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Showing posts from April, 2011

April 30, 2011 - The end of the month, and it is on an up side!

Today started out a bit busy, with getting the girls up (Stacy and Jackie) and fed breakfast, and then readied to head over to the hospital. We put the girls into the stroller and walked over to the hospital, and up to the 5th floor. Jason was feeling pretty good, but generally sleepy, so he dozed off. At this point, he still had not seen the girls, since that one time in the C.C.U. (I.C.U. for you non-military types), and we didn't plan on taking them in to see him today either, but more on that later. We wanted to be in the 5th floor waiting area, with the girls, so that both of us could be there, close to Jason, as it was the weekend and the activity level around the hospital (and base) was minimal, and we knew we'd pretty much have the room to ourselves. While one stayed with the girls the other would go in and see Jason. But, like I said, he was feeling a bit sleepy, so we let him sleep.

As it turned out, the folks from the Navy Casualty group had planned a baseball game …

April 29, 2011 - Another good day in the O.R.

Jason had a quick visit to the O.R. this morning. I guess I had gotten used to the pattern from when he was on the 3rd (and 4th) floor, surgery days; when I could just go to his room and be with him until he was taken to the O.R. Now that he is on the 5th floor there are some changes I need to get used too, with the biggest being that they take the patient down much earlier. In the past I would go to his room at about 6:30am, and have about an hour with him before they took him. Today I got to his room at about 6:30am and he was already gone. I asked about the time he was taken and was told they took him down to the pre-op area at 5:30am, and that after the surgery he would be going to the PACU for recovery and that we shouldn't expect to see him until sometime after 11:30am, at the soonest. I thought, "Wow! That's a change."

His surgery went well, and because his wounds aren't completely ready yet, they didn't want to put on the Integra, which is a bio-synth…

April 28, 2011 - A day to remember

Today was an amazing day, for all of us, and especially for Jason. He not only woke up on the 5th floor today, he had other great things happen. First, he was visited by the Commandant of the Marines (pictures were taken). This wasn't to deliver his Purple Heart, though it was discussed, it was a chance for him to simply check on Jason and see how he was doing. Prior to the Commandant leaving the hospital Linda and I showed up and I got a chance to speak with him. I asked him if he would come back early next week for the Purple Heart presentation, as David will be here, and that would be something important to Jason. (Actually, Jason had told the Commandant that he would like it to be done on Sunday, because he thought David was coming on that day - when I heard this I ran after him and spoke with him to give him the correct day David was arriving.) The Commandant said he would be back either Monday or Tuesday next week, to present it to Jason. And this wasn't the only big thi…

April 27th, 2011 - A day to remember

Jason started the day on a rough note, with his pain level bouncing around a bit, and there seemed to be somewhat of a struggle to get it on an even keel. By late morning he was doing a little better, and his doctor came in to speak with Jason, and since we were there, with us. She said that Jason was now pretty much no longer "sick" and that all of the infection was gone, and his wounds were showing real strong signs of healing up, just like they should. Up until now, he had an NG-tube going into his stomach, as well as a feeding tube going down just past his stomach. The doctor wanted to remove the NG-tube, and Jason agreed to doing this. (A little side bar - Jason was kept involved with just about every aspect of his treatment and any time anything happened they would discuss it with Jason first, and seemed to only do it if he agreed to it). The decision was also made to move Jason to the 5th floor, and he was to go back to the room that has been held for him, for the pas…

April 26, 2011 - Another day done

It is beginning to look like progress is coming along, though it is at a price. They were able to go in and quickly do a clean out of his wounds. The down part is that they did have to remove some tissue this time, though it was more precautionary than anything else. Jason has had a continued "redness" in one area, and though the doctors did not find any infection it was felt that they needed to remove a small amount and see if they could find out why there was an obvious irritation there. Otherwise it all went as expected. After the surgery Jason had to deal with the pain again, and they decided they wanted to try acupuncture. Jason wasn't too pleased with it, but it does seem to have helped with pain control. Over the next couple of days his doctor wants to get him to start eating a bit more, and start to work his way away from what they call TPN (nutrients going directly to the blood stream).

