Joanne's trach is out and it has left a small scar. So Joanne has decided that in order to cover up the scar she needs a five carat diamond. It started out as a two carat diamond, but somehow every day the number of carats seems to go up. The irony is that the wound site keeps getting smaller while the number of carats is trending up. Hmmm...
This afternoon Gran and Papa are going to stay with Joanne while the girls and I head for home. It'll feel very strange to have an afternoon at home. For the last few days I have been coming to the hospital straight from work and staying until Joanne is all tucked in for the night. Gets me home around 8. I just feel better being there to make sure I meet the night nurses and make sure everything is how it should be as she settles in to sleep.
We had a great nurse last night who realized that Joanne was prescribed her sleeping meds at 8 and was then scheduled for more meds at 9. So they were giving her something to help her sleep only to wake her up an hour later! Craziness. So the very sharp nurse moved all of that around so that it all happens at 8. But that's the type of thing we get to do to advocate for Joanne (even though it's a little thing). If one of us wasn't here it'd probably still be the other way.
And they are going to up Joanne's Ambien. She is still waking up in the night, which means text messages to me, and I can only assume, to others. This morning she was up at four. So we are going to try to give her a better shot at sleeping the whole way through the night.
This could be a big week. I am assuming that we will land on a date for her to transfer to rehab. That's one of two really big steps we have left--it's rehab and the bone flap. Personally I would love to see the bone flap go back in before rehab so that she doesn't have to take four or five days off from her rehab regimen in order to recover from the surgery. But I don't think that'll happen. In fact, I think her neurosurgeon is out of town. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted on what big things happen this week.
The biggest news is that Joanne is talking. Now that the trach is out and the incision is healing up, she is able to speak. The volume is still low and I can tell that it's still an effort for her, but she is most definitely up above a whisper. How cool is that! She is no longer relying on writing things down or hand gestures. I love it! The first thing I was pulling for was to see her eyes again. Then is was to hear her voice. So those two have been accomplished. So now for the really big one: to see her walk. She still has total paralysis on her left side, so I am going for a pretty big miracle here but why not?
Dr. Dobson asked me the other day on the radio how we could all be praying for Joanne. My answer flew out of my mouth before I even had time to think about it. I said, "Pray for her total and complete healing." What a better way for God to bring glory to his name then to restore my girl to 100%. What a story we would have to tell! But you know what? God has already done so much, moved so far in her healing, that I'll gladly take whatever more he has to give and praise him for whatever that is (but I'm still gonna pull for complete recovery).
One last thing: Please mark your calendars for the evening of March 18 to come to a special service for Joanne and Heather at Cherry Hills Community Church. It's going t0 be a time of praise, worship, prayer and teaching. Please come! More information to follow.
1. Wisdom for the doctors, therapists and case workers about when to move Joanne to rehab, and furthermore when to replace her brain flap. These are big decisions!
2. This is a very practical one: good relations and the cooperation of the insurance company. Papa has graciously offered to manage the whole billing process which is already proving to be a lot of work. We really need Kaiser to work with us and not make us jump through too many hoops to get things covered. I think we are in for a long haul!
3. Praise for Joanne's continued progress! The staff is talking about how remarkable her improvement is. And they're right! Every day she is moving forward. This is apparently atypical for stroke patients who usually improve and then plateau for a couple days before more improvement occurs. Joanne is improving every day! Praise, praise, praise!