Once a month, Leo’s tracheotomy tube has to be replaced.
It happens in three stages.
Stage one: taking out the old tube; stage two:
washing the wound and a moment of rest; three: putting the new tube in.
Stage three is the worst. It requires decisiveness, precision and sterility.
With a brisk move, we have to stick a piece of bended silicone half a centimetre thick into a little whole in the larynx. Then, take out the splinter.
During these few (dozens of) seconds Leo is choking, suffocating, gagging and his eyes are running.
Sometimes the resistance of his body against a foreign object is very strong.
It’s hard to overcome.
Stage two on the other hand is the most fun.
Leoparents are delighted to see Leo’s neck (normally covered by a band), and Leo covers the whole with his chin and cheerfully farts (yes!!!).
He’s laughing his heart out at the same time. Such a ten-minute moment of freedom.

Yesterday was different, however. After we took out the tube, Leo got sad.
He followed every move of Leoparents with great attention.
As if he noticed that the situation is serious…
As if he suddenly realised…
As if he realised that not everybody…
That it’s HIM who….