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Showing posts from June, 2011

June 30, 2011 - End of June

Jason came back from the PACU today feeling pretty good, and for a couple of hours he felt like he was doing okay. Then, after a couple of hours he started to feel chilled, and asked me for some folded up sheets to cover himself. He didn't want a blanket because they tend to be too heavy. This went on for about 90 minutes and then he started feel better again, and did so for the rest of the day. Not sure what happened, or why his body decided to regulate itself a little differently today, but I was glad it corrected itself. Actually, by the end of the day he was eating ice cream.

A couple of his Marine buddies came by, and a few visits from his family (mostly me), and then a special visit from General James Cartwright, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was a nice visit, and I even got a couple of pictures this time, thought I think I left the camera in Jason's room, so I'll have to do the down load tomorrow. I guess that since Jason is getting so many visitors, of hire r…

June 29, 2011 - A bit of a challenge

Jason had a good day today, even though his brother David had to leave and head back home to Los Angeles. It was good to have David here for a few days, and I could really tell that Jason was happy about it. It brought a little tear to my eyes when David said his good-byes and he grabbed Jason's hand. Then Jason just reached reached over and kind of pulled David down to give him a big hug. I wished I'd had the camera ready, but honestly I didn't see it coming - it was beautiful.

The PT folks came by and worked with Jason, but because of his level of discomfort it was decided to simply work on his arms and shoulders, and not have him roll today. He will have the opportunity to do that tomorrow. By late evening you could see a marked improvement in Jason's ability to focus and be alert. It is one of those things that I know is going to continue to happen, and it is simply a reflection of how long he has been taking the medications. He has to get stronger doses and as a r…

June 28, 2011 - Turred Upside Down

Jason made a milestone today, in that he was able to turn over, in his bed. Okay, he didn't do it on his own, and was actually assisted by 2 physical therapists (PTs), but it was the first time for him being able to be in his bed for any length of time, and not be on his back. The PTs said they would be back tomorrow, and every day this week, to do the same thing, and help him begin working on some of the muscles that he hasn't been using for a few months now. Initially I think Jason was apprehensive about the movement, but is now feeling pretty good about himself, and is looking forward to the continued "exercise."

Bridgette had to take off today, to head back down to Jacksonville, to take care of some of their personal business. It shouldn't be too long for her to return, so they can be together again. I know Jason likes it better when she is here. To help, the girls are staying with Grandma and Grandpa, so we get to spend even more time with them, than we have…

June 27, 2011 - The days continue

Jason had a good day with all, though he did have a little bit of a challenge with getting comfortable in his bed today. He is getting used to the routine of heading off to the PACU on a daily basis now, and each time he comes back he is in a slightly different position, in his bed. Sometimes the difference is minor, but today it was just a little more off than the other days. He said he would like to be able to go down to the PACU and give them a class in how to place patients, though he understands that isn't realistic. He doesn't have the strength, yet, to move himself around in the bed, though that will come

There were some visitors today, with some of them being new (an Admiral and a Sargent Major) and then some that have been by before. Actually, he doesn't mind if they have come by previously, he just likes seeing people and talking with them. He gets to talk with family, and that is good; and, he gets to talk with the medical staff, and that is good, too. What he r…

June 26, 2011 - An interesting and fun day

Jason got a nice little surprise visit today, from a friend he hasn't seen in several years. Shauna E. came by, with her friend, Shara Y., to visit Jason, because they have recently moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where Shawna is working on her graduate studies (I have to apologize, as I don't recall if Shara is also working on her studies). They actually stayed for a nice visit and got to meet Bridgette and the girls, and unfortunately it was one of those times when I didn't have the camera with me, so no pictures this time. The good news is that they live in the area, so next time they come by I'll take a couple of pictures.

While they were here, David, Jason's brother comes walking through the door. He too came out to the East Coast and decided to come on by. Only his visit is going to be for 3 days, and he'll be staying with Dad (me). Actually, David came in about 15 minutes after Shauna and Shara came in, and Bridgette and the girls were already there…

June 25, 2011 - Continuance of a quite week

Jason has had a quiet and restful day. Not too many visitors, though there were a few. He had his dressings changed down at the PACU and came back to his room by early afternoon. Bridgette had gone down to Five Guys, to pick up some food and a nice hamburger was waiting for him, when he came in. The girls stayed with me so that Bridgette could make the trip a little more quickly and easily.

