Just received word from Pete that Mary is now back at home, unbelievably surviving the terrible respiratory infection. She has a "cough machine" that the ALS society is subsidizing. It assists her in clearing mucous from her throat and lungs. Her lungs are fully inflated now but her diaphragm is too weak to draw air in without assistance from the machine.
Hydration is the worst problem at this point. She cannot have a gastric tube, has such terrible scarring that intravenous is no longer an option and has lost so much weight that the nasal tube, which must be permanently attached, is not able to fit. There is insufficient fat left under her skin to take any kind of tubing or intravenous needles at all. So, she is trying to force her throat muscles to work well enough to swallow water and it isn't working all that well.
At this point all I can do is pray that she has strength to get through all of this, emotionally and spiritually, as her body continues to fail. None of us can believe the respiratory infection did not take her life. We are grateful that she was able to see and visit with her son for more than a week before he had to leave again, but now we wonder how much one body can take before giving up.
Thank you for continuing to pray. We don't know how Pete has the strength either to keep going with his ministry and his constant caregiving for his wife. His faith is as strong as her own and strengthens ours as well as we watch this happening to our dear friends.