Below is an excerpt from the CaringBridge journal I keep for my sister, Amanda. Amanda suffered a cardiac arrest on September 20, 2010 after an infection and other complications from her chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She was in various stages of a coma for a long time and currently continues to recover from the brain damage suffered due to the lack of oxygen. This was posted on the first day of my second trip to see her after the cardiac arrest.
Journal Entry for Thursday, November 11, 2010
My feet hit the Virginia soil (well, technically, I suppose it was tarmac, not soil) just before 9 am this morning. While I was on the plane, I asked God for a miracle. Something in my life or, better yet, something for Amanda.
Chris picked me up at the airport and before we had driven out to the street he was telling me that Amanda was trying to speak again. She was asking for "more ice"!
OK, God, I hear you.
Amanda wasn't in her room when I arrived but I could hear Mom talking from somewhere else and found them around the corner. It took a few seconds for it to register, but when Amanda figured out who was standing there, her arms went up and out and she leaned forward a bit in her chair like she wanted to jump up and hug me.
Yes, God, I'm listening.
We chatted with a volunteer for a bit (and gave her a piece of Croghan chocolate!) and then took a hot lap aorund the unit before heading back to the room. Amanda was pretty emotional for a bit and was trying to talk again. It took a while for me to decipher but now we know "I want to go home!"
Dr. Alecia stoppped to chat for a bit and then Bill from PT came by shortly after with Jenna. They sat her on the edge of her chair and started working with her. She's beginning to balance herself. She can lift and extend her legs out one at a time and lift each up. She can hold her left arm up over her head once she is helped to get it there, but the right arm is weaker. They lifted her to a standing position and said that they could tell she was bearing some of her own weight. She even tried to give me a high five.
OK ... I hear you.
Shortly after they left, Mom & I were getting her comfortable again in the chair and she kept trying to say something else. I thought I understood one of the words, but I wasn't sure. She repeated it. And then I was almost sure. I gave it a shot: "underwear"??? Yes. Underwear. Apparently she's a bit concerned that she is underdressed! And you can be sure that when she's well enough to read this, she's going to rip me into pieces for posting that!
So then she's looking at the collage of photos on her wall. I can pick out the word "kids" and then "Travis". And then we determined that she wanted to talk to Travis. So she did. We gave him a call and she said "Hi Travis" and later on said "Carson" and "Greta" and "bye".
Granted, these words are all very slurred and it takes time and immense concentration to figure it out, but they are words none-the-less. I'm sure they will come quicker and easier in time.
And to end it for now, I'll tell you what I just told her that made her laugh a lot ... my mother just left for the cafeteria in her slippers! I'm willing to bet that she won't even think about it unless I say something to her ... which I won't ... until she reads this. She's pretty much on Cloud 9 because of all that Amanda has done today.