poured out before bed
She coughs, gags on thick secretions in a mouth raw from radiation-induced mucositis, sighs gutturally as she opens the water bottle she must tote everywhere to moisten her malignant, wounded mouth.
“On a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being your normal, pretreatment saliva production, what number are you at today?” the resident asks.
Mrs. Jones shakes her head, takes another sip of water before she answers.
“Maybe 20… Oh, it’s wicked, this is just wicked.” Her lips stick stubbornly to filmy teeth.
She holds her hands out, palms up, searching our faces.
“What is that called when you open your mouth and your spit just flies out? You know, when you see good food and it just shoots out of your head?”
The resident and I exchange looks.
“You mean a ‘gleek’?”
“Yes, that’s it!!” Mrs. Jones arms fall in her lap and she sits back in her chair, staring dreamily in the general direction of the oto/opthalmoscopes.
“Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a good ‘gleek’…”