This was a really wonderful day, as Lea’s sedatives had been reduced enough that she came up closer to the surface and was able to respond to me a little. She had also reduced a lot of the swelling in her body caused by the retention of fluids. Her face began to be recognizable again, and her eyes lost their puffiness so that she was able to open them. It sure was nice to see her pretty blue eyes again!

She would open her eyes when I entered the room and spoke to her, and as I read to her or talked about some of our memories. She also made some facial expressions as she listened to some of the home movies I had recorded on DVD this past summer. She still isn’t moving her toes or squeezing my hand yet, and it may be some time before she is that aware. How precious a smile would be!

Her open belly wound apparently causes her a great deal of pain, and she is aware of the pain even at this low level of consciousness, as she grimaces when we attempt to move her or any of the limbs, because she anticipates the pain it could cause. Because of this she will probably not be brought up much further toward consciousness until the belly wound is closed and it begins healing and reducing the pain.

Her control of breathing improved today, in that she was able to handle a reduction in the ventilator support. She is now down to 14-15 breaths per minute (normal), 40% oxygen support and 8 peeps. Normal lung function is 5 peeps, and that is the goal, but keep in mind that she still has pneumonia, and it will probably be a week or so before she will be able to reach self-sufficiency.

She fought a low level temperature again today, and didn’t respond as well to Tylenol as we would have liked. It’s possible that she will be put back on an antibiotic tomorrow. She was getting rid of fluids by the “bucket” full today, often times getting ahead of her body’s ability to adjust to the change. That would cause her blood pressure to drop, and that required occasional infusion of albumen to put more fluid into the bloodstream. As her body catches up, that problem should clear itself out.

We added some new, fashionable, padded stockings to her wardrobe this evening as the skin on the back of her heels began to break down with bedsores. I am pretty confident that the sores developed as a result of laying in one position too long without being turned, as we had been very careful to make sure the rocking bed didn’t cause skin irritation. That’s what happens when you can’t be there 24 X 7 to make sure everything is being watched and all protections taken.

I removed the fingernail polish from her toes today and my sister Pam applied a new coat of polish to keep them looking the way they were when she got sick. Hopefully we can keep her illness from being too depressing when she wakens. It’s going to be confusing enough to realize that months have gone by since your last memory.

By the way, I also did my first braid today! I washed her hair this morning, which she really enjoys, and then braided a pony tail on the top of her head. I put a nice red sprunchy at the base and a white bow at the top to hold it together. If you squinted your eyes just right, it actually looked pretty good! I took a picture of it so Lea can get a laugh later on.

I am so grateful for each precious moment she can open her eyes and, perhaps, know that I am here with her. I don’t want her to ever feel that she is fighting this battle alone. The two of us have always been able to team up, work together, and with God in our hearts and at our sides, been able to tackle anything that came along. I think she needs to know that I’m there to provide any support I can, and that my devotion to her knows no bounds. With the Lord’s help we will overcome this present challenge as well.

May God bless you,

Larry

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