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Awakenings

I stopped by the hospital this afternoon. Not having been there since Friday, and knowing that I'm going away this weekend, I was very much looking forward to spending some time with Bob. However, when I arrived, the nurse flagged me down and told me that it would be better if I didn't go in. Apparently, Bob's now greater awakeness and awareness are causing him to be increasingly agitated and confused, and he was trying to pull out his breathing tube. Understandably, of course - even the strongest and most coherent of people would reach a point where they just couldn't take it any more, and Bob appears to have arrived there. This morning, she said, the staff gave him two breathing trials (meaning they turned off the fans in an attempt to determine whether he could breathe on his own if they removed the breathing tube); due to his extreme agitation, though, he failed both. Therefore, for the rest of the day, they were just trying to keep him calm and quiet, showing peaceful images on the television, and after I told the nurse that it was in there, playing Enya on the iPod. He was being kept under light sedation when I arrived, and while I was there she gave him a little more. As they had to rerestrain his wrists to prevent him from pulling out the tubes, he would periodically struggle against them, and every now and then try to sit up. As Melanie and I sat there quietly so as not to attract his attention and upset him, we watched him pulling on them and felt very sad.

In spite of all this, his greater cognizance is really actually a hopeful and positive sign; this morning, in fact, he was encouragingly responsive, wiggling his fingers and toes on demand for the nurse, and I heard that yesterday he even gave the thumbs up at one point. She said that they plan to give him another breathing trial in morning and that they anticipate that it will be successful. The expectation is that things will improve for him greatly once the breathing tube is removed. Our family is making plans to ensure that for as long as is necessary there is someone there with him during the days so that he won't be overly frightened and won't have to be alone.

Many thanks, as always, to everyone who has posted loving and healing wishes and thoughts on this site. We will continue to relay them. Please don't stop spreading the word and checking in. Love to you all!

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