7:30 am Last night, the doctor pulled Sally off of the paralyzing drugs that she's on and she moved her feet on command! She's doing amazing, breathing with the ventilator and moving her hands and feet. She should be weaned off the ventilator today. Right now she's waking up more often. She's unhappy for obvious reasons. Her hands are tied down and she has tubes everywhere. Her worst enemy is the respiratory therapist who came every hour during the night to suck mucous out of her lungs. Sally would startle awake and thrash her hands during the procedure (that lasts just a few seconds). She is trying to talk to us, but can't. I can't imagine her anger with this since she's the nonstop chatterbox of our house (if you know the other kids this should mean a lot to you). Once the breathing tube comes out she should at least be able to express her anger verbally.
Personally, I was up all night. The nurses came in once an hour to fiddle with her. I jumped out of the chair and ran to Sally every time--that sleepless, middle of the night, stupor that makes you act wild. Seth slept in the room with us. I'll repeat that, he slept. At 5:30 I couldn't bear laying there any longer. I stood next to Sally's bed and lost it. I've held it in for so long. Once I let myself feel relieved about surgery and how well she's doing, I couldn't stop myself from weeping. I'm in a place I never imagined I'd be. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for God's care and just cried. I was crying, thanking God for all of you who were praying for our daughter yesterday. I was crying because she's been such a trooper and I'm terrified of what today holds for her. Then, Sally woke up. With clarity, she looked right at me.
I couldn't stop myself and couldn't talk. I was caught by her doing the one thing that I wasn't allowed to do with her watching--bawling my eyes out. Seth came over (chiding me) while I tried to compose myself (which didn't happen). Finally, I gave up on sucking in the tears and hoped she wouldn't notice. She was visibly upset and so I started telling her about the people who are praying for her, grandparents that are going to visit, and then I said, "Maybe the guys (that's what she calls the three big sibs) can come and see you today. Do you want them to come here?"
A glorious thing happened, she looked at me and gave me the 'Ethiopian nod'. I didn't think she was even listening to me. She's mad, confused, and hurting, but she's still sweet, strong, Sally.
Thank you for your prayers and wonderful comments (if you haven't left one for Sally go visit the "For Sally" post). You have all been a blessing to us; I'll continue to update as Sally makes progress.
2:30 Sally's been off the ventilator for several hours now. Then she was on O2 for a couple of hours but is off that now as well. She is breathing well, but is still quite uncomfortable. She's making tremendous progress; she's able to talk to us and let us know what she needs and how she's feeling. The rest of the kids and grandparents were able to come and visit with her for a couple of hours, take advantage of the local attractions (foos ball, air hockey, library...) and enjoy a delicious trip to the cafeteria.
We should be in ICU for a few days until her chest tube is removed. We (and the staff) are amazed at her progress--truly answered prayers. Thank God for her quick recovery this far. Please continue to pray for her as she is in pain and being weaned from the 'strong stuff' that has kept her sleeping until now.