Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017

It is already the 10th day of the year and it seems to have gone by so very fast. On top of that it has rained nearly every day, and for this part of California, that's a bunch... we do need the rain, though.

Jason is doing well, and we continue to work on better ways to make him comfortable, as well as continue to work with all the medical teams. His one wound is being particularly stubborn, and just as it looks like it is going to be closing up it starts to open up a little. When I say open up, what is really happening is that the immediate skin around the wound site starts to break down and goes away. The BIGGEST challenge is blood flow to that area. This is something we've been aware of for a few years now, and we are constantly looking for ways of making improvements. One of the ways was the new prosthetic he received from Aspen/Ride Design (also known as the "wearable"), and it helped greatly. The only issue with that though, is that we have kind of hit a limit to how much more it can help that one spot (mentioned above). That is where the folks at CalPoly kind of step in. They designed another type support system that could help in a different way, and still help to keep Jason comfortable just being around the house. The wearable is for general travel and getting around, away from the house. It is great for support but restricts his ability to reach and move his upper body. The CalPoly device is designed to allow him the ability to reach for things and move a little easier while at home.

Jon Monett, the man who effectively put that CalPoly design team together, stopped by the house yesterday, to check in on Jason. We had been talking for a couple of days and found a time that works for both our schedules. We explained to Jon some of the challenges of the new system, and he told us of some potential solutions, so we're pretty positive about what can come of this. Of course we continue to move forward in all areas, and look at this as one of the possible pieces of the total solution that could work for Jason.

Otherwise things are continuing to go well for the family, overall. The girls, Stacy and Jackie, are both enjoying their school, and in fact, Stacy is in a "talent show" later this week. We'll be going to see the show and cheer her on. Jason has gotten much more involved with their schooling and does all he can to make sure they get all the support that is needed, and that includes anything that might be considered special.

Linda and I are staying busy, and still make time to stay in touch with the rest of the family. We have five grand kids now, and the family continues to grow. Every now and again we try to get up to the S.F. Bay Area and visit with both Sean and George, or make arrangements for them to come down and visit with us. Fortunately David and his family are close enough that we can visit with them a little easier, though they are still over 130 miles away. Since this is 2017 now, and we have the entire year ahead of us, we're looking forward to an exciting and productive year. Thank you all, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016 - Happy New Year!

Actually, I guess I should say, "Happy Old Year" since the new one doesn't begin until tomorrow. Actually, Google pointed out that on the Gregorian calendar, December 31st is also known as the Old Year Day... but I digress, as that isn't what I intended to cover with this post, but it is kind of interesting.

Anyway, we have had a few busy days recently. We have a new grandson, born on December 28, at 4:00 in the morning. He weighed in at 8lbs 5oz., and his name is Noah Alexander Ross and he is the third son of our 2nd son, David and his wife Miriam. That makes five grand kids now, and we're very happy. Both Mom and Dad are doing well, as well as their other two sons, Dylan and Ethan. Linda and I spent a couple of days up in the lovely city of Glendale, so we could be close to them, and to celebrate a "second" Christmas with the boys, Dylan and Ethan. We actually got home yesterday evening and found that Jason was doing well, and all was as it should be.

While we were gone we had help from a couple of friends, Leisa and Joselyn. They both came in and helped Jason with the girls, and with his needs, and from the sounds of it, they all had a good time. As it turned out, it was one of the most relaxing times Linda and I have had in a few years, and that was particularly nice. Don't get me wrong, there have been other moments of relaxation, its just that this time was particularly nice.

During the time we were gone, Jason went down to Balboa for his regular visit and the wounds on his right side are looking better and continue to make improvements. He is getting around a little more, though not too much. We want to limit the amount of "up" time he has, so that the healing can continue and we can work towards that next step... we're all looking forward to this coming year, for multiple reason, and all of the family is in good and positive spirits.

From the Ross Family, to all of you - - - Happy New Year! May God bless you all and all of you have a wonderful year full of experiences. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, actually, I had planned on making this post yesterday but I was just too warn out, so I'm getting it in today (tonight). We have had a very good and exciting past several days. First with George, our oldest son, coming out for a visit. I think this was a good visit for him, and a very good visit for us. It was good to see the brothers get some time together again, and even tomorrow they're planning on a movie outing, in the morning. The reason for the early showing is that George will be headed home in the evening. Something about the need to get back to work... ;-)

The family has enjoyed the Christmas celebration, and we even had a double Christmas dinner. First it was Linda's parents who came, on Christmas Eve, and we had a more traditional turkey dinner. It was an exciting and fun time for the girls, as well as the adults, as they always like to see their Nana and Tata. They stayed well past dinner and we even asked them if they would rather stay the night, than drive home. They chose to head home and called when they got there. The good part was that they also told us that there was very little traffic, so the drive was easy. Then on Christmas Day we all got up and celebrated the birth of Jesus, and we opened a bunch of presents. The girls were again very excited because they got some really fun things, with the camera being Stacy's favorite and Jackie getting a full set of Petkins (not sure about the spelling), and she felt like she had the best Christmas ever.!

After most of it was cleaned up we began working on dinner and getting things ready. Anthony and Angelica were coming over, and we were going to have tamales and other Mexican style foods for dinner - a little less traditional. Jason was up for most of the day, and it was really good fun time for all of us. Jason was also VERY tired when it was all done and within a minute of getting back in bed, he was asleep, and slept pretty soundly. One of the appetisers, before our dinner, was this item that Jason prepared. It was tritip, mozzarella and spinach, all wrapped in a tortilla and then baked. He made about two dozen and most of them were eaten before the end of the night (the last four were eaten this morning for breakfast).

 Because of the past two days being as busy as they were Linda and I got to bed and were out, also within a minute or two, and we slept pretty soundly for the next 8+ hours. The beauty of letting the girls stay up a little later than usual was that they also slept in this morning and that made it a more gentle beginning to our day. Overall it has been a very enjoyable holiday, and on top of it all one of our other sons is about to have another child, and that is supposed to happen at any time (we're going to be going up to visit with them very soon).  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. Merry Christmas to all, and have a prosperous New Year in 2017!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016

It has been nearly three weeks since my last update, so I figured I should put something up, and besides, we had a special visitor today, and that made it all the more important that I post something. We have most of the Christmas preparations completed, with a few shopping runs still to be made. The general attitude of the household is very positive and we're having fun. The girls are with us for the next several days, as Jason made this a "vacation" period so the girls simply stay with us until the 30th.

I took them out to go riding their bikes, over at the school. I really should be getting them out more often because I think it would be great for them to be able to go for a short ride with me. Right now they don't have the riding skills down very well, and need more practice. After the riding was done we came back to the house and had some lunch. Linda wanted to get some additional decorations up, inside the house (the outside looks pretty good and we're all happy with how it looks). Personally I think the inside decorations look good, but Linda wants just a little more. I would have said it was because of the special visitor (see below) except that she was already working on these additions prior to knowing about the visit.

The special visitor was Santa, and the girls had no idea he was coming. They were very excited to see him, and I was able to get a couple of photos, I just wish I had been holding the camera just a little more square. Santa stayed for about 10 - 15 minutes and then he had to get moving; he had other stops to get in, today. It feels like we're really getting settled in to this new home and town. Oh, and one more thing... yes, that is a tall tree, close to 14 feet.



Jason is also staying busy with his mead. I don't know exactly what it is called, but we kind of refer to it as "brewing." There just isn't any real brewing involved. He asked Sean to draw a logo of sorts, for the bottles, and he came up with Wolf Head Mead. I can't show it yet, and you'll just have to trust me when I tell you it looks really cool. As this endeavor develops I'll let you know more. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016

It has been too long since my last update, and for the most part, that is a good thing. Good because it means there really hasn't been a great deal to post, and Jason has been doing very well. I just wanted to get something out, so that everyone will know that we're all doing well and enjoying life, and that the girls are all growing and getting bigger every day.

The most significant thing actually happened today, as we went in to Balboa and had an appointment with one of his doctors. The good news is that there hasn't been a great deal of change in anything, and Jason is doing well. The "less than good" news is that they want to do a CT Scan as a safety step with regard to the blood clot that they (the medical folks) all got nervous about, last month. The doctor said it should be done as soon as possible, so Jason jumped on the phone and set up an appointment, and it will be done on the 15th. That is the earliest date available, and actually it sounds like there really aren't too many slots open after that, until January. My initial reaction was that it was a reflection on the number of other patients needing the procedure, and then I found out that there is only one system working right now, and so that one system is working double time to keep up with the load of patients.

The girls are doing well in school, and they are getting excited about the coming holidays. I'm not sure which is more important to them, Halloween or Christmas. They seem to be equally excited about both of them. Linda continues to work hard at keeping up with the decorations, and we even did some work today at getting things put away, and also other things ready to be put out. I need to begin getting the decorations for the house, and I am hopeful that the house will look great in a matter of just a few days.

As I said, not much else going on... we're all staying busy and taking care of lots of chores, and school and keeping the fish looking great (Jason has a 75 gal. tank with several fish). The dogs are healthy and happy, or at least I think so - I don't speak "dog" so I have to guess. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016

Good news! Jason is back home, again. We got up and found out that Jason was doing well (called him on the phone), and that a few "new" doctors had come in to visit with him this morning. These new docs were from Vascular, and decided that he needed both an M.R.I. as well as an ultra-sound scan of the area. There was a possibility of a procedure or surgery so he was not being allowed to eat anything, and initially it looked like he was not coming home.

We checked in again, shortly after 09:00, and I spoke with his nurse. She informed me that he was down at Radiology, getting the M.R.I. done, and he should be back "soon." (I really don't like that expression. "Soon" is so nebulous). Linda and I decided to head to the hospital in the Mustang, since we weren't expecting Jason to be coming home. By the time we arrived (close to 11:00) Jason was back in his room and really wanting something to eat. They said he could have a couple of sips of water, but that's all. Shortly after noon the doctor came in and explained that it had been a difficult exam, because of all the scar tissue, and that they had determined that the blood clot was actually an older one, and much smaller than they originally thought. They still didn't know what caused the clot to form in the first place, but at least they were much more comfortable about what it was and how big it wasn't. There is still a need for blood thinners, but he (Jason) could be taken off the drip I.V. and simply take a pill for the next couple of weeks. They also said he could EAT! And that he would be able to come home today... just as soon as the paperwork was finished and the check out process could be completed.

This was all very good news... except we had driven the Mustang, and now we had to head back home and get the van, and Linda and I were also getting hungry. Originally we had planned on getting something to eat and just relaxing with Jason. Anyway, we both jumped in the car and drove home and both picked up something to eat as well as driving the van back to Balboa. Prior to leaving to get the van we also saw that Jason was able to have a lunch served to him, and that made it much better. Anyway, bottom line is that we got back to Balboa with the van and picked up Jason and the dogs, as well as everything else. We stopped at Mimi's Cafe for dinner and had a nice relaxed drive back home. When we got home the dogs were about as happy as I've ever seen them. They ran all over the place and burned off a bunch of pent up energy.

Jason is now resting in his room and Linda and I are going to get a good night sleep tonight. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016

Jason is still in the hospital, only now both Gracie and Kojak are also there with him. We brought them to the hospital, so they could see Jason, and Jason could see them. The nursing staff thought they were both so cute they wanted us to leave them with Jason. We agreed to, after discussing them taking the time to get them outside every once in awhile, and so they remained after we left. I kind of half expect to get a phone call in the middle of the night asking me to come pick them up, so we'll see how it goes.

As far as the treatment goes, they are still running a blood thinner, heparin (I think) and still discussing what can and should be done. We hope to hear something in the morning, so in the mean time Linda and I are going to attempt to get a good night sleep. We stayed with him until about 21:30 (9:30PM), when he was obviously falling asleep, so we said good night and let him rest. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.