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Showing posts from July, 2011

July 31, 2011 - I'm Baaaaack

Jason had a good day today, and he got out on his cart this morning, just like he wanted to. He cruised the hall ways, moving along at a pretty good speed. Because of the recent visit to the O.R. he was not able to get out in his chair this weekend, so it will be one of the activities he is looking to accomplish early this week, starting with Monday. Of course there is also a problem with his existing chair, it is too small for him and they will be getting another one, either Monday or Tuesday. Once his "new" chair comes in he will be more comfortable as well as be able to move around a bit more easily.

As for visitors today, MGSgt Todd came by for a short visit with Jason, and that is always a good thing. He also had a visit from Lt. Col. Tarter a short while later, and that too was a welcomed visit, since they are both from EOD, and Jason feels best talking with them, since they do seem to speak the same language. Another visitor Jason has was from the current Miss America…

July 30, 2011 - A day of rest

Folks, sorry for the short post today, but I'm just a bit tired and with that I'll simply say that Jason is doing well, and I'll provide more information tomorrow. He didn't do too much in the way of activities to day, and has said he wants to get out on his cart tomorrow, so I'll write about that.

Take care, and thank you, for your continued support and all your prayers.

July 29, 2011 - Another Milestone Reached

Jason went down to the O.R. today, and as a result he crossed a major milestone. He received a specialized treatment, that is intended to promote natural skin growth over his wounds. The doctor who did the procedure is considered one of the premier experts with this, so we are all very hopeful for the out come. The original plan, as explained to us last week, was to do this and then allow him two weeks "rest." The plan now is to monitor more closely with check ups every 2 or 3 days, depending on a few outward signs they also monitor. A check every couple of days is a lot better than daily trips to the PACU, so we're pretty happy with it - as is Jason. For the next two days he will be limited to what he can do, and that is rolls in his bed and getting out on his cart. He won't be able to get in his chair until Monday or Tuesday at the soonest. That's OK though, as he will still be able to do other things for his PT.

Jason went down at about 06:00 this morning and…

July 28, 2011 -

Jason began the day, as he has often done, with an early visit to the PACU, and was on his way down before 07:00 this morning. The big difference with this one is that it might be his last visit down to the PACU for several days. Tomorrow he goes to the O.R. where they are going to do a treatment of his wounds and then he won't have to have any other actions for two weeks, while this part heals. We are all excited about what this means, and look forward to the next phase of his healing to take place. Once he was back from the PACU the folks in audiology let us know that they wanted to do a hearing test on him, and it had to be done with his bed turned off. It also had to be done close to his room, where there was still some access to the meds he needs, just in case.

The hearing test went well and they found that he had only a slight, high level hearing loss, that most of us have anyway. In other words, his hearing is fine. What we had to do for the testing was get him out of his …

July 27, 2011 - Let's tour the hospital a bit

Jason had another quick visit with the PACU, and the doctor said he is looking better all the time. He is also feeling better, more and more each day and today he not only wanted to get out in his chair, he also wanted to go get a hair cut. He really wasn't getting too shaggy, but from a Marine's perspective his hair was too long and he felt he needed to get it back to regulation. Besides, it gave him somewhere new to go and he wanted to get a little more exercise. We got down to the barber and went right in and were next in line. You might think that it was because of his "patient" status, or because of his injuries, but I can honestly tell you right now, it was because there were no other folks waiting, so he was simply next. On top of the haircut he also received a nice shave and the barber even trimmed up his mustache. I did take some pictures and I need to ask Jason if he would like to have them posted, so you won't see them just yet.

After the haircut we we…

July 26, 2011 - Another visit from the Commandant

Jason went down to the PACU today, and he left about 08:15 this morning. Now that in itself isn't remarkable, however there were a couple factors with it that make it notable. First of these was that we ALL got up early (Mom, Dad, and God Parents)and went over to see him before he went. We arrived about 06:45, so that he could say, "good-bye" to his Nino and Nina, as they had to catch a plane around 14:00 (2pm) which meant that we needed to leave for the air port at about noon. Like I said, he went down around 08:15, and this is the second notable factor, he was back in his room before 11:00. I think that was the shortest visit to the PACU that he has had, and it allowed him time to visit with his Nino and Nina again (and say, "good-bye" again). There was no new development with his treatment and he is still progressing at a consistent pace, and he came back feeling pretty good, so all-in-all it was one of the better trips to the PACU.

It was great having his G…

July 25, 2011

Jason had another good day with the PACU, though he came back with some minor issues like a pulled muscle in his back. He was given a muscle relaxer and shortly felt better, and then spent the next few hours visiting with the people who came to see him. There was a Warrant Officer, Team Extreme, and of course his God Parents. The Warrant Officer (I apologize that I don't remember his name) talked with Jason for about 15 minutes and Jason enjoyed him being there, however Jason didn't know who he was actually and it may have been a case of the W.O. coming into Jason's room, thinking he was attached to a different part of the Marines. Like I said, it was a relatively short visit yet enjoyable. The Team EXTREME folks came in and talked with Jason about getting one of those hand crank bicycles and Jason was pretty excited about it. What they told him was, there were going to be some of those bikes in the race, and once the race was over one of them was to be given to Jason, for…

July 24, 2011 - Cat Scratch Fever...

Another good day for Jason, as he got out on his cart today and made multiple laps around the floor. It was a good work out and it made him (and everyone else) feel pretty good. I think MGnySgt Tod being there to help made him a bit more motivated to push just a little, and the accomplishment left Jason feeling pretty good about himself. Okay, so you're wondering about the title - Cat Scratch Fever - well for all you Ted Nuggent fans out there, he was here today and visiting with the Wounded Warriors. Now Jason did not get a chance to see him, as he was out on the cart, but we did hear about him being there, and I thought, "cool." Maybe next time we will be able to see who the celebrity is, though in all honesty, at the time, Jason was happier doing his cart than visiting with folks. He is determined to build his strength up and it is amazing how much faster he is starting to do just that.

The visit to the PACU was another trip down and back, and simply a chance to have …

July 23, 2011 - A day to visit

Jason has a good day in the PACU; a good day on the 5th floor; and a good day scooting around in his wheel chair. Yep, he got out in his wheelchair today, and it was the first time for the manual chair. The power chair he had prior was sent back and the manual one was decided upon to help him with his building his strength. He has wanted to get out in his chair for the past few days, and has been interrupted with each attempt. Today was different because I asked, "Do you want to go?" He said, "Yes!" and so we went. Of course we had to get some help with the transfer from his bed to the chair, but that didn't take too long.

Once he was in the chair he started to move about the floor, and wanted to head down to the PT office. He said he knew it was Saturday, and they usually aren't there on Saturday, but he wanted to go down and see anyway. After we got there he said he wanted to head down to the CCU (ICU) to go and visit with the folks there. He was feeling …

July 22, 2011

Today was another good day for Jason, and not just because things went well in the PACU. His God-parents were able to make it out and Jason was very pleased to see them. They flew in from California and will be able to stay for a few days, and most importantly they will be providing some support for Jason. Jason had asked to bring them out at the end of last week, so to have them get here in just a week is really good, considering that both of them work and had to make arrangements in a relatively short period of time. They have been a part of the family since before Jason was born, and all our boys and their kids effectively grew up together. Anyway, Jason was very happy to see them, and will enjoy them being here, as will we.

Jason went down to the gym (the PT room where the patients get to do more activities) for the first time. He'd been there before to visit with the folks, but this time he was going for business. He was not only working with the PT folks he was also working …

July 21, 2011

Jason went down to the PACU for his dressing change and was back in less than four hours... actually it was closer to three hours. All indications are that his wounds are healing up well, though slowly, and that the bacteria that is giving them the trouble is coming under control. It looks like the treatment they want to use to help with the final closing steps is going to be taking place next week, I think it will probably be Monday at the soonest.

We were sitting in his room talking and Jason was feeling pretty good when he said he wanted to get out on his cart. I said I would go out and talk to the nurses and PT folks and see if we could make it happen, sooner rather than later. Well, before I even left the room, M.J. (from PT) came in and said she wanted to get Jason out on the cart, and would be coming back in about half an hour to do so. Everything was a go, and Jason was all up for it. Then, just as we were starting to get ready for cart the nurse comes in and said the I.R. wan…

July 20, 2011 - Weather doesn't always cooperate

Jason had a pretty good day today, as he started early with a visit to the PACU for his dressing change, and he was back to his room by 10:40am. He was happy that they were able to place him in his new bed, just about the way he likes it, and he wasn't feeling much pain. On top of that he had a couple things to munch on, and he knew he was going to be going to the Bar-B-Que across the street soon. The BBQ is put on once a month by the retired Marines-Helping-Marines organization, and this was the first one he was going to be able to attend. He was so looking forward to the promised steak. The only challenge we were going to face was the weather. It was HOT today, and going to be hotter tomorrow. By noon we had him in his chair and wearing the first pull-over t-shirt he has worn since being here. All others had some Velcro, so he wouldn't have to pull it over, and could just wrap it around his arms and torso. Anyway, the nurse gave him a shot of his pain meds prior to leaving h…

July 19, 2011 - Kind of a drag...

Today, Jason went in to the O.R. with the expectation that it was the last procedure he was going to have to deal with, for at least a little while. As it turned out he was not able to receive the treatment and in fact there was some signs that they might have to give him another antibiotic medication, and what it turned into was a very thorough cleaning. It was decided that because of his healing challenges he needed to go to a different bed (one that promoted healing of his type wounds), and so they gave him a new bed, prior to being brought back to his room. It was a very nice bed and about as high tech as you might want to see in a bed, with just one challenge to it. Jason was unable to sit up in it, and therefore, unable to eat. There were multiple attempts to get the new bed to work and all this did was irritate Jason more, and cause him to have some frustration. Still he was willing to work with the team, and it ultimately show that he (Jason) was right, and he needed a differe…

July 18, 2011 - An Exciting Day

Jason had a pretty busy day today, and he didn't even go down to the PACU. He had a conversation with Team EXTREME and discussed the coming events, Jason called them. He hopes to be able to go to the Marine Marathon, though we will have to wait to see if that comes to pass for him. Then later a couple of the rehab doctors, from Walter Reed, came by just to introduce themselves to Jason. They said they would be coming to visit with him these next few weeks, and doing some beginning work with his rehab. We talked about what Jason would be able to do with the different prosthetic devices he will be able to get, and one of them is to be able to go swimming again. Not only swimming, but also do some free diving - out in the ocean again! This is probably one of the most exciting things that Jason has heard in the past four+ months. I know we have discussed it in the past, but this time it was with the doctors, and that made it much more real.

There was also some work done in his room, …

July 17, 2011

Today I went over to the hospital a little earlier than I typically do, so that I could talk with Jason, prior to him going down to the PACU. I arrived about 06:50 and found that he had already been taken down for the dressing change. I thought, "WOW! That was early, and that means he should be coming back early." Silly me, he still didn't get back to his room until about 10:30. As a result of his arrival time he did miss breakfast, yet only had to wait a little more than a hour to get his lunch, so it wasn't too bad. Besides, he still had a bunch of other snacks he could munch on in the mean time.

Jason's pain level seemed to be well under control and the gas issues seem to have passed (yeah, that was a pun)... and the rest of the day was just talking about little things and relaxing. He said he would like to get out on the cart again, so we'll be setting that up for tomorrow. I think he is feeling more comfortable with the cart, and I also suspect that tom…

July 16, 2011

Tomorrow Jason will be going in to the PACU for a dressing change, and then he won't have to have anything done until Tuesday. That's when he goes in to the O.R., where there is going to be more work done, and I suspect that it will be a longer day for him, than in the past. Though that probably means he will be gone for maybe 5 or 6 hours after he leaves his room, and that is much better than those early days when he would be gone 8 or more hours.

