At some point in the early evening, I could overhear my nurse talking.
“I think she’s ready to come off the vent.” I remember feeling so happy at that moment.
Apparently when the night shift doctor came on she talked to my nursing staff and called Eli. She explained that given my numbers she thought I was ready to come off the vent. If I was not able to hold my oxygen levels I would need an emergency tracheotomy, Eli gave consent over the phone to extubate and try. He then jumped in the car to try and make it before I was extubated.
I still remember the feeling of the tube coming out of my throat. Relief! But the feeling of being able to communicate again was an even bigger relief! I had a funny mask on my face but I could talk…even if it was quiet. I could talk! I then decided to facetime Eli. He took a screenshot and it is one of my absolute favorite pictures. My sweet nurses braided my hair and nothing was going to wipe the smile off of my face!
Eli did not make it before I was extubated, but when he walked into the room I was able to whisper “Hi Hunny!” We then called my parents to let them know the good news! This was a huge step forward in my recovery! Given my voice was still very weak, I was still using the communication board to get out long sentences.