The neurologist confirmed that Dick had several small strokes, but a full recovery can be expected after a long recovery, and not to get discouraged along the way. Late yesterday afternoon, Dick left ICU and was moved to a regular room. Yay! for more room, more privacy, less light and noise.
This morning he passed the swallowing test by the speech therapist which meant he could have a "heart healthy" finely chopped lunch. The cardiac care nurse told us one of the benchmarks to be achieved before discharge could be considered was to be able to walk 1200 feet. Dick told her he wanted to accomplish that by this afternoon. Ha! He made it about 100 feet.
Greg and Mike are flying out tonight since we now believe Dick is out of the woods and headed in the right direction. I'll be sleeping at the hospital from now on, in Dick's room. It couldn't possibly be any noisier than the party-hotel we've been staying at.
Side note re Hawaiian hospital terminology:
shee shee = pee
gullah = phlegm
hanabata = snot
Are you pau? = Are you done?
Continued improvement for Dick - hurray! Only one chest tube remains, all other tubes and IVs have been removed. He now gets to eat bite-sized (an improvement from finely chopped) heart-healthy meals, and even got a greatly appreciated piece of apple pie for lunch today.
We went to a class this morning given by a cardiac rehab nurse which was very informative. All the expected advice of low sodium, no saturated fat, no caffeine. Being limited to one cup/day of decaf coffee may be one of the hardest adjustments Dick will have to make. Eating oatmeal every morning will be the easiest since he already does that. One surprising requirement is limiting fluid intake to 48 ounces/day. Dick is a big water/beverage drinker, so this will be a challenge.
Dick also walked 300 feet early today and another 600 feet around noon. Great progress in this area. His coordination and use of his right arm and hand also continues to improve. We each got a great night's sleep last night, the nursing staff found me a chair that converted to a flat bed, and there were very few interruptions (or I slept through them).