The second stage of Jae’s recovery is almost over. In the first stage, she was unconscious under heavy sedation in the ICU, then last Tuesday her breathing tube was removed and she was allowed to awaken. For the last week she’s been under observation so the doctors could determine what course of treatment would be needed to help her heal from her head injury; she’s also had to recover her mobility (muscles lose an amazing amount of strength when unused for two weeks) and regain her lung capacity, part of which was lost due to the collapsed lung and part due to a mild case of pneumonia she developed while on the ventilator. But that’s now been cured and her lungs are mostly back to normal, and she’s been walking the length and breadth of the hospital several times per day (though always with me or a nurse’s aid in attendance in case she weakens or loses her balance). Last Friday, she was moved from the ICU to a normal room, and has been making up for lost eating time by asking me to bring in all sorts of outside food such as pizza, cheeseburgers and hot dogs. Her voice was at first nothing but a hoarse whisper, but now it’s become much stronger (though still raspy due to damage the breathing tube did to her vocal cords). Still, she hasn’t much been in the mood to talk on the phone; as those who love her know, Jae doesn’t really like talking on the phone even when she’s healthy, and she spends a lot of time asleep while her body heals.
The doctor feels she’s ready to move on to the third stage, in-patient rehabilitation; she’s strong and alert enough to move, so he wants to put her in rehab back in Seattle, where she can be in familiar surroundings and visited by those she loves. As a bonus, the facilities available in Seattle for this sort of injury are among the best in the nation, so her chances of full recovery are much, much greater than they would be in a lesser facility in unfamiliar surroundings. So tomorrow, I’ll be putting her on a direct flight to Seattle with a friend who’s flying over to accompany her; I’ll drive my car back, and if we time things well I’ll be able to join her only a few hours after she checks into the hospital. Once I find out what the hospital’s visiting rules are and how many visitors a day Jae would like, I’ll tell y’all who’s going to coordinate that; I don’t want her overwhelmed, but I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by turning them away at the door. So a visiting schedule administered by someone other than me is the best way to go. And speaking of schedules, I’ll be starting to take appointments again on Monday, so if you’ve been holding off seeing me because of this, feel free to , so email me at the meetmaggie address and we can schedule for next week.