Jason had a good day, even with the continued challenges with the gas. He had some visitors today, with one notable being the Colonel who was the commander of the 26 MEU that Jason was attached to (sorry, I didn't ask permission to put his name in the blog). Jason was very pleased to see him, and probably more important, get a chance to speak with him. I remember talking to the Colonel a few months ago, when his wife came to visit, and then later took Linda and I to a small lounge area where she called him (or perhaps he called…

July 15, 2011 - A day to forget

Today was a day that I think Jason would rather not remember. He developed some awful gas pains, and they lasted most of the day. I know, considering all that he has been through, gas pains couldn't have been that bad... they were. Because of their persistence he was taken down to X-ray, and to put it mildly, he really does not like getting X-rays done. They have to move him around and he basically has to lay on the photo plate, and no matter how you say it, it is uncomfortable. The good news is that they didn't find anything, and by the evening (sometime after 6:30) he was finally feeling better. Not sure what caused the gas and discomfort, and we might not ever know, we're just happy he is feeling better.

Jason had several visitors today, all spread out through the day. Most of them were guys connected in some way with what he was doing in Afghanistan, or EOD, then there were also a couple that simply came in because they wanted to talk with him. They all signed the boo…

July 14, 2011 - Getting out on the cart again

I went over to see Jason early this morning, I walked over to the hospital and saw that he had not gone down to the PACU yet, so we were given a chance to talk.
We mostly talked about the X.T.R.E.M.E. Team that came to visit with him yesterday and what it is they had to offer. They do what they can to provide a means for the wounded warriors to experience things they otherwise might not have been able to. For example, they made it possible for SSgt Ryan Majors, a triple amputee, to sky dive, in a special way, into the 1/2 marathon that was run last year. Now Jason made it quite clear that he had no desire to jump out of an air plane, especially if it was flying just fine. He did, however say that he would like to ride one of those hand cranked bicycles, and possibly participate in a race some day. Another thing that Jason said he would like to do, is be able to go swimming again, and maybe even do some diving (& snorkeling). He thought white water rafting would be fun to do again,…

July 13, 2011 -

Jason's day started off with him feeling a little uncomfortable, though happy that he didn't have to go down to the PACU for any procedures. A short while after we (Linda and I) got to his room the doctors came in and one of them started to speak with Jason about the need to have some attention placed on his bandages. Because there was no procedure they felt there was a need to have some moisture placed on the bandages so that it would help with the healing and to make it a little more comfortable for Jason, when he goes down tomorrow. I decided to stay while they did the work and they removed the bandages, and it was the first time I had seen all of his injured areas, without any cover. I'm not sure I was happy or not, as I could tell that some of the areas still had a ways to go for healing, and others just simply looked like he was still healing from a bad sun burn. I'm glad I did see it, as I can now focus a bit more on specific points of where Jason has pain, and …

July 12, 2011 - Golf Tournament

First, what happened to Jason - Jason spent part of the morning in the PACU, undergoing the procedure of cleaning his wound dressings out, and this time he came back with smaller bandages. Of course, with his bandages, even "smaller" still looks pretty big, but I was glad to see it anyway. The down side is that the exposed areas are very sensitive right now and it seemed to elevate some of the phantom pain that he has to deal with. By the end of the evening, just prior to us coming back to our room at the Lodge, he was doing quiet well. Tomorrow he gets a day off from the routine, and he is looking forward to it.

He got out on his cart today, and got to exercise his arms more. He went around the floor and finally ended up down by the Physical Therapy office (the Recreational and Occupational Therapy people sit there as well) and visited with everyone. A couple of them were more excited to see him than what I would have expected, so it was a good time for Jason. He went back…

July 11, 2011 - The journey continues

Jason is an amazing kinda guy. After all that he has been through he still has a sense of humor, and knows how to be a gracious host. I have to admit that I wasn't able to be with him for most of the day, due to the need for me to take care of some personal business, and run some errands for Jason. While I was there, however, he had a huge number of visitors come by, and even though it interrupted his lunch we didn't show any signs of being irritated, and in fact was smiling and joking with all of them. The first "wave" was an officer and another gentleman that Jason seemed to know. I was still out on my errands so I didn't see them or get their names. There was a second "group," actually Brad Richabaugh and his wife Katie, and another friend that I don't remember his name (too many names and I didn't bring the Red Sign-in Book with me). They stayed for a short visit and even helped Linda do some decorating (they helped her hang up the Marine fl…

July 10, 2011 - What a difference a day makes.

