Ok gang, I'm going to try to provide an update on Joe's medical progress today, as related to me by Lisa, Paul, and others. If any of you readers are medical pros, prepare to cringe as I blunder through some of this.
The biggest developments of the day were the successful procedures to remove the various tubes that had been in Joe's mouth, and their replacement with a tracheotomy and a feeding "peg" into the stomach. He has adjusted to the trach. well and seems a good deal more comfortable with the new devices in place. He is going to be getting his first "milkshake" through the feeding tube tomorrow. His sodium levels have dropped to a less-troubling range, and all his vital signs are good.
There are continuing concerns about the swelling in the brain but, as Stephen mentioned in an earlier post, this is normal for the kind of trauma he has suffered. The hope is that we may be at or near the worst time for the most dangerous swelling, and yet it hasn't been bad enough for the doctors to feel the need to administer any drugs to address the issue, which is a good thing because those can have other adverse side effects. (Again, any medicos out there can clean up whatever mess I'm making on these points).
Sometime within the next week, doctors hope to begin procedures to repair some of the fractures in Joe's facial bones -- jaw, cheek, etc, so that will be a big step as well.
He's getting music pumped in via his hi-tech "astronaut" bed (it is "Space City," after all), and seems to be comforted by that as well.
All in all, a positive day. But there will be ups and downs, as you all know. Not out of the woods, still in the middle of the thicket. Keep the prayers coming, and we'll keep you informed as best we can.
And I should point out -- Joe will want everyone to be pulling hard for Ohio State against Purdue tomorrow night.
Love and thanks to all.