--Aerosmith, "Back in the Saddle"
So after abandoning Jay and Jen for a couple days while I recuperated at the Sheraton, I'm back and feeling better. Not 100% yet, but much better than a few days ago. Sorry for the lack of updates, but I had no computer access and Jen was just too busy.
One good thing about me being gone for a couple days is that I can tell how much Jay has changed in those few days. When we're here with him all the time, it is hard to see how different he is each day. The changes are just so small and incremental--kinda like watching your kids grow up.
So what's different? His voice is getting stronger (still a hoarse whisper, but now a louder one), and he is using more sentences. He would still prefer to grunt and point, but if we ask him what he wants, now he is more willing to us. His hand-eye coordination is improving as is his upper body strength. The shakiness that he had over the weekend is also gone, but it may come back as they further decrease his morphine and Valium. The occupational therapist placed toys around on the floor and made him lean from a sitting position to get them, and he was able to do it without falling over, so his balance is getting better too.
One the digestive front, he still has a big, gassy belly. They are now going to turn off his NG tube feedings during the day to let him eat on his own. Today we had bacon, tater tots, strawberries, peaches, yogurt, and applesauce for breakfast. Gotta love a cardiologist that lets you have bacon and tater tots! Unfortunately, the bacon was a bit too much to chew, but the rest went really well. So, he's off pureed foods and now on to soft foods. Pasta and mac and cheese here we come! Liquids were still challenging, so he is going to get thickened water and juice to drink for a few more days.
On the cardiology side, he is continuing to improve as well. He did have a brief period of arrhythmia on Monday night, but hasn't had any since. So after a brief pause, they are continuing to decrease his amioderone. They're still working on the appropriate coumadin dose, so for now he is still getting an infusion of heparin, which means he's keeping his PICC line. The biggest change today has been that he is now off oxygen, and so far so good.
Overall, slow steady progress, but no discharge date on the horizon yet. It is both hard to believe we have been here 3 weeks already, but also it seems like we've been here forever. Hopefully we'll back in Raleigh before too much longer, and can get back to some semblance of normal. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for Jay (and me).