‘I am Strong!’

For relatives, or anyone else interested, here is another update about our daughter, who has spent 22 days in the hospital—twelve on a ventilator. As she progresses—and more rapidly than anyone on staff would have guessed even a week ago—indications of stroke are obvious. While she can speak, her speech sounds nothing like herself; mumbled and stilted. She is jittery but by no means invalid. Cognition is good, but processes and motor functions are sluggish. That’s not a negative report. She recovers well, and briskly, without an intensive rehabilitation regime.

But that could change soon. Last night, around 8 p.m. PDT, the physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor called, and we spoke for about 54 minutes. He sees our daughter as being a very good candidate for entering an acute care program followed up by more out-patient rehab (which is fairly intensive). So that’s the tentative plan, depending on one of the facilities accepting her as a patient and insurance authorizing treatment.

She sat up in a chair and ate her first meal today. I arrived in her room as she poked a fork into hashbrowns and eggs. Interestingly, the righty handled the fork in her left hand. The rehab doctor dropped by as she worked on lunch (turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce). He commented on the clear forethought put into maneuvering the utensil around the feeding tube in her nose (the thing comes out in a day or two). He professionally observes that our girl will likely need to undergo extensive speech therapy.

Our daughter could be discharged within a few days and move on to the acute care facility. Once there, we would see her less often, which is saddening but understandable. Since March 3rd, I spent most of visiting hours at the hospital to be by her, even when she was unaware.

Finally discussing the Featured Image, I passed by the ambulance parked near the hospital’s main entrance today. I wondered if a similar vehicle—maybe the same one—rushed her to the Emergency Room on the afternoon of March 2nd. The EMTs who resuscitated her in the van, where her heart stopped, saved her life. The ER and ICU doctors did likewise, and staved off massive brain damage, by aggressive treatment, which included following the protocol to cool her body. Thank you, everyone.

The photo comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/2400 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 3:15 p.m. PDT.

Previous stories about her (presented in sequential order): “Our Family Emergency Revealed”; “From Intubation to Extubation”; “Ode to a Good Day“.

Wrapping up, let’s talk title. On the erasable board in our daughter’s room is a spot for something about the patient: “I am strong!” It’s a great affirming, conquering statement and keeps with my motto for 2023: “Be strong“. She will need to be.