Today when I arrived they had Mom sitting up in a chair so she could look out the plate-glass window in her room. They had used a Vander-Lift to hoist and move her. The view out her window is beautiful, and the nurse said she spent several minutes just looking out at the scenery with the changing colors of the leaves.
The occupational therapist came soon after I arrived, and the speech therapist right after, so they were sort of working together which I gathered is a common practice of theirs. They had Mom sucking on some more ice chips, feeding herself applesauce from a spoon (she seemed unsure of how to hold it with her left hand), and holding a toothbrush and brushing her teeth. Mom seemed to be doing a little of the action herself. She is getting a little better at opening her mouth for spoons, thermometers, mouth sponges, etc.
A technician from the neurosurgery department came this afternoon and removed the drain from Mom's head. It had been clamped off for over 24 hours, and Mom was doing just fine, so they have ascertained that the swelling has gone down sufficiently in her head to no longer require the drain. At about the same time they removed all of her IV lines, so the only tubes still connected to her are the feeding tube, the catheter, and the respiratory line. The respiratory line may be going away soon, since they told me that Mom is no longer receiving oxygen, only humidified air. I can conceivably see them removing her tracheostomy within the next week or two, at the rate she is progressing. And if she continues doing well with the ice chips, applesauce, etc., then she could be moving to a soft diet soon and no longer need the feeding tube.
Some physical therapists were in this afternoon and had her sitting on the edge of the bed again. She was able to support herself with her hands on both sides again, and today she lifted her left hand to scratch her throat while still balancing with her right hand--another step forward. Then they "stood" her up, supported by a person on each side, and Mom said her first word--"Ow!" The speech therapist had said that spontaneous words would come first, with premeditated ones taking longer to master.
Right now the course of action they are planning to pursue is moving Mom to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, ME when she is able to leave the hospital here. There is an Acute Rehab Center there where she could get about three hours of personalized rehab/therapy a day. She may not be able to withstand quite that much just at the beginning, but I am sure that it will not take her long to work up to that. It's exciting to see what God is doing! Thanks so much for your continued prayers. And to whomever sent the Visa Gift Card to me, THANK YOU! May God bless you for your thoughtfulness and generosity.