Friday, June 4, 2010

Lift Up Your Voice

To really report on the events of today, I need to go back to yesterday evening. Over the past couple days, Shannon has been more interactive with us, carrying on limited conversations and more interested in things around her. Yesterday evening as Pheobe was getting ready to pass the baton to me, we were talking about various things and Shannon said, "Daddy, would you give me a blessing? I think you can put your hands on my head now." So I was able to give her a priesthood blessing of health, strength, comfort and recovery. We were reminded of the pure and simple faith that she has always possessed, and of her desire to seek the blessings of the Lord in times of trial and difficulty. The three of us shared a tender experience as we felt the love and care of the Savior in our lives.
As Pheobe had mentioned yesterday, one of the major concerns we have is how Shannon's voice and neck are functioning. This seems to be affecting many of the things that are very important in her continued progress such as nutrition, protecting her airway, and communication. I had spent a fair amount of time talking to her about focusing on two things today, her voice and the muscles in her throat. She must have taken the pep talk to heart because she showed great progress in both areas today. The speech therapist was really pleased with her improvement during the morning session both in terms of her ability to eat better and the strength of her voice. By the afternoon session, things were even better. While yesterday you had to be right next to Shannon to hear her whisper, today you could hear what she was saying from across the room. I kept trying to annoy her to the point where she would just yell at me to "bug off" but she isn't to that point just yet. She really loved her pureed pears. When she ate the first bite of them this morning her reaction was, "Um. That's good." She was supposed to have the scope done of her throat today, but there was enough happening at the hospital today that we had to postpone that until tomorrow morning.
She has also been building up her stamina for her therapy sessions. She still gets tired but not as early in the sessions. She has her opinions and preferences. They have had her playing a game they call "Bop" where she holds a bar and hits a beach ball with it when the ball is thrown to her. She let the therapists know that she thought this game was really stupid. So this afternoon they replaced that game with basketball, much to her joy and satisfaction. She did about 2 1/2 hours of therapy today so she is getting really close to making the transition from the Trauma team to the Rehab team. I imagine that will happen early next week.
I should mention one other thing. Shannon has been really interested in the cards and posters that people have sent that are hanging in her room. This afternoon she wanted me to read the messages to her that friends and family members have sent to her. She also had me read the comments that you have made on the blog. She will often break into a smile and she hears what you have written--the expressions lift her spirit and let her know of the love so many people have for her. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and feelings with and about her. And thank you for your continued faith and prayers. We gratefully acknowledge the Hand of the Lord in her progress each day and are humbled by the love and grace that He extends to us.
One final note, many thanks to our daughter-in-law, Kim, for putting style into the blog. Her layout, formatting and content make it so much better and readable.


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  2. Hello Shannon, Udell and Phoebe, and all of the Blackham family:
    Thank you so much for such a wonderful, inspiring, and faith promoting way to keep us all informed about Shannon’s progress. It has been so very inspiring for us, and gives us another good reason to keep up on our prayers.
    We stopped by your home today to visit with MaryAnn and Annika. MaryAnn was telling us how Annika is always wanting her to read all the updates in your posts about Shannon. It was very touching to us to know, that Annika is concerned too, and expresses her love to her sister in her own sweet way.

    Wayne and Mary

  3. Hello my sweet Shannon. I am so very rateful Heavenly Father loses us all and especially the love he is pouring down on your head and also your family. I cab hardly wait until you are well enought that I can come and give you a big hug thnking how very foresighted enough to realize the srength and the strenghth you show so you can be well and whole again. I love you so much Shannon and may Heavenly Father continue to look upon you with his love and that he will continue to help you get rong and soon bein the groove again. lover, Grandma mc