Lenny is definitely in the fast lane towards recovery. When he decided he was ready, he meant it.
I arrived this morning and as usual he was really sleepy. He had done fantastic overnight with the vent trials which was great. I told the nurse the questions I had for rounds so when I visited in the afternoon we may find the answers. It has been two weeks since his facial reconstruction, so the jaws being wired shut should be done any day now. They removed the staples from his legs this morning and they are healing up nicely. He has learned to suction his own mouth, he has this long tube like you see at the dentist to suction inside his mouth. He is finally coughing things up on his own so he can now suction them to, it is pretty funny to see.
When I arrived at the afternoon visit I was so excited to learn that they removed his catheter! He hated the catheter so he was glad to have it removed. Another piece of exciting information, they are going to keep him off the ventilator as long as he can go. They were going to be putting him in the chair he loves so much and let him watch some TV to make it easier. The Case Worker from the other hospitals was there to review his case and see where they want to move him to, but I haven't heard anything from them yet.
At the evening visit he was still going strong off of the ventilator. Now, when I say he is off the ventilator it means they have the machine on pause, he is still all hooked up and they have what is called "aerosol" on to help keep moisture at the trach and in his throat. They have allowed me to give him a small amount of ice water on a little sponge into his mouth, so that is what he wants the second I get there. Well they don't want him to have very much of course because items in his stomach can make him nauseous and we can't have him getting sick with his jaw wired shut. Everytime I give him a little I say that is enough and he gives me sad eyes and the just one more finger, I keep telling him that he is going to get me in trouble but I give him one more. I am a sucker.
At the night visit when I arrived he was sleeping and STILL OFF THE VENTILATOR! Woo hoo! He woke up after I was there about 10 minutes and can anyone guess what he wanted? Water. So I got him some fresh ice water and we proceeded to play "you have had enough" with the sponge. He was in good spirits and smiling at me. His right eye is starting to open a little, he says it is a little blurry but I think that is because it is still really swollen. All and all he is moving right along. I am hoping to get his jaw unwired tomorrow, so that is the goal.
I see the families coming in on day one of their tragedy and I remember our day one like it was yesterday. Here we are 17 days into Lenny's recovery and we are now in the positive. I see the families in the waiting room for the SICU upset and crying just as I was in the beginning. Today I stopped and talked to a large family of about 20 that was in the waiting room so upset that a male in their family had received substantial head trauma. He was on his way into the long surgery like Lenny had on his face. I told them I was sorry to interrupt them, but I wanted to let them know what miracles these Doctors and Nurses had performed for my Lenny, and they told me they appreciated it, and that it helped to hear the words. My heart poured out to them, as I totally can relate to what they are going through. This hospital from appearances is very run down, but the staff in this hospital are #1.
I again wanted to thank you all for helping me through these rough weeks that have passed and the months we have in front of us. This situation has changed me and made me realize that it is easy to take life for granted, and I hope that anyone reading this can think twice before EVER drinking and operating or getting into a car, boat, motorcycle, whatever it is. We were lucky, but there are many families out there that have not been so lucky, and trust me when I say, I never thought this would happen to us.