Joanne is in the very slow process of waking up. It'll be another day before the medication is out of her system and she'll be able to really come to assuming that her brain decides to cooperate. Then we'll get the first glimpse of knowing what her "deficit" looks like. There is no question on anyone's part that there will be deficit, it's more a question of how much.
So I know it is a while off but little things are happening that get my heart beating. First off, there is some electrical activity showing up on the EEG. She has been flatlined for days so seeing those little blips on the screen feels like progress. Joanne also coughed this morning. Now that may not seem like a big deal, but a cough is a reflex action and we want her to recover her reflexes. And the nurse who has been taking care of her got the boxing gloves back out! There is only one reason he did that: she might start moving her hand and arm! So he want to be able to put the gloves on her as soon as that happens to avoid having her go after any of the tubes, hoses and lines that are currently running in and out of her body.
Now a note about John. He is the nurse that has spent the most time with Joanne and to put it simply, he has been amazing. He'sa pretty big guy, probably in his late 20's. He is extremely gentle with Joanne and works to make sure that she is comfortable all the time. He moves her head and neck, torso and legs, gently inserting a pillow here or a towel there to make sure that she is never in one position for too long. I actually asked him if there was a class in nursing school on how to use pillows to keep a patient comfortable and he said there actually is. Love that!
He also keeps all of her meds in order and flowing. May sound like a simple job but she has about 15 different bags hanging on the IV stands and one or the other of them always needs to be replaced with a fresh one. He has various and sundry other duties too. The other thing I like about him is that he is confident and directive. What I mean is that he has made it very clear that Joanne is his priority and the rest of us are less so. If one of us does something that he feels isn't helpful for Joanne he lets us know it. For example, I was sitting at her bedside rubbing her arm and he told me that holding hands was OK but rubbing was a potential over stimulation. Love that about him!
Anyhow, when all of this is over whoever his bosses are, they are going to get a letter from me telling them what a blessing he has been to Joanne and the rest of us.
1. Audrey is really struggling. Between what's going on with Joanne, starting back at school, and being a 12 year old girl, she is in a pretty tough space. Simple prayer for her is that she would eat and sleep well so that she has the energy to deal with all the emotions she is wrestling with.
2. This is a selfish prayer but if/when Joanne opens her eyes for the first time in almost 10 days I want to be there for it. Obviously we will be thrilled whenever she opens her eyes, but if I could be there to see her come back that would be deeply meaningful.
3. Please pray that Joanne won't get any other sort of infection. Between the breathing tube and the meds that she is ont here is some risk of pneumonia.