Jason's mood was still a bit subdued when I was with him this afternoon…

April 25, 2011 -- A nice quiet day

Today was a different kind of day, in that Linda and I took Stacy to the White House for their annual egg roll. Stacy had a great time and wore us out pretty well. We did get to see the Obama family, though only from a distance. They had all kinds of costumed characters around and Stacy was having a ball. The Marines arranged for our transportation to and from the event, which I was glad to see, as I really wasn't looking forward to driving in Washington, D.C. On the trip home I did my best to keep Stacy awake, but she finally succumbed to fatigue, but not until after she got to speak with mommy for a couple minutes.

Linda went to go visit with Jason, after we got back and I took Stacy to day care, where Jackie already was. When I finally made it over to see him he looked pretty good, and was dealing with the pain, even though at times he was very uncomfortable. I think he really enjoyed the fact that he didn't have to make a visit to the O.R. today, and it gave him an extra …

April 24, 2011 - Easter Sunday

Today began with a 6:30am visit with Jason, and I found him without the breathing tube. The day had begun on a good note. I stayed and visited with Jason, for a couple of hours, and I believe he was happy to have me there, even though he was still unable to speak. It takes a day or so for the effects of the tube down your throat to wear off, but none-the-less we were able to communicate. His swelling has gone down considerably, all over, and that was one of those things that the doctors were waiting to see. He had also been taken off some of the pain medication and he was able to remain stable, though he was a little uncomfortable and experiencing some phantom pain. A little later in the morning mom was able to head on over and spend a little time with him too.

Easter Baskets filled with thoughtful gift cards, toys and goodies came in a couple of days ago, from the Livermore/Pleasanton Military Families Organization; Linda's parents sent a couple of large stuffed bunnies; and, Sta…

April 23, 2011

Today was a restful day for Jason, though he is still sedated and has a breathing tube still in place. There is a need for his breathing to become stabilized, and when there was an attempt to get him off the breathing tube he became very anxious and they realized that they had moved to quickly. The decision was, continue with the tube and attempt to remove it more slowly, once he stabilizes again. Talking with the doctor about this I found out that the time frame is really pretty much up to Jason, and how he reacts to them removing it. The real good news is that there is no sign of pneumonia in his lungs, and his temperature has been stable as well as normal.

Tomorrow is Easter; We thank the Lord for giving Jason and us strength while we are on this journey. We miss attending our Livermore First Presbyterian Church and being with our family and friends. Right now we really don't have anything planned, other than to spend some time with Jason, Stacy and Jackie. Pretty much the sam…

April 22, 2011 - The Big Move

Jason had another surgery today, and without trying to marginalize, the results were pretty much what was expected and the surgery itself was relatively quick - about 2 1/2 hours. They again washed out the wounds and checked all the areas with everything looking good. The big differences today was that because of his lungs and his dislike for the breathing mask, they left him intibated (breathing tube). It was either that or he would have to again wear that mask. His lungs are opening up more all the time, so they don't want to slack off on the treatment, and they want him to start taking the big deep breaths they know he used to take, prior to his injuries. We were able to have our, almost daily, talk with his doctor and she again assured us that all is going well, and that as long as Jason continues with his recovery as well as he is, he should be headed off to his next level rehab in about a month or so.

The other big difference for today was that when he left for surgery, he l…

April 21, 2011

Today was one of those days where I would like to say Jason had a good day, as there were no "new" issues to deal with, but just dealing with the things he has had to deal with today would probably have been more than most of us could have dealt with. His pain medications are being changed, and it is hoped that he will be able to work his way off the drip type medications and make up for it with oral medications. This sounds pretty good and balanced, except that they removed a major pain medication and COULDN'T start with the pills because he has surgery in the morning, and besides they don't want him taking pills just yet. His pain level rose from a 2-3 range up to 6+ (most of us would have collapsed at his 5). By 10:30pm the Ketamine had been turned back on, and once again it was working its magic.

