Friday, March 14 – Part Two

After sitting on the therapeutic chair for a while, it was time to move Jackie back in bed.  As always, he was very tired from his PT work out.  Even sitting in the chair tires him out.  We kept things quiet so he could rest for a while.

The Speech Therapy team stopped by and wanted us to let them know when Jackie was more awake.  Since sessions are only Monday through Friday, today was going to be the last day they could work with him until Monday.  They wanted the session to be productive.

Around 12:30 Jackie’s eyes cracked open and his hands became busy.  It was time to page Lenora. The session was the longest to date and successful.  Lenora placed a speaking valve on the opening to the trach.  She had done this during a previous session, but Jackie was unable to keep it on for long. It creates a different breathing sensation that Jackie will need to get used to in order to be able to talk.  Jackie tolerated the cap for a longer period of time and with coaching from Lenora was able to produce two small growls.  He is also starting to cough with his mouth open and Lenora mentioned that at times he appears to be swallowing.  All positive signs!

We also noticed that Jackie is starting to lift his head slightly off the pillow.  It has only happened a few times but I’m hoping it continues with consistency.  Because a portion of both sides of Jackie’s skull has been removed the staff has to be very careful when they move him.  Becoming more mobile on his own will help the staff as well.

It took a while, but Jackie is finally at the therapeutic level for his blood thinning meds.  We are hoping that he stays there as it will mean a longer time in between blood draws.

We are beginning to research the next phase of Jackie’s recovery.  The two facilities we are looking at are in the Philadelphia area.  Jim and I are going to try to visit both places on the same day in the coming weeks.  We will work to provide extra care for Jackie while we are gone.  More to come on this phase.

We are so blessed and thankful for the care Jackie has received so far and are continually overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support we are receiving.   It has helped us in so many ways.  We hope that in some way we will be able to pay it forward in the future.