When I got here this morning, Alicia was already in her chair. She sat in her chair until after 3:00 pm (over 8 hours!) which was great. She was also off the respirator for two hours today breathing on her own. She is very tired now and has been sleeping since 8 pm.
They feel she is in good enough shape to move to the step-down floor, but they will not take anyone who is still on the respirator. There is an intermediate unit between ICU and the step-down unit called the “Rescue” unit (which to me sounds worse than ICU – Tracey would not be happy with that name). However, there is not a bed available in the rescue unit at this time. So we stay in ICU.
The docs said today they want to do the swallow test on Monday, which means she can start drinking water. Right now we give her a moist swab on a stick to wipe her mouth out. She can get that every 15 minutes, if she gets it more, it might “go down the wrong tube” and her new lungs would be injured. We don’t want that to happen.
Mary Kay went home and I came for the weekend. We will do that until she is back home in West Chester (if my work agrees). I might only be able to come up every other weekend though. I just know I am scheduled to come up next weekend. After that, who knows? I am taking a bus, since there is no direct flight or train from Cincinnati to Cleveland. We may eventually drive, but for now I am letting others drive. If anyone knows of someone with a plane that could take two trips a week from Cincinnati to Cleveland and back, let us know. Better yet, just give us a winning lottery ticket and that would solve many problems and let us take care of our kids (if only).
Jess got Alicia a charm bracelet today. Many of Alicia’s friends got a charm to put on the bracelet, which includes a dog, tennis racket, letter A, heart, purple rhinestone and several purple glass beads. More to come are paw print, butterfly, and rose.
We are holding the cards at home until she is on the regular floor. Don’t want to add them to the pressures of the ICU. We will give the address when we get to the step-down unit. The text messages are appreciated, but they are over whelming Alicia right now. Please only send encouragement, do not send messages she needs to respond to. She was so frustrated the other day that she hid the phone from Mary Kay. We are monitoring the phone now, since we do not want to add more stress to her right now by trying to answer questions she normally would have no problem answering. She is very venerable right now and the smallest amount of outside pressure is quite frustrating.
Thanks – Jim Lang