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Showing posts from October, 2011

October 31, 2011 - Happy Holloween!

Not much to report on today, other than we made it to California safely. Jason and I are now at Balboa, in San Diego. The hospital is set up slightly different from Bethesda, so we need to get used to it, as well as all the new people. We're both tired, so I'm going to bed early. The flight was actually pretty good, though it was somewhat cramped, it only took a little over six hours.

The excitement of getting used to a new environment is always fun, so I hope you're all interested in learning more about this new place.

Thank you, all for all your support and prayers.

October 30, 2011 - We're Leaving!

We went to the Marine Marathon today, and got there at O-Dark-30 this morning. The picture on the blog shows the Iwo monument, where Jason was to meet with Team Extreme. To make the story short, Jason had been up in his chair for nearly four hours when he realized he would not be able to stay for the presentation ceremony, and we came back to the hospital. There was more done while we were there, but I need to keep this blog post very short. I just wanted to be sure to let everyone know what has happened.

While I was taking care of some loose ends and doing some packing I received a call and Jason and I are to be leaving for Balboa, tomorrow morning - early some time. I am in a hurry up mode of packing and don't have much free time now. Once we get to Balboa, we will get settled in and then later this week Linda will be coming down to spend some time with Jason and I. While she is here, her parents - Joe and Jess Lascurain - will be jumping in again to help support her day care. …

October 29, 2011 - It Snowed today

Today was another dressing change for Jason, in his room. It went at least as well as the first, and possibly better. We had a bunch of visitors, and because there were so many I'm afraid I'm not going to list them all. I'm actually kind of tired and I need to get up early tomorrow. Jason and I are headed to the Marine Marathon at 05:00 so I would like to get some sleep. I hope to be able to tell you more about it tomorrow, so you'll just have to check out the blog tomorrow... ;-)

Bridgette and the girls will be leaving to head back down to Jacksonville. The original plans were for them to be here until Tuesday, but their water heater ruptured and she wanted to get back to the house to get it taken care of. Jason was disappointed but understands why Bridgette and the girls need to go.

I've begun packing, and I need to get a few things shipped out, so I am hoping to have some time on Monday to do that. We get to take one bag each and a carry on item. The bag I'm…

October 28, 2011

Jason had his dressings changed while he was in his room, and without anesthesia. This is a MAJOR milestone in his overall treatment, as it showed that his wounds are now healing up to a point that they are coming together and the bacterial infections are becoming a much less concern for everyone. Having said that, Jason is still on a couple of antibiotics, and that may be a big reason the bacteria is being kept under control. I was in the room while it was done, so I was able to get a good look at what his wounds look like and how they are healing. It wasn't too much of a shock to me, as I had seen them previously, and I basically knew what to expect.

A quick run down of today was simply as follows. I was over to his room at bout 06:00 this morning, thinking that they were going to be coming in early to do the dressing change. They did show up a little after 08:00, so that wasn't too bad. They were done in just over an hour, and so I was able to get him some breakfast, and …

October 27, 2011 - White House Visit - Being a tourist

Today started at Oh-dark-thirty this morning, as we needed to get up and get ready so we could go on the White House tour that Congressman Walter Jones, North Carolina, put together for Jason. It was pretty much the same tour that every citizen can get, if they ask a member of Congress to put it together for them. The big difference for us was that we had the Marines help us with transportation, and once we arrived it seemed like every other Secret Service officer was a former Marine, and therefore they were not only willing to help, they were truly interested in speaking with Jason about his injuries. We arrived at the entrance and even though there was a long line of people, we were taken to the front, and actually the first visitors in today. We took our time and though Jason enjoyed the tour, I think Bridgette had the best time. She is a major Jackie Kennedy fan, and there was all kinds of stuff relating to her. At one point the guests are directed to climb a sizable set of stairs…

October 26, 2011 - Night Out With The Group

Jason has had his last visit to the PACU and anesthesia for his dressing changes. He went today and they didn't use anything, other than his PCA if he needed some pain meds, and he was okay with it. He actually got back to his room at about 08:30 this morning and said he was feeling good and hungry. I went down to the galley and picked up a couple of bowls of oatmeal and raisins. When I first went over to his room I was thinking that I wasn't going to be eating and then I decided to grab a bowl for myself, once I saw how good it looked. It was good to eat breakfast with Jason anyway. After eating I took off to get over to the congressman's office to pick up our pass for the White House tour tomorrow.

Because of me taking off in the morning - I got back at 12:10 - there wasn't any other time to get down to the MATC. The afternoon was filled with some visitors, both Marine and Army. There was a group known as the Mountain Marines (sorry no names at this point) and they …

October 25, 2011

The procedure I discussed yesterday was done today, and Jason got through most of it. You have to appreciate the situation to fully understand. There is still a large portion of his wounds that are, for lack of a better word, raw, and sensitive. Jason was able to get to the "new" table and in the prone position without any issues. He was able to deal with the removing the bandages, along with being moved around from time to time. When they got down to staples, you know the metal ones that are used to hold things in place, after surgeries, well they had to remove a bunch of them and IT HURT! They used anesthesia to finish their work and got all the staples removed. The doctors came by Jason's room, later in the day and said they would like to try it again, if Jason was up for it. Jason, being the Marine, said to do it and that he was ready. It should be considerably better tomorrow, and I am confident that Jason will get through the procedure with no difficulties, or unre…

October 24, 2011

Not much new today, so I'm going to make this a shorter posting... I think.

