I can't tell you how badly I have wanted to write this post over the last 12 days. But today I can tell you the we have good news! Joanne is waking up. She is off the medication that kept her in a coma so we are getting to see little signs of healthy brain activity, of life! Here's a list of what has happened so far.
Eyes open, both left and right, although she is having a little easier time on the left side. But I can tell that she really wants to open that right eye. Her eye aren;t trackign yet, but they are open which is what I have been waiting for. I have prayed, "Lord, just let me see those brown eyes again." And he's answered that prayer.
Leg movement, both left and right although she is taking commands a little better ont he right side then on the left. The nurse gets right up in her ear and in a bit of a stern voice say, "Move your right toes Joanne!" and she does it. And not only on command but just from time to time of her own accord. She has also moved both legs giving indication that she may be able to walk when she gets through rehab.
She is moving her right arm and hand and gave me the thumbs up tonight! I tried to copy the nurse and said, "Show me that right thumb Joanne!" and she did it!
Like I said earlier, the MRI shows a lot of destruction on the right brain but there is still some tissue over there that remains in tact. That's a very good thing. Left side looks good and there had been some concern that there was left side damage so knowing that she didn't "smoosh" that side of her brain due to inter-cranial pressure is a huge relief.
So, she should be able:
Walk unassisted (maybe)
Recognize people and objects
Recover full movement on her right side
Recover limited movement on her left.
That's all the doctor is saying for sure. There are lots of other little things: eating, breathing unassisted, etc. that we'll see about as time goes by. But today is literally the first day that I will leave the hospital feeling encouraged! Joanne, in one form or another, is coming back to us.
The next step is likely to be an LTAC where she will recover a bit more before she moves to rehab. I'll keep you posted on that. We are hopeful that we will be able to decorate her room with the hundreds of cards that have come in, pictures of the family and be able to play her favorite music.
Another cool thing about today is that Gran and Audrey were able to take the pressure socks off of Joanne long enough to shave her legs, message her calves and feet and get her moisturized. I can just imagine that Joanne feels like a million bucks as a result. Tonight Jessica is going to wash her hair so in the morning she is going to look like a million bucks too!
1. Joanne will likely be getting a tracheostomy tomorrow or Tuesday as well as a PEG line into her stomach for feeding. This is actually a great thing as with will get the breathing tube out of her mouth and the NG tube out of her nose, both of which are terribly uncomfortable for her. Pray these procedures go well.
2. Joanne is still running a fever. Could just be a neurological deal but it could also mean she has some sort of infection on board. We need her infection free!
3. Would love to see her continue to progress in her movement. If she squeezes my hand one of these days I'll be over the moon!
4. If Joanne is stable by the end of the week she will get moved to a new facility. We have loved Littleton Adventist and will hate to go, and need prayer that her next facitlity will be just as awesome.
5. Here's the best one: Prayers of absolute praise to God is healing her! One of my closest friends told me on the phone tonight that he is going to bed with praises instead of petitions. We can all do that. Way to go God! Her recovery is all to his glory!
With much love, a grateful heart, and appreciation for your support,