a big deal…….

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