Each time we start to read an email and state who it is from, Kari's face lights up with a smile as she recognizes your names. She is amazed you take the time to write to her and she is very thankful. Kari is breathing better today. The pressure support from the ventilator has been decreased from 15 to 10. They are hoping to decrease it to 5 later today and possibly remove the ventilator tomorrow or the next day. When we are reading the emails to her, we all are moved to tears sometimes, and as you start to cry, you naturally hold your breath a little. The trouble is, if Kari holds her breath very long, it sets off an alarm on the ventilator, which then makes us laugh and we have to encourage her to breath through the crying from the emails! :)
When Derin and I came in this morning John handed me a cup of ice chips to give her! Another exciting celebration! She can have ice chips! She asked her mom to flavor them with jello, but that request is still on hold per doctor approval :) Speech therapy brought in blue vanilla pudding this afternoon (I guess you cannot color chocolate pudding blue very well) and Kari once again swallowed it perfectly! It is a miracle how much easier she could swallow today than yesterday! It was painful yesterday! Then the nurse offered her a little of her smoothie (colored blue by the speech therapist) and she loved that as well. Tomorrow the menu is blue macaroni and cheese :) As they deflated the cuff in her throat to do this swallowing test, she once again was able to get air through the vocal cords and produce some more voice sounds. She then told her mom "I am going to sing again!"
Kari sat on the side of the bed with therapy and nurses this morning, felt "SO WEIRD!" according to Kari, and had an expected small change in her blood pressure. They will do this again tomorrow. She does tolerate the head of the bed being up quite high. They have a bed here that allows the feet to drop down into sort of a large chair position-very cool, and she tolerates that well too.
More tubes/IV's and stuff came out today and last night (which is a good thing). Her pneumonia is better and the chest tube should come out tomorrow. She does not have the pain she had across her chest two days ago and her elbow pain from yesterday is gone today! Miracle upon miracle! She does fatique quickly and needs to rest often. She also needs to get her body back on a day/night schedule, so she can sleep through the night and be awake more of the day, especially when she goes to rehab.
Aaron has finished visiting rehab centers in CA today and is on his way back tonight. Continue to pray for clear direction with this decision. I told Kari yesterday that Aaron is doing such a great job with all of this. She agreed, smiled and said "He is so positive! He was the perfect man for me to marry!" Their love for each other was a huge thing for Kari when she was trapped under the car as well. She saw the angels there, they were a comfort to her, and helped her to breathe. She also knew she did not want to go with the angels and told them so. She wanted to stay here with Aaron. (Are you getting choked up and holding your breath? I am as I type it.)
Another exciting moment of the day happened this afternoon when John was alone with Kari. As she was talking to him, the ventilator hose popped off her trach! Alarms started to sound, reds light flashed, there was a loud whooshing sound from the detached ventilator hose, Kari's eyes got big and John thought he was going into heart failure :) He quickly determined that tube A fits onto tube B, and he simply put it back together! He still does not find this episode as funny as the rest of us do. He keeps holding his chest when he tells it :)
Well, the library here is closing so I have to leave. Thank you for continuing to pray! There are so many small mountains for Kari and Aaron to climb and we are thankful for every one she has surmounted this far with God's miraculous touch!
Update by Shona Fowler