First, allow me to setup the relevant information. It is well known that a Morse function $f:M\to\mathbb{R}$ induces a handle decomposition of $M$.

For simplicity, let's restrict for now to the specific case of $M^4 = B^4\cup_\varphi\text{2-handle}$, where the 2-handle is a copy of $D^2\times D^2$.

The attaching map $\varphi:\partial D^2\times D^2\to\partial B^4$ is determined by:

- an isotopy class of $\left.\varphi\right\rvert_{S^1\times\{0\}}$, i.e.
**a knot**$K:\partial D^2\times D^2\supset S^1\times\{0\}\to\mathbb{S}^3=\partial B^4$, - and
**a framing**of the normal bundle of $\varphi(S^1\times\{0\})$, i.e. an identification of $\nu(K)$ (a tubular neighbourhood of $K$) with $S^1\times D^2$.

My question is, if I start with such a manifold as above, and a Morse function on it, can I somehow recover the (or any) attaching information (the framing, or the attaching region, or all of it...) of the handle(s)?

Practically speaking, let's say we have a triangulation of $M$, and a discrete Morse function on it. This allows me to "see" the handle decomposition at the level of "there is a 2-handle" (e.g. the Morse function gives that, say, "triangle 5" is a critical cell), but I am wondering if it is possible to extract any information about the attaching map? Maybe the attaching circle can be recovered by looking at the edges of the critical triangle... But what about the framing? Maybe to see anything about the framing we need to drill out a neighbourhood of this critical triangle... but I wonder if anything can be extracted just from the Morse function alone? The literature would seem to indicate that either we can't, or nobody has described how to do so if it is possible.

Any thoughts/information is appreciated.