Here at home it has become much quieter since Titien can no longer speak properly. Of course, it was she who initiated and kept the communication going in our relationship. I miss that.
In the last months her voice became more and more nasal, which annoyed her. But she was still easy to understand. In the last few weeks, speaking became mumbling and I had to ask more and more often what she had just said. This was frustrating and caused her to speak less and less.
Her pronunciation continued to decline, her handwriting was also indecipherable, so that we retreated to communicate with the mobile phone. She wrote and I answered her verbally.
Then typing became more and more difficult for her and she had trouble holding her phone. In the meantime I could not understand even repeatedly spoken, single words.
We developed a questioning technique: Do you want something to drink? Something to eat? Something with medication? Should I change your position? Then follow up questions: Water or juice or tea? Change position of head or arms or legs?
A few days ago she could answer with sounds that resembled yes or no. Now the fingers of her right hand and her eyelids are the only parts of her body that she can still actively move.
One finger or one blink means yes. Two fingers or two blinks means no. One, two, or three fingers correspond to options that I enumerate for her.
If she wants to tell me something that doesn’t fit the pattern of drinking, eating, meds, and position changes, I start with the ABC and she taps her finger on my hand when we get to the right letter.
abcde I feel her tapping
Back again: B C, she taps. First letter C
abcdefghijk i feel her tapping
Back again:F G H, she taps. Second letter H
At the end, there is CHECK FACEBOOK written on my pad and I know that I should read her the comments on her last Facebook post, which she had pre-written three weeks ago when she was still able to use the mobile phone, and which I published the day before yesterday in her name.
Last night she wanted to tell me something: