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Showing posts from May, 2011

May 31, 2011 - Happy Birthday Jason

Today is Jason's birthday, and it was a day of reflection for all of us. To think that just 28 years ago, our son was born and then quickly grew to be a man. Sometimes life just moves too fast, and now here it is another birthday for Jason. It started out with a special breakfast for Jason (Chocolate Chip Pancakes) and visits from a bunch of the medical staff, who all kept asking if it was his birthday. Jason's cousin Eric, and his wife Nina and their kids had put together a package of decoration that we were finally able to use. I think it was originally supposed to be used for St. Patrick's Day, though Jason was down in the ICU still, at that time, and we couldn't decorate. Anyway, we had his room looking festive and green, and Jason was pleased with how it looked.

After breakfast and decorating we just visited with Jason until his EOD brothers came up from Camp Lejeune. They actually arrived late in the afternoon and brought Jason a gift that could not be wrapped. …

May 30, 2011 - A slow day - the way we like it

Jason received a few visitors today, one of which was the assistant to the Commandant of the Marines, and his wife. They came in and had a nice visit with Jason, and as it happens, we(Bridgette, Stacy, Jackie, Mom, Dad, Yvonne, and Jeff) all were there, and Bridgette and the General's wife seemed to have hit it off pretty well. Again, we took pictures and got their input into Jason's famous signature Red Book. They stayed for a few minutes and even had time to play a little with the girls, Stacy and Jackie.

In general, Jason is feeling pretty good. He has gotten to the point where he is the director of his own medical treatment, so-to-speak. He tells his nurses what to do; when to do it; and sometimes even how to do it. I am still the number one, when it comes to moves and positioning in the bed, but for just about everything else he is doing it more and more on his own, which makes us all pretty happy. It shows that he is knowledgeable about what his needs are, and that he is…

May 29, 2001 - Quick Post

Just a quick post to let everyone know that Jason is doing well today, and that we have had a busy day. Some visitors and then Linda and I went off to the Memorial Day concert at the Capital Building, at 8:00pm. The show went a little long, and then the bus driver got lost on the way home (he used his GPS in stead of going the way he knew how), so we got back late (this post is coming at just after 1:00am). I'm tired so look for another post in the morning. Good night...

Thank you...

May 28, 2011 - A good day

Jason is doing better today, and the line into his left side has been removed. As you can probably imagine, after having 2 1/2 liters of fluids removed from his chest there probably wasn't much left to remove... and you'd be right. The funny thing is, when the doctors saw that there wasn't anything more coming out the first thing they thought was, the line must be placed wrong. So, they took him down to have another examination and discovered all the fluid was gone, and then they removed the tube. The process was a bit uncomfortable, but Jason was happy to see it gone, and with the fluid gone he felt MUCH better. To give you an idea of how much better he is feeling, he asked me to go to Taco Bell and get him some food.

He was pretty much back to his regular self today, and making wise cracks to some of the staff, and even the visitors who came in. He felt good enough to spend some time with his girls, and Stacy (his oldest) gave him a kiss to make him feel better. Don'…

May 27, 2011 - more healing

Today was a continuation of yesterday, with some extra challenges for Jason to deal with, and a demonstration of his inner strength that gets us all through this. They found fluid around his left lung so they had to put in another tube to help drain it. Besides the obvious benefit of the removal of the fluid (he could literally breath better) he was also relieved of some pressures that had built up in his abdominal area. When he was taken down for the procedure they only had to give him a local, so he was pretty happy about that. By the time I had left his room they had removed over 2Lt. of fluid and he felt so much better.

"Rolling Thunder", came by the hospital today, and a group of them came up to visit with the patients. I'm not really sure how to describe them, other than a movement. It is a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who have gotten together to show their support for the men and women who put themselves in harms way, so that we can enjoy our freedoms. The grou…

May 26, 2011 - Roller Coaster

Apologies for the lateness of this post, but because I was attempting to do it from Jason's iPad I was not able to make type-o corrections, and there were a few. Any, it is posted now, and I'll have another a bit later today - right now I'm finally getting some sleep... Peace...
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Today was a day that Jason will want to remember, and forget. He started the day with abdominal problems, and a great deal of dis comfort. Dr.s didn't know what was going on, and it seemed like know one else did either. The biggest problem with this, is that the doctors process of figuring things out sometimes takes hours, and unfortunately this was one of those problems. The answer finally did come, but literally not until just a short time ago, so Jason had to endure the discomfort for the entire day. He has been given some medications and they feel that he will be in much better shape tomorrow, but in the mean time he has asked me to spend the night, so I'm here for h…

May 25, 2011 - A visit from some friends

Today was a good day, though it started off a little rough. Jason was scheduled to go into the O.R. by 10:00 this morning, and that means they were going to take him from his room at about 9:00. As it turned out when they came in to get him ready for transport (that's what they call it) the corpsman unplugged his bed and the battery backup didn't kick-in. The inflation device was only off-line for about 30 seconds, but that was way too long for Jason. Considering what happened last time there was a problem with his bed I think he actually held it together pretty good. Apparently the batteries that are supposed to supply power to the bed, when there is no "wall-power", had failed somewhere in the past and there is no indicator that the batteries were bad. Well, it took them about an hour to figure out what to do, and we finally got him transferred to another bed and then they took him to the O.R., pretty well sedated. When he came back, he had a brand new bed... again…

May 24, 2011 -

Well, Jason really didn't have many visitors, other than a nice gentleman who has offered to commission the building of a commemorative cane. When he came in to speak with Jason, he said he recognized that it was something that Jason would probably not be using, and that it was just something he and a couple other retired military folks were doing for the wounded warriors (the actual build of the cane was going to take place in California). Jason provided some information about what he wanted on the cane, and the man thanked him for his service and left his contact information. Otherwise it was just the medical folks who came in to visit.

Jason did get out on his chair again, and he is getting better at driving around the hospital. One of the things we have discovered is that if you lower the seat you can make the chair go faster. Jason put it all the way down today - he still didn't go "fast," but it was faster than he has gone in the past. We also went out side, an…

May 23, 2011 - A visit to Main Street

Today was a good day for Jason, and also a little sad. He got up in his chair this morning, a short while after breakfast and wanted to go visit Main Street (an area in the hospital that has different types of retail, restaurant, and service businesses), as he wanted to go do something different. It started out a little bumpy, as the chair didn't want to function properly, but once we figured it out we were off to the elevator. He made his way through the crowds - well, okay, there weren't that many people there today, so it was a good day to venture out - and looked around. We stopped at the post office again and picked up some mail and then headed back.

On the ride back we got into the elevator with a couple of gentlemen from the security detail for Robert Gates (Secretary of Defense) as he was coming to the hospital to visit with some folks. I'm not sure if Jason recognized them or what, but he just started talking to them, about the detail he was on, for when President…

May 22, 2011

Jason had a nice day today, and got out in his chair. He didn't go out side today, and simply rolled around the 5th floor. He said he plans to get out again tomorrow, so that he can get down to "Main Street" (an area in the hospital that has services such as the Post Office, a barber shop, the Credit Union, and fast food). We watched a couple of movies (that Jason's Uncle Larry bought for him), and we all ate in Jason's room, though this wasn't the first time for that. His doctor came by and visited with us for a little while, and I think that made Jason feel good.

Another visit for Jason, today, was a General and Sargent Major of the Marines. Both of these men spoke with Jason in a very positive and supportive manner; and because both of them had been to Afghanistan, were able to discuss some specific details about what happened, and where. They stayed for 15 or 20 minutes and we took some pictures (I'll post tomorrow) and had them sign the Red Book, an…

May 21, 2011 - Sun is shining and the weather is great outside.

Today was another great day for Jason to enjoy. He had a couple more visitors come by and spend some time with him; he got outside to enjoy the sun shine; and, his uncle Larry bought him some sushi! Dr. Malone came by and talked with us for a little bit, and she let us know that Jason was doing great, and that the healing process was moving along just the way we want it to. It won't be too long until the rehab becomes a little more aggressive, and then, as soon as Jason has the strength he needs (in his arms), he will be moving on again to the next level rehab. We have been talking about this for months now, and finally it seems like it is actually going to be happening. Where he will be going hasn't been decided yet, but that will be done within the next couple weeks.

