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Showing posts from December, 2011

December 31, 2011 - End of the year... Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve is a time of reflecting back on the past year, and hopefully looking forward to the next. This past year has been a difficult one for the Ross family, and especially for Jason. We have had some set backs, though none so dire that we could not go on. Jason was seriously injured, and he survived. He will have challenges for the rest of his life, and will have to learn to live a whole new life. On top of that he will be doing it without his wife, who has decided to go her own way. I have been providing Jason with all the love and support I know how, and have been able to do so because I have a wife and family that show me love and support; and, then there are all the extended family and friends that have also been providing help along the way. It looks like I won't be going home, to Livermore, anytime soon and we have a plan, though preliminary, that Linda (wife) will be coming down to help. Initially it will be two week intervals, and then maybe longer periods. Ri…

December 30, 2011

Just got Jason to bed, and he is doing okay. You can tell that the split from Bridgette is taking a bit of a toll on him, and on me actually. The good thing though is that we were able to talk about it for a little while, and I think it did him some good (me too). We took care of some personal things today, and generally had a busy day. A big portion of being busy was the fact that we had both Stacy and Jackie with us, so it was a little bit of extra work. The good part of that was that they were both tired by the evening today, and went to bed with little effort, and should sleep pretty soundly.

I think this weekend is going to be a little more relaxing, as we don't have to be anywhere, or do much of anything, other than possibly go do some grocery shopping. We have some laundry to do, but that is just a matter of sorting, washing and then folding later. We might go for a nice walk around the neighborhood, as we haven't done that yet. It will be good to get out of the house t…

December 29, 2011

Today was a busy day for Jason, though not a great deal was accomplished. Jason and Bridgette are splitting (getting a divorce), and it saddens me that it has come to this, in their relationship. I won't go into detail, at least not now, all of the issues that have come, just that it seems that they are both irrevocably decided on this course, and as Bridgette asked, Jason agreed. As a result, there are a number of things that Jason feels he needs to get done, and because of the holidays it is difficult at best, to get much of anything done. We are all still living in a single residence, though Bridgette has found a place she is going to be moving to. It is unclear as to where the girls will be living, but we hope they stay here, at least initially so that it isn't too disruptive to them.

This has caused a higher level of stress on Jason (and me) and he has missed a couple of appointments - and I'm not happy about that. I will be working more closely with him to be sure h…

December 28, 2011

Today began with me getting up and getting myself ready for the day (shower, brush teeth, etc.); and then I went in to assist Jason, who wanted to take a shower. He hasn't been able to get a shower this week, due to all kinds of interrupts, so now he is really wanting to take a shower. One of the first things I need to do is to get his dressings removed, and then he gets into his chair. Only problem today is that when I removed most of the dressing from his wounds I didn't like what I saw, and I had him get back ready, quickly, so that I could get him to ER. I guess it was the lighting or something, but I could have sworn that I saw separation and honestly it scared me. When we got to the hospital ER we were taken in pretty quickly (no doubt this irritated some of the others who had been waiting) and within a few minutes he was on an adjustable table and we had his dressings off... again. This time though it didn't look near as bad as what I thought the first time, and in …

December 27, 2011

Today was another day that required some thinking and exploring of ideas for Jason, and I know this sounds a little mysterious, but I don't have the liberty to express more than what I've said. On the positive side, the day ended on a better note than it began, so all is not bad.

I took Jason over to the hospital, late this morning, and the nurse practitioner felt that his wounds were looking better, and I had to agree. I actually did the dressing change on my own, and have no problems with that. It was kind of funny, that I had brought most of my own supplies and then when we got there I didn't have to use very many. They had gotten all the right stuff, so it was quick and easy, and basically what I carried in I carried out, plus a few extras.

