Red Letter Days for Joe Haldeman 10/13/2009

“The best day so far,” Gay Haldeman told SFF.net readers on October 12.

Found Joe wide awake.  He was evaluated for swallowing with apple sauce, juice and a graham cracker. He rolled his eyes and made happy faces when he had food in his mouth.  When the speech therapist asked him to smile, he made exaggerated monster teeth faces and cracked everyone up.  He’s been cleared for a soft diet.  If his pancreas enzymes stay down, he’ll eat on his own and be unhooked from the gastric tube. The whole visiting family got to interact with him.  Physical Therapy showed up, sat him on the edge of the bed for a while and he did well.  He paid attention as I was given a lesson in caring for his iliostomy.

He made writing motions, so we dug out the dry erase board Tim’s sister Jenny gave us.  Jag asked him if there was anything she could send him.  He pointed, slowly, letter by letter, to W-O-R-L-D   P-E-A… before we caught on.

On October 13, Joe had his iPod and a smile on his face. No fever. Real food. He was on a trach cuff and when the cuff was moved aside he could tolerate room air just fine.