Its always nice to get visitors, especially from the Marines who have a connection with Jason, and they can all start to talk "shop." It tends to leave some of the rest of us out of the conversation, b…

May 20, 2011 - Visitors from Afghanistan

Jason had a good day today, despite the bumpy start. He was scheduled to go to the O.R. this morning, by the doctors, but for some reason the folks who work the O.R. schedule forgot to put him on it. He had to wait a little, but it turned out okay, as he didn't have to wait TOO long, and he was back in his room by early afternoon. Besides that his Uncle Larry has come out to visit, and that was a nice surprise for Jason, to see someone from home. Once he was back to his room he quickly got over the affects of the anesthesia and either he is getting stronger, or they are using weaker doses of the stuff. I knew he was going to be hungry when he came back, so I had asked him what he would like to eat, once he had returned. He wanted Chinese food, and it arrived shortly after he did... good timing for a change.

Another surprise was that some of his buddies, from Afghanistan had come by to see him and in fact, most of them were there waiting for Jason, when he came back from the O.R. W…

May 19, 2011 - A quiet day

Jason had another quiet day today, and not much went on. He did get some visitors, and we captured their names in the log book, and found out about a few more things that are being made available to him, such as travel help, and assistance with his living needs and things like that. Obviously all these things are available to him, and he could very well take advantage of them later on, when he is on to his next rehab level. Right now though, he needs to get through the rest of his surgeries, with the next one to be tomorrow morning.

That surgery should be a pretty quick visit to the O.R. and then back to his room. The doctors said they weren't planning to do much, unless there was a need and that is not anticipated. I've already spoken with him, and he wants to get out in his chair tomorrow, since today didn't work out. He wanted to get back outside and today was a rainy day with thunderstorms, so going outside wouldn't have been good for him. He had some visitors fro…

May 18, 2011 - Lots of rain today!

I guess I was lucky this morning, as I got up early and walked over to the hospital, to see Jason, and didn't get rained on. Linda came over later, riding the shuttle - she didn't get wet either. Jason was in pretty good spirits today, and feeling like doing a little more. Shortly after getting there he said he wanted to go out for a ride in his chair, so I went down to the PT folks (they're pretty much in charge of him getting in and out of the chair) and let them know. When I told them , they responded with, "Cool, we were just getting ready to come down and ask him if he'd like to go for a ride in about 30 minutes, so the timing was pretty good.

Jason went down to "Main Street" in the hospital. A place where they have some amenities for everyone who has to be in the hospital, such as a post office, barber shop, credit union, and a couple places to eat. There are also some places where you can buy different things, if you should need something, and ove…

May 17, 2011 - Just another day

Jason had an uneventful visit to the O.R. today, and that's the way he likes it. There really wasn't much done, other than to check out his existing wounds and to check on the Integra. About the most exciting things that happened were a move of the pick-line from his left arm to his right arm, and there was a noticed edema (the reason for the move)in his left arm - why they moved the pick-line. He is getting much stronger now, and when he comes back from the O.R. he is much more alert than he used to be, so this is all good, and we're happy about it. The real good news is that even though he is doing so much better now, he is still put on the top of the schedule for O.R. visits and he doesn't have to wait. I was speaking with some of the folks in the hospital, and they told me the reason is simple, there haven't been as many of the wounded warriors coming in, over the past few weeks. It's harvest time in Afghanistan so there is somewhat of a pulling back from t…

May 16, 2011 - A day out of the room

Today was an interesting day for multiple reasons. Jason was able to get out of his room for over 2 hours, in his power chair; Occupational Therapy (O.T.) worked with him and gave him more exercises to do with his hands and arms; There is a concern for his shoulder, after working with O.T.; and, there were multiple medical teams who all seemed to want to speak with or work with Jason, and all at the same time. Fortunately for Jason, the Physical Therapy (P.T.) team were in his room early and began to set things up for a ride in his chair.

This is the way it went down. The Surgical team had come in just prior to O.T. and gave him a complete update, as well as discussed what to expect in the O.R. tomorrow. O.T. began working with his hands and arms, and noticed a problem with Jason's shoulders, and as a result an X-ray was ordered. P.T. showed up right after O.T. and got things going for his ride. While that was going on the X-ray team showed up and saw everything else happening an…

May 15, 2011 - Sunday

Today was a good day for Jason. He had some issues with pain this morning, and we asked that the pain doctors (really, that's what they call them) be paged and come in and talk to us. We had a good visit with them and ALL of us ended up with a better understanding of how Jason could best control his pain, with the medications that were being made available to him. Once that was done it seemed like the rest of the day went very well. Jason still had a couple of movies that he had not seen, so we watched those with him, and in between we had a chance to just visit and talk. There were a couple of phone calls, but no visitors other than family and medical staff. Of course you might say that is enough visitors by themselves, but Jason enjoys talking to other folks once in a while.

Another "first" happened today, in that I went and bought him a Coke (20oz. bottle) to drink. He said he was just wanting a Coke, and I said I would check with the nurse to be sure it was okay, an…

Took the time to figure it out

Okay, now that I've taken the time to figure out how to post pictures, I will be putting more of them up, a little later today. Enjoy...

May 14, 2011 - Kind of an overcast day

Jason is getting into a more regular routine and today was a good demonstration of that. He woke up to medical staff poking and prodding him; his breakfast was brought in; lunch came around, along with more of the medical team checking his status; watched a bit of T.V. (John Wayne movie Rio Bravo was the best part); and then dinner with Mom and Dad. Yeah, Mom is back from California (and I'm glad she is!). There were a number of visits through the day, where the medical folks had to come in and check on him, take is vitals and make sure he didn't need anything. This is why I kind of push to get him out in his chair, just to help break up some of the day with something different. I think he would like to be able to do more, but weekends just don't have as much going on, so visitors are about the only thing he has to look forward to.

I would really like to get Jason out side and enjoy some sunny days, but unfortunately the weather is not cooperating very well. The last coup…

May 13, 2011 - Friday the 13th...

Well, don't let the title bother you, Jason was in and out of the O.R. relatively quickly - under 3 hours. They had to replace a small section of the Integra and do a wash out, and remove the wound vac from his belly, since it is looking better. The doctors came to talk with us later in the day and they only had good and positive things to say about how the injuries were healing up and how Jason was looking. I have to admit, his face and upper body are beginning to look much better, AND he is regularly exercising his hands more (he has a yellow and pink sponge to squeeze - he calls them Sponge Bob and Patrick)

There were some visitors from the New York Fire Department (about 5 of them) and they came to thank Jason for his service to the country. We talked about 9/11 for a few minutes, and how it affected all of us in different ways. These guys all had friends who were killed there, and you could tell they were a little emotional about it. They gave each of us an NYFD hat, and T-sh…

May 12, 2011 - A day late

This post was actually written about 24 hours ago, but Google's Blogger was down and I was unable to post until now. A bit frustrating, but none-the-less, here is the post for yesterday... Enjoy.
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Well, Blogger is down and therefore I am capturing the entry for today via MS Word. The good side is that people can still see all the entries up to today, the down side is that I can’t make any new entries right now. Anyway, Jason had a very good and relaxing day. He is getting better at his pain management, with the phantom pain now starting to show up occasionally, but it only lasts for a few moments. His appetite is getting better, so the feeding tube has been removed (that was a bit of an ordeal in itself, though he is glad to have it gone). We had some visitors today that were a very nice surprise. Two astronauts, from the recent shuttle missions came by and visited for about 15 minutes, and of course I didn’t have my camera with me. I did, however, have my phone and …

May 11, 2011 - Just a day to relax

Today was a nice quite (relatively) day for Jason, and me. We had the opportunity to get out on the chair today, but Jason said he didn't want to go anywhere or do anything he didn't have to do, and just simply relax. This will be the longest he has been able to go without having to go visit the O.R. for over two months. AND, on top of that, when he does go it will be a pretty quick visit where the doctors will be taking a look at the Integra and do a simple wash out, then back to his room. Because of the sensitivity of the wounds he will still need to go under general anesthesia. but that isn't until Friday.

There were a couple of visitors, other than the medical staff, and one of them was a guy that had not been here before, or at least not since Jason has been here. The first guy to come in was multiple amputee, where he lost both his legs above the knee and also part of his left hand. He was talking with Jason about some of the things that he was currently going throu…

May 10, 2011 - I guess even I get tired

Apologies for not having a post out yesterday, but I came back to the Lodge and made a couple of phone calls, and then just laid down for a minute. That minute turned into several hours, so now I'm posting for yesterday - now.

Jason had a good day, he got out on his power chair and road around a bit. We didn't leave the hospital this time, though we did venture out to a different floor of the hospital. This was all good, but the best part is that because they are weaning him away from the drip pain meds and going over to a pill. Therefore, he didn't need to take the "tree" with him, and got away from it for about 20 minutes. He still has a level of apprehension when he gets to the chair, though he is increasing his confidence all the time. Another good thing is that by the end of this week he will be loosing the splint from his right hand/arm, and the one off his left hand. He is showing strong signs of being able to do all the exercises they want him to do and h…

May 9, 2011 - Just another Monday

Jason had a tough day today, though it wasn't a bad day. We were told last night to expect Jason to be one of the first to go in to the O.R., and that was okay. I told Jason I would be over in the morning, and if he had been taken down before I arrived, then I'd see him in the afternoon. Well, I did get over in the early morning, about 6:45am, and he was still there. I figured, "okay, he's going at 7:30." Wrong... He didn't go until just before 12:00. Going later in the day would be okay, if he could have had something to eat at around 5:00am. Having to go almost 24 hours is really kind of tough on the guy... but then again, that's the worst thing that happened, and in the big picture, that is pretty minor.

The surgery was good, the decision was to go ahead and place the Integra on, and not put him through the skin stretching; besides they didn't think it was working as they wanted anyway. The good news out of this is that he doesn't have to go b…

May 8, 2011 - Happy Mother's Day!

Today was kind of a restful day for Jason. He was on the phone with multiple folks, wishing them all Happy Mother's Day. He even wished me a happy day, too. It was a very nice day today, and I was able to walk back and forth from the Navy Lodge to the Hospital several times, and therefore able to enjoy the weather. I also got all my laundry done... but that doesn't have anything to do with Jason except that now I at least look presentable...though I probably need a hair cut now. ;-)

One of the things that has started to happen with Jason, is that when he sleeps he will start to dream, and sometimes in the dream something happens, and he "jumps." I don't thing this is really too unusual, as I do it sometimes too. The difference is that he did it the other night, while in that other bed, and because he really wasn't in a particularly good position it caused him to actually pull a muscle in his back. Now you all know a pulled muscle can be uncomfortable, so when…

May 7, 2011 - A nice turn around

After the day yesterday's activities, today was a nice turn around for Jason, and it was a rather relaxed day for him. The medical folks were able to secure a new bed, and it was replaced at about 1:30 this afternoon. Jason wasn't particularly happy with the interim bed, as he was kind of stuck in one position, and wasn't able to eat like he had been previously. It was really kind of amazing how much better Jason was, as soon as he was positioned and comfortable with the new bed. He was brought up to almost the highest level and was able to eat comfortably again. Earlier in the day Bridgette had come over to spend some time with Jason, so I took the opportunity to go do a little shopping (low on a couple of food items), and it allowed them to have some private time.

After I got back from the store, and put away the food, I headed back up to see Jason and find out what the status of the bed was - it was about noon. Jason was feeling a little sore from the "emergency&qu…

May 6, 2011 - An all day event

Last night I was told that Jason was to go in to the O.R. early, and that they would be coming to take him at about 5:30 this morning. That's okay, as that is the regular time, and I guess I could have used the extra rest anyway. I got over to the hospital, and Jason's room at about 8:00, to get something (David had left his camera and I went to pick it up to send it back to him) and the person in the room told me they came and got him at 7:30, so I could have come and visited with him in the morning, but it wasn't to be. He spent the rest of the day away from his room, and I took care of a couple of errands. I would have gotten more things done if I had known that he was going to be gone all day, but again, it wasn't to be.

We went to the Dutch Embassy to have dinner tonight, and while there I received a call from Jason's doctor, and she informed me that all went well, and in fact some of the areas were even better than anticipated, and therefore weren't going…

May 5, 2011 - Happy Cino de Mayo!

Actually, I don't think Jason thought about Cinco de Mayo today, though he did get to do something that was kind of special. He was given his power wheelchair today! He road it around the hospital wing and most of the people cheered him on. I think he really enjoyed the chair, but like the first time he went out on the geri-chair, he was just a little apprehensive and therefore didn't want to go outside. He has to go to the O.R. again tomorrow morning, so he probably won't be going out with the chair tomorrow, though when I spoke with him tonight he said he would consider it. I feel like he has hit another milestone in his recovery, and this one is a pretty big one at that.

Otherwise, today was pretty much a copy of yesterday, though he didn't do any more painting. Oh, and by the way, I said his first picture was a flower, and I think I should let you know it was a thistle, and a darn good one at that. He had visitors again - some of whom he knew and some that were str…

May 4, 2011 - Today was picture perfect

Today started something a little different. Jason had his breakfast, and he wasn't sweating anywhere near what it was before. He was having a number of discussions with various people, and the visitors were coming in on a fairly steady stream, though we did not allow all of them in. He still needs his rest, and will over extend himself if we don't. All of this was well and good, and in general he is doing well and getting better. The one thing that was different was that the activity therapist came in and asked him if he would like to do some painting. It is one activity that he really enjoys (has since he was in grade school) and he can do it right from his bed. the challenge is that he is right handed and he only has his left hand to do the painting.

He started out with a flower, and even though he was doing it left handed, it looked pretty good. While the painting was going on his occupational therapist came in and was happy to see him do the painting. She wanted him to st…

May 3, 2011 - The good days continue

Jason had a good day today, both in the O.R. as well as when he got out. The results of the efforts of the doctors in the O.R. were less than what we had hoped, but still some progress was made. When he went in, they had hoped to place some Integra material on his wounds, but because there was still some areas that needed healing it was decided to delay. We are now looking at Friday (or maybe Saturday) as the next opportunity. Not sure if it will be Friday, because unfortunately there were more warriors brought in who needed more immediate attention, and thus it could push out the schedule for Jason, but only by a day. The sad news is that there were enough new cases that the schedule could be impacted that much. The good news is that the skills of the medical teams here, as well as the dedication, is exactly what is needed to address the need.

Jason sent Mom and Dad out on a mission today, to find some sour dough bread, as he really would like to eat some. His diet is such that he ca…

May 2, 2011 - Purple Heart!

Jason received his Purple Heart today, from the Commandant of the Marines, and it was quite an impressive ceremony. The Commandant, himself, is very personable and knows how to make you feel totally comfortable. We got up in the morning and were going through our normal pace of getting ready when we received a call from Bridgette. "The Commandant is going to be here at 11:00, not the 12:00 we were told before!" We still had plenty of time, but it felt like it was a bit more urgent now. We still needed to get over to Jason's room and set up some decorations; I needed to finish shaving him; and we didn't have a shirt ready for him (or at least I didn't think we did). On top of that Bridgette still had to get the girls over to Day Care before she could get to Jason's room. We called David to let him know of the time change, and I think I woke him up (he is still on California time).

We got over to Jason's room and put up a Marine flag we had, and a couple o…

May 1, 2011 - First Day of May

Jason has had a good day today. He began with a good start and a simple breakfast - I think he is looking forward to a home cooked breakfast. Something about hospital food and the mass production aspect (basically the food in the hospital really isn't that bad, he just wants a little more "excitement"). After that he enjoyed a good visit from mom and dad who were able to go outside with him for a second time. They have a special chair set up for him, they use a special pad on a geri-chair, to help him maintain comfort. He still can't sit all the way up, but he's getting better.

After the chair ride we came back in and his lunch was ready to go. He had mashed potatoes and gravy, with a navy bean soup. They actually still have him on controlled diet, with the control being on the caloric intake, as he needs to ingest almost 3000 (It is amazing the number of calories the body burns in repairing itself) per day. He can now eat just about anything he wants, so after w…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office