Tuesday, March 18 – Part Two

The PT session went well.  Jackie’s heart rate drove the angle and amount of time he was in a vertical position.  They also had Jackie do some exercises to strengthen his neck. This session tired Jackie out so instead of moving him into the chair for a while, he went back in bed to rest.

The Trauma team came by and we discussed Jackie’s previous night with them.  Our doc reviewed all of Jackie’s meds and made recommendations to alter them.  We will now be spacing out Jackie’s meds throughout the day so he is not getting a huge cocktail of meds all at once in the morning through his feeding tube.  The X-ray team came up to take another picture. Our doc was able to review the results right away and it appears that his system is starting to improve.  We are holding off on his nutrition tonight.  Based on how the night goes, he may get a CAT scan tomorrow.  We are praying for a good night and the start-up of his nutrition.  We plan to consult with the Trauma Team again tomorrow.  Even though Jackie is technically staying in a separate hospital within the hospital, it is such a huge positive that we are able to still follow up and consult with his docs from the Geisinger side.

Next up – Speech Therapy.  It was time to try the speaking valve on his smaller trach for the first time.  It will take a while for Jackie to get used to the different sensation that the valve creates when it is on.  Lenora places it on his trach loosely so when he coughs it automatically comes off.  This process is a good transition toward the goal of leaving it on for longer periods of time.  Jackie did a better job at producing some sounds.  He is starting to understand it is necessary to take a deep breath first and then force the air up out of his mouth to make the sound.  Yesterday Lenora had Jackie take a brief look at an alphabet chart.  Today we spent more time reviewing it.  Lenora first positioned the laminated chart in a way that we thought Jackie could see it.  Then she asked him to point to different letters.  This is not only an exercise for his brain function but also for his motor skills.  His right side seems to be moving a little bit better than his left side.  Jackie was able to slowly move his index finger on his right hand to the letters called out.  She then asked if he could spell HI and No.  The letters in these words are side by side on the chart.  We were overjoyed when Jackie pointed to the letters.  PTL

Jackie still has a long road ahead but we are making tremendous baby steps in the right direction!  As always thanks for sending your positive thoughts and prayers to Jackie.