Lea had a good night last night until about two a.m. when she awoke with a touch of nausea. She asked to have her speech valve put back in, so she could talk, and asked the respiratory therapist to suction her lungs to make sure they are clear. They were.

Then she began talking about this being the day Lance is going home, and two of her friends from back home are flying in for a couple of days. She asked for her bath to be done early, so she could be ready in plenty of time, but worked herself up into such a state that her night nurse, Steve, had to give her a sedative.

She was awake when I arrived at six o’clock, and started getting all worked up again. She told me she wanted her bath, but she wanted it done quickly to get it done in plenty of time. I explained that we had at least four hours before anyone arrived, but she again worked herself up again and had to have a sedative to help her settle down.

She then got very cold. I covered her with a blanket, and made a cap for her head from a pair of washcloths. She continued to shiver. Her day nurse, Adam, turned up the heat in her room to “Unbearable,” and put another blanket on her. I HAD to take a picture, because Lea is always hot, never cold!  🙂

She still wasn’t feeling that well when Lance arrived, so after a fairly brief visit, he and I left for an hour or so to let her take a much needed nap. When we returned she seemed to be better, but was experiencing pain in her thigh where the skin was scraped off for the skin graft, and the vacuum pump on the stomach dressing was causing her discomfort.

Adam gave her a little medication to take the edge off without putting her back to sleep, and she and Lance were able to visit until time for him to catch his plane. He took my truck to the airport, hooked up with Lea’s friends who were arriving at about the time of his arrival, and they drove the truck back to the hospital.

Lance had a safe flight home, and got to talk to his mother by phone shortly thereafter. Lea had quite a surgical procedure this afternoon, when Dr. Mah and Dr. Ivy removed the vacuum pump from her abdominal wound and checked the skin graft. They reported that 95% of the skin is growing, which is wildly successful. The outlook is very good for the wound to be covered in healthy skin one day.

Dr. Mah also removed the drain from her abdomen! Another tube gone! The site of the drain will be closely watched for some time, as these sites often develop an infection about three weeks after the removal. Soon after, she was given a swallow test, and she was able to swallow many more items than before, and handled all but sticky foods or items with combined textures. She was able to swallow thin liquids, so the prohibition on those was lifted.

Her first request was for a tall, ice cold, glass of water. She still can’t gulp, but can sip all she wants to now. She is a pretty happy camper! This evening, at around six o’clock, Lea’s nurse Adam, Danielle and I started carrying personal effects from her ICU room to Step Down Unit #3, and shortly after that, moved her, as well! She was particularly happy with the move when she discovered a food tray waiting for her, and a bottle of her favorite cola on ice!

Adam helped the step down nurse, Julie, get Lea hooked up to the new room’s monitoring system, and Steve, her night nurse from last night, came in to see her and wish her well. By this time she was getting really tired, and asked for me to cover her up, and shut off the overhead lights.

After taping her Call Button to her gown, and getting other things arranged for her on her bed, we all took our leave and bid her a good night. We will pray this evening that God will watch over her and comfort her in the new setting, and that she will find restful sleep tonight to carry her closer to recovery tomorrow. 

There is no voice mail in the Step Down Unit, nor for the normal hospital rooms, so there will be no further updates via the phone messages. The attached photo shows Lea being set up in her new room. Nurse Julie is on the far left, Step Down Patient Care Assistant Dominica to her right, nurse Adam behind the head of her bed, and ICU Patient Care Assistant Danielle on the far right.
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Glory to God for His benevolence!

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