FLASH! Lea completed 24 hours off the ventilator at 6:30 this morning!! She was then given five hours on the ventilator to rest and let her lungs gather their strength. She was too tired for her bath, so later in the morning her nurse, Liz, and Danielle, gave her a thorough sprucing up, including a pretty braid in her hair, and a new coat of polish on her finger nails.

Liz B and Danielle were excited about Lea looking her best when Lance arrived later in the day, because this is his first visit since she has been getting better. They knew he would be delighted, and made me promise not to tell him too much about what to expect when he arrived. They wanted it to be a fun surprise. And, was it ever! Everyone, including Lea, was very pleased at his response.

Brian, the nurse supervisor assigned to Lea’s case today, came in this morning to tell Lea that she had passed a major milestone overnight, going 24-hours off the ventilator, and that he was going to contact Dr. Mah to see if he agrees that Lea is ready to go to the Step Down unit on Monday! It appears that we likely will make that move, if nothing goes awry, and that move also means the transition from critical illness to recovery will officially begin!

Brian also got approval for Lea to go back on food-by-mouth, since her pancreatic numbers went back down to normal after the feed tube feed was returned to the proper position yesterday just prior to her skin graft.

Evidently the tube had inched its way out of the proper spot in the lower intestine and into a position that allowed the liquid foods and medications to back up into the stomach, which interferes with the desired absorption of nutrients. Now that it is returned, she can once again have soft foods. They are more to fulfill her desire for food than they are for nutritional value, but the desire to eat is another step in the right direction.

A while after his arrival, Lance went to a local retail store and purchased a number of thinking and/or dexterity games and activities for his mom, to help her get some exercises in those areas. She seemed to be pleased, and actually surprised all of us with a couple of her antics. Nurses Karen and Renee were in the room when Lea tossed objects into the air with both hands, demonstrating dexterity we didn’t think she had. I think she may have surprised herself, too!

She had another busy day; she got on the tilt table today and actually did quite well, considering the procedure she had just gone through the day before, and didn’t seem too much wearied by the activity. Lance arrived at her room a little before three, and we had a nice visit. Several nurses who had worked with her when she was so sick stopped by to visit her, Lynn S, Helen, Nick, Donna, Karen, Renee, and after their shifts were over, Adam and Angela stopped in briefly.

It is going to be bittersweet moving from the ICU to Step Down, because it will seem a lot like leaving family behind. The caregivers have been outstandingly gracious and considerate, and Lea is loving meeting them for the first time she can remember.   She thinks the folks here are just really, really friendly! And, indeed, they are.

Thank you, so much! Your messages have been blessings for us, providing insight and support for the strength needed to persevere through this trial. As you know, it is all too easy to get weary and become lax. It is through the loving messages such as yours that God has ministered to me as I devote my energies to help Lea fight the terrible battles she has confronted.

Her general stamina seems to be improving at a rapid rate, and the medical team seemed very pleased with her improvement. There have been a number of comments about how good she looks, how well she is doing, that she is getting better every day, and, of course, everyone wants to hear her talk. It has all been quite exciting for her, and she looks to me for guidance as new things come her way, such as all these new people who seem to already know her. She said, late this evening as I was preparing to return to my room, “I feel pretty darned good tonight!” And, that, my friends, is a true blessing.

Thank you, so much! Your prayers have been instrumental in helping us achieve this miraculous healing by a gracious and loving God. Your messages have been blessings for us, providing insight and support for the strength needed to persevere through this trial. As you know, it is all too easy to get weary and become lax, or to fall into despair. It is through the loving messages such as yours that God has ministered to me as I devote my energies to help Lea fight the terrible battles she has confronted. Glory to God for this victory!

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