On top of this he has had continued issues with his lungs. Fortunately he doesn't have a pneumonia problem, though he has been unable to fully inflate his lungs, lik…

April 20, 2011 - Late Posting... again

Well, for all those who were wondering what happened - apparently there is still a network inconsistency out here, where for whatever reason the wi-fi in the Lodge (where we are staying) goes down. I suppose it could be related to the construction that is going on, but I'm not sure; anyway, on to the blog post.
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Jason had a very good surgery, in that they went in, washed out his wounds and he came back out. The surgery only took a couple of hours, which was much shorter time period than they had scheduled the O.R. for. When we spoke with the doctors we were told that his wounds looked the best they have looked so far, and they were very encouraged with his healing. Having said this, Jason is still in a pretty high level of discomfort and pain, so from his perspective he would just like to see all these surgeries be over. The other issues of infection and pneumonia seem to be under control, and his fever has been normal, floating around 98 degrees.

Bridgette had to head back to …

April 19, 2011 - More challenges

Tomorrow Jason will be going back into surgery, as they need to find where the infection is coming from, as well as the continued washout of his wounds. The good news is that his wounds continue to look good, and they are healing. The challenge that seems to be continuing to pop up is that there is a persistent infection that is causing Jason to run a high fever. If they can get that under control, and I expect them to do just that, he will be able to go to the Monday/Thursday schedule and actually get more rest. We are looking forward to the day when they come and tell us that he is going to the 5th floor, but until his infections are under control that time is going to continue to push out. Funny thing is, they do seem to be dialing-in on his pain control, and that is also a big factor for moving to the 5th floor, and at one point, I thought it was all we needed to deal with.

Tomorrow will be a day to take care of some personal issues for all of us, and kind of force us to get out s…

April 18, 2011 - Another hurdle to get over

Jason had a pretty good day today, as the surgery was quick (as his surgeries have gone) and when we spoke with the doctor, she told us his wounds were doing quite well. There were no signs of any of the infection or fungus found, and they were taking some steps to close the wounds more. All this was good and we were happy to hear it, however, she did say that Jason now has pneumonia and that is the reason he has been running a high fever for the past few days. They took a culture and are determining exactly which anti-biotich they need to use to clear it up. Jason has been running a fever at around 102 - 103 degrees for the past three days, and due to a simple mistake he actually spiked at 105.4 (more about that later). He says he has been feeling a little achey all over, but otherwise he has felt fine, and you can carry on a pretty good conversation with him, so his mind is working well.

He is also eating a little better now, though it is still a clear liquid diet for the next 24 ho…

April 17, 2011

Today was a restful day for Jason, though he did have to go in for a CT scan, and that took about an hour. Otherwise he got to just rest in his room with only the three of us (Bridgette, Mom and Dad) as visitors - and the medical staff of course. His temperature was up a couple of times, but the medical types didn't think it was anything to be worried about. They have their ways of keeping him cool, just as they can warm him up when he is cold. His spirits are pretty good and he is able to communicate quite well, as his throat has fully recovered. The down side is that he is going back in for surgery tomorrow, and they will again have to use a breathing tube.

Not much else to talk about today, so I'll just sign off with a big THANK YOU, to everyone and stay tuned for tomorrows blog. Keep those prayers coming in, and please keep Jason in your hearts.

April 16, 2011 - A short visit to the O.R.

Jason had a short procedure in the O.R. and it was a pretty simple procedure, where the doctor pretty much just needed to clean up a couple of things, and he was only there for about an hour. Once he was out it took a couple of hours for the medications they gave him to wear off. He was not put under General Anesthesia and we were pretty happy about that, and so was Jason. Between Bridgette, Mom and I we were were with Jason for a good part of the day, though we did give him some time to just sleep. The down side of the procedure today is that his temperature went up again, and it seems to be that way each time he goes into the O.R. They did check him for infection, and ran other blood work and didn't find any reason for him to have the fever. We were told that it would probably be gone by tomorrow, and even if it should still be around it will be greatly reduced.

They have begun taking more steps to get him off the narcotics and have him taking his medications orally. It seems to…

April 15, 2011 - A Taxing day...

Okay, the title of this blog entry is a bit of a pun, but there were some challenges Jason had to deal with. In general he had a good day because he didn't have surgery! Bridgette, Mom and Dad got to spend the better part of the day with Jason, but in shifts. The only challenge he had to deal with was that his temperature went up to 102.4 and the medical staff didn't know why. Obviously when you have a high temperature you don't feel particularly good, and you aren't interested in seeing too many visitors. But, when Jason is running a 102.4 temp he's cracking jokes and had the nurse call us up, early in the morning and tell us to come on over because he just wanted someone to talk to (the good side of that is that we were already on our way). A couple of other folks came by and he was happy to talk with them, too. One of them, a Marine, came on official business and said he needed a signature. As soon as the medical folks heard him say this they jumped all over him…

A Milestone has been achieved - April 14, 2011

Today was a good day for Jason. He had surgery, and it was a little longer than first anticipated; and, that is all the "bad" news there is today. They got everything done they wanted, and actually you might say a little more. His wounds are all healing up just as they should be and everything looks good, going forward. His mood is a little more up beat, and he was allowed to get ice chips this evening, and that made him happy. They seem to be getting better control of his pain and that is a very good thing.

So, what is this Milestone? His next surgery won't be until Monday - the longest he has gone between surgeries so far. In fact, the surgeries from now on are going to be set for Monday and Thursday, so he is only going to have to deal with that recovery twice a week, as long as they don't run into any problems, and I don't think they will. Jason was obviously happy to hear this, and I think this is what helped to bring his spirits up a bit more today. On top …

April 13, 2011 - A little better day

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but last night there seems to have been a problem with access to the internet, all over the base. Not sure specifically what it was, but anyway, it is working now... on with the post.
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Jason had a little better day today, though he still had to deal with pain and therefore, with the meds used to help control the pain. Some of them caused some hallucinations, and bad dreams, but for the most part it wasn't too bad. He is going into surgery again tomorrow, to make a small adjustment on the pin in his pelvis, and to bring more closure to his wounds; and, we're hoping that this is the beginning of the faster recovery. We have been told to expect another couple of weeks of these kinds of surgeries, with the caveat that things can always go better and sometimes worse, though I'm focusing on the better.

This week has been a special week for Jason, as he has had several visitors, to many to list by name (though I will list some of them)…

April 12, 2011 - Another tough day

Jason was to have received his Purple Heart today, but early this morning they had to take him in to emergency surgery, due to problems with his bowels. There was an obstruction (scar tissue) that needed to be removed. It was the culprit that was causing him so much discomfort. It was a short surgery, but one where they had to open him up again, and as a result he was very uncomfortable, and experiencing some significant pain. Because of this, it was decided that he wasn't in the best of conditions to go through any ceremony, and when we spoke with him he was in agreement to delay the presentation.

By the end of the day you could see a marked improvement in his condition, and perhaps if the presentation had gone on tomorrow, he might have been able to go with it, but that is a mute point right now. The next presentation is set for a couple of weeks from now, and by then he should be in much better shape for it. On the bright side, with the correction to his bowels, he should be a…

April 11, 2011 - A Good Day

Today was a good day for Jason, in that he had a successful surgery; they were able to remove the "Ex-Fix" support; the wounds were healing up well, better than anticipated; and, the pins went into his pelvis area. The real surprise was the healing of the wounds, in that there was significantly more healing than they though they would find. All this is very positive, as it allowed for the first closing of the wounds. This was all positive, especially since Jason didn't even know he had gone to surgery, when we spoke with him in the early afternoon (after the surgery). All he knew was that he was still feeling some pain.

That is the down side of the surgeries, in that each time they have to make some "adjustments" with the wounds, afterward he has an increased level of pain. It takes up to two hours for the pain to get back under control, and the good news is that it does seem that there is a bit more control for the pain. Like they have finally found a "fo…

April 10, 2011 - A second day without surgery

Jason had a second day today, without surgery, and I think he was pretty happy about that. Jason asked for more books to listen to, so he sent me on an errand to find some. I first looked for a library, and found one (sort of). It had the address of 2100 Monroe Avenue, Rockville, MD. Now this is all well and good, and I'm sure it is a real nice library, but my GPS doesn't "know" of a 2100 Monroe Avenue. There is a Street, and Place, but no Avenue, and therefore I couldn't enter that address. I suppose I could have written down the directions, from Google maps, but I was too tired and decided to just go to Barns and Nobel and purchased a couple of "books" and brought those back to Jason. One of them was a collection of Mark Twain's works, and he seemed pretty happy about that. The other was by Dean Koontz. Bottom line is that he has more books to listen too.

