Jason had a competition today, against another Marine, of a push-up contest. The other Marine was smaller than Jason, and also a double amputee. We all met down at the PT gym, with Jason showing up just a few minutes ahead of his competition. The rules were pretty loose, and it wasn't really clear on how they were going to start, or even what constituted a push-up. When that was all finally determined they got ready to begin. The rules were simply to do push-ups as well as you can, going up as far as you can and down as far as you can, without touching the base (in this case the work out tables); they were to begin at the same time, and do as many as they could. They both got into position and I said, "Ready...Go!" And they were off. Jason started at a pace of about 1 push-up every second (maybe just a little slower than that). The other Marine was going at a faster pace and by the time he had reached 20 push-ups (yeah, 20) Jason had made it to 14. The other Marine stretched out his arms and just laid down while Jason kept on going. A couple seconds later he asked, "How many does Jason have?" we said 18, 19... and he said, "Oh, crap!" and started doing push-ups again. Everyone was getting excited and we were cheering them both on. Even Stacy, Jason's daughter, was clapping for daddy. The other Marine got to 32 pretty quickly and laid down again, and Jason kept on going, still at the same pace, so when Jason hit 30 the other guy got back up and went to 40, and this time laid down and said, "that's it." Jason didn't show any signs of being tired until he hit 37, then worked to go the rest of the way to 40, and he stopped. It was an amazing demonstration between the two, and since Jason didn't stop for rests I decided he was the winner, though the other guy worked hard too, so you got'a give him credit. Now you have to understand, I was not the anointed official, and I simply decided for myself that Jason had won. Afterwards, the other Marine was put back in his power chair and went back to his room and Jason stayed for more activities. Once he was done, Jason got himself back on to his cart (we helped) and he rolled himself back to his room, by way of a lap of the 5th floor. I thought of it as a victory lap. You could tell that Jason felt pretty good about himself.
With the work that Jason is doing now, with Physical Therapy, and the gym, I am expecting that he will be able to do more of the things that he wants to do, from an independent nature. One of the biggest challenges he has to get past is the weakness in his right hand. He has been working with Orthopedic these past couple of days, and it is suspected that the ulnar nerve, in his right arm may be damaged. Considering what he has been through I wouldn't be surprised. We may not find out much about this until later next week so we just have to wait right now.
Not too much in the way of visitors today, but that may be because he was down at the contest when dignitaries may have come around. It really doesn't matter as we were able to spend a big chunk of the day with him, and he was able to see his two daughters as well. About the only thing that didn't go well today was the food from the hospital's kitchen. Each day they have the patient fill out a menu, identifying what it is they want to eat. The next day, that selection is supposed to be delivered, and for the most part they get it right. This week, however, they seem to be challenged as they have goofed up his meals a few times, and then today we ended up with three trays in his room before the lunch meal was correct. We were told they have some new people and some of them seem to be having difficulty. The alternative (and it is a good one) is that we can go down to the galley and just get the food ourselves, if we want to. We might even go down with Jason and all of us eat a meal while sitting around a table, and Jason said he would like to do that.
Thank you, for all the support and prayers, as Jason is continuing to improve and the infections seem to be going away. Just a little bit longer and he will be ready for his next level of rehabilitation work.