Today was a Thumbs Up kind of day. Literally.
An uneventful morning with watching her numbers and making sure she was comfortable. With the lowered sodium intake her head pressure number has been staying in range. The doctors gave our nurse Alex the okay to lower her sedative even more. Her blood pressure has finally lowered a bit but her her heart rate has been sporadic most of the time and elevated when she is stressed out. When she is stressed out she shakes with muscle tremors and clearly looks scared, which breaks our heart. With a firm holding of her hand and whispers of comfort, she finally settles down.
She had her first visit from her Physical Therapist Lauren. One thing that Lauren did, was ask Amber to move her ankle…and Amber moved her right ankle!
Later in the day, Amber had her eyes open and Alex was checking her over. Alex held her hand and asked Amber to squeeze it… and she did! Alex went one step further with it, “Amber, can you wiggle your toes?”… Amber wiggled her right toes! Amazing. So then Matt asked, “Amber, would you like us to put the TV on? Squeeze Mama’s hand if you would like us to put it on”. Nothing. So Matt asks a different question. “Okay, how about some music, would you like us to play some music? Squeeze Mama’s hand if you want us to put some music on”… Big squeeze! Yes! So then I ask Amber “Oh Amber, how about some Minecraft with Pat and Jen (her favorite set of YouTube videos)? Would you like that?”…she nods her head, ever so slightly! Matt says “Amber, squeeze Mama’s hand if you want some Minecraft.”…she squeezes my hand! So, Matt takes it a step further — “Amber, if you can hear it, put one finger up”…Amber slowly puts one finger out! Wow — okay — so at this point I’m trying not to freak out. Matt takes it up a notch — “Okay Amber, good job with putting your finger up. If you can see the Minecraft video, put 3 fingers up.”…Amber uncurled 3 little fingers!!! I’m floored — I’m trying every ounce of to contain myself, I cannot believe she is communicating with us — WOW!!! So then Matt pushes it even further (yes, Matt is definitely persistent) — “Okay Amber, you are doing such a GREAT job, but one more thing, can you give us a thumbs up?”…and there goes the thumb. Slowly, weakly, but it was definite. Our baby girl, after 12 days of not communicating, has given us a Thumbs Up!
A Thumbs Up day for sure. A celebration. But making sure to keep everything in perspective. There will be ups and there will be downs, today was an up, but we don’t know yet what tomorrow may hold. I am simply hopeful for more ups than downs. To bring it back to Dr. Martin for a moment…he made a reference to Amber’s situation the day she came here by comparing it to eating an elephant. You can’t eat a whole elephant in one bite. The way you eat an elephant is to take small bites…lots and lots of bites, and eventually, that elephant will be almost all gone, but remember, it’s a BIG elephant. We have a massive amount of elephant yet to eat.
Patience, hope, and lots and lots of prayers…
And so, Amber continues on her way.