Today was a busy day for Brian...wait, let me back up & start with last night.
He pulled the feeding tube out, ah, yes, again.
So, like the time he popped the balloon of the trach, they are keeping him off the feeding tube for now. They increased the fluid nourishment through one of his IVs while they wait for the doctor who is qualified to perform a swallow test. The swallow test will determine if Brian is able to go off the feeding tube & begin receiving liquid nourishment. If he is unable to swallow sufficiently, they will have to find another way to keep the feeding tube in place.
With the holidays, we're sort of holding on this procedure & hopeful it will take place tomorrow morning. Who can say for sure, but we must admit that if we look at patterns, Brian seems to know when he's had enough of something to pull it out. Hopefully this will be the case with the feeding tube.
The doctors also gave him an electrical shock to basically restart his heart rate. So, his heart rate is normal for now but the benefit of this procedure often is temporary. However, they indicate this irratic heart rate is normal, particularly for patients who sustain the level of trauma to the chest that Brian has & it will not impede rehab, etc., when that time comes. They also inserted another IV to give him medicine to help control the heart rate.
The physical therapist also came by to give him a workout. She said he fared average for someone in his situation. She sat him up on the side of the bed & even that is difficult for him. He will basically have to re-learn balance due to the time he's spent in bed & the shift of his center of gravity with the (though extent still unknown) impact the spinal compression made to his legs. Up until this point, he's had spotty sessions with her, but she plans to return tomorrow.
They capped his trach today to allow him to talk since he's been wanting to so badly and guess what he said? Nothing. Well, he did finally say "mom" in response to my mom's specific requests. My parents & his sister Leah said they are sensing some pretty intense anger in him right now but this is coupled with some heavy meds & fatigue from working with the physical therapist earlier today. They can't keep it capped for long because he's still getting a lot of fluid out of his lungs but it's a start, I guess.
He still remains fiesty, the evening hours are when he gets himself in the most trouble with the tubes & such.
My dad got a great start on all of the paperwork today. The social worker & the "4th floor staff" were most helpful in getting my dad pointed in the right direction so it's encouraging to know that the resources he'll need will be available to him without much lag time.
So, when I reflect back on all of the progress he's made, even in the last 24 hours, I have to say I am amazed. Fifteen days ago, we weren't sure if he would be alive. Not only is he but he's making pretty rapid progress for someone on death's door two weeks ago. It's almost like he's been saved to be born again into a new person, one where the focus of life will have to be more than just the temporal things (John 3:1-3:10).
I pray that Brian will see this as a glorious opportunity for his own spirit, to edify all of us with whom he's fostered such strong relationships already, & to share God's love with many, many more to come.