He was a patient with a problem with his larynx and he was admitted with a tracheotomy tube.He was getting his nutrition through a nasogastric tube.
I learned quickly during my first interaction with his wife that she was a solid advocate for her husband.As I knew them overtime,though much of a surprise,they were a perfect couple;passive-aggressive-manipulative in the broader scheme of events.
During my daily patients round,I was made aware that they were in the process of making a decision to have his larynx removed surgically so that he can eat.
In essence he was willing to lose his voice box in order to eat and get rid of a feeding tube in his nose.It was known to all that eating,not talking, was his top priority.
How one can negotiate ones own compromise is mind boggling.How some people do it with such a clear mind is so unclear to most of us.They give up one vital function to keep another.This is probably one of the most difficult compromise one has ever to make.The choice made here was the one that he has to live with,a choice of no voice forever,and who knows what will be in store for him in meals !