After the appointment we went over to the pharmacy to pick up Jason's prescription, and then we headed over to OT. Actually, today was for just getting "oriented" and for setting up the next appointment. The orientati…

December 26, 2011

We drove up to see David, Miriam and Dylan today, well that is, me, Linda, Jason, Stacy and Jackie. This was the first time for Jason to be visiting with his brother, at his home in Los Angeles, and as such the first time for the girls. David is in heavy trial prep mode right now (he's a lawyer) so he didn't get to visit as much as he would have liked to, but we did have a couple of hours with him. The rest of the time was spent with Miriam and Dylan, and that was wonderful in itself. On top of that, Miriam's mom, Bonnie; her sister Julia; and her brother Saul were also there, and we hadn't seen them in over a year. Unfortunately Julia and Saul didn't stay long, though Saul came back later - Julia had to catch a plane to fly back to New York City.

The kids all played together very well, with Dylan being a very gracious host. Dylan has some great toys he was happy to share, and the way David and Miriam have arranged the house it gave them all, all the room they want…

December 25 - Merry Christmas, Take Two

Today was a pretty good day, though there were a number of challenges we faced. As a result of the challenges Linda will be headed up to our son David's house tomorrow (we will be driving up there with Jason and the girls), and she will not be coming back down to Jason's place. Then, a few days from now she will headed back home. Otherwise it was a nice day, with the girls having a great time with all the presents from so many people, and even some from Santa!

I fixed a turkey for dinner tonight, and realized just how many things were still yet to be stocked in the kitchen. I was able to make it work though, and that turkey came out nice and moist. After dinner we all talked for a short while and then I made sure Jason had all his meds for the rest of the night, and helped him get to his bed, and insured he was comfortable. We will be leaving at about 09:00 tomorrow morning, so we won't be too rushed. I've talked to him about taking a shower a couple of times, but he d…

December 25 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone - I hope you have a wonderful day. I will be posting more tonight, but for right now everyone is doing OK.

Decembert 23, 2011 - The family is back together, again.

I got up this morning and Bridgette wanted to go over to pick up her dad and then return the trailer. Jason and I were going to be heading over to the airport to pick up Linda and the girls, so if things coordinated and connected well, we'd all be in sync and back at the house at about the right time. Not necessarily what happened, but it was too far off.

We got up this morning and because I gave Bridgette, Jason's 06:00 meds, I didn't have to worry about them. I did check to make sure they were delivered, and at least close to be the right time... and they were. We decided to all go to breakfast, and then Bridgette found out that her Dad had already eaten, and therefore wasn't going to be going with us. We went to the Waffle House, just down the street, and the food was pretty good. We got back to the house and Bridgette wanted to get going to go pick up her dad, so they could empty the trailer, and then get it returned. She had a little difficulty in turning it aroun…

December 22, 2011 - Getting Back Together

Today was a good day for Jason, as we were able to effectively get up when we wanted to (though I still had to give him 06:00 meds this morning); and, we were in no hurry to get breakfast. We had Kix cereal and some fruit (apples), and it was one of the best breakfasts we have had in a long time. After that, we spent some time putting a few things away, as we knew that Bridgette was soon to be here, or at least we were expecting her to arrive sometime today.

After we were done eating breakfast we figured it was time to get over to PT (or maybe OT) and begin some of Jason's out patient care and rehab. Actually nothing had been scheduled or planned, but we figured we go anyway - just in case. We got there and saw Dr. Pyu, and also found out that there really wasn't anything planned today, for Jason. Dr. Pyu was actually pretty happy that we were there, as he wanted to get Jason over to the prosthetic guys, so they could begin working on a prosthetic for Jason. We went over and s…

December 21, 2011 - Last Day In The Hospital

Today was an especially busy day for me, as I had to pack up all my belongings (again) so that I could move out of the Fisher House. Then I went over to pack up all of Jason's belongings, so that I could move both of us to his new house. It was a matter of shuttling back and forth, and still spending some time with Jason. On top of all that Jason had his dressings changed today, and I was involved with that, too. Despite all the activity and shuttling, we managed to get out of the hospital by 15:30 (3:30pm) today, and we were in the house just a few minutes later.