Jason had another visit to the PACU this morning, though it was a bit latter than other days. Have to say, that the "lateness" worked to his advantage, in that he was able to visit with Bridgette and the girls before they headed back down to North Carolina. We'll all be glad when Bridgette gets all their stuff done (with Bridgette being the happiest), so she can spend more time with Jason. Actually, I was supposed to go to a baseball game today, but since the Giants weren't playing it really wasn't as important to me; and, once Jason got back from the PACU he was feeling pretty good. A complete turn around from yesterday.

We were provided lunch, as it usually is on the weekends. It generally something that a group puts together, and for the past few days I've been in the mood for baked beans. Well, those wonderful folks brought baked beans (along with a bunch of other food items), so I was happy. Linda and I spent most of the rest of the day with him, watchin…

July 9, 2011 -

Jason had a pretty inactive day today, after the trip to the PACU. He came back feeling more pain than he usually does, and they even had him situated in the bed, so that he was laying on his left side in an attempt to help. They gave him some extra pain medication, and it was only marginally helping, when the doctor came in to the room. I asked him what was done differently this time, and that perhaps the person who wrapped his bandages this time did something differently. He assured me that he had done the wrap of the bandages and that he was the person who had been doing it for the past few days, and there were no issues during this time period. The doctor made some adjustments to the bandages and trying to fix whatever it was that was causing the discomfort when finally he did something to his right side and you could see an expression of relief on Jason's face. Everyone around the bed saw it, and Jason was almost immediately feeling much better. Still not sure what was going …

July 8, 2011 - Let's go for a ride

Jason had another visit to the PACU today, early this morning, and for the most part it was rather uneventful. He is continuing to heal up, and all aspects of his wounds are coming along, just as they are expected to. He seems to be doing better with his pain management, and isn't using any more medication than he needs too (which makes me and I think the doctors very happy). Of course Jason is also doing his best to put on some weight, so he keeps a stash of Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints) handy. Actually they are brought around to all the patients on a regular basis, and all the guys have cookies in their rooms, if they choose to. One of the doctors on Jason's team keeps threatening to eat the Thin Mints. So now, there is an ongoing banter between the two of them about he cookies.

Today was a milestone day in that Jason was able to get out on his "prone cart" and move around the floor some. The way he is positioned on the cart allows for more air to get to the rema…

July 7, 2011 - Continuing with the treatments

Jason had another day, that is probably going to be very similar to the next several days, and weeks. His wounds have progressed to the point where the changes are going to be small, though positive, as continues to heal. In fact, he has reached a point where I don't think reporting on minimal advancements makes much sense, so I will be focusing on other aspects, such as the different therapy treatments he is receiving. I think what I might do is to let everyone know when he doesn't have to go in for treatment and has a "day off." With that, PT came in today and worked with him, on strengthening his arms, and in particular, his right shoulder. M.J. (the Physical Therapist) made the comment that he was gaining good strength in his right arm and shoulder now, and was very happy with how he was progressing. He is also continuing to improve on his left side, and that is the way it has been for some time now.

He had some visitors today, with a couple of different 1st Ser…

July 6, 2011 - A turn for the better

Jason had a pretty good visit to the PACU this morning and came back to his room with just a little smaller bandage. Of course it could have been a result of how they did the wrapping of the wounds this time, but I prefer to think that it is a result of his wounds healing up a bit... ;-) When he got to his room he began with the typical actions of the medical staff to get him set up when the Occupational Therapy person showed up. She had him doing exercises and working with him to improve his over all motions with his arms and shoulders. Just as she finished the Physical Therapy team showed up and they went to work on helping him build up his core muscles and as a result he showed that he was able to nearly turn over in the bed, on his own. This is a really big thing for Jason, in that he is moving more, as well as feeling more confident on the bed that he is on. We were all excited about how well he is continuing to progress.

