Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 23, 2014

Today was a good day, with the Ross family in San Diego. About the only down side is that we won't be seeing the girls for the next five days. On the big plus side is Jason is healing up well and the medical team is very pleased with how things are coming along. I was a bit surprised by Dr. Salt when he suggested that Jason consider doing another tissue expander on the other side (left side) to see if they can get more coverage. Jason sort of listened and didn't commit one way or another. I just happen to know that he is not interested in any more surgeries, right now, and would rather just focus on getting himself back in to an operable condition. He did sit up a little today, though it was only for about 20 seconds, and from the look on his face I would have to say it was painful still. The fact that he could go for 20 seconds is good, as it does show that he is getting better. The wounds and bandages are getting smaller all the time, so Linda and I are very happy about that, as is Jason.

Tonight was also Linda's and my "date-night." We decided to go check out some new model homes, to get some ideas for his new house that is being built soon. We got some pictures taken and it did give us some ideas about what is available, so that we discuss ideas with the designers. After that we went to the Landmark theater in Hillcrest, and saw the movie "The Railway Man," and felt that it was well worth the effort to go see it. The performances were excellent and Collin Firth (he was the main character)  and Nicole Kidman  were very believable in their roles. I would suggest going to see it, if you enjoy  WWII movies, with this one being how survivors cope. A great deal can be gleaned for how to help some of those with more current injuries and PTSD.

After dinner we went to a Mexican restaurant and had a nice meal. We were able to have the time together and still get home before 20:00 (8pm). Probably one of the more enjoyable times that we have had, in a long time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014

Nothing new to report about today. It has been a good day for everyone and I think particularly enjoyable by Linda, as she had time to do things with Stacy that she hasn't been able to do otherwise. I got in a 19+ mile bike ride, and that was good for me. And, then Jason had his dressings changed out and the wounds looked better today than ever in the past. I am confident that tomorrow's doctor/wound care visit is going to be a good one. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

What an interesting, and challenging day for me. I sure am glad that Linda is here because I really needed her help, with all that happened.

Have you ever had one of those days where it just seems like everything is orchestrated to make the first few hours seem like things are against you? I got up with plenty of time and figured I'd do a little "housekeeping" on my system. It was time to change/update my security software. Well, when I tend to get working on a computer, almost any computer, I tend to loose track of the time, and it happened again this morning, and I didn't even get the software loaded. I finally realized I needed to check on the time for my morning appointment, with the VA, I found out that it was in 15 minutes, and over at the Mission office. Oh, crap! I ran up to do a quick clean up and get dressed, the only thing I had done was brush my teeth. Fortunately I hadn't eaten anything, and once I was dressed I jumped in the truck and took off.

I ended up behind slow drivers, each traffic light was red, and then there was a couple of cars who both wanted the same spot on the road, and of course in front of me. I finally made it over to the VA Mission office, and then found out it was the "other" Mission office, that I typically don't go to (went there three times with Jason, so I knew where it was). I hurried over (safely) and finally got a break. Normally if you miss one of those appointments you have to reschedule and you don't get in for another two months or so. This time, however, I was able to see the doctor, and then found out that I ultimately needed to get over to La Jolla, VA Medical Center. Once I got past all that the day did seem to go a little more smoothly. I got all the tests completed and they were able to draw the blood with only a few sticks.

The rest of the day was much more relaxed and things kind of fell in to place, like a normal day, and it ended on a very nice evening. We had dinner and Linda gave the girls a bath. I asked them if they wanted me to tell them a story or read to them, and they chose tell a story. They wanted to hear a story about Tinkerbell  and her battles with the Pirate Fairy. I just put a few ideas together and made up the story and I think Stacy really enjoyed the way it ended up with the Pirate Fairy becoming a friend. Jackie just likes hearing the stories and will sometimes ask for me to through in a few characters she likes to make up. It can be a challenge but at least it shows she listens, some.

The story was over and the girls were in bed. I finally got back to the computer and finished the software install and went through my email. Tomorrow should be a little easier day, though I always know things can turn quickly. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

We started the morning with two very excited little girls, who were anxious to see what was going to be happening today. We had a great breakfast, courtesy of Linda, and then we had to rush to get ready for church. We'd lost track of the time and neither of us had even started to get dressed, let alone getting the girls ready. Anyway, we got the girls to their Sunday school classes and then went and enjoyed the rest of the time, until service was over. Then we had to get over to pick up the girls and get back to the house, as Sean (or I should say, Uncle Sean) was setting up for the egg hunt.

We got back to the house and the girls immediately ran to the backyard and looked through the window. First thing Stacy said was, "I can see the eggs!" We still had to get them prepared for the egg gathering fun and once that was done they were out the door. Stacy did collect more than Jackie, though I think she held her own pretty well. Both of their "baskets" (actually two buckets) were full and they were very excited to have been able to have that much fun.

Shortly after the egg hunt, and examining all the eggs (they were plastic eggs, with each one of them containing a surprise), we made lunch. After this the girls went down for their nap and I did Jason's dressing change. The opportunity was good, in that his wounds are looking really good, with the biggest challenge right now being his ability to sit up. He attempted to do so, before we came back from church, and it was still too painful, so we're just going to have to wait a bit longer. We'll be speaking with the doctors next week to see what they can come up with, as a possible solution.

Sean had to leave at about 18:00 (6pm), to catch his flight, and we'll miss having him around. He continues to amaze us with his point of view, and of all the boys, he is the one who has demonstrated the greatest generational difference from us. What he enjoys doing and has his focus is very typical of his generation, and of those who are single. He does have a great discipline of keeping his finances in better order now, and is working very hard at getting all his bills taken care of, including his student loan - and that we're grateful for. Anyway, he might be able to get back down in another month or so, and that will be good.

As a side note - I decided to post a picture of me, at my laptop, showing what it typically looks like when I update my blog... and some of the Easter pictures. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19, 2014

This morning started off with our cats both joining us in bed. It was the first time for that to happen in a long time. I enjoyed having them up, with us, though I think it might have made it a little more difficult for Linda to say, "good-bye" to them. After all, she has been their primary care taker for the past three years, and they were her regular companions. The good thing though, is that we can go see them, whenever we want, and have the time... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We got up and I made some oatmeal for breakfast, and it was good, but I forgot to pick up some raisins, so to me, it seemed like something was missing. Anyway, shortly after breakfast we took off to take the cats to their new "foster" home, where they will be staying for the next 6+ months. Glenn and Ann (and their son Nick) will taking care of them until Jason's new house is built. When that's completed we will be bringing them to the new house, where they will remain with us. Ann and Glenn have been wonderful about accepting them, and when we first introduced them to the house Pumpkin quickly made herself at home. Candy will take a little more time. Glenn and Ann have two cats of their own, along with a terrier, so there will be other animals for them to play with. Pumpkin and Einstein (the terrier) were getting along fine by the time we left, so we are pretty comfortable that it will work. We even took the girls with us to drop the cats off, and both of them were pretty excited to see where Candy and Pumpkin will be living, and knowing that we can go see them at any time.

After we got back home it was time for lunch, so we all sat down and had a nice lunch together. Sean had remained with Jason when we took the cats, so it was good to find the two of them just talking in Jason's room, when we returned. I think sometimes Jason misses his brothers a little more than he will admit, but that's okay, because it just makes it that much better when they do finally get together. When lunch was over, the girls were going down for their nap, and Sean and I decided to get out to the property where Jason's house is going to be built. It was a nice drive out (and back), and the weather has been great, so it was a good trip and worth the time to get out to see it.

Tonight, Grandma was working with the girls to color some eggs. Yeah, she did it the old fashioned way with vinegar-die and hard boiled eggs. The girls were amazed at what she could do with the different designs, and especially with a wax pencil. Actually, there were only a few eggs to color, as we don't want to "loose" any with the egg hunt tomorrow. The egg hunt will be happening after we get home from church service tomorrow, and I am hoping that Jason might be able to get up long enough to see the activity tomorrow. It is a bit of a long shot, but I can still hope.

Dinner tonight was simple, spaghetti and salad, and it went very well. Sean had plenty to eat, as did the rest of us. Not sure what we will be doing for breakfast tomorrow, but I'm sure it will be something good. Thank you for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014

We had a great morning start for today, with the girls coming up stairs and telling us it was time to get up. Actually, we had been up for about 30 minutes, just laying in bed and enjoying the quiet time together. Anyway, we all got up and soon were having breakfast, raisin bran, and it started with Stacy saying that she didn't like it. By the time we were done she had requested a couple of bowls, and ate all of it.