Over the past couple of weeks there seems to be a continuing problem with the wi-fi on the 5E wing, where Jason is staying. I finally brought in my laptop with my AT&T network card and was able to get Jason back on to the web. He did some surfing around, and looked at a few things, then decided what he really wanted to do was to look at the pictures I had on my laptop (I will be posting a few more of them, probably tomorrow). He was happy with how they came out, and was actually having a good laugh at some of the takes that, well, weren't very complimentary. You know, the ones where you ca…

24 June 2011 - More of an Update

Okay, Jason went in to the O.R. today, and they did some general clean up and a gentle scrub of the wound areas and then put the bandages back on. That means the wound vacs are not back yet. I haven't spoken to the doctors about this yet, so I don't know if this is a good thing or not, and I will do my best to find out as soon as I can. Otherwise he has had a pretty good day.

I did receive a visit from a Lt. Col. and Capt. who were both Marines. The Captain was from the Intelligence group, with in the Marines, and he was talking a bit to Jason about possibly coming into that area, if he wants to stay in the Marines. Jason said he was more interested in staying with E.O.D. and that was pretty much the end of that discussion. The Lt. Col., on the other hand, is from E.O.D. and I think he was happy to hear that Jason would like to stay with the E.O.D. team. They seem to have a very tight "brotherhood" and they work very hard to support each other. The Lt. Col. stayed fo…

24 June 2011 - Minor Update

Okay, I have heard back from a few of you who want me to include more pictures, and a suggestion of Picasa was made, so here is the new link. The caveat is that I am not doing much editing of the pictures, so that means I'm being lazy. Whatever pictures I have on the camera, will be posted. Now, once Linda gets back and gets involved again there will be deletions made (she's more particular than I am).

Jason went in a little later today than usual which means they feel he is getting stronger, and doesn't necessarily need to be the first one in. This is both good news and not so good. The good news is that they feel he is stronger and can tolerate the delay. The not so good is that he has to tolerate the delay. I sat with him this morning and didn't have anything to eat either, just so he would have someone to be with during the wait (Bridgette had to take care of the girls and a couple of other errands). Anyway, the pictures are posted, so let me know if this is more …

June 23, 2011 - Nice Hair Cut

Today was a good day for Jason. He not only had some nice visitors today, he also got to spend some time with his beautiful wife and dad, AND he finally got a hair cut! He has been wanting to get a hair cut for a few weeks now, and the Marine he wanted to do the job was now available to do it. A short while back that Marine injured his foot and had to have surgery on it. The foot is now better, yet still in a brace, so he was able to come and give Jason his hair cut. On top of that, he was able to do it early enough that Jason was done before going down to the PACU. It looked like a totally different Marine, but you can see that from the pictures. I'm thinking that I should remove some of the older pictures so that there aren't too many posted, so I will ask the opinion of the folks who are reading this - Do you want me to remove some pictures or simply continue to add?

The results of his visit down to the PACU was no surprise, in that there was simply another clean out and a …

June 22, 2011 - A good day

Jason had a good day today, and it appears that they have made the adjustment needed for him to better control his pain. My hat is off to the doctors who have to deal with this conundrum of pain control, for the wounded warriors. The patient comes in with a type of wound that requires a certain amount of medication to control the pain. Then as time passes, that patient's body starts to build a tolerance to that medication, and so they have to adjust; and, over time they continue to adjust, sometimes up sometimes down, until the patient no longer needs the medication. All the while their goal is to maintain a comfort level for the patient, so that he can heal. These doctors have been working with Jason for about 3 1/2 months and for the most part have been able to hit their target. To them I say, "Thank you."

