It was still quiet in the condo when I left this morning. I felt like I was going up earlier than usual, but in reality it was about the same time of day. Without Gracie, I slipped by the Jamba Juice joint and went straight to the hospital.
The most amazing feeling came when I entered Dan's room and said his name. He looked over at me and held my gaze. I knew he knew that I was there.
It wasn't long before the Dr. came in and did the "swab test" looking for Dan's gag reflex. This time Dan was not only discomforted, he actually scowled at us. He gagged and glared. The Dr. looked at me and said, "Well, are we ready to take out the breathing tube?" I said, "Yes" being very excited at the progress he'd made. The the Dr. said, "Before I do, I want to know if something goes wrong what do you want me to do?" I knew what he was asking and I said, "Put it back in" and when the children come up, we can try again.
So, they removed the tube and Dan did great. They put a face mask on him for a while and then replaced that with the air flow tubes in his nose. Wow, he went from the full face gear to the small, much more comfortable nasal tubes. And he looked great.
They've been keeping him cleaned up and hair combed but he has developed quite a beard over the last week or two. Some like it, some don't. I don't care. It's just so good to see his face again.
He appeared more alert and aware of things going on around him but at times he continued to slip away for a bit. He was mostly restless and his left leg was pumping up and down a good part of the day. He got his voice back and grunted at us when we didn't get what he wanted. For the most part we talked about him being "awake". You could tell he wasn't exactly a happy camper. At one time, I looked at him and said, "I'm so glad you're talking again, but please don't yell at me." And then I smiled at him and he knew what I was talking about. Oh, those tender moments.
The kids came in to visit and left so that another could come in. He had a steady show of love and support!! It was wonderful!! We were all impressed and excited for his progress.
The Neurologists were in and out and quietly kept their findings to themselves. I think it's because they don't really know, but they were the ones who said, "Let's give him more time." So, I respect their wishes to not speak too freely too soon.
A RN who deals with life options stopped by and we visited about what Dan's wishes were and gave us a sheet to review as a family and with Dan, when he can.
Later in the day, the Dr. came in again and we had a talk about Dan's Bipolar symptoms. It's been really nice to be right up front and honest about how things have been, what we've tried to do to help, about where we are in the plan to make it work, what's worked and what's not worked. I think they have a pretty good idea of what we're up against. They have said they would hook us up with all the medical and mental health help we need. I just hope we will get the follow-up that comes with the plan. We will travel to SL for all his needs, but that will be a small cost for the help he'll get there. (I hope)
They didn't give him any sedation to help make him comfortable because they want him to be alert so they can get an accurate estimate of his cognitive skills in the next few days.
So many wonderful family and friends have called to check on him! I've loved the prayers and the support for us. Thank you all!!! I love each one of you dearly!
I will say that at the end of the discussion with the Dr. I said to him that I wished he could have known Dan under different circumstances because he is really an amazing man. The Dr. looked at me and said, "I think we've got a good sense of that watching as your children have come and gone." He was saying that through the love of his children, they could see what kind of man really is. I am so grateful to each of them for all they've done to support their Dad; their prayers, their phone calls, their visits, their love, their tears, their laughter, their travels, their time, their Priesthood blessings! They truly are a witness of his goodness!!
We ended our day today with a discussion of their thoughts and feelings and their suggestions and their offers. And then sacred family prayer.
As I am sitting here writing this blog, I looked across the room where Will, James and Seth are kneeling around our little Preston. They quietly proceed to give him a Priesthood blessing to cool his temperature and help him to feel better. Oh, how I love the Priesthood power and the righteous men who use it to bless others. Oh, how I love the righteous men in my life who strive to serve others with their Priesthood.
And yes, Gracie, this was a Good Day!!!