The medical team is still trying to figure out how to get Jason's digestive track workin…

April 9, 2011 - Our Second Month at NNMC

Jason had a more restful day today, as they are getting a better hand on his pain control, AND he didn't have to deal with any surgery today. His diet is still liquid, with the change being that it doesn't have to be clear liquid. His nurse today, Pat, ordered him a chocolate milk shake. Okay, it wasn't your typical milk shake, as it was made with Ensure, but it was different, and probably the most substantial thing that Jason has been offered in several days, and quite frankly a nice surprise. The hospital kitchen had sent him some chicken broth, and Jason called it "chicken flavored salt water." So I went out and bought him some chicken stock from one of the grocery stores, and he was much happier with the taste. He is still having some difficulties with the digestive process, but it is getting better.

I spent the morning with Jason, and then called Bridgette and asked how she was doing. That's where Jason got his second surprise today. Bridgette was feeli…

April 8, 2011 - moving forward... slowly

Jason had a good day in the O.R. today, with a relatively quick turn around in with the surgery, where they did find some bad tissue that had to be removed, but it wasn't much, and the doctors have told us that it was the best that his wounds have been yet. Originally there was to be a pin set, in his pelvic bone today, but due to a few minor complications they decided to delay until Monday. They could have still done it today, but then Jason would have been in surgery for a much longer period, and instead of a short visit to the O.R. it would have been a long visit, and they really just didn't want to put him through that. They will be doing that work on Monday, and feel that with the progress Jason has been making with the wounds, he will be in better shape to have the pin put in place, and allow them to get some of the closing done, and that is a big step. We think the doctors are doing the right thing, though to be honest, Jason is really looking forward to the day all the…

April 7, 2011 - Kind of a slower day

Jason had a relatively good day today, though there were issues with some pain that had to be dealt with. He was emotionally down a bit today too, and I think for a couple of reasons. First, he is just flat tired of the surgeries. Since the incident he has gone through 20 surgeries already, and that's just over a period of a month. That has got to be taxing on the body, even with the use of the new medications they are using. One of his comments, after one notable surgery, after being asked how he was feeling; his reply was, "I feel manhandled." He seems to be tolerating all this and I don't think it will break his spirit or stamina, he just doesn't like it. The second thing is that he misses seeing his wife and kids. Bridgette and the girls are sick with the flue, and don't dare come see him, because his immune system is way down right now, again because of the treatments. I was over to see them, and though Bridgette is doing her best to be strong, I can see…

Best Day in the O.R. - April 6, 2011

Today was a good day for Jason in the O.R., as two of the doctors on his team came to tell me that it was the best they had seen Jason's wounds yet. When they came out of surgery today Jason was in pain for about an hour, before they were able to get it under control, and it is something that we have to endure while it happens. They tell me that he won't be able to remember the pain, as some of what they are using will allow him to forget. I hope he doesn't forget everything, though.

I am forever impressed with Jason and his sense of humor. He is laying there, obviously in pain, and he is making jokes. The doctors and nurses alike, all comment on his ever positive attitude and strong nature. Bridgette got him a DVD player and a bunch of movies to watch, and now he won't have to deal with the TV as his only boredom relief. The good news is that there really isn't much to report on today, and that is how I am hoping it remains for the rest of the stay, though I do ex…

April 5, 2011 - An evening update

Jason had a pretty good day today. He had to go in for a procedure to make sure his bowels were where they were supposed to be, and they were - so now he can get started on clear liquids (again), and work his way up to solid foods (again). They have him on a new medication, to help with the nerve damage that happened, as a result of the blast and from the surgeries he has been going through. The good side of this new med is that it works really well, and the specific type pain Jason would feel is taken care of. The not so good side is that it can cause hallucinations and seriously messes with his vision. They initially started him off with 20cc's (I believe that's what the nurse told me) and Jason asked them to lower it, after he began to feel a bit strange. They lowered it to 10cc's and that no only took care of the pain but allowed Jason to feel a little more normal.

