Monday, March 06, 2006

"Happy Happy Joy Joy!" (*) She eats! She speaks!

Some have been wondering "where's Steve?" Steve has had a cold and so was staying away from the hospital. But I'm back!

What wonderful news today!

She Eats

Two nights ago Jan pulled her NG (feeding) tube out repeatedly. It was a bad night for her and for her nurses and sitter. But perhaps she was just trying to tell them something: "I don't need it anymore!"

They eventually gave up putting it back in, and started feeding her "thickened liquids" - "Thickened Cranberry Juice Cocktail" first and later "Thickened Lemon Water". I watched the nurse giving her the lemon water. The nurse would spoon some out of a cup and bring the spoon close to Jan. Jan would grab the spoon like a starving person and shove it in her mouth. She would carefully lick off every drop from the spoon, and then any that had slopped on her hand.

And today, today, she ate her own lunch!

It was a mashed lunch: soup, mashed potatoes, mashed peas, etc., with mousse for dessert. But it is her first solid food! So, no more NG tube up the nose.

In fact, when I walked in to her room last night, after they gave up on reinserting her tubes (she pulled her IV line out too), I saw my sister with nothing attached to her for the first time in three weeks. It was great.

She Speaks

Fede has mentioned Jan's typing the word 'Hi' on Angie and Barry's laptop. And her attempts to speak to him on the phone while I was visiting her.

During that same visit, she pulled me so close that her lips where touching my ear and whispered a sentence to me. It was just a comment about something in the room, but it was a whole sentence, which I understood! I wrote down what I'd heard and showed it to her: is this what you said? She patted my chest and nodded a yes.

Then she tried to write a request to me. She took the pen in her left hand and wrote "Please call ????? people". At least, I think that was it. The word please was clear enough that I'm sure. After that, her writing became too blurred, eventually degrading into a series of loops only. I suggested that she try to print, one letter at a time, but she ignored that. Who knows what pathways in her brain are working now and which aren't? Maybe cursive writing was all she could access at the time. It was a strange situation, in which I was ecstatic that she wrote the word please so I could understand it, while she was frustrated to tears that she couldn't get rest out.

Today, when Louise walked into Jan's room, she was greeted by Jan's hoarse "Hi"!

Such progress! I'm on cloud nine. What a birthday present to a certain someone who is very closely related to Jan, Louise and me. (Hint: it's not Mom.)

Thank you thank you thank you to all of you for your unwavering support and prayers for Jan. Please keep up the good work, along with a huge dose of prayers of thanks, too.


(*) The title of a song sung by two cartoon characters that Jan finds hilarious: Ren & Stimpy.

The chorus goes like this:

Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!


Katy said...

Hooray! I am so happy to hear that Jan. you are a superstar.

I am sharing in Steve's Ren and Stimpy Happy Happy Joy Joy Song!

That is fantastic news. Praise God!

love to all of you,

Ret said...


Jim_n_Bren said...

Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy