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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"A Foundation for Better Living" / Windows v2.0 -- 3/7/06

This is a happening week! Joseph is back on track with respiration etc. after the cold he's had. They continue to wean him off respirator support at night and he's on his own during the day (just humidity added to the trach). His muscle capacity on his left bicep is pretty impressive. They are using electrical stimulation on his left wrist and feel his muscles are beginning to come back there. When Tim massaged his feet for an hour or so on Sunday, he felt tingling in both of them (we'll take tingling!).
He loves playing practical (or not so practical) jokes on the nurses. The other night his nurse (who apparently didn't eat his vegetables as a child) kept turning on the lights every time he came in to do something. After one of these times he had just left and a short time later Elizabeth, the respiratory therapist, quietly came in, in the dark, to check on Joseph and his breathing rates etc. He, of course, was wide awake. He waited until her back was turned and she was recording his respiration rates, then he held his breath. When the respirator sensed the patient's breathing had suddenly stopped, the piercing alarms went off!!! She almost jumped out of her skin. As she looked at him thinking "Is this it? Is dying on me?" He started to laugh (and breathe). She could have smacked him. Poor Weston in the next bed. After all the commotion, she was so shaken she dropped a water bottle all over his floor when she was helping him. Joseph is becoming a hospital legend.

On the home front, Saturday was another big day with family, former missionaries and friends helping out. They finished painting the main part of the garage and did new dry wall etc. in the small storage area on the back of the garage. Monday the construction crew started early and had the block laid for the foundation in short order. It is an amazing work of perfection, every line straight, level and perfect. It's too bad it will mostly be buried. The craftsman began Monday morning on Windows version 2.0. beginning to open up the wall on the North side of the bedroom in preparation for moving the window from the West side. We vacated the bed etc from the room (we are sleeping in the family room, now) and he began the work. He soon hit a snag (okay it was the electrical feed) in the wall right in the middle of where the window was supposed to be going. That delayed things a bit but the work pressed on and tonight it looks great.
The city inspector came early this morning, gave a big thumbs up to the superb block foundation filled with rebar. The crew immediately began to fill the block and finish the foundation. Tonight it's completed and "How Firm A Foundation" it truly is. Tomorrow it's the new back door. We are preparing to move everything on the main level and rip out carpet before Saturday morning when they deliver the new flooring material for installation on Monday. Panic! We're all looking forward to the big shindig on Saturday evening. See

1) Joseph without collar, showing the scar from his surgery in Guatemala and the blue Passey-Muir speaking valve that allows him to speak all day long even though he still has his trach. Info on the valve: . The background on the handicapped inventor of the valve, David Muir, is really interesting :
2) Weigh in time in the hospital. Joseph has lost over 40 lbs. (Just look at the chicken legs)
3) Joseph's cousin Jamie sprays the final coat of paint on the new textured garage ceiling.
4) The firm foundation. Note the bedroom window closed off on the West and installed on the North. For a "before" view, see Photo 4 on the previous update (3/3/06)
5) Inside view of Tim & Gloria's bedroom and the moved window.


Blogger Gym Rat said...

You are a cruel man, Joseph, for playing jokes on that poor girl! LOL! Must have scared her to death! And a pox on that night nurse for turning on the lights all the time. A bit of duct tape on the light switch would fix that.

The progress on the house looks great!

Mar 8, 2006, 6:36:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

At least you are keeping their jobs interesting, never a dull moment with you as a patient. And I'm not worried, I'm sure Liz is already thinking of some good ways to get you back!

Mar 8, 2006, 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Janice Auger said...

I love seeing the pictures -- I love hearing the progress -- but I really think people ought to check out the blog to pick up the plays on words, as well. Like "foundationi" and Windows v.2.0.

Is this Tim? Or does Joe chime in?

As soon as the dinner and auction get finished (which is my full-time job) Bernie and I will come to see you, Joe. Be prepared. You know Bernie. He will want to joke with you!

Mar 10, 2006, 2:31:00 PM  

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