Good, good day. When I got to the ICU today they had removed Mark's ventilator. Woohoo! He looked so different with all of the tubes removed. He does still have the feeding tube, but it goes down his nose. Needless to say, it was a VAST improvement.
When I got there it took him a few minutes to focus on me. I talked to him about the girls and that is what seemed to draw his attention towards me. I got another kiss during this brief interchange.
The physical therapists came by and decided to do a little work with him. They lowered the bed, unplugged a lot of his "attachments" and moved his legs to the side of the bed. They helped him sit up and said that he was holding himself up pretty much on his own. They asked him to lift his head (with no movement for almost 2 weeks, his neck muscles are weak) and he did it several times in a row. They then told him they wanted him to stand up and he moved his feet underneath himself just as we all do when we prepare to stand. They lifted him a little and he pushed up with his legs! He was standing with just a little bit of support and shifted his weight from one leg to the other. They asked him a couple more times to lift his head and he responded. I was standing in front of him cheering him on. I told him I wouldn't sell his motorcycle if he kept up the good work. At one point I asked him for a kiss and he lifted his head and puckered up! I made sure all the nurses and therapists knew what he had done. They sat him down and tried to get him to stand again, but he was tuckered out. As soon as he lay back down he was out. He looked as if he had just run a marathon. Before the therapists left I asked them what they thought. They said, "He did a lot more than we thought he was going to do."
Mark is able to respond to commands, such as a "thumbs up" or giving me a kiss, but he doesn't respond EVERY time they ask, or even consecutively. The doctors are looking for a consistency in those responses. Which is why it is so great that they asked him several times to lift his head and he did it every time. I'm praying and hoping that he'll get more consistent with each passing day. The speech therapist and the rehab doctors will be evaluating him over the next day or so to determine if he will go to rehab or a long term care facility. Please, please pray for Mark that he will be strong enough and coherant enough to go to rehab and keep progressing as well as he has been.
Thank you everyone, for your kind words and prayers. After yesterday, today's events were a much needed charge for my batteries.