Day 19 Homeward Bound!

Wow, what an eventful day!  The insurance company told me to call them at 10 to see if there was a bed and a flight.  So I called them at 9:05. Anxious, you might say.  A flight, but no bed.  But, he said, that could change in five minutes or three days.  It changed within the hour!

So we are being picked up at the hospital late this afternoon and will be in Kelowna this evening.  That is so good.

Often, I have heard people say, including myself, that “I did not sleep a wink last night”  and I really did, just woke up every hour or so. Well, I spent last night with Layton and he REALLY did not sleep a wink.  The warm, moist air blowing on his neck kept him so hot he could not get comfortable.  I, on the other hand, could not get comfortable because the room was SO cold.  I had to leave and go to my room at 2:00 am.  And he has not even napped during the day.  I think he will sleep like a baby once he gets home.

Laura, our physio, got him up again this morning and his walk was at least four times as long.  She and the RT, David, decided that since he was doing so well and increasingly becoming frustrated and uncomfortable, they would do something about it.  So they hunted down Veronica, the speech therapist, someone we had been wanting to meet all week.  She did a swallow test on him (thick 2% milk with blue dye in it).  They then suction and if any blue comes up, it means that the fluid went into his lung and not his stomach.  He passed!  So, almost immediately, she got the blowing oxygen removed, put something into throat that allows him to talk, and he was away!  Thick (nectar) cranberry and apple juice, pudding and mushroom soup for lunch.  And most amazingly, the staff heard him talk for the first time. He sounds good-I think he sounds like he has a cold; he thinks he sounds like Willy Nelson!

This is big progress.  I called Carson and Liam to tell him that we would be home and they talked to their dad for a few minutes.  It was an emotional experience and Layton asked me to make the other calls to Kathy, Shauna, Janine and the Moms.

Tom and Cathy and Mike and Yvonne from Star Riders stopped in again last night to take me out for Mexican food.  They were able to visit Layton again and once more, they came bearing gifts, including fresh fruit for me-grapes and nectarines.  I am getting tired of bananas and oranges from the cafeteria.

I checked out of my hospital hotel-late but they like me so I did not have to pay for the extra day.  A spectacular service that really makes it so much easier for families of patients.

We are so happy that Layton is now talking.  Before I drifted off last night, I had decided that I would only mouth words for him today and we could see how well he could lip-read!!  I could even just make things up and really confuse him.  So glad he talks as I have still not figured out if a finger pointing up means up for the back of the bed or the foot of the bed and same for lowering the bed.  Does a finger circling rapidly through the air mean, “Put me up” or “Put me down’?  Does the suction sign (thumb and baby finger wagging in the air) mean suction the mouth, the throat, or I want some water with a straw?  But this is all behind us now.

I am thinking we will be out of ICU early next week and I think that is when Layton will be ready for visitors.  Watch the blog for more updates, but they will likely be a little slower coming.

We really can’t thank you all enough for everything that has been done for us the past three weeks.  The love, friendship and support has been beyond any expectation we could have had.  At this point, I don’t think Layton recalls much of the first two weeks or so.  Over the next while, he will be reading them and again, I am sure he will be overwhelmed by the messages of kindness and support.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

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