Jason will be going in for another bandage change tomorrow morning, though there is no specific schedule. I'm not going to say Jason "likes" the idea o…

June 21, 2011 - First Day of Sumer

Jason, and the rest of us, arrived here, at Bethesda Naval Hospital, a couple of weeks before the end of winter. We all went through the spring and have seen some significant improvements as well as the occasional set back (and we knew there would be those). Here it is now, Summer, and that brings us to a different phase, if you will, of his healing. He continues to take all of us along paths we didn't think we would be taking, and yet here we are. He has shown us the great inner strength that he possesses, and has been the stability we have all needed to get through this. We will continue to work our way through this, one day at a time.

There really isn't a great deal to report about today. It started out a little rough in that there was an issue with his pain level shooting up some. It was brought back under control and the procedure took place and then he was brought back to his room. The Pain Team is interested in insuring that his pain is kept under control so they said …

June 20, 2011 - Another quiet day

Today was another quiet day for Jason. He didn't go in first, to the PACU, but he did get in early, and back before lunch. I had actually gotten to visit with him early in the morning (one of those days when I woke up early and walked on over). He was talking about having to go without his laptop and wanted to get some information off of it. I guess he is concerned about some of his financial things, as he tends to do, and wants to be sure all is taken care of. I took this as a good sign, that his focus is on the "regular things" of life, and that his injuries are pretty much an inconvenience. His attitude is that he knows he needs to get through this, and it is going to take some time to get back to living his life as normal as he can, and he remains very positive.

I had asked him what he would like to have for lunch, since it seemed he would be getting back to his room around that time. I jokingly asked him what he wanted to have for his late breakfast. He thought a c…

June 19, 2011 - Happy Father's Day!

Today started out a little "bumpy" for Jason, in that they did the procedure this morning, as they have for the past several days; only this time he came back very much in pain and did not understand why. The nurse, same one as yesterday, checked the records from the procedure and found out that in fact nothing new had been done. All we did was to re-position him in the bed and in a short while he was comfortable again. We didn't see anything pressing up against his tender areas, or anything else that might explain what had happened, though we were all happy that he was feeling better. The rest of the day was spent comfortable, and we had a good Father's Day.

Bridgette, Linda and I, along with the girls all went out and picked up some goodies, earlier in the morning and brought them back to Jason to share. Once he was settled through the difficulties mentioned above, he got to the chocolate eclairs; and, when he bit into them you could see a total look of satisfactio…

June 18, 2011

Jason started today quite early, in that he went down to the PACU at about 6:00AM, to get ready for his procedure. The procedure was pretty much the same as the previous two, and he was back up in his room before 10:00AM. This means that there was nothing new to consider with his wounds and that is a very good thing. The rate of his healing is now at a steady pace, and that is also a very good thing. Bottom line is that today has been a nice quiet day, with Jason feeling pretty good, and not much else going on.

He had a few visitors, besides family, and a new nurse (new in the sense that he had not seen her before). If tomorrow is anything like today I am going to do my best to get him involved in a board game or something, other than watching TV and movies. I want him to start using his hands more, like the PT and OT folks have asked him to do; and besides there are supposed to be games available for them to play, so now is a good time to use them.

I have to admit, it was quite crow…

June 17, 2011 - A different kind of day

Jason had somewhat of a different day today. It started off with another procedure, and that wasn't unusual. They brought him back up to his room afterwards, and that wasn't unusual. The medical staff got him all settled and brought in his meds, and that wasn't unusual. The unusual began with how they brought the bed back into the room. Because of the size of his bed, and then with the trapeze on it, there really isn't a bunch of room to get around the end, though all have been doing it. You know, kind of stepping side ways and scooting through (Okay, some of us have more of a challenge doing it than others, but I can get through). Well, today the nurse said to put the bed at more of an angle and that magically corrected the problem. On top of that Jason could now view his TV more easily and not have to look over the bar of the trapeze. It was a win-win all around. Kudos to the nurse and medical staff!

