Thursday, September 2, 2010

Because you're mine...

...I walk the line.
--Johnny Cash, "Walk the Line"

It has been a whirlwind of activity in the CCU this morning, so I actually had bit of a hard time narrowing down the song choice for the title. I first considered "Fireman" by George Strait since Jay went for a long ride in his firetruck. He quite enjoyed waving to all the nurses and other parents as we rode along. All we needed was the Helping Hand Mission Band and we could have had a parade. We even saw one of his old docs from the ICU who commented, "He looks really good when he's not stoned!"

Then we ran into the physical therapist. Jay hasn't been terribly cooperative during PT the last few days mainly due to poor timing. By the time they have come by in the afternoon, he's gotten all his noon drugs and is just zonked for the entire afternoon. So today, she asked if he wanted to take his firetruck to the therapy room to play right now, and he enthusiastically nodded. The next song I considered was "Gone Fishin'" by Chairmen of the Board because we started out sitting up on a bench fishing for some magnetic fish. Popper would have been proud of all the fish Jay caught--maybe he should consider switching to a magnetic hook?

The next song could have been "Stand" by REM. Jay stood for about 15 minutes with some help while we played another game catching ducks as they swam on a little plastic pond. Jay thought the fishing and ducks were pretty fun, but what he really wanted to do was "ride my bicycle" ("Bicycle Race" by Queen). Not really a bicycle, but a perfectly sized tricycle. After getting a helmet for the noggin', he rode 3-4 laps around the therapy room with some help from the therapist.

After crashing into the wall, we decided it was time to get back into the firetruck and head back to the room. But the truck was across the room... we walked over to it! There was definitely some help, some missed steps, and lack of coordination, but for his first steps in 3 weeks, it was pretty darn impressive!

About this time, LaLa came to visit and helped Jay eat almost a whole bowl of Cheerios and drink a carton of milk. While eating, he introduced her to all his friends from church who were in the photos that we received this week. He was quite sorry he missed the swimming and pizza party and is hoping there will be another one soon!

The last activity of the morning was visiting the play room where they were having music therapy. So we joined "Uncle John's Band" (Grateful Dead) for a while. Unfortunately, Jay doesn't have any more rhythm than his dad, but he really enjoyed playing the drum.

Jay had another echo yesterday, and the big news is that his heart function is now low NORMAL! Still low, but now low-normal. In numeric terms the percent change in size of his left ventricle between contraction and relaxing (fractional shortening) is now 24% with 28-32% being normal for his age. This is a significant improvement over the previous weeks, and they expect that his heart function will continue to improve to completely normal over the next 1-2 months. His coumadin dose is almost therapeutic and they continue to decrease his morphine and amioderone (anti-arrhythmia medication). His pneumonia and phlebitis are resolving quite well, and he should come off his antibiotics in the next couple days.

All in all, a great morning, and if he keeps up this pace, we may be seeing you all again sooner rather than later!


Cara Lynn said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome...please make sure that Jay knows we'll wear wet suits if necessary (quite wishful thinking on my part with our recent 90's in temps) to the pool as soon as he's able.
I'm glad the therapists saw him at a good time and hope they can adjust their schedules for many repeats.
I'll be glad to send some of Jesse's pictures of the fire truck parade in Raleigh several weeks ago!!
Know that we're still praying and looking forward to the days when we can "marvel" in person!!
--Cara Lynn

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful update this afternoon. I loved all the song choices, and I'm not believing this no rhythm thing. You just wait until Jay gets in Ms. Lynn's Music & Movement group. She'll find the rhythm in that wonderful, healing body! Glad you are feeling better too, Derek. Know we continue to remember you all in prayer and we'll be glad to have a parade when you are all home again.

Mary Alice

Anonymous said...

Happy Tears!!!! Beyond awesome and fantastic. Keep it up, we want you all home.
Crystal, Alan and Austin

Popper said...

Yay Jay! I am so proud of you! What a wonderful day of improvements! It sounds like a lot of outdoor-like stuff... duck hunting, cycling (well, actually tricycling), riding in trucks, hiking across the room, and best of all FISHING!!! The song could have been Buffett's "Changes in Attitude, Changes in Latitude" where he sings "... gotta stop wishing, got to go fishing...". We are all looking forward to the day we drive from Philadelphia to the lower latitude of home in Raleigh. I'll get your little red fishing rod ready!



Anonymous said...

Way to go Jay! So glad to hear of this extremely busy day. We miss you all, and are still praying. Hugs all around.
Melissa and Jon.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've cried in a week - tears of joy to think of my little buddy making such progress and working so hard!! Boy - what a trooper he is (not to mention his mom and dad!) !! What great strides he has made this week - still keeping him in my prayers!! See you this weekend - can't wait (tell little Lukey to be on his best behavior for his AJ!!) LYTB - :)

Anonymous said...

That really about says it all!
Wendy S.

Becky said...

Awesome Awesome Awesome!!!

Emily Erin said...

So very glad to hear these very happy tidings-- praying for continual healing and health, and a happy return home when the time is right.

Anonymous said...

What a busy day you've had!!! Tell Jay to get ready because if he keeps up the tricycling, his aunt Jamie and Uncle Jeff are going to get him his very own mountain bike so we can all go together! We love you guys!

Anonymous said...

What fantastic news! Glad you had such a wonderful day.

Look for an email; I finally found the lyrics I searched for last week.


Anonymous said...

Jen and Derek,

Well first of all that is one of my favorite songs and the CD has been playing in my car for about a month now. This is all fantastic news. We are so happy for Jay and we can't wait to see him.

Dee and Bob

Sush said...

That is just about the best news I've read in forever. I have to admit I almost got through reading everything without tears your posting was so positive. Then I read 'Poppers' comment and was choking back tears. Can't wait to see 'Popper and the Jay Man' fishing! This entire family ROCKS!
And send my love to Lala via my comment if you would?
Love you all,

Anonymous said...

I can see the smiles on all of your faces. I can't imagine the joy you experienced. You already made my day. Tell Jay I'm sure there will be a big party when he gets home. Praying for many more wonderful days ahead. Happy Labor Day.

Dawna Jones said...

This is such great news! We will continue to pray for complete healing. Hang in there!

Libby Barnes said...

What great news! You two must be very relieved (as well as very tired). Raleigh is getting closer all the time!

TOJ said...

Right now there's a woman in Durham doing a little happy dance for Jay!
I agree with Cara Lynn, Jay needs a pool party as soon as he's able!