The day started out with the packing, and then I had to make the first run over to the house. The bed was being delivered and I needed to be there to receive it, and to make sure it was set up both correctly, and in the right place. The guys from Healthy Back were very professional and had it done in less than an hour. That was great, as far as I was concerned because I still needed to finish with Jason's room. Jaso…

December 20, 2011 - Final Papers Signed!

Jason and I went down to the housing office and he signed all the necessary documents to allow him to move in to the new property. I apologize, but I did not ask him about publishing his address on the blog, so you'll all have to wait for at least another day, before I provide it - assuming that Jason will agree to have it out there. The house began the day completely empty, and now it has a full set of furniture through out. The only thing that is missing is his bed, and that is supposed to come tomorrow just a short while before he moves in. The folks who did the furniture did a great job of making the place look like a model home, and Jason was impressed.

The day started out with me going over to see Jason, and then there was a visit from a Major General and a Sergeant Major, both responsible for the Wounded Warrior Battalion that Jason is now a part of. The great part of this is that both of these gentlemen came to Bethesda while we were there, and stopped in to see Jason a co…

December 19, 2011 - the real 19th this time...

Apologies to all those who wait up for my posting, as it is getting late and I am just now getting started. Jason and I stayed for Monday Night Football (Niners and Steelers) and that game was delayed by over half an hour with the two power outages. I was happy with the results of the game, GO NINERS! Jason will be happy about it too, once he wakes up and finds out about the score - yeah, he fell asleep during the half time break, and just slept through the rest of the game. I didn't want to wake him because he had had a pretty busy day.

It started with getting ready for PT/OT, and I mean that honestly. We weren't sure what he was going to be doing, and it turned out to be PT. He had a great workout, and got all sweaty, just the way he wants to be before a dressing change and shower. It was probably the best and easiest shower and dressing change that he has had so far. Jason was able to move better than he has in the past, and he said he was more comfortable than he has been …

December 19, 2011

Today was a laid back kind of day for Jason. I guess he might have done just a little too much yesterday, and he didn't want to do much of anything today. It was actually kind of funny, with OT coming in to Jason's room this morning. She said she was going to do all the stuff she was going to do yesterday, but didn't get to because Jason and I went shopping. Of course I asked what she had in mind. She wanted to see Jason do some transfers - bed to chair; chair to bed; and other type transfers. I had to point out to her that Jason was NOT going to be doing a bunch of different transfers due to his physical limitations, but that he could do the bed-to-chair and back again, if she wanted to see that. She said she wanted to see that done. We knew OT was coming in so Jason was already dressed, and I only needed to get his chair over to the bed. He did his transfer to the chair, and then he did his "swing" transfer back into his bed, and she said she was done and didn&…

December 17, 2011 - Final Weekend

Well, it finally has gotten here - our final weekend in the hospital. We are so-o-o-o looking forward to getting in to the house next week. The medical staff has been very supportive of us moving out, and at the same time we have heard several of them say they are going to miss us. I guess we have been one of the longer stays they have had here, just like in Bethesda. To be honest we're going to miss many of the medical staff as well, though we will be staying in touch with the doctors for sure. The PT and OT teams will be expanding some, and Jason will have all his treatment over at C5 now.

Jason and I went out Christmas shopping early this morning, and he was able to find a couple of nice gifts for his daughters. It was a bit of a collaborative effort, as he wasn't totally sure of what to get, so he and I discussed just about every purchase. The actual selections were all his, and I am sure the girls are going to be very happy to see what they are getting. He was able to be …

December 16, 2011

Today was a particularly good day for Jason, in that his wounds looked better than they have ever looked; he had a shower, and in the process of the shower he said he was able to move in ways that used to hurt and now don't; we were given the news that were were going to be moving out of the hospital on Wednesday (next week), and Jason signed documents giving him "ownership" of the property. No new visitors today, just a bunch of folks that are part of the different volunteer organizations, supporting the Wounded Warriors. They generally brought small gifts or cookies, and overall it was a very good day for Jason. And... on top of that he was pretty happy with the meals that were coming out of the galley today - all of them.

