When Pheobe posted an update earlier today, she indicated that Shannon was headed for another swallow study. She did pretty well with that--passed the next level and came close to passing the one after that. What happens during those studies is that they have her swallow different textures and consistencies of food and liquid. They monitor how well she handles each consistency like pudding, honey, nectar, and water. So today she was almost cleared through the nectar consistency, but not quite. Shannon still has work to do in order to be able to get things working in her throat so that she doesn't have as much risk for getting things down her windpipe when she swallows. However, she has made good progress since the last study. She is doing really well with eating and drinking. She needs to be able to get enough calories and liquids through regular meals and snacks so that she doesn't need extra through the feeding tube. That is our goal.
Tomorrow has more significant events in store. She is scheduled for an MRI to make sure she is ready for the bone replacement surgery on Monday. (Shannon talks a lot about how they are going to "take the top of her head off" so that they can replace her skull.) Along with that we have a full schedule of therapies scheduled.
It is amazing to see how much progress she has made during the past three days that I have been gone. She is incredible. I am constantly touched by the kindness of so many people. So many of my co-workers in San Francisco and Colorado express their love and concern for our family and Shannon in particular. Many of them have never even met her but are so willing to give of themselves, offer prayers in her behalf and exercise their faith to bring about the healing and progress we are experiencing. Words cannot express our gratitude to them and to all of you for your heart-felt love and support. We are especially grateful to our loving Heavenly Father for the many blessings he continues to shower on Shannon and us and on you. I am excited to be back and see what tomorrow brings.