Intensive Care Unit means tubes and pipes and wires and bleeps and alarms.  It looks intensive, how must it feel for Jennie?  Let’s start with her nose.  Feeding tubes running to her stomach up through her nostrils.  In her mouth is an enormous fat pipe, her mechanical windpipe that runs down to her lungs.  Down her throat down where nothing except air is supposed to pass (imagine being in a constant state of ‘going down the wrong way’).  Then there’s are the probes, going under her sheets for who knows what. The arms have tubes delivering intravenous fluids, pain relief, and another cocktail of drugs. And we mustn’t forget the catheter tube.

A week ago the tubes were frightening.  Any change in a bleep or alarm brought panic. But now it is a way of life, it is normal. Big day today apparently, a decision on what to do with the mother of tube; the ventilator, that mechanical windpipe.  If she really is breathing by herself now it’ll soon be on the way out. We can hope and pray.