Jason had OT this morning, where he went down to the C5 gym, in the other building. He was there for about an hour, and had a good work out, though it wasn't to the same level as he usually gets working with Lynn. She was off today, so he got to …

Decmber 15, 2011

I got back from Los Angeles this afternoon, and it was JUST afternoon (12:03) when I got back on base. Jason was back from his OT and PT workouts, and I'm guessing that it was a combination of working real hard and not getting the sleep he wants at night. I spoke with the nursing staff and asked them to get him back on sleep hygiene again, and she said she would contact the doctor. There is no reason for them to keep waking him up. All his vitals have been steady, and normal for him. I'll find out in the morning if he slept through the night.

I was able to bring back his banjo, so I'll get him to start playing with it, over the next couple of days. All he really needs to do at this point is to practice some of the strumming, and learning the cords. When he was doing it before he could get some of the cords and attempted the strumming, but now that his hand is finally showing signs of muscles growth, perhaps he will be able to really play it better. He was really happy to …

December 14, 2011

Today was a bit of a different day, as I went over to see Jason early in the morning, and we had breakfast together; and, that in itself is not too different. Then I helped him get ready for OT and PT work, that was going on in the gym upstairs, and again, that wasn't too different from other days. The difference came shortly after his work out was over. I went up to Los Angeles, to see one of my other sons, David, and his family (Miriam his wife and their son Dylan). Actually, there were a couple of things I needed to get taken care of, and I wanted to be there in person to do so. Anyway, as I was just about to get ready to go a special visitor came in, BGen John Broadmeadow. He was going around and talking to all the Marines, and came in to the gym and sat down to talk with Jason. He had the Sergeant Major with him and his Chief of Staff, but he did most of the talking with Jason (and me). He said he wanted to use some of the stories that Jason was giving him, when he got back o…

December 13, 2011

Today was a little more relaxed than the last few, and I think that was a good thing. Jason still had to go to OT and PT, and as usual, OT wore him down a little more than PT would have liked. Jason still did his best and still gave 100%, of what he had left, so to say the least, he was tired by the end of the day. Not much else to write about today, other than we had a few more visitors and they were all folks we had seen before... a couple of times, so I didn't have them sign the Red Book again. One of them was the Sargent Major for the Wounded Warrior Battalion, and we had not seen him since we were in Bethesda, so that was nice. One of the Wounded Warrior support groups came up, all dressed up in Christmas attire, and handed out cookies and other goodies, and that was pretty much it.

Tomorrow is going to start with a shower (after breakfast), and then after that I will be headed off for a trip up to Los Angeles. I will be going up to see one of my other sons, David and his fa…

December 12, 2011 - Moving Out!

Well, as you might guess, from the title, today we discussed Jason moving out of the hospital, and into a more permanent residence. They have found a house that Jason has agreed to. It isn't exactly what he was wanting, though it has some nice features. His home back in N.C. was about 1400 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bath. This new place is just over 2200sq. ft. and also 3 bedrooms and 2 bath. A big difference is that N.C. they had a huge yard, San Diego very little yard. The interior of the home is nice, with plenty of new upgrades, plus a dishwasher, which they didn't have in N.C. One of the other things that Jason was asking to have in the house is front loading washer and dryer, and this place has that. It is also multilevel, with two of the bedrooms down stairs and one bedroom and one bathroom upstairs. The rooms are much larger and there is plenty of space for Jason to maneuver around in. They have also talked about putting a chair-lift in for the stairs, should t…

December 11, 2011

Not much to write about today, other than the fact that Jason and I finally got to go to the zoo today. It was a nice little visit, and we even rode the tour bus around the park. We enjoyed being out and had lunch at the zoo, then decided to come back to the hospital, so he could get out of the chair. Once back at the hospital, we watched a little football, and talked a bit. I went out to pick up sandwiches for dinner from Togo's and then we just relaxed. Jason relaxed so much that he fell asleep. I figured he'd had a busy and adventurous day, so I would just leave him alone and head back over to the Fisher House. We have a busy day tomorrow, again, so I want him to get all the rest he can.

