Our nights have been long and sleep deprived lately. Our battle to manage Anaya's secretions and keep her comfortable is a long and tedious one. Sometimes her breath rattles so deeply there is no way I can sleep. You can hear it, the thick bubbly mucous, as she struggles to draw air through her windpipe. If she breathes deeply she inhales some of it and awakens choking. I sit up quickly with her in my arms, position her head in the crook of my left arm, reach over and grab the suction tube with my right hand and flip the switch.
The suction machine comes alive with the roar of a small generator. Her eyes widen and she gives a mighty cough (which is a heaving yell), managing to bring the phlem up into her mouth. I place with vacuum tube gently in her mouth and it grabs the gob of yuck and pulls it through the tube into the cannister.
She is granted a few moments respite and a few deep breaths. We lay back down. I on my back with her draped over my chest. I can feel her- each breath and sigh. In a few moments a new layer of phlem will form and the rattle will start again. I lay there and wish I had the ability to will away her discomfort. We fall asleep together for a time. Knowing we will awaken again all too soon.
Morning comes and I awaken exhausted. Downing a cup of coffee I turn to the tasks of the day, knowing I must press on. There are calls to be made, places to go, people to see. Only to come home to my nest and cradle my love upon my chest.
My little love rests easier now.