Good evening, Brandon watchers! Sorry it took so long for me to post tonight. I was at the hospital this afternoon and evening, and then ran into some minor computer problems when I got home, so this is the first opportunity I have had to give you an update.

Brandon has been off the ventilator since Tuesday afternoon. He had the swallow evaluation done this morning (all is well with that), and was given permission to eat or drink whatever he wants, although his appetite is still not very good. Tonight for dinner, he ate less than 1/2 of his food before he decided he was done with it. His throat is still somewhat tender, and so it is a bit uncomfortable to swallow solid food. He seemed to do OK with his mashed potatoes, but the sandwich was a bit much.

Other bits of progress: this morning he had his last catheter removed, and so now he is down to the PICC line being the only invasive connector left. They will probably leave that in until he is ready to go home, as it makes giving all his IV meds very easy. He was able to graduate from the oxygen mask to the nasal cannula, but with the cannula on, his O2 is a little lower than it is with the mask, so they are keeping an eye on his levels. His O2 drops rather dramatically whenever he is more active – anything from shifting to a sitting-on-the-edge-of-the-bed┬áposition after having been laying down to standing and/or walking a few steps around the room (as far as his oxygen tubing will let him go). Because of that, they decided in the middle of the day today not to move him off ICU just yet, but we may see that happen in the morning, depending upon how he does in the overnight. Regardless, he is still rather weak and tires very easily, so we are trying to keep him calm and let him get as much rest as possible.

Prognosis at this point is very good. If he continues to improve as he has, there is still a good chance he would be able to be home in time for Christmas. Whether that means Saturday or Sunday, we are still not sure and will not have a better approximation until after they move him to the medical floor. One of the nurses said yesterday that, once he is transferred out of ICU, he will probably need a couple more days in the hospital before they will let him come home, and then it will be with instructions to take it easy for a while longer, so even if he is home in time, I am thinking a quiet, laid-back Christmas is in order.

I will be heading back up to the hospital tomorrow, late morning. Again, if anyone would like to come by, just touch base to see how he is faring and where we are. He is loving all the messages of good will and the visits from family & friends, so don’t be afraid to drop by. Just please remember that he is still recovering, so we will ask you to keep visits on the shorter side! Thank you, again for all your prayers and words of encouragement!

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