Lea continued to struggle today, trying to breathe a little more on her own, and had to stop to rest occasionally, by being put back on full support for a resting period. She surged ahead on occasion, and generally took more breaths than the machine was set to deliver at minimum. At one point the machine was set to make sure she took at least 16 breaths per minute, and she actually took 23 a minute for a couple of hours.

By the end of the day she was breathing at a level of about 19 or 20 breaths per minute with the machine still set at that same 16 breath minimum. The primary difference we saw today was that her volume, or the amount of air taken in with each breath, actually began to decline in late morning, but as more and more fluid was eliminated through her kidneys, the volume picked up a little. It still isn’t where it needs to be, but is at least moving in the right direction.

She had a below normal temperature today, 97 degrees, and her blood pressure was running low, probably due to the Lasix being given to her to reduce the fluid in her body. It tends to expand the veins, reducing the blood pressure. She was given Neo-Synephrine drip to counteract the Lasix, and the two should be discontinued at about the same time.

The primary buzz around the ICU today is the news that Dr. Mah is planning to close her up on Tuesday. The nurses were talking about it quite a bit among themselves, and with me, about how nice it will be to see her come off the ventilator and then wake up. They want to see that gorgeous smile you have been talking about in your emails and eGreetings.

I’m certain that she will quickly make friends of the nurses, who already think so much of her, she’ll wonder why she’s already accepted like family. One of the nurses, Adam, is a very compassionate caregiver, a recent Christian convert, and a close observer of all the miraculous things that have happened to us during our stay here. I think he will have lots of questions for Lea, and she will be flattered to share her insights with him.

It could just be me, but I feel like I am seeing a lot more open expressions of faith in the ICU than before. Dr. Mah was wearing a silver cross on a neck chain today, and we often hear, “Thank God,” on the floor now. I just wonder if what Lea has gone through hasn’t played a part in God’s plans for some of these caregivers. It certainly seems that we are being given opportunities to minister!

When I get the list of all the locations folks are reading Lea’s Updates put together, I think I’d better put a copy up on her bulletin board for the caregivers to see. I’ve started putting a list together in Excel, and hope to eventually develop some sort of map visual from it for her to see. If you haven’t sent me your location yet, please do: larry.vaughn@gmail.com.

We are looking forward to the arrival of our oldest son, Link, and Deanna, his wife, on Sunday. They will be able to stay with us for a few days, and I am hoping against hope that Lea will be able to make contact with them while they are here. It will be good for all of us if we can experience some connection. And, besides, Deanna is a lovely singer, and sings very well, too. Lea will enjoy her being here.

Thank you for your kind wishes for the dressing change on Sunday, and for your prayers for Lea’s preparation for the closing of her wound in the Operating Room Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m. We will be on pins and needles hoping for the best possible outcome, and that God will guide the surgeon’s hands in making the proper decisions as they prepare for this important step in her recovery.

I talked to our friend Joe tonight, who is back home. He was discharged from the hospital in Indiana today, and was at his kitchen table when I called. He had met with his cardiologist this afternoon, and has been put on a strict diet. The blood clot in his heart is not yet dissolved, his defibrillator has not yet been started, and he is not yet in sinus rhythm, but he is home. All these things will come in due time, and we give thanks to God for his safe return.

In His service,