He's still taking sedation medication but lower doses of less powerful meds...so he naps a lot and sleeps through most of the night, but he's also awake enough during the day to listen to music (mostly Elton John and Tom Petty), watch TV (he's watching more SpongeBob than Hogan's Heroes these days) and listen to his mom and grandma reading to him (mostly the Redwall book "Lord Brocktree")...Thank you Jim for the CDs of Elton John live in NYC.
Zack is doing lots of physical therapy with increased strength every day. He's also been trying to write every day for the past week or so and was able to write an entire word yesterday. We sometimes play Hangman to help us figure out what he's trying to say...He talks all the time, though at this point he can only mouth words because the breathing tube rests on his vocal chords making sound impossible. Zack is fully cognizant and lets everyone know that he's ready to get out of here.
We are hoping he'll be extubated this week, maybe Friday. His lungs are very strong and he's doing long sprints of breathing on his own with little help from the ventilator. He had another small pneumothorax outside his right lung yesterday so a chest tube was put in and the pneumo was gone this morning. (This was Zack's fourth chest tube...the other three have been removed and this new one will stay in for a few days.)
Zack's liver enzyme count has climbed over the last few days and a team of gastrointestinal docs are trying to pinpoint the cause. He had an ultrasound yesterday that shows his liver slightly enlarged but no cause was evident.
I am so encouraged by Zack's progress and amazed at his strength and determination. He's pushing himself every day and it's making a big difference in his healing process. Nurses and doctors have been impressed with how quickly he's healing and how strong and healthy he looks. These last few days with the breathing tube are trying his patience but I keep reminding him that the worst is over and he'll be home soon.
As always, thanks so much for your good wishes and thoughts for Zack!
Zack's Grandparents pose with his Uncle Tim
and Aunt Monica outside Doernbecher