Kari is still doing very well, but this has been one of those frustrating days. It started in the early morning with Kari having a fever of 101.4. They don't know yet where it's from, but have not put her on antibiotics yet either. By this evening the fever was down to 100. Some tests are back, some not, but people seem to be on top of the situation and monitoring it well. Then there has been the coughing, which is very hard on her, especially because the coughs don't seem to be very productive. They have tried to suction her more often, but this doesn't seem to have relieved her much, so they will be doing stronger suction techniques this evening. It's been such a struggle to feel comfortable breathing today, and sometimes she actually forgets she can't move, and, of course, the quick realization adds frustration. She's felt uncomfortable in the new room, and it seems that part of this might be that it's drier in there. That's better for the trache tube, but causes her nose and skin to itch, and perhaps there is something in the room she's slightly allergic too. That's not great for her asthma. We're trying to stay on top of these things too. On the other hand, they have hardly increased her ventilator support, though tonight that have her on a setting which will give her more support if she tires too much. They seem quite confident that she'll be able to be weaned from the ventilator, and each breath she takes on her own she gets stronger. "Well, boot camp is kind of starting right now, Kari," I said, and she smiled. Linda wondered whether she thought she had to be completely off the ventilator before starting rehab. Sure enough she did, and when we told her she didn't she whispered, "Thank you for telling me that," and her whole body relaxed. It's like yesterday when she thought she was moving to Denver for good. "We've got to communicate better," Linda said, "so she doesn't have to figure out so much on her own." We'll try.
Today the caliper in Linda's right rear brakes suddenly froze up, ruining the rotor and pads back there, and the Hyundai dealer told us it couldn't get parts until Monday. We had planned to leave mid-day Sunday, but this made us think again about our plans. Linda has now decided to stay an few extra days, while I fly home to take care of job things. Her decision made Aaron relax, and Kari's parents relax too, because they have been here non-stop and have to return home Tuesday morning for job and health reasons. John and Dustin left this morning. Sarah will leave Monday because Kari insists she go on the Ethiopia trip as planned, and she has an appointment Wednesday to have all her shots on one day. Ouch. All this would have left Aaron totally alone for most of the week. There will be many times in the months to come when Aaron will have to face being alone like this, but it's probably too early to leave him alone for this long. Now Linda and Aaron can split duties, spell each other, and also share a car until almost the day that friends arrive from Loma Linda with Aaron's car on Saturday, and Rob comes back in next Monday. Maybe God froze the caliper--who knows?
It's the old Shirelles' tune: "Mama said there'll be days like this, There'll be days like this, my Mama said." Luckily we have other tunes, too, about peace and rivers and solid rocks. We covet your prayers as much, maybe more, on days like this, and for weeks like the one coming up.
--Richard R. Guzman