What a day filled with emotion today, as we paused to reflect on the 9/11 catastrophe and read of the continuing horrors in our own gulf coast areas. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families in these disasters. One can only hope that miracles are being worked that serve the Lord’s greater purpose, and that we are prepared to do our part when called upon.

Meanwhile, Miss Lea had a good day today. She worked five hours on the ventilator, and was given the rest of the day off. She has a little bit of yellow mucous in her lungs, and we are hoping that we can avoid another serious respiratory relapse by resting her until the culprit bacteria is identified, and antibiotics can be prescribed.

The surgeons who were preparing to do her bandage change last night as I left, got delayed, and didn’t get her dressing changed until four o’clock this morning. She ran a low-grade temperature this morning, but had it under control by mid-afternoon, and in fact, I covered her with a sheet and blanket tonight at about six o’clock, because she started shivering. It could have been chills, or it could have been the effects of narcotic withdrawal. But, it made me feel better.

She slept most of the day today, and pretty much refused to open her eyes, or otherwise follow any commands. Put your hand under her hand or ankle as though you were going to lift them, though, and she would grimace terribly. She must feel terrible pain, and anticipates it, because she knows it is going to hurt before you do anything. And, they say, you don’t remember any of what is going on. But, she is remembering the intense pain day to day. Go figure.

I lubed her up pretty good today with body lotion, and worked on several of the dry skin areas to soften and remove dead skin on her heels, toes and fingers. Her skin color is very good, and the skin condition is very good, with a nice healthy sheen to it. Her color really improved quite a bit yesterday after sitting up in the cardiac chair. That will probably be an every-other day event for a while, until her general strength improves, and it can be more frequent.

Her medications stayed at the same levels they were on Friday, and they will begin reducing them again tomorrow morning. Her blood pressure looks good, her heart rate was a little on the quickish side, but her oxygen saturation was very good. She received less insulin per hour today, and was getting her nourishment from the milk shake thick mixture being tube fed into her small intestine.

I learned tonight that the mid-level nurse practitioner is going to recommend to Dr. Mah that Lea be started on some physical therapy right away, to get her joints loosened up, and make sure her range of motion is ready for her to wake up. We are at the point that we should start experiencing more periods of alertness as she continues to be weaned from the narcotic drugs. She needs to feel as good about herself as possible when she’s awake, so we’ll pay particular attention to her personal condition, nails, skin, hair, etc.

I just thank God for the wonderful blessings He has given all of us through this experience. I have seen so many heartwarming things happen in these past eight weeks, and have seen many, many folks come closer together with their loved ones, their fellow Christians, and to God.

My personal perspective has also changed. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a dialogue with God going on, but nothing as intense as I have experienced recently. I have always trusted God, but didn’t realize that I had allowed myself to limit how much I was willing to trust in Him, when the low times let me focus more on my personal misery than on what lessons He was leading me through.

I have had the joy of hugging the necks of fellow believers here on the nursing staff, chaplains and other volunteers and employees. (You can feel the warm glow of a Christian’s heart when you hug.) I even had a visit from a wonderful lady who was in Hartford visiting family, and wanted to come by the hospital and pray with me. I can only hope that the work the Lord has had me do here will continue reaching hearts and stirring souls to awareness of His infinite goodness.

In His service,

Larry

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