He spends a number of hours, when he is basically alone (the nurses are always there, or very close by) w…

April 5, 2011 - A quick thank you

All - Jason is doing well today, and he is getting some testing done on his bowels. If he comes through as well as they are expecting he will get to start eating again, and he is already asking for soup, in the way of a good stock (chicken or beef). I will provide a little more information on this later tonight.

The main purpose of this entry is to simply say, "Thank you." To all of you who have been following the blog; those that have sent get well cards; and, for the packages that have come. We have not had much of a chance to go through and open many of them, as there hasn't been a time that has allowed us all to get together and go through them, especially since Jason is still on the 3rd floor (I.C.U.). It is hoped that he will be up to the 5th floor by tomorrow, and then we can begin seeing what all those cards and letters - and packages - have in them. It will probably be a while before we can get the thank you's out to everyone too, so please be patient.

Anoth…

April 4, 2011 - A Good Day

This post was set last night - but due to a problem with my gmail account (since corrected) the posting was apparently locked out. As you can see it is back up and I will be working with Google to get this corrected. Thank you, all for continuing to follow this journey with Jason.

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Today was a good day for Jason, in the O.R., as the doctors were happy with what they found, and discovered that even some of the wounds on the right side were beginning to contract and show signs of healing. On the left side they still had to remove some tissue, but very little, and feel that it isn't too far behind the right side. All this was good news, and a positive sign for Jason. Having said that, Jason had a bit of a rough time coming out of surgery today.

Jason was supposed to go in to surgery first, but then got pushed back due to the need for others to go in. This is actually a good sign in that he is no longer considered the on…

Sunday - A day of rest - April 3, 2011

First - Please accept my apology for not checking the settings on the setting up the blog in the first place. The blog is now set up so that anyone can leave a comment, and not have to have a special account or anything else. - Joyce, thank you, for getting me to take a look at the settings... Now on to the posting.

To was a good day for Jason, and as a result, a very good day for the family. He had no surgery today, so he didn't have to go through that period of time after surgery, where he is feeling groggy and feeling like his brain is full of cobwebs. I couldn't sleep, after waking up at 5:15am, so I just laid there for a short while; watched the Weather Channel to see what to expect for the day; and, finally got out of bed at about 7:00am. I showered and got dressed and was over to see Jason at about 7:30am, and he was still asleep. I could tell he was dreaming, so I didn't make any noise and let him sleep. I guess the beeping equipment startled him a bit, as he made …

April 2, 2011 - A milestone reached

Today Jason had another surgery, and it was the type he didn't like, where he was laid on his stomach, so they could again see the wounds from a different vantage point. On top of that he had had the breathing tube down his throat for more than 24 hours again, and that is another discomfort he had to en-dour. All of this was discomfort, and things that Jason did not like, or want to have to deal with again. However, the results that came back were quite good. Not ALL the results were good, as there was tissue that had to be removed, from his left side, and that tissue was removed because the blood flow was not adequate. However, there was no sign of infection from bacteria or fungus. This is very good news, Jason's wounds are clean!

Jason won't have to go back for another surgery until Monday, and if all is still clean they will be able to begin more aggressive wound closure, and perhaps moving back to the 5th floor. We have received a number of packages and a bunch of card…

Another Day of Surgery - April 1, 2011

Today began early for Jason, as he was taken into surgery early toady. He typically goes early, as they consider him a priority, which I'm grateful for. The remaining bone in his left leg was removed, and they looked around the wound and found no other damaged/bad tissue, so they didn't have to take away any additional tissue. This was a good news moment, followed by... we need to take him in to surgery again, tomorrow, as we were not able to get him turned on the O.R. table to work on his back. Because of the support structure they are using to stabilize his pelvic area it is difficult to turn Jason over, and it takes extra time. They don't like leaving patients under anesthesia any longer than they have to, and this would have added too much time. Therefore they felt it was better for Jason to go back in for surgery again tomorrow.

This is when they will be able to tell if they were able to remove all the bad stuff that has been embedded in Jason's tissues. They are …

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office