Alex seems to have turned a corner this weekend! This morning he was not only awake and alert, he was talking with his Passy-Muir valve on and making jokes! (Matter of fact, it was hard to get a word in edgewise!) He showed fewer signs of ICU Syndrome, and the sense of humor was definitely in evidence. His doctor suggested we take him outside for a ride in his recliner! So we packed him up, swaddled him in blankets, and took him out into the sunshine.
He was VERY happy for the change in scenery and loved seeing the beautiful autumn scenery on the hospital grounds. He's got ideas brewing in his head for all kinds of projects, and he's ready to be moved to the Short Stay Surgical ward tomorrow so that he can start the more active part of his recovery. Tomorrow he repeats the swallow test and we see if we can start him on Jello and broth. Today they took away the oxygen tube that attached to his trach and gave him a little oxygen nose piece, so soon he'll be breathing without any kind of apparatus.
I have several conversations worth of things to talk with his doctors about: Massage, acupuncture, "booties" to help with his "foot drop," and creating a routine for him to help alleviate the ICU Syndrome. It's nice to finally be thinking about these things, instead of thinking about more surgeries, ventilators, secondary infections, etc. We've entered a new phase. There will be hard days and easy days, to be sure, but at least we're not talking "life and death" anymore.
We couldn't do this without all of you. Thank you all so much for all of your support, encouragement, prayers, concern, and love.