Dear Family and Friends,
Mark and I talked with Ginny last night, and Joe continues to adapt to the Shepherd Center and show progress. Therapists of various kinds are with him most of the day, and though it has been very tiring for him, he is settling into a much better day versus night rhythm and thus appears to be sleeping better. One priority is to re-teach him to swallow, and he is steadily improving. Hopefully the wires on his jaw will be cut by Thursday and that will certainly facilitate his ability to drink and talk. Due to the extensive surgery on his mouth and jaw, however, he won't be able to eat solid food for a several weeks. It's amazing how well he can speak even with his jaws wired shut; apparently he has been quite chatty. He talked with Ginny and Mom and Dad Leahy about his days a football player at Circleville (he remembered they were the Tigers as well as his offensive and defensinve positions), memories of Ohio State days and even a baseball game between the Reds and the Phillies. He really liked his nurse Mary as well, remarking after she conscientiously brushed his teeth and cleaned him up that "she does good work!" The UAH biology faculty know how much Joe cares about his teeth, noting that he would daily trek down the hall after lunch, toting his tooth brush and tooth paste! Thank the Lord his teeth aren't damaged! By the way, I will shortly be mailing several tooth brushes and tooth pastes for each of the UAH biology faculty as well as PJ and Diana who are teaching Joe's classes--Ginny will be doing teeth inspection when she and Joe return from Atlanta!
Another story from today that tickled me is that Joe told Ginny and the folks that they needed to shop for Mark (my husband/Joe's brother-in-law/fellow blogger) as his birthday was coming up. Though Mark's birthday is not until September I was amazed to hear that he knew the exact date of Mark's birthday--the 22nd! Just for fun, I asked Mark when Joe's birthday was and after two chances he guessed the correct month but then was off 5 days--so I guess Joe is doing okay cognitively in many respects.
Another piece of good news is that Joe was able to open his left eye today more regularly so he is getting stronger and muscle tone returning little by little--even in his eyelid. Hopefully Joe will soon be strong enough to make the trip to the nearby hospital to get a thorough examination by the neuro-ophlamologist.
Last bit of news is a friend (Peggy) of Madision, AL friends brought over supper on Sunday-they actually bumped into her so it was lucky-Dad Leahy was happy as mashed pototoes were included which he had been craving. Great meal and great day as cafeteria closes at 2:30 on Sundays!
Ginny was going to email me more updates but then ran out of time before it was time to see Joe again. I decided to blog anyway and I'll catch up with Ginny later. Remember Ginny and Joe are now on Eastern time and I'm on Central and I don't want to risk waking her up or the folks. Please be patient with the blogs as Mark or I will post as soon as we are able to get information form the folks in Atlanta and they are very busy with Joe.
Again, please keep praying for Joe, Ginny, Keith and Stephen.