Take care everyone, and thank you again, for all the prayers and support.

December 10, 2011

Wow! A third of the way through the final month of the year, and also a nine month anniversary for me, being in a Naval medical facility. Funny, I never thought I was going to be away from home this long, and then again, I had no idea of how long it was going to be. A bright spot is that they are all very actively seeking a house for Jason and his family to move into, and they would like to see that happen soon. Well, actually, Jason would like to see that soon too. Now, on to the day...

We were supposed to head over to the zoo today, but that didn't happen. After Jason was done with his PT this morning, he had to go down to radiology for some x-rays of his right hand. I thought it was going to take an hour or more to get this done, as my experience with x-rays has always taken extra time. This time however, it only took about 30 minutes (maybe less) and we were headed back to his room. The problem though was that he was feeling some significant discomfort, on his left side, and s…

December 9, 2011

Today started out with Jason going over to OT, and PT this morning. Okay, it started with him eating breakfast, then he went on to OT. Anyway, Jason spent a good portion of the day in his wheelchair, and still had time to do things like find a house. Well, it isn't official yet, but right now it does look like the most promising, and it is a pretty nice place with lots of room. I think there is going to have to be some compromise, if Jason wants to get into a house before the end of the year. If he moves into a place and it doesn't have everything he would like, then after a little while he can ask for another place to move to, though that isn't much fun. Anyway, we did go take a look, and the place is relatively new, and in good shape. He just wants to have a place that his family is going to be comfortable living at.

I was hoping to be more done today, and did my best to keep pace with all that was happening. The challenges were keeping all the different things coordina…

December 8, 2011

Jason's days remaining in the hospital are coming to an end, or at least that is what I think I am seeing. His wounds are doing what we want them to do, for the most part, and he is gaining ability to move around more, on a more regular and smooth manner. I was talking with a couple of the medical staff (independently), and they both said that it is probably better for Jason to now be out of the hospital, than for him to be in the hospital. Their rational for this is that many of the people who are in the hospital are there because they are sick, and there are all kinds of "bugs" and things that can cause Jason to get sick; so, why expose him to those dangers? I think it is simply time to get out of the hospital, and Jason is just tired of being there, and I can't blame him. As we do get close to a final date, I'll let you all know, and for now, just know that we are targeting to be out, and in his own home, before the Christmas holidays - though some would argue…

December 7, 2011

Busy day today, for both Jason and I. We spent the greater part of the day together, and still were able to get a bunch of things done. Most of the things Jason was busy with were things like OT and PT, and he also had a dressing change and a shower. I know, the last time we were looking at a shower tomorrow, but things changed again. That's okay, though, as from what I could see, and from what the medical folks said, things were looking much better, and some of the more stubborn areas were closing up. On top of that, the news of the test for new infection seems to have come back negative, and that's a good thing.

The OT and PT were separated by a couple of hours and he was worked pretty hard today by both. Jason did his best to give 100% effort, he is a Marine, and it showed by the time he was done. Along with the OT and PT he had a shower earlier in the day, and that, in itself is very physical and challenging. Funny thing is that when I first went in to see him this morning…

December 6, 2011

Today was a bit more tolerable for Jason, though he did get pretty well worn out with OT and PT activities. I went over to see him this morning and we had some visitors from the Marines, and from the medical staff, so it was pretty much a normal morning. Then he got ready/dressed for OT and we headed over to the gym, up on the 5th floor. It is nice being able to go over to building 3, where the C5 gym is, but it is even nicer being able to just stay much closer to his room. Lynn has a high energy level and comes to all her sessions with all that energy to get the guys working hard. Jason was sweating at the end of the session, where she worked his arms and hands, and also did some work on his core. Right after that session Jason and I went out of the building to go rent a couple of DVDs that he wanted to see, and then went back up to his room. It was kind of funny, we were warned that it was cold outside, so I grabbed a jacket for Jason (already had mine on) and we went outside. It wa…

