As of around 4:30 when I left the hospital this afternoon, Neil's routine had been pretty much the same as yesterday--a little bit of labored eye contact, some random limb movements, and lots of sleeping. Apparently, he saved the big show for his dad's shift this evening. Scott just called to tell me Neil is quite alert and definitely looking at him and at things as they move across his field of vision. He quickly turns his eyes to sounds. His focusing just seems to get better and better. Like any muscle that hasn't been used for a while, it's just taking some time to get his eyes back in shape.
Today, Neil was fitted for his helmet. Yes, he gets to wear an awesome space helmet...lucky guy! Because he is temporarily missing half of his skull, he needs to be very cautious about protecting his head. After much deliberation, I decided to cut the rest of his hair. The ICU worries about having a sterile environment for the patient's health, but they really don't care too much about hair care. So after three weeks, Neil's long hair was looking pretty gnarly. I trimmed him up the best I could, but I think he's got a little mullet thing in the back where I couldn't reach!
Tomorrow they will rate him on the Glasgow Coma Scale to see if he is alert enough to have his breathing tube removed altogether. If it's too low, they will do a tracheostomy. Either way, he should be ready to move to the rehabilitation facility very soon.
Just one more thing--We are missing our friends Glen and Regina from room #4. Regina left for rehab yesterday. Glen is still waiting for her to wake up, but she is medically stable enough that it's time for her to be in a place that specializes in stimulating her brain. It has been very therapeutic for us to have a friend that knows what we're going through. It looks like Neil will be going to the same facility, so we're looking forward to continuing our mini "support group!"