“The day I discovered that I could make it better I was working. Specifically, I was cleaning the skin of a man who was in a coma, and I did it as usual, trying to doing with the same attention and detail that dressmakers do when preparing a suit of rhinestones. At that time, some colleagues came into the room and they asked me about my plans for the weekend. I answered them bluntly. The man could not hear me. I recognize that I have automated the hygiene of patients: I know where to stop the sponge, where I need more time and when is enough. I do not think that that is wrong.
The patient of that day was a middle-aged man who had suffered a traffic accident and had a severe head injury. Physicians were doing tests that would confirm the worst possible diagnosis.
It was the third shift that I coincided with their relatives and knew by their descriptions that he was an energetic man, fun and with sense of humor. But he could not tell me anything, only occasionally he coughed and not opened his eyes. I interpreted the curves of the monitors to understand how could be found in every moment. The curves of colors were our language.
When my partner and I were moisturizing the skin, we had already changed the sheets of the bed, he opened his eyes at the very moment in which I looked at him. There was no intent in his eyes, or perhaps there was, but that was enough to make me remember that we were not only in front of a body. His eyes lost in the ceiling of the room, for a moment, discovered me that he could be behind his inert face.
So I started to speak to him as if in truth he could hear me and also to listen with the eyes. I focused on talk with hands and touch him calmly to moisturize him thoroughly.
Maybe, he could hear it.”
Nurse of Intensive Care Unit in Hospital Clínic of Barcelona