It was another very good day for Lea today. We started our day, as usual, with a bath, but didn’t wash hair today. She only wanted it brushed and put up on top. I had planned to spend the morning with her catching up on some of our email and other reading, so I was well prepared, with everything sorted and in order of receipt.

I started removing all but the latest email and greeting albums, and many of the personal effects from the ICU this week, in hopes that we will get to move to a step down unit, and then a regular hospital room very soon. I am now bringing new messages over from my room in the morning, and taking them back to place in the appropriate 3-ring binders. The hospital, of course, is still bringing greeting cards and eGreetings sent through the hospital’s website to her room.

I visited the ICU Step Down unit a couple of days ago, and discovered that the rooms are much smaller than these in the ICU, and probably only hold one visitor at a time at most. I’m not sure there was even a single chair in the smallest room in the unit. Each room has one bed, and the rooms are side by side facing a nursing station, staffed by a nurse and a technician who can view all three rooms at the same time.

So, rather than having half a nurse, where one nurse handles two patients, like we do now, the step down unit has one nurse for three patients. The unit is located in the hospital wing immediately adjacent to the ICU at this end of the regular hospital rooms. There were many familiar faces in the rooms that we had seen in the ICU at some time during our stay here. After Step Down, patients move to one of the regular hospital rooms in that wing for additional treatment.

We took a step closer to making that transition today. Lea had her skin graft completed this afternoon, and then rested (slept) for a couple of hours after the procedure, without assistance from the ventilator. She is now at the point that she will be allowed to stay off the ventilator as long as she wants, up to 24 hours. She can go back on the ventilator whenever she needs to, if she thinks she needs it to rest, but her trials are done, and she can stay off the vent if she can get comfortable without the support.

It may take a few days of trying to go without support all day for her to build confidence that she doesn’t need the machine to help her. She has some short-term damage to the lungs because she has required high pressure support for so long, and may have some long term damage, but we won’t know about that for five or six months after her hospitalization has ended, and she has had a chance to heal completely. She will need a diagnostic evaluation around springtime or early summer. During the next several months she will be especially susceptible to colds, flu and other infections, so we’ll have to be careful about that.

She is quite tired this evening, and will be trying to go to sleep early, I suspect. I will be staying with her tonight until she drops into slumber, as David is preparing to travel back to the Midwest in the morning. Our son, Lance, will be arriving tomorrow for a weekend visit, and she is really looking forward to his arrival. When he departs Hartford next Monday, two of her longtime friends from work will be arriving for a three- Day visit. So, she’ll be busy, and will be loving every minute of it.

I am so very grateful for the blessing of being with her! Her presence here in this world today is only by the grace of God, and was made possible by the power of your prayers, and the prayer support of others to lift her up to Him. Thank you for your efforts to make today possible.