--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...
...so 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!