I can’t post fast enough to keep up with Peter’s progress.
One story I forgot to tell you from yesterday… sometime in the evening, Dr. Zeng came in to see Peter. He stood at the end of Peter’s bed and told Peter something like “Peter! Wake up! There are pretty girls all around your bed!” Peter opened his eyes… looked around the bed… and although there were some pretty girls around him, it was far from surrounded. Peter scanned the room… and closed his eyes again. Was that a bit of a smirk some saw on Peter’s face?
This morning, Peter’s mom, Claudia, came in for the 7 – 11 shift with a bag from McDonalds. She sat beside Peter’s bed and opened her McMuffin (or something similar). After a couple minutes, Peter looked right at her and said, “You’re eating a McDonald’s hamburger!”
Before I continue, I should mention that just 24 hours before this, most of Peter’s words were unintelligible and he said very few sentences at all and didn’t verbally respond to much that he saw (or smelled) around him. Back to the story…
Claudia picked off a small piece of bread and gave it to Peter to eat. He wanted more and more. She gave him some ice cubes which he immediately crunched and swallowed the water and small bits of ice. Then, she gave Peter a bit of egg from the sandwich. BUT PETER HATES EGGS! I expected him to just eat the egg… but as soon as it touched his lips, Peter said, “That is eggs!” and then “I hate eggs!” He might have said a bit more, but I was hiding beside the bed so he wouldn’t see me laughing. When I stood up again, Peter said, “You are trying to trick me!” and then, “I can’t trust you any more.” Then he said, “I like chicken. Even if it costs one million dollars, I want some chicken.” Isn’t that awesome? He closed his lips to more bread at first, but opened them eventually and started to trust his mom again. We were so happy to see this reaction to people and food and his likes and dislikes. Later, he got his chicken, of course!
A few minutes after “The Egg Incident”, I had to grab Peter’s right hand because he was grabbing at his feeding tube or something… I was holding it tight and I was looking right at him telling him why I stopped him. He looked right back and said, “I’m mad. I’m mad at you. I’m so angry with you!” I told him that was OK and that I loved him anyway. Then he furrowed his brow a little and said to me, “I’m giving you ‘angry eyes’! I’m filled with rage at you! I’m filled with outrage!” I was really glad to see this little outburst and his new ability to communicate his emotions and feelings. On a related note, it was good to hear Peter talk about his pain today. We’ve *known* he was in pain, but it is important for Peter to be able to communicate it to us and he’s started doing that.
Peter’s catheter was tied off this morning to test if Peter would feel the pressure on his bladder and maybe try to communicate a need to urinate. I don’t know the details of this test (and I most likely wouldn’t write them here if I did) but I do know that Peter’s catheter is out.
With the addition of food and liquids in Peter’s mouth today, it was a possibility that the feeding tube would be removed. It was! The catheter and feeding tube caused Peter MUCH distress and those are both gone. I do believe that he was able to understand what we were telling him the last couple days about why those tubes were present and what he could do to speed their removal.
Before I left Peter at about noon, we were tossing one of the balls I mentioned in the previous update back and forth. I was at the foot of his bed and we were gently tossing the ball. He caught most of my throws. After I gave Peter a goodbye hug, high five, and fist bump… Dr. Peter’s wife, Sarah, took over playing catch with Peter.
Peter identified many of his visitors today and was engaged in conversations and answered some questions.
Oh… almost forgot! Peter stood up today! I don’t know the details and I can’t wait to hear the story from those who were there at the time, but apparently Peter just all of a sudden swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up! Today was the day to try that anyway, but apparently it happened very suddenly and surprised everyone. I don’t know how long he stood, but is another big sign of progress even if it was just for a second. I think he got up at least one other time later.
What a day! Although we have a great deal of good news to share… please remember to keep praying for recovery and healing as you give God praise and glory for what he has already allowed us to see him do in Peter. Bless you all.