Lea’s fever hung on throughout the day today, although it seemed to drop to low levels more frequently, indicating that she may be gaining ground. Her tremors, however, seemed to worry the medical team more than I liked. They are being very cautious not to let anything slip by unnoticed, and are watching her very closely. I knew the tremors were something we were going to go through, and Dr. Mah should have told them so they wouldn’t have to worry so much! 

They keep evaluating her to make sure that what we are seeing is “just” withdrawal symptoms, and not symptoms of something more serious, like an impending seizure, etc. I did get worried once toward the end of the evening, just after Lea had been turned and situated in her bed. She had a high pulse, 128, and was breathing at 43 breaths per second, all the while twitching and trembling fairly aggressively.

It took me about 45 minutes of talking to her, soothing her, telling her to slow down her breathing, “take, slow, deep breaths,” and rubbing her arm and cheeks and forehead to get her to calm down some. I might have defeated my purpose a little by starting to sing to her, but it was my next best idea, and besides, they say she won’t remember any way. 

So, in the middle of all this trying to get Lea calmed down, the X-Ray team showed up and wanted to take a chest X-Ray. Well, bless their hearts, it just wasn’t the right time to agitate her again, and I asked them if they had checked with the nurse. So, they went to check with her, and she ran them off until later. It’s a good thing! I just don’t think Lea was in any condition to be moved around again.

She had already had a tough day. Her night nurse last night and tonight, Lynn, had given her a bath at around 5:00 this morning, and Lea had slept quite well after that. In fact, she was so asleep when I got there about 6:15 that she didn’t respond to me. So, I let her sleep until about 8:00. Her day nurse, Adam, came in and did a gentle evaluation, and was letting her rest before getting the day started.

Once she woke up a little, I washed her hair and combed it out, and Adam finished up his evaluation of her, gave her medications, and got her out of bed into the cardiac chair for the first time in a week. What a joy it was to see her up again! She looked quite comfortable in the chair, but who can tell? She went to sleep right away, and pretty much slept until being moved back into bed.

She had quite a bit of delusion today, although she wasn’t as active as a couple of days ago. I think they are getting the medication mix closer to where it needs to be. She seemed to be mouthing words in conversation, but also having some uncontrollable mouth movements due to the withdrawal. It was pretty tough to connect with her today.

She had a surgical procedure done this afternoon to remove fluid from her chest cavity around the left lung. This time, rather than just draining it, the decision was made to leave the tube in as a continuous drain. 950 CCs of fluid was drained off again, about what has been drained off each of the four times she has been tapped. I asked the surgeon if we could just install a spigot. Seems like it would be easier!

Later, I assisted nurse Liz, who replaced Adam when he was pulled off to care for an open-heart patient, change the bandage on Lea’s incision. It is healed well enough that the surgeons don’t have to change it. The procedure can now be done by the nurse on duty. The incision is starting to close up and a series of skin grafts from her thigh will be placed in that area as soon as she gets over this infection.

Then, it will be back to work on the ventilator, building up those lungs, and getting them strong enough to work on their own again. When she gets strong enough to come off the ventilator entirely, I feel that she will start the official recovery process. By that time we will be able to start physical therapy, and probably will be in a step down unit for a while before going to a regular hospital room. What a blessing that will be! Glory to God!

She is going to have an EMG (electromyograph ) done tomorrow, bedside. This is a test used by the neurosurgeon to convert the electrical activity associated with functioning skeletal muscle into a visual record to diagnose neuromuscular disorders. The test is another step in ensuring that Lea’s tremors are only drug related, and not anything more serious. We would appreciate your prayers as we take this next important step.

“We are praying for you and Lea. I appreciate the updates on your wife. Your updates are a blessing to all that read them, I am sure. I receive the updates from your Uncle Jack and Aunt Ro. Don’t you worry about answering all emails to everyone who has written. We just want to let you both know that we are praying for you and love you, in Christ.

Our God will take care of His own. And this means you and Lea. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He loves us so much. It is wonderful to hear how much you love God and the wonderful love He has given to you and Lea for each other. May God continue to bless you and Lea and restore her health in His time. Sincerely, Merna”

God bless you all for your wonderful support. It has been a tremendous blessing to me to witness the power of your prayers for Lea, and for our friend, Joe. Please accept our humble thanks, until you’re better paid. The boss is taking notes, and He’s calculating rewards).