Today was a stellar day! Lea was still sleeping soundly when I arrived at six o’clock, and her night nurse, Flo, kept everyone out of the room so she could finish out her sleep. I crept into her room and turned on some soft music in the background because I knew rounds were coming up, and the conversation outside her door would wake her if I didn’t do something to cover the noise.

At about 7:15 she woke up, well rested, and saw me standing out at the nurse’s station and gave me that beautiful smile of hers. We started her bath, and put her hair up, because we wanted to get ready for another field trip, in case we got to take one. I had her pick out the skrunchy for her hair, and I put it up on top of her head so the wind wouldn’t blow it in her eyes. It was fun having the wind blow it the first time, but once is probably enough. (Sorry, guys. A skrunchy is that colored elastic thing that goes around the base of a pony tail to hold it in place). The things you learn in nurse’s training!

It was raining in Hartford when I went to see her this morning, but by midday the sun had come out, and it turned out to be a very nice fall day. So, she got to get bundled up in her chariot and was taken outside for a longer stay, since she handled the first trip so well. Respiratory Therapist, Cliff, nurse Chris, and Patient Care Assistant, Danielle, took her to the gazebo in the park area we visited on the field trip. The attached photo shows Lea with her medical team during today’s trip. My brother, David, escorted the group on today’s outing, and snapped the photo.

She was glowing with radiance when I returned to the hospital after the outing, and was in good spirits. She was off the ventilator for over twelve hours by late evening, and was not overly tired at that point. She has been able to clear her throat fairly well, ate a good portion of frozen yogurt, and she is beginning to assist with her own oral care, by trying to hold a toothbrush.

She is gaining a more extensive range of motion in her joints as the therapists continue to work with her three times a week, and Dave and I work with her in between their visits. Flo brought her a couple of exercise balls that she likes for exercise of her hands, and she seems to be willing to do her leg exercises more frequently now. So, all in all, I feel that she is making very good progress, after having to take a day off to recuperate from several active days in a row.

She told me today that she wants a pedicure, a manicure, a haircut and a massage! Guess she’s getting better, huh? Thank you, Father!

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