Because Jason is getting stronger and more able to do diff…

July 5, 2011

Big day today, for Jason. He had a very good visit with the O.R., where he had his wounds scrubbed and re-wrapped. The doctors all said he wasn't quite ready for more skin grafting yet, and they would be continuing to monitor his progress over the next several days. The continued progress that he has been showing is good and all are feeling pretty confident that Jason is coming along just like they would like.

Almost immediately after getting back from the O.R., the PT team came to his room where they were asking him to work with them, and turn over in his bed. Honestly, Jason wasn't too excited about doing this, as he comes back from these procedures feeling a little more tender than usual, and he just wants to rest. The discussions went on for a little while, with me being on the side of the PT folks, and we finally got him to agree to turning over in his bed, after a short rest. When they came back to do the turn, everything was set up and then Jason pretty well surprised a…

july 4, 2011 - Happy Birthday, U.S.

Jason had a pretty good day today. He had some visitors; got a coin from the White House; got out in his chair and watched some movies. Now I don't want to give the wrong impression, he did get out in his chair, but it was for only a short time, as he started to experience some pain and discomfort almost immediately. He was able to remain in his chair for about 5 minutes before he said he wanted to get back in the bed. It was a little traumatic for him, but it made me appreciate the fact that he was going back in to the O.R. tomorrow, so they could take a look and maybe figure out why he was hurting so much.

The coin that came from the White House, is a Presidential coin, and it even has Barac Obama's name on it, but it wasn't delivered by the President. It was from Bill Daley (and his wife), his Chief of Staff - still pretty cool. Jason was his typical self, and handled it very cool and collected, and spoke very clearly with both of them. It would have been nice if they …

July 3, 2011

Jason went down for his procedure today, and actually came back to his room much sooner than we thought he would - and that is a good thing. He has gained some strength in his arms, and has been able to begin "assisting" in the moving of him, in his bed, so we're all feeling optimistic about his continued progress. Obviously there is still much to be accomplished, and we are happy to see small bits of progress, but when the accumulative effect of all those small bits come together it just tends to make me excited.

I went up to see Jason, early in the morning, since the girls were still asleep when I got up, and Linda said she was okay with her taking care of them while I was gone. I guess it is the best time for us to talk, guy-to-guy and it feels pretty positive. It generally tends to be the time that we do most of our "future" talks and that is when I get most of my chance to see how he is doing. Like I said, he came back sooner than we though he would, and …

July 2, 2011 -

Last night, when I left Jason, I was told that it wasn't a sure thing, that he would be going into the PACU for dressing change. When I got over there this morning, about 06:45 he was sleeping nicely in in his bed. I went over to the nurses station and asked about when I should expect him to be going down and they told me that he wasn't going down today, and that he was getting a second day off. I went back into Jason's room and he was beginning to wake up. So, I figured I'd give him the good news. Then he told me that the doctors had come by earlier and told him already - that's why he had gone back to sleep. We talked a little and then I asked him if he'd like something to eat, since they had not brought him a breakfast yet. He sent me off to Dunkin Donuts to get their big breakfast sandwich.

Otherwise it was a pretty quiet day, again, and that is a good thing. He wasn't up for going out in his chair, but that was okay, there will be other days. You can …

July 1, 2011 - Getting into our fifth month

Not much to report on today. Jason didn't have to go down to the PACU today, and by default didn't have to get moved around or readjusted in his bed. We got to spend a big portion of the morning and afternoon with Jason, and we were there for the visitors he received, so from that perspective it was a nice day. The down side was that he didn't feel good enough to get out in his chair, so I think perhaps we might of passed up an opportunity for him to get out and enjoy some of the wonderful summer weather that we seem to be having right now. He will need to got down to the PACU tomorrow, and perhaps one more time prior to being taking to the O.R. next week. All this is because his wounds are doing much better now.

I'm quite anxious to speak with his doctors next week, after the O.R. visit. I believe there will be more information available for us, once that has been done. He is still remaining positive, even with the challenges he is being handed. I think once he gets …

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office