I could hardly tear myself away from Lea today, as she was even more alert than yesterday, and was interacting much more with everyone who came in to say hello. She is able to communicate when she wants something, and can also scribble, very badly, two or three words on a clipboard held up in front of her. Her hand still shakes too much to be able to write very well, and she is too weak to hold her hand up in the air long enough to write more than a few characters.

But, she is able to ask for water now when she gets thirsty, and she gets to have a few drops of water, or an ice chip, every once in a while, but nothing more. Her stomach has to be shriveled up to about the size of a walnut after all this time of inactivity. She also feels a little nauseous, but that seems to be a fake sensation rather than a real feeling.

Physical therapy stopped in today and worked with her for a few minutes to assess her physical condition. Generally, they said that she may be just a little better than they expected, although she is still really stiff in her legs and shoulders. The joints I have been working with all these weeks are pretty good, but those we haven’t been able to exercise are going to take some work. Therapy is scheduled in her bed three times per week.

Dr. Mah said today that she is neurologically okay, and a lot better than she was just two weeks ago. Her only remaining critical problem is her lungs, and she is making very good progress on the ventilator. He thinks once she works her way off the ventilator we will turn the corner, and be well on the way to recovery. He expects her to be able to get off the support within the next week.

She still has a tube in her chest draining fluid from around her left lung. That tube is about ready to come out, because it appears that she is going to be able to avoid fluid build up, since she has gotten rid of so much fluid in the past few days. She still has a drain in her abdomen, too, and that will be out in about a week, too, unless something unforeseen occurs.

There may be some pockets of fluid around the pancreas, but they are not presenting any problems right now, and may not be an issue at all. If they become a problem, a drain may need to be installed only long enough to drain off any fluid built up in the pockets.

Dr. Mah is going to schedule a “swallow study” to determine whether she is going to be able to eat and swallow properly. He said that we need to be careful here, because if she has any problems at all, it can affect her nutrition levels and eventually affect her health. The skin graft on the wound will probably be done next week if she doesn’t get ill between now and then. That means that we could be ready to get out of ICU within the next two weeks!

We have been so richly blessed throughout this entire ordeal, and have seen miracle after miracle worked in this hospital. It has been a blessing to see how lives have been changed by the power of prayer, and by a whole community of Christians scattered around the globe. Thank you for your wonderful support!

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