Dad's condition is steadily improving. Here are some of the important stats this morning:
Heart rate is 120
Temp is 37.8 C
PEEP is at 10.0
Oxygen is at 35%
These are very encouraging stats, especially in light of the fact that the nurses have dramatically reduced the amount of pain killer he's getting. Last night, Kristen and I figured out that he is much more comfortable when we stuff pillows under his knees -- having his legs elevated takes the pressure off of his lower back, which must be a significant source of discomfort due to the broken transverse processes.
He's still fighting the infection in his lungs, but that seems to be going well. He has a bad contusion on his left eye (and what looks like strabismus in the right eye), but the ophthalmologist seemed to think everything was satisfactory after an examination yesterday.
Late last night there was a brawl outside the ICU. We had momentarily stepped outside to give the nurses some room while they repositioned Dad, when a group of distraught people entered the waiting room. From their conversations, we gathered that their son had just drowned. The boy's mother was fainting every few minutes. More and more friends and family arrived until the waiting room was completely packed. After a few minutes an argument broke out. Following some harsh words, there was an altercation, which unfortunately caught some innocent bystanders by surprise. We tried our best to diffuse the situation by expressing our sorrow and acknowledging their loss. Two good friends who were visiting at the time went and spoke with the instigators of the fight and helped them calm down. It was around this time that the boy's mother went into cardiac arrest. This caused even more confusion. Everyone was sobbing, and a few people were throwing up. I felt so incredibly sad for this family. After the emergency team came and wheeled away the mother, we were able to make our way past the police, who were also pretty agitated. It was nice to be back with Dad. He has a way of comforting people even when he's the one in critical condition.