Then, Jason and Bridgette got to spend pretty much most of the day …

June 16, 2011 -

Today was a pretty good day for Jason, as he was fortunate enough to go down for the procedure early, and therefore back in his room at an earlier time. As it turned out I was guessing at the timing of when he would be back in his room, and Linda and I went out to go get him some breakfast - Chocolate Chip Pancakes! When we did get back Jason had just gotten into his room, so our timing was very good. At least we thought it was very good, until all the activity took over. Also, he was still a little unsettled from the procedure, and they needed to get him his meds. I'm going to digress here for a moment, and complement the nurses, in that they are very good about making sure his meds come in on time and maintain his schedule pretty closely. Considering the interrupts associated with his treatment they keep things moving right on schedule, and that can't be an easy task. Okay, back to his breakfast. Once he was finally settled into his room and comfortable in the bed, he was in…

June 15, 2011 - A few more weeks

Jason had a good visit to the PACU today, and he came back with no wound vacs. He had on a completely new type of dressing on his wounds and he was much more comfortable. He also came back hungry, so the Arby's sandwich (not Taco Bell this time) was very welcomed by him. The morning was long for him, as he didn't get to go down to have the procedure done until almost noon, and by then he really wanted to eat or drink something, but unfortunately he could not.

He had a couple of nice visitors, though they didn't show up until after he was back in his room, one of them was from one of the corpsmen who was with him very shortly after the injury occurred. She was able to tell us some of the details as she was in the hospital where Jason was brought, in Afghanistan, and Bridgette wanted to know all that she could. The corpsman's name is Lisa (only her first name this time) and she stayed for a very nice visit. She is also the one who bought the Arby's...

Jason's ot…

June 14, 2011 - An update

Jason went in to the O.R. today, and when he got back to his room he was without any wound vacs. Unfortunately I was not able to speak with any of the doctors, after the surgery, so I don't know if this is a temporary thing or if he is finally through with them. I was over with him early this morning, and got to talk with a few of the doctors, but none of them would give a solid answer when asked about the status of the wound vacs, they would say that he MIGHT be able to get rid of them today. I also know that the doctors are very busy right now, as a few new cases arrived late last week and the doctors need to apply all their immediate focus on those guys, until they are truly stable. Much like it was with Jason, after he arrived here. Anyway, I'll do my best to catch up with the doctors tomorrow, and see what I can find out.

Like I said, I came over early to go to the PACU with him (that's where they take all the patients prior to surgery - unless they are from the ICU) …

June 13, 2011 - A day in the sun

Jason had a busy day today, with it starting off with banjo lessons. Jim came by (during his break) and spent close to 1/2 an hour with Jason. Jason showed us that he can move his fingers enough to start playing a round (that is a specific way of describing how a player picks the strings in a specific order), and with practice he will be able to play it like a pro. It makes me want to pick up my guitar and start playing with it again, so we can play together - either that or I'll learn how to play the banjo too!

The doctors all came in and talked a bit about how he was doing and asking him how he was feeling, pretty much like they do on a regular basis. I guess it is one of those things that I'm happy with, and that is that Jason never shows any tiring of them, even when they don't bring any new information. He will see, on average, about 10 doctors every day, and tomorrow he will be seeing a bunch of them as he goes in to the O.R. again. We're hoping that it is simply…

June 12, 2011 - a day like yesterday

Today started out nice, in that I was able to get over to see Jason pretty early, and have breakfast with him. Everyone else was pretty much sleeping, and I'm naturally an early riser. He is still feeling the discomfort of that muscle pull, on his right side, with everything else making progress. His doctor came in early and we got a chance to speak with her, and she confirmed that Tuesday would be the next time he would have to go to the O.R. We spent some time watching movies with him and talking a little about anything he wanted to talk about, and there has been plenty of food brought in for the patients and their families. As a result, we haven't had to go get anything for a couple of days, and that has been very nice. The quality of the food usually goes from good to very good, so there is nothing to complain about. Today was really nice because they had lemonade, and you all know I have a soft spot for lemonade.

I look forward to continued progress with Jason, and his co…

June 11, 2011 - A quiet Saturday

Well, not really much to talk about today. We played with Jason's banjo a little, and will probably continue to practice as time permits. Slept more than he has been able to in the recent past, and that was good. Oh! I just thought about something that is worthy of reporting... The building is very warm most of the time, though not hot. For whatever reason, it was decided to set the temperature at a fixed level, throughout the building. The challenge is changing the temperature, since the building is so large it takes awhile to have a rise or fall of just a degree or two. Well, today nearly everyone on the 5E (where Jason is) wing was talking about how warm it was, and a bunch of the guys were constantly sweating. A notice came out that the temperature was going to be going down and we were all happy to hear that. Just a few hours later... it was still warm in Jason's (and others) room, yet most of the rest of the building was now actually quite cool. Not sure what happened ot…

June 10, 2011 - No end yet...