Later this morning the girls and I went to Costco, and they both were wearing their Easter Bunny ears, and I have determined that Stacy has a future in dealing with the public. She was going up to just about anyone that even slightly looked at her and she would tell them that she was a "bunny princes." Everyone thought they were both very cute (and they are), and it consistently brought smiles to the people's faces.

Then later in the day, late afternoon, we headed over to the airport and picked up Sean, or youngest son, as he is down for an Easter visit. The girls were very excited to have Uncle Sean here, and they spent a good part of the evening talking with him, and sharing anything anything and everything they could think of. It is good to have Sean here, as we just simply have not had enough time with him, over these past few years, and frankly we miss having him around.

Dinner tonight was simply grilling some burgers outside and having some catch up time. Sean and Jason spent the evening chatting and sharing different things, as brothers often do. We get to have Sean with us until later Easter, then he has to fly back home, up in San Francisco. It is a short visit, but we'll take all we can get. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

I got up this morning, a little on the early side, as I had a trip planned to head up to Los Angeles, to pick up our cats. The two cats have been kept, for the past couple of weeks with my son, in Los Angeles and now we need to get them down here, and to their "new" home. They will be in foster care until Jason's house is built, and we've moved in, and that might not be until the end of this year. Anyway, I was up early and went in to check on Jason, as I usually do, after I get up. He was awake and just before I went into his room he called me, on my phone. He wanted me to let Gracie (his dog) out, so she could do her normal morning routine. I did this and then went in to see him. I wondered if he had attempted to get into his chair before calling me, and he had. It wasn't a good out come.

When he attempted to get into the chair he said it caused him some significant discomfort and pain and felt that he should not be sitting just yet. We discussed it for a few minutes and then I went to finish getting ready to leave. I wanted to get going so that I could get up to David's place and turn around and back down here to be a part of the meeting that was scheduled today. I figured we'd talk more about it, after that meeting, and Jason didn't seem horribly bothered, just sort of irritated and maybe disappointed that he wasn't going to be able to be up in his chair.

Aside from the traffic, the trip up was uneventful, and the visit was short but very nice. I got to visit with David, Miriam and Ethan; Dylan was already at school when I arrived. I loaded up the cats and their supplies and we headed back down to San Diego. The meeting was to begin at about 13:30 and I had more than three hours to get back, so it should be relatively easy. I called Linda and let her know that I was on my way, and then took off.

Again, the trip down was affected by traffic, a little more than I had hoped, but still it wasn't that bad. At about 12:55 I received a call from Linda, to let me know that just about everyone was there, and she wanted to know how much longer I'd be. I was south of Ocean Side and thought that I should be able to make it the rest of the way in about half an hour, though I only told her that I'd be there as soon as I could be and continued on with the drive. I arrived at 13:25 (1:25pm), and actually one other person arrived just a few minutes after me - she thought it was at 13:30 also. As it turned out, the later arrival was okay because Jason was still asleep, and so we had a few minutes to talk among ourselves. Jason woke a short while after that and then we effectively moved the meeting to his room.

The meeting went very well, as we had representatives from the medical side (from the Navy Hospital); representatives from the recovery side (like recovery care coordinators); representatives from Carrington (the folks actually building his new house, and Michael Barrett, who now works for them; and, from The University of Texas, Arlington, who are going to be doing the robotics and other things to make his life a much more normalized way of being. We talked about all kinds of stuff, and the meeting went on for about three hours, or more. I can't list all of the stuff we talked about, but believe me, it was good stuff.

The next surprise was that the girls were back over with us, a day early. Jason was asked to take them and he was happy to do so. It will actually make getting ready for our Easter celebration, though small, a little bit better. The girls were very happy to see the cats, as they have met them prior, and it gave them something new to talk about. We did that, and talked for a little while. Jason and the girls watched a My Little Pony show, and then it was time for bed. It had been a busy day and they were all very ready for bed. Tomorrow Sean, our youngest son, will be coming in, and staying for a visit, through Easter. We are all looking forward to seeing him, and spending some time with him. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.