Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Miracle #2 - Speaking Valve

We are all beginning to feel like we are bipolar. We're up, we're down, we're up, we're down. It's like the never ending roller coaster ride. Today is another great day. Dad started his third breathing trial today. It went so well they took him off completely with just oxygen put through his Trach. Then they decided to put the speaking valve on. It works! Although it is as quiet as a whisper, you can hear him! I half expected his first words to be "Give me a beer." Much to my delight he simply said, "Put water on my face." After 3 or 4 times he had me put a wash cloth on his face and just leave it there for a couple of minutes. When I was done he said, "Thank you." It was pretty awesome.

It takes time to learn to use the valve. You take a breath and say one or two words and then take another breath and say one or two words. They said once his lungs get stronger he will be able to speak louder through the valve but for now we take the whisper.

You can tell he is getting tired. This is the longest he's been off the ventilator. It would be like you or me on a treadmill for hours on end. They will probably put him back on soon just to give him a little break. Like any muscle the lungs should get stronger over time if he keeps practicing until they wean him completely off the ventilator.

The real trick now is making sure he doesn't get pneumonia or any other major infection. As if the bed sores aren't enough to worry about. His internal thermometer seems a little better. He hasn't requested to take his clothes off today. Yes, he literally demanded Sue take all of his clothes off. He was NOT happy when they said, "Marshall, that is not allowed." My Dad is not normally that kind of guy so he must have been really hot! Actually it's the nerve sensitivity that causes pain like when your foot is asleep and it becomes prickly. We believe that is what makes him so uncomfortable at the end of the day. Unfortunately Dad has the worst of both worlds, he is paralyzed from the neck down but can still feel the pain.

Well, our goal is to have more than one great day in a row. We hope tomorrow brings us more miracles! One day at a time!


  1. Amazing.....Marshall you are truley Amazing. Keep fighting, we are praying for you every day, and everyday more and more people find out about your fight, so everyday there are more people praying for you. No wonder you are taking great strides each day!

  2. YEA!!! You got to hear him talk! What a treat! That is amazing! Way to go family. Kepp us posted if we can help in any way.