The barrage of tests go on. Blood cultures, so far, are still negative. Spinal tap cultures, so far, are still negative. Urine samples, stool samples, sputum samples, all negative, so far. I know this should feel like a good thing. No infection, so far. It doesn't feel good though. If just one came back with a positive then they could treat it. If they treat it, Ben might come back.
My brother has a, shall we say, a very unique sense of humor. He enjoys a pun much more than any normal person could. When he tells a joke he quite often uses references that most people have no idea what he is talking about. Then when you look at him blankly, obviously not getting it, he delights in showing his superior intelligence to explain it to you, you poor uneducated soul.
Ben is a studier. He is like a sponge. If he decides to learn about something, he learns every last detail. He reads every study, manual, or book on the subject and retains it. He retains it all. He enjoys the process of learning. He would swim in knowledge if it was possible. Letting it soak in through every pore of his body. He seriously loves to know things.
Then he enjoys even more imparting his knowledge unto others. Hence, the fifteen minute answer to a yes or no question. Asked a question, any question, he will fold his left arm over his stomach, rest his right elbow on his left hand. He will bring his right hand up to his chin, stroke his beard, look up and off to the right, squint his eyes, and say "Wellllllll." Anyone that knows Ben, has seen and knows this gesture all too well. When you see it, you know you are in for quite a history lesson, or a detailed account or about to be regaled with a litany of facts about what ever trivial question you made the mistake to ask. I admit, you will always learn something, whether you like it or not. You will always leave with a new bit of knowledge you never thought you would know. You always have some new factoid stuck in your head. However, when the question you asked was, "is this DVD yours or Dad's?" You don't need a full account of when the DVD was bought and a history of the movie and an account of if the actors in the movie are alive or dead.
As irritating as my brother can be, I miss him. I don't want him to be trapped in a body that won't respond to him. A mouth that won't talk for him. What I wouldn't do to hear one of his stupid jokes that I just don't get.
He is still hooked up to the EEG. Do I know what anyone of those squiggles mean? No. They tell us that they have seen no sign of seizure, so far.
They are still treating him for hepatic encephalopathy, though the liver specialists don't necessarily think that is what is going on. No change, so far.
Every day there are more questions, but no answers. Why can't they find anything? Why can't they rule out anything? What the hell is going on with my brother? Is he still in there? He spends his days moaning and reaching toward the sky. Once in a while we hear what sounds like the word "mom" come from his moans. Why does he keep reaching toward the sky? Does he see something we don't? Is he hallucinating? Does he see our mother? Is he acting out a dream? Are the movements even voluntary? Is he aware of his surroundings? Does he know where he is, what is going on? How sick he is? No one can answer those questions, or any others, so far.
So far, all we know for sure is my brother has something drastically wrong with him and isn't getting any better.
So far.... So far..... So far......