Jason had a pretty good day in the PACU, and both went in early and came back early. I was over to see him in the morning and when they took him down I picked up his laundry and took it to be washed. I need to be sure that he has enough clean close to get through the rest of the week. I may have to do laundry one more time, just before we leave, but that's okay. I took the clean clothes back over to his room a couple of hours later and while putting it away got the call that he was on his way back to his room. Once in his room I asked him if he wanted anything to eat and he said he would enjoy a Big and Toasty from Dunkin Donuts. Not sure what he see in those, as I think they're a little greasy, but he likes them.

No visitors today, other than Bridgette, her mom and the girls, and the medical staff coming in and out frequently. Dr. Malone did stop by, later in the morning and told us a little more…

October 23, 2011

It has been a nice quiet day for Jason. I went over to see him early this morning and found him fast asleep. I just let him sleep, as I figured that he must have been tired, otherwise he wouldn't have been asleep (how's that for deductive reasoning). The nurse came in at about 08:30 and said the PACU had called for him, so they needed to get him ready to go down. Jason woke up a little and wanted to know when he was going to be able to get down to the PACU. I told him they just called for him and he said, "Oh, okay, good." Then went back to sleep. I told him I loved him and would be back to see him after he came back. He simply said, "I love you too" and squeezed my hand, and didn't even open his eyes... kind of cute actually.

He was back before 11:30 and he called me to let me know he was back. I asked him how he was doing and if he wanted me to bring him anything to eat. He asked for an Arby's sandwich, so that's what I went and picked up. I g…

October 22, 2011

Jason was resting nicely in his room this morning, when I went over to see him, and he looked to be in a pretty good mood as well as feeling good. It was still early so we just talked about some of the little things that were going on. Typically weekend visits to the PACU are a little later than during the rest of the week, and today was no exception to that rule. They finally did call for him at about 09:30 and the nurses took him down. The good side is that I was able to get over to his room before he was gone, and the not so good side is that he wasn't going to be able to eat until the afternoon sometime.

Sometimes I feel funny eating when I know Jason has not eaten, and today was one of those days. I did grab an orange juice and that carried me through. When I went back over to see him in his room it was about 12:30 and there was a visitor in the room with him. It was a buddy of his from his early days with the Marines, when he was in Dispersing. I could tell that Jason was f…

October 21, 2011

Today started as so many of them do, with me getting up and getting ready, then heading over to see Jason, before he heads down to the PACU. I figured I needed to get some laundry done, and I'd do that while he was getting his dressings changed. I was feeling pretty good about myself, thinking that I had gotten up early and over to the hospital early, to see Jason. When I just about arrived to his room the nurses all began to tell me that they had already come to get him, and he was down to the PACU. I asked when he was taken and they said about 07:15 this morning, so I missed him by about 10 minutes.

Like I said, I went over to do my laundry and actually it took me all the time needed to get Jason back out of the PACU. I finished the laundry and folded the clothes and took them all back to my room, when the phone rang. It was the hospital letting me know that Jason was back in his room and he was wanting me to come back. While they were telling me this, Jason calls me, so I am a…

October 20, 2011

I went over to see Jason early this morning, and decided to go a little earlier than I had in the past, because they have started taking him a little earlier and I keep missing him. Well, I got there and he was in his room, and then we proceeded to wait in his room for almost two hours - so much for my figuring out their schedule. It was good though, as he was asleep when I arrived, so I just let him sleep, and when he woke up (about 15 minutes later) we just talked about some of the things we need to do to plan our trip out to California. There is a bunch of packing we need to do and we need to decided on what goes with us, and what can just be packed up and shipped via slow mode.

Jason went to the PACU and was back again at about 11:15. I was over at the lodge, getting ready to come back over to the hospital when I was called, by Jason, to let me know that he was back. They did the usual dressing changes and then this time they put a little more padding so that he could be a bit mo…

October 19, 2011

The crazy days seem to continue. I got up this morning and found that there was still now hot water, so I just took a cold shower (fast too) and headed over to see Jason. I got over to his room at about 07:30 and he was gone! I asked what was going on and the charge nurse told me that I had just missed him, and that he had been taken down to the PACU. Immediately I was concerned, since there was to be a video conference at about 10:30 and that didn't give much time for any issues that might come up. I then went back to the lodge and at about 08:45 I was over to the Fisher House to help Bridgette get the girls over to the day care center. It is a new center and we didn't know where it was, specifically, I only had a general idea. Turned out to be quite easy to find in building 62 so we were able to drop the girls off there, so we could got to the video conference (VC). Then I got a call from Jason, telling me he was back in his room, which was good because we needed to get him …