December 5, 2011

Wow! What a day. At the end of last week, there was a dressing change for Jason and they applied a wound treatment called A-cell. This is a treatment that helps to generate the body's own stem-cells, so that the skin will grow back in, more naturally. Prior to this treatment, we had been told that dressing changes would be happening twice a week, along with showers. This was fine with Jason, as he would get "bathed" regularly in his bed anyway. Now that the A-cell was applied, it was going to be a week before he could get back in the shower and have another dressing change. Again, this was okay with Jason, especially if this is going to help with the healing.

Well, today, this morning, the medical staff came in to visit with us (and it seemed like they were coming in one at a time), and told us that there was going to be a dressing change today, and that they wanted him to take a shower. That through our schedule out the window... We challenged them a bit, and had the do…

December 4, 2011

Today was another stellar day for Jason, as we had visitors and more visitors, and we went out and did some sightseeing.

Today is Sunday, so no PT/OT exercises. Jason has spoken to the PT & OT folks and requested a day off, and will no longer have to do any of the therapy work on Sunday. As it turned out, we didn't do any yesterday either, but that was unintentional. I went over to see him early this morning and we watched the National Geographic channel for a little while and talked about what we were watching. We knew Uncle Larry (same Uncle Larry that came out a few months ago to Bethesda) and Aunt Joyce, and cousin Katie were coming a little later this morning. Well, they arrived about 10:15 and came up, and it was a great time for all of us, especially Aunt Joyce. She has been asking about Jason more than just about anyone, so it was good to have her finally get a chance to see and talk with him. She was impressed with how big and strong he has gotten. Uncle Larry was a …

December 3, 2011

I know I had said I was going to stop writing the blog posts on the weekends, but today was such a good day I wanted to let everyone know.

I went over to see Jason at about 9:00 this morning, and checked on how he was doing. He said he was doing great and still wanted to get out today, to take care of a couple of errands and then go take a look at a potential house. The transportation was supposed to come at about 11:00, so we had plenty of time to just relax and visit. The cool thing was that my friends, Rob and Karen had come down to visit, and they were still here, so we were all going to go together. Well, the driver actually showed up just a little after 10:00 and I stepped out of the room to talk with her. She told me that she was going to have to deal with a medivac run at 13:00 (1pm) so we might not be able to get everything done. I asked if she could just drop us off, and then come back and pick us up later. She said she would check and get back to me in just a few minutes. …

December 2, 2011

Jason had a rough day today, though it was supposed to be a nice and easy kind of day. It was to start off with a shower, so that means all the existing dressings were to be removed, and I did that. It was followed by a shower, and the OT person (it wasn't Lynn this time) was there to help anyway she could. Actually I did most of the work with Jason for a couple of reasons. 1) I already know what to do and Jason is comfortable with my efforts; and, 2) Jason didn't know who this "new" person was and really wasn't all that comfortable getting naked in front of her (he's still not that comfortable in front of Lynn either). Anyway, Jason got in to the shower and aside from me handing him a couple of things he did most of the work by himself. His shower was uneventful, and if felt good, or at least he said it did. He got back in to his chair and we went back to the main part of his room to get on to the prone cart (this is where the skin treatment is to be done). …

December 1, 2011

Wow, I honestly didn't think that Jason and I would still be in the hospital at the beginning of December, yet here we are. The change right now is that the main reason we are still in the hospital is that there is no other place to go right now, and as far as I can tell, there won't be for at least several more days and quite possibly several more weeks. Jason's wounds are not closed yet, though they are getting better and at a point where I should be able to do all the dressing changes at "home". The seat for his chair, the custom one they are putting together, should be done in a matter of a couple of weeks, and I was informed today that I would be getting a van so that Jason and I can travel around, and not have to depend on someone from the Marines Liaison Office to put transportation together for us. So, as you can see from what I am writing, there are still some issues to take care of, though none of them are particularly large issues, and none are show st…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office