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Zhou Lin's Recovery Process
June 30, 2006
Brecken Swartz
Zhou Lin's recovery process appears to be on an upward swing now. She was finally able to keep down some chicken noodle soup last night, she is drinking sips of Ensure (a high-nutrition drink), and she's doing some breathing exercises in the bed to help clear her lungs. The physical therapist is expected to come by today to give her a few more exercises to do while she's still in bed.

One of the surgeons came by yesterday to change the tight bandages on her feet, and apparently there is a small risk of infection in her left foot, so they are keeping a close eye on that. Her fever is still around 101 degrees, and her throat is still hurting from the tubes that had been down her throat during the surgery, so she's not very willing to eat much yet. We are trying to figure out what she might like, but she's not up for even expressing preferences at this point, because she can't really bear the thought of eating. Zhou Lin's mom has rarely left her bedside, and has been watching her monitors constantly. We are pleased to see that the oxygen saturation in Zhou Lin's blood is staying around 100% even though the oxygen mask has been removed, and her heartrate and respiration are at normal levels.

Zhou Lin is talking more now, although we still haven't seen any smiles. I remember how perky she was studying English the night before her surgery, and I really can't wait to have the real Zhou Lin back again. We're getting some more study materials ready to do as soon as she is ready, and today she will have her first visit from her Dominican friend Vladimir. We're trying not to push her, but the doctors feel that she is ready for some more activity than she's had over the past few days, so we are trying to introduce familiar activities gradually. Yesterday she wanted to watch a Chinese movie (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), since I had told Zhou Lin that she reminds me of the actress Zhang Ziyi who stars in it, and we were happy to see her stay awake through the whole thing. The morphine doses are coming down gradually, and her mental clarity seems to be improving as a result.

Yesterday Zhou Lin got a visit from the nice Taiwanese reporter from the World Journal yesterday, who brought her some wonderful new high-quality painting supplies and a promise of a visit from her Sichuanese artist friend this weekend. Zhou Lin's arms are still hooked up to IVs and monitors, so we're not sure if she can actually paint yet (or even if she'll want to), but we hope it will be nice to at least have something to look forward to.

The prayers you guys are sending are definitely helping in very tangible ways, so please keep up the great work! We still have a very long road ahead.

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