My Aunt Dianne stayed with Dad yesterday while my mom attended a work conference in Louisville. She called to tell me how great Dad was doing. She said he sat up in a recliner for several hours and walked around the nurses' station. His oxygen levels are getting better. His white blood cell level went down which means one or both of the antibiotics are working! Very good news. We still don't have the results from the bronchial suction procedure or the CT scan of his sinuses. Hopefully those will come today. But Dad is feeling better. They are talking about moving him out of the ICU sometime today. That is bittersweet because even though he's doing too well to be there, they have taken such good care of him that I hate for him to go back to a regular room.
There is also talk of Dad needing to go to rehab to get his strength back. Before his last oxygen emergency (Friday), the physical therapist had him try to walk up two steps. He did it, but his oxygen decreased significantly and eventually plummeted that night. I know he just wants to go home, but a couple days of rehab would be much better than him falling and injuring himself or struggling to breathe at home with no doctors around.
As far as his facial injuries... you wouldn't believe it - even though he broke or crushed nearly every bone in his face, the plastic surgeons gave us back the same Gary Carnes we've always known! He looks so great. The stitches have already come out and the swelling has gone down a whole lot. He still has a nose stint on, but that will come off soon and he'll be able to see his new nose. We joked with him that he got a brand new nose, he just didn't get to pick it out. :) He has a raised area on his left brow that's still black and blue where they put a plate and screw, but the doctors say that will disappear in time as well. One doctor said that if the blow would have been two or three centimeters off, he would have been blind in his left eye and had brain damage. He is so lucky. We are so lucky!
What's ahead: In the coming days, the doctors will be downsizing his trachea tube two times, each time involving a day or two of waiting to see how he does with the smaller size. They will teach him how to swallow water (and hopefully a milkshake or something!) around the smaller tube and teach him how to speak around it using a valve. The hope is that the trachea tube will come out before he is discharged, but who knows.
Thanks again and again for your prayers and concern. I appreciate all of the beautiful words you've all left here on the blog and all the e-mails you've sent as well. Looking forward to posting more and more good news...