Do I gnome you?

Ansel spent the last two days learning to speak using his new voice valve which connects directly to his trache.  He’s asked many basic questions several times a day:

What is your name?  Who are your children?  How old are they?  Where do you live?

Ansel is gradually answering these questions correctly.  Yesterday, Ansel was having trouble with face recognition, but by 11pm he was able to tell me who I was, and even asked for a hug.  At 11am today, nurse Dawn got Ansel out of bed, and with two people holding him up attempted walking for about 20 min.  In this time, he walked about 30 feet but the nurses did most of the work for him.  At 4pm, he made his second attempt to walk.  This time he walked about 100 feet in less than 5 minutes, with two nurses holding him up, but with less verbal direction (left foot forward, right foot forward, head up).  Today, we read some hot rod magazine, and Ansel even did a little of the reading.

He is very confused, and most of what he says makes no sense, but talking about anything is an improvement.  Now that he has become pretty proficient with the voice valve, he is working on swallowing.  He was fed blue colored ice chips, and blue colored apple juice.  Then after about an hour, his lungs were suctioned to see if any blue coloring ended up in his lungs.  No blue!  This means Ansel is swollowing properly and he is very close to getting his feeding tube removed.  It is possible that Ansel could be moved out of the trauma ICU tomorrow, and into a standard ICU room.

He has been extremely restless today and ripped through his restraints twice.   Ansel is very anxious to get out of here and is making a strong effort to put all the pieces back together.

-Val

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