Swallowing and Standing

And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. -Exodus 33:18, 19
The Lord has been gracious and merciful to us and I'm forever grateful for the ways in which He reveals His goodness. 

September 24 -Day 102

Upon my return from the shower, I noticed  Dean chewing on something white. I first thought it was his tooth so I stuck my fingers in his mouth to retrieve the mysterious object but it was gone. I recalled around 6 am that his blood was drawn and noticed him picking at the tape on his left arm. The gauze was gone. He chewed and swallowed it! I was concerned and asked the nurse if he would be able to digest it. His lungs sounded clear, and his breathing was fine. Exactly a week ago, he was given a swallow test at Kessler and it showed him having a delayed swallow but now Dean decided he was ready to eat! I sat on the edge of his bed as I ate my banana and the thought crossed my mind, "If he just swallowed a piece of gauze, he should be able to swallow a banana. So I mashed up a small piece and placed it in his mouth. He moved it all around in his mouth and swallowed it. I gave him more and he continued to chew and swallow. Then I placed the banana with the peel into his right hand so he could feel it. Immediately, he brought the banana to his mouth and took a bite. I had to limit the bite size as he took off big pieces. He ate about a 1/3 of the banana. He really enjoyed it and seemed satisfied! I shared the exciting news with the staff and during lunch the speech therapist tried applesauce and thickened cranberry juice. I'm permitted to give him pleasure foods. The last meal he had was a turkey sandwich I made for him at noon on June 15, 2012. I thank the Lord that Dean is able to swallow and that one day he will eat a big juicy hamburger with a chocolate milkshake! 

Dean also towered over everyone as he stood for the first time! We used the parallel bars as we placed his right hand on the bar and four of us lifted him onto his feet. He was a little bent over and it took a lot of effort for us to stabilize him but he was standing. He stood for about 1 minute 3 times with rest periods in between. His blood pressure remained the same the first time, the second time it elevated, and the third time it decreased as he broke into a sweat. 

He had an exciting day and he continues to share his love with me. It was really special to see him chew a banana this morning and stand! I thank the Lord for this double blessing in one day and I look forwards to more blessings from the Lord's hand!

September 25 - Day 103

When I am sharing some heated concerns with others, Dean tries to console me by bringing my hand to his lips and kissing it several times to let me know he cares. His sweetness continues to shine through our darkest moments. By the end of the day, Dean finished his strawberry chobani yogurt. He also holds a spoon with his right hand and brings it to his mouth with some guidance. Last Tuesday night, we requested his foley catheter to be removed and for the past week he has been unable to void. However, in the midst of this painful experience and many prayers God answered our request as he was catheterized for the last time at 10 pm. 

September 26 - Day 104

Around 5 am, I heard the nurse aids talking about the sunrise picture I taped above his bed. After listening for awhile, I sat up in bed and shared how Dean proposed. After we chatted, I crawled into bed with Dean and soon noticed his need to be changed. I was thrilled to see that he voided for the first time after a week of trying! He continued to void throughout 
the day and bladder spasms began around 2 pm. He was very agitated and it was quite exhausting as I wrestled with his right hand to prevent him from harming himself. 

He shaved his face some while I held the mirror. He also gained about 5 lbs since he came to Quincy. In the afternoon, he stood for 3 minutes at the standing table with the support of 3 therapists. His blood pressure dropped significantly after he went from a sitting to standing position. He need assistance with his head, arms, bottom, and legs while standing. I gave him a few bites of blueberries and he chewed them. He also ate some keifer and applesauce. He is pushing his tongue out to get the food and seals his lips around the spoon. He also chews and moves food around with his tongue followed by a quick swallow. He pulls the spoon to his mouth with some guided assistance and leans forward at times. He squeezes the plastic cup a little too hard when bringing it to his mouth. By 1 pm we had to lay him down for a nap. In the evening, he kissed my hand while I was talking on the phone to the tax collector. At last I went to sleep around 11:30 pm but only for 2 hours before a late night ride into town.


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