Matthew was more alert today for a period of time. When I arrived, I told him I was there and I also told him James was there. At that point, he smiled. I gave him a choice of four different books. He started to become agitated, as if he wanted to say something, so I quickly chose a book for him (A Man Without A Country). I know before the accident, he had just finished another Kurt Vonnegut book and enjoyed it. I asked him if he wanted me to read to him and he nodded. He seemed to calm down immediately. I asked him after every chapter if he wanted me to continue and he nodded. A couple of times he seemed to fall asleep. I read to him for probably an hour. He was definitely more aware of the large breathing tube. Several times, he lifted his arms in attempt to pull it out. I felt so good today, though, being able to bring him some peace, some calm, some serenity.
Matthew went into surgery today after I left. The surgeons decided that they needed to clean his wound and possibly do skin grafting. They do not want to put any screws or hardware in his pelvis until his wound is completely healed to avoid infection. The wound may take two to four weeks to heal. The doctors are also thinking that his pelvis may heal on its own. This would obviously be much better anyway than having to intervene with artificial hardware. The doctor who spoke to us today was very optimistic. He said that the mortality rate for this kind of injury is 60% and that the fact the Matthew has come through it to this point is a very good sign. He said "we're moving towards being out of the woods." He encouraged us to stay positive and to see the blessings. He wished my mom and I a Merry Christmas and he followed it with, "Seriously, Merry Christmas, you have your son."
I never completely understood the impact the medical team has on a family in need until now. I have never been in this dire a situation. I am so grateful for the competent, caring, positive, compassionate team at this hospital.
I called the hospital tonight for a final update before bed, and they said that Matthew will probably come off of the ventilator tomorrow. This is good news, although he is agitated tonight because they are reducing his sedation and he can feel more. Tomorrow is Christmas and my original plan was to be up in the Bay Area with my parents. It was going to be the first year Matthew was not going to be with us for Christmas. I was feeling really sad about it and thinking last week how much I wished he would be with us. Life is so ironic...here we are...all together. I don't know that I have ever felt so happy as an adult on Christmas Eve as I do tonight. I have my brother and I could not ask for more.