Woo Hoo! Things are really moving fast now! Lea felt better this morning. Her nausea wasn’t as pronounced as yesterday, and she was in much better spirits.

She had a little food for breakfast: maybe a tablespoon total of Cream of Wheat and oatmeal with milk and cranberry juice. Her nurse, Jamie, gave her some medications by mouth this morning! She didn’t want to take all of them by mouth for fear of getting nauseous again. So, some of her meds were given through the feeding tube.

 Although she felt a little anxious about getting sick after eating and taking the medications, she actually did quite well. Dr. Mah had said earlier that she would have a couple of rough days when she started eating again, and, once again, he seems to have been correct. She did quite well, today, and was feeling good after noon.

Her friends from Indiana left to fly home this morning, and she was really sad to see them go, but they got to meet Dr. Mah just before they left. But, she really had a good day, after a little bit of a tenuous start. PCA Domenica and nurse Sarah gave her a bath just before her 11:30 physical therapy session, and then she got her tracheostomy changed!

Rather than downsizing to a smaller plastic version, which allows use of the ventilator in an emergency, she got a much smaller metal tracheostomy with a plug! Her voice is much stronger now that she doesn’t have part of her breath escaping through the speech valve, and she is doing so well that she is no longer on oxygen. She can breathe more easily now, and appears to be doing much better overall since the change.

This evening she felt good enough to get in a cardiac recliner, and, as a surprise, her nurses, Jamie and Sarah and I whisked her off to the family lounge at the east end of the floor, where we had her food tray waiting on a table set by the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the downtown area.

We turned off the lights so she could better see the city lit at night, and while the medical team left to do other things, I spoon-fed her a romantic dinner of hot chicken broth and cool, red Jello. (She chose not to have any of the chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, or green beans). Cheap date, huh?

Over one hundred days in the hospital! It has been a long journey, hasn’t it; full of twists and turns, tremendously soul shaking emotional highs and lows? As we are blessed with the opportunity to look back on this experience, we recall the many sleepless nights sitting by her bedside listening to a machine breathe for her, or tossing and turning in a nearby motel style bedroom too far from her to rest comfortably, knowing that no one is there to lay a loving hand on her brow if she stirs uneasily or begins to frown at some imagined concern.

Ten weeks of a drug induced coma allowed her body to focus its energy on healing; 30 surgeries to gain control over a devastating disease that had threatened to take her life day after day, downturn by downturn. The horribly excruciating hours of endless waiting outside the Intensive Care Unit while some mysterious “procedure” was being conducted in her room were nerve wracking. 

But, as I look back on where we were, and how far we have come, I am again, humbled by the outpouring of support you have given us, and the mercy God has graciously given us through miracle after miracle. I remember, so clearly, all the tears shed for her mourning that we might lose this wonderful example of God’s love and how He works in our lives. 

Praise God for His mercy whenever you tell this story. Proclaim the power of prayer, and how we have seen miracle after miracle worked in answer to our prayers. Glorify God for guiding the hands of the surgeons, and the guiding day-to-day decisions made by the medical team to bring miraculous healing to fruition.

Praise God for putting such loving caregivers at Lea’s bedside to help her through this horrible ordeal. Sing His praises, for He is a loving and benevolent Father who loves His children, and is constantly at work in their lives.

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