Jason went into the O.R. again today, and when he came out there were a number of good signs with his wounds. However, there were a couple of not so good signs, and that is the challenge. Right now they are saying that at best, we have another three weeks here, and that would take us right up to July. Of course being able to finally get healed up here in three weeks would be pretty good, I just hope the end doesn't move out too much further. I know Jason is getting anxious to move on to his next steps, and to just get out of this hospital. I hope everyone understands that Jason really does like just about everyone here, and that the medical staff and support folks have been good, he just needs a change of location, at least for a few weeks.

Otherwise, today was a pretty good day. We found out that Tim, one of the guys who was a patient here several weeks ago, was going to be coming back for some additional surgery. He and Jason hit it off pretty good when they were both here befor…

June 9, 2011 - Beginning of the 4th month

Wow! I had no idea that we would be staying here this long, and still the time has gone by so very fast. It actually snowed the end of the first week here, and now we have 100+ degree weather, with high humidity. I have seen that the weather back home has been much more reasonable, and yet I know that just as soon as we get back home it is going to be HOT. But enough about the weather - this blog is supposed to be about Jason and how he is doing.

It was a pretty good day for Jason. He had some visitors, a Sargent-Major came by and a Major General, both from the Marines. It is always good to see the Marines coming in and spending time with Jason. It brings his spirits up, and it is always good to talk with someone who has a common point of reference, so that you can just talk and not have to explain everything all the way through the conversation. Then a little later in the day he got into his chair and we (Bridgette and I) went with him as he toured about the floor. He even took the t…

June 8, 2011 -

Today, Jason had a Lt. General come in and visit with him, and that was well received. He came in and visited with both Jason and Bridgette (and Linda and I) for a few minutes, and I think the conversation was good for everyone. It dawned on me that these people who have high levels of responsibility still make the time to come out and visit with our troops, while they are healing, and when they need it most. It gives them a greater sense that what they did was for a real reason and cause, and that the sacrifices they have made will ultimately help others. And these high ranking folks are very busy, yet when they come to visit you don't see it. Their focus is on the individual. This has been the case with all the visitors Jason has had.

A bit later in the day there were other visitors to see Jason. Three of his buddies, he has met sense being here, who have gone on to rehab and are now coming back to show the wounded warriors that there is still life after the initial healing beg…

June 7, 2011

I have to say that Jason had a good day today, though he was totally dissatisfied with the hospital food service. There was no breakfast brought, nor was there a lunch delivered. Other arrangements were done to insure he had some food for those meals. Thank goodness for the U.S.O. as they brought in some steaks at lunch, with all the fixens, because that became his lunch. His dinner, however, did come - though, it wasn't what he ordered (they give the patients a limited menu and ask them to select what they would like to eat), so as with the first two meals today, dinner was pulled together with other food that was available. He is getting anxious to leave the hospital, knowing that even though he will be "leaving" he will be simply headed to another hospital. At least it will be a change, and perhaps he will feel as though it is more refreshing.

All his vital signs are registering at more normal numbers lately, and everyone is happy about that. I am hoping to get him ou…

June 6, 2011 - A mixed day

There was very good news for Jason today, after he came out of the O.R. and returned to his room. Over 75% of the skin grafts have taken and they look good. The remaining look good too, though that portion still has more healing to do. They still want to continue with the same treatment as they have been doing, for these past several weeks, so that means he still has the wound vacs on, and will probably be continuing with them for at least another week. A small error was made while he was in the recovery area (PACU), and that small error nearly cost Jason a trip back to the I.C.U. His vital signs were lower than the doctors were comfortable with. He had become dehydrated, and it took the 5th floor staff several hours to get him back up to a more comfortable level, and it was decided that he could stay on the 5th floor (this made Jason happy - me too). Jason is getting excellent care on the 5th floor, and he is getting to know the staff pretty well, so he wants to stay there until he i…

June 5, 2011 - Good day to practice with a banjo

From Jason's perspective, today was very much like yesterday, though he did get a chance to sing Happy Birthday to his brother David; and Jim C. came by again and this time gave Jason a new banjo (see picture). When Jason left for this deployment he had taken a banjo with him and had intended to get some time in, to learn how to play. because of the way in which he left Afghanistan all his personal belongings were left behind and they are now somewhere in transit or storage somewhere. Some of his stuff did make it back, and Bridgette was able to go through some of it, and alas it did not include his banjo. Jim is an accomplished musician (and banjo player) and feels that music is a useful tool in the recovery, and I agree with him. Jason still doesn't really have the full strength he needs to play, but can get started just moving his hands and fingers, and this will help build their strength. As soon as he is ready for a recital though, I'll let everyone know...;-)

Bridge…

June 4, 2011 - Saturday

Today is one of those days where I could probably get away without making an entry into the blog, as it was a restful day for Jason and not much happened. It started with a visit from Mom and Dad this morning, then we went over to watch the girls so Bridgette could come and be with Jason. Then we came back a bit later, with the girls, Stacy wanted to see Daddy, so that all of us were in the room for a short while. Bridgette took the girls back to the Fisher House to feed them dinner and we had pizza with Jason (he actually did the ordering on-line and it was delivered to the hospital, pretty cool). After we ate the pizza we went back over to the Fisher House, and stayed with the girls so Bridgette could go back and spend a little more time with Jason, and say, "Good Night."

The only thing that happened was one of his wound vacs began acting up and caused him a little discomfort, and some simple adjustments fixed that. So, other than a couple of pad changes and readjustments …

June 3, 2011 - Another relaxed day

Jason had a good day of healing and is steadily getting better. As one might imagine, the skin grafts have been compared to road rash (on a sun burn) and with road rash the wounds "weep" as they repair themselves. Well, that is one of the issues that Jason is dealing with right now, and as a result needs to get is bedding changed more frequently. It is uncomfortable for Jason, but the clean surfaces are much better for him to rest on, and it is better for the overall healing.

We went over this morning, and got to spend some time with him, prior to taking off to do some errands. Rev. Bill Nebo came by this morning also, and was actually there before the rest of us came (he's an early riser, for sure). Jason was able to work with his occupational therapist, Christine, and she had him doing all sorts of exercises. She even had him lifting some weights (2lb dumb bells), and it made me feel pretty happy to know that his muscles were getting stronger. While that was going on …

June 2, 2011 - Where's my Emmy??

Today was a pretty good day for Jason, though he didn't get out in his chair (that might not happen until Saturday). He the tube to his gallbladder removed, and that happened early in the day - actually before we got to his room. When he was brought in he was laying on a bunch of stuff that they had used down at the IR, so that when the CT Scan was done he would be a little more comfortable. Now I don't have any issues or problems with them wanting to make Jason comfortable, but I really don't see the logic in sending him back to his room with all of it. One of the first things we had to do was get rid of it, and that took us a few minutes and it ended with a new "chuck" pad for Jason to be on, and he was happy with that.

After getting settled back into his room CBS showed up on the 5th floor and they wanted to interview some of the Wounded Warriors. I guess this is something that was pre-arranged several weeks ago, as there were all kinds of Navy folks around, …

June 1, 2011 - Skin Grafts

Today was a very important day for Jason, with the skin grafts finally being able to be set. He went to the O.R. early this morning for the surgery, and Bridgette went to his room early to see him off. The plan was for them to take a look at his wounds and to assess the conditions and determine what they could get done. Initially we were told that we should expect that half of his wounds would be covered this time, and that next week they would do the other half. Apparently, when they did take a look they were pleasantly surprised to find that he was ready for all the grafting to be done, so that's what they did. This is a very BIG deal for him because skin grafts are very painful - think of your worst sun burn you ever got, and then you managed to go run at full speed and then fall and hit asphalt for a good road rash on top of it. Now take that and double the pain and you have an idea of what a skin graft feels like.

Obviously they upped his meds a bit and his pain level is bein…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office