Today was another good day for Justin. He was in good spirits for most of the day! He was even making jokes with the doctors. The chest tube that was removed yesterday needed to be replaced today with a smaller chest tube because the pneumothorax didn't completely resolve. The doctor came in and told Justin he would be putting "a pigtail" in. Justin's response: "Pigtails went out of style in the 80s". (A pigtail is the type of catheter used.) The doctor, nurse and I could not stop laughing. Justin also spent an 1 1/2 hours with his good friend Mike who is also in his battery and was injured in early July. This was the first time they have seen each other (well that Justin remembers.. Mike came to visit but Justin was on the vent and sedated) since being in Afghanistan together. Justin is on heavy medication so tonight he was really tired and a little confused. Which is to be expected with a certain medication he is on. Overall today was great! He wanted to read some of his messages on facebook and wanted us to respond for him. His is unable to really use his hands right now because they are in bandages. Today he also made another improvement he semi-passed his swallow test. This means he is allowed to eat pureed food and thick consistency water and gatorade.
We are trying to work on updating this daily. Sorry the last two weeks have been an up and down roller coaster. We are so busy all day and then at night we are mentally and physically exhausted. Now with Justin awake and talking are days are busy with him. Thankfully we are finally getting a routine down and should be able to update daily.
I know many of you do not know the extent of his injuries, but for now we will not be posting it until he says its okay. Its only been 48 hours that he has been awake so everything is settling in. Overall he is improving daily especially compared to last Wednesday when we were scared to death. Justin's heart rate was between 155-165 (normal between 60-100) and Justin's normally is probably really low because he was very well conditioned. This went on for 5 hours with his blood pressure between 80/40 (normal 120/80). Just to give you an idea that it is frightening when 10 doctors/medical personnel (no I am not exaggerating) are standing around his bed trying to figure out what was going on. Only three days before that the head trauma doctor told us "Justin is very sick, we expected him to get a little worse, but not this bad and the next 72 hours are very critical for him." When you hear that the resident slept in his room in a chair, thats normally not a good sign. THANKFULLY the GOOD LORD has blessed us with a miraculous week and Justin making a HUGE turn around. Even so well there is a small possibility we may be leaving CCU (critical care unit) and heading to the 4th floor (which is the goal because when you make it to the 4th floor your not as critical) tomorrow after surgery!!
We will try to keep this updated and continue to track his progress. THANK YOU again for all the love, prayers, and support! We can't thank everyone enough!!!!
Please excuse any grammatical errors: # 1 its late here, #2 there are two of us updating this and I am not an English expert (hence why I went to PA school) # 3 this is updated sometimes from phones and Ipads so proofreading is not always perfect if not being able to use a real computer!
Goodnight from Bethesda Maryland!!