Lea had a terrific day today, as she continued to work to strengthen her lungs. She was very alert, and visited with lots of nurses and other staff members who stopped in to see her. Dr Mah came in early this morning to examine her and was quite pleased with her progress. He cautioned that Lea is still in critical condition, and still has some battles to fight, but stated that he continues to be optimistic that she will recover.

We are seeing instances of high blood pressure now that she is alert and is responding to external activities, and she needs a little medication to help with that from time to time. She, however, has been refusing pain medication that has been given in the past prior to turning her, or changing her dressing. She is controlling her reactions quite well, and is impressing everyone with her strength and courage (dare I say “determination”?)

She demonstrated some terrific progress this afternoon while I was away from the hospital doing my counseling sessions. She wrote notes to Dave and Dottie, using a pencil and paper on a clipboard! I just can’t find the words to praise God enough for the miraculous healing He has done in Lea, the strengthening of my faith in Him, and the opportunity to provide loving care for her during her time of need. This has been an extraordinary time in our lives, individually, and as a couple. I have a whole new area of respect for Lea after all these years together!

She hurts my feelings by getting frustrated when I can’t read her lips, and closes her eyes to shut me out. And, still, I have to admire her patience and calm in a very difficult situation. She has an inner strength and self-control that leaves me in awe of her. I’ve seen glimpses of it before, of course, but never under such extreme conditions, nor for such an extended period of time.

She is clearly out of “the drug-induced fog” now, and is lucid when she is awake. She enjoys visiting, and has good long-term memory, but now remembers that she doesn’t remember some things. For instance, she doesn’t remember that she had friends from home visit this past weekend or that one of them gave her a gift she really liked. So, I can give her that same gift every morning, and score points for the day, until she begins to remember from one day to the next!

Her biggest problems are physical, as her mental abilities are returning on schedule just as Dr. Mah thought they would. We are nearing the seven- Day mark of the “awake” state, and she is regaining more and more of her mental capacity. She is aware that she has some physical limitations, and she is already tackling weaknesses in her hands and fingers. We may get physical therapy involved in her treatment now that her swelling is nearly gone.

She got up in the cardiac chair for nearly three hours again today, for the second day this week, and is likely to repeat that activity each day the chair is available. This is the first time she was able to look out the window of her room and see the view of Hartford to the south. Working to get off the ventilator will continue from now until she can be weaned from it, or until she has another setback of some type that stalls her progress. (I’d just as soon not, thank you!)

Dr. Mah told Lea, during his visit this morning that she has been in the hospital for over two months now, and she just frowned and rolled her eyes in amazement, but didn’t ask any questions. He also told her that she is making “really great progress”, and that if she continues, we’ll be doing a skin graft on the wound next week. She accepted the information without a problem, and seems resigned to her situation.

I feel that she is making very good progress at this time, and if we don’t run into any more bumps in the road, she will be getting off the ventilator within the next week, and should be able to talk a little within the next few days. She is going to have to rebuild her vocal cords just as she is doing with her lungs right now.

She is really enjoying the emails and eGreetings of encouragement right now, although she isn’t quite sure what they mean. All of your well wishes are very deeply appreciated. I couldn’t have sustained the momentum by myself all these weeks. Your support and encouragement have been the key to fueling her drive to survive. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your kindnesses.

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