Lea’s fever appears to have peaked, indicating that the antibiotics are knocking out the infection, wherever it is. She was able to come off the blood pressure medications overnight, and was awake, though delirious. She has been “talking” non-stop, although she can’t make a sound. It would be interesting to know who she is talking too although the nurses tell me that isn’t necessarily so. I am told that you sometimes learn what they REALLY think of you, and that it isn’t always pleasant! 

The regulation of her medications seemed to be working out better today, and her nurse, Amy, was able to catch her breath once in a while. Lea has already started taking off some of the excess fluid she retained when the temperature began rising, indicating that her body doesn’t need that defense any longer. Dr. Mah stopped in early, and indicated that he was pleased to see her white cell count is coming down, and she is regulating her blood pressure without help.

He came back in mid- Day to do her dressing change, but decided not to remove the extra drain from her abdomen until after results of the CT Scan ordered for this evening are back. Removing the drains from her abdomen would move us one step closer to putting the skin graft over the wound to close it up. He won’t remove the drains, however, until he is pretty certain there is little danger of complications.

The psychiatric doctor was back to examine Lea today, and was asking me about Lea’s condition prior to the current illness, any history of mental disorders in the past, and other questions along that line. Boy, was I tempted to crack some one-liners! But, I refrained. They want a scan to make sure that the tremors she has are related only to the weaning of the narcotics, and no physical cause. They ordered a scan of her brain for early evening, and she was transported downstairs at six o’clock. We may learn the results from Dr. Mah tomorrow when he comes in to check Lea, although he will have to get reports from the psychiatric folks first.

Lea was awake for about six hours this morning, talking to persons unknown in a constant stream of delirious conversations. Her eyes were fixed on some distant plane and darted from location to location as she directed her comments to those spots. It was pretty funny, in that every time I thought she was looking and talking to me, she would then look at, and talk to, some invisible person standing to my side.

I didn’t want to agitate her, so I washed her hair with no-rinse shampoo, and combed it out to dry, and then brushed it and put it up with a nice white bow in it. I swabbed her down with damp cloths throughout the day, and constantly turned one over on her forehead to keep it cool. She got Tylenol periodically through the tube feed to battle the temperatures, but was still running a little over 100 degrees when she went down for the CT Scan this evening. Hopefully that fever will break during the night tonight.

We have come a long way from where we were on July 16 when we first entered the hospital. We are now nine weeks into intensive care, and are looking at a few more, evidently. We had been hopeful of moving to a step down unit by now, but have suffered some setbacks along the way that have lengthened our stay a few weeks. Once we get the source of this current fever under control and wean her off the ventilator, I am hopeful we will turn the corner and begin recovery, which will take another two to four months of treatment.

When we entered the hospital, we were told that we would be here four to six months, and so far, we have been pretty much on track for that projection. If we can make a few more positive steps in the next couple of weeks, we might be able to be home for Christmas. I hope by that time I can call somewhere other than this motel room “home.” Although, I must say, this room has been a blessing. It is right next to the hospital, so I can be there in just a few minutes if I am needed. That is terrific! And, it is another excellent service of the hospital. As you know, I have often complimented the medical staff here at the hospital, and grow more appreciative of them each day we are here.

I talked to our friend, Joe Stroup, who was traveling with us on vacation when all this started, and he is doing pretty well. He is still at home, working on getting the right mixture of medications to help him recover properly. He is having to contact his doctor by phone on a regular basis to get help figuring out how to adjust the medications to keep his water retention and blood pressure at proper levels.

He is continuing cardiac rehabilitation as he is able. Sometimes his blood pressure is too low for him to do any exercise, so he is having a tough time getting his strength built back up. As you will recall, his insurance carrier, Signa, has refused to pay for the air ambulance trip home, and forced him to leave the hospital before doctors wanted him to leave, “because he had been in the hospital long enough.” So, he is at home, with his heart still in A-fibrillation, he has the defibrillator installed but not started, and still has a slowly dissolving blood clot in his heart. The defibrillator can’t be started until the blood clot is gone.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Lea and Joe. We have gone through quite a lot trying to get back to normal after vacationing together last July. I’m not sure we will want to take another vacation trip, but I’m sure it probably won’t be together! 

Father, we thank you for the love and support of our family and friends. Please continue to bless Lea with the wonderful miracles you have worked in her and through her. Bless Joe that he might receive the support he needs to complete his healing process and return to his family full of the vigor and selflessness for which he is so widely loved. Be with the families of the sick, wherever they may be, to help them understand the importance of their love and support during the healing process. Bless each of us, Lord, with appreciation for the healing power of Christ’s sacrifice for us, and the ability to witness effectively for You. Amen.

Please find attached, a photo of me and my girl doing what we do best . . . having fun together! God bless!

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