October 18, 2011

What a day... Jason went down to the PACU a little early this morning, and was back in his room before 10:30. I got down to see him off and then took off to run a couple of errands. One of the errands was to check out a Burger King. Jason has been asking for something from Burger King for a couple of months now, and there just don't seem to be any around here. I have a gps to help me find things and provide directions, so I figured I'd just use it to get me to a Burger King. I punched in the name and five different locations came up, within 5 miles of here. I had selected the first one, and that one took me to a brick building, that had a laundry mat, a barber shop, and a dry cleaner business. I looked around and there was no burger king, though there was a Starbucks across the street. The second entry said it was only 3.48 miles so I was off and searching. By the time I had gotten to the address provided, I had traveled nearly 8 miles. Perhaps their measurements are, "as…

October 17, 2011

Today has been an exceptional day for Jason. The news from the PACU was very good; all of his wound areas are shrinking nicely; and, his wife and kids arrived today. I'm not sure things could have been better for him, except that they were. We had some visitors that were special to Jason, and none of them were of the celebrity status or political people. We had a short visit with some of the volunteers who come by to help the Wounded Warriors, and those are always fun. The two best visits though, were from Sergeant Major, U.S. Marines, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bryan Battaglia. He was interested in talking with Jason and learning how he could help Jason, and he got to meet Bridgette and the girls. A short while after that George Bowen, a friend from home came by. He's actually a neighbor of Jason's Aunt and Uncle out of Pleasanton. All together it was a good day for visitors, and that all made it that much easier for Jason to sta…

October 16, 2011

Jason had about the best day yet coming out of the PACU, as he really did look the best I've seen, in a long time. He is still very sensitive with some of the areas, related to the wounds and graft sites, and all of that is getting better. Initially I was a bit concerned about how long it was taking him to get back to his room, but all that faded away once I saw him and figured the extra time was taken to make him just a little more comfortable. There is always a bunch of activity as soon as he gets back to his room, with the nurse and others coming in to get caught up on all of what they are supposed to be doing and making sure he has all his meds. When all of that was done we kicked back again and watched the Redskins and Eagles game. Neither of us is a fan of either team, so we watched for the entertainment value, and it was a good way to continuously catch the updated scores for the 49er game, that we couldn't watch. The good news is that 49ers won, even if the coaches wan…

October 15, 2011

Today Jason had an uneventful day in the PACU, and there was nothing new to report. I was up early to go see him, but they had already taken him down, so I didn't see him until later in the morning. He will need to go down again tomorrow. With it being Sunday I am guessing that it will be a little later in the day, so I should be able to see him before he goes. I think he likes it when I get to see him off so I do try to get over there. It is now kind of late in the day and I am a little tired. There wasn't much done today, other than Jason and I watching football on the television.

We had some visitors and there was a luncheon provided, and other than that not much was going on. Perhaps that is a good thing. Sorry that there isn't much to write about for this post, yet I do want to thank you all for all your continued support and prayers. I hope you all have a pleasant evening.

October 14, 2011 - Final visit to the O.R.

Jason had his final visit to the O.R., while he is at Bethesda. He was taken down early this morning where the doctors did some work with the skin graft and then brought back to his room by late morning. I was able to speak with his doctor and was told that everything looks good and we should be able to be out of here in the next two weeks or so (there's a little wiggle room depending on how things go over the next several days). The only down is that he has to remain in his bed for the next two days, and really can't move much. Jason wasn't too happy about that part, but we are looking forward to seeing Bridgette and the girls tomorrow, as they are supposed to be coming up for a visit. They will be talking about what they need to do to make their next move towards Jason's rehabilitation.

While I was waiting for Jason to get back from the O.R. I spoke with one of the volunteers at the hospital. She told me that there was another family who had recently arrived (about …

October 13, 2011

Today was an amazing day. Jason got out in his chair today, and went down to the MATC to get some aerobic work in, and a little weight training, all of it being from the chair. But, actually, I'm getting ahead of myself. Since Jason's last visit to the O.R. I noticed a bit of bacterial growth on his left side. I pointed this out to the Doctors and there was a decision made to wash it of with a special solution, with Jason just staying in the bed - this was yesterday. Today they looked at it and said that it looks better and wanted to wash it out again, then tomorrow they will be taking some scrape samples to the lab to confirm what it is exactly. This was all done in the morning, after breakfast, and actually just a little prior to us going down to the MATC. I was concerned with the attention to this area it was going to be a bit of irritation and Jason wasn't going to be able to get into his chair. He was a little uncomfortable, at first, then gradually got comfortable in…

October 12, 2011

Jason was busy today, though he didn't have any distinguished visitors. We started the day with a small procedure while he was in his room, where the doctors put some extra dressings on some of the exposed areas. Jason wanted to get out in his chair today and because those areas are a bit tender he wanted to get a bit more coverage on them. Actually, when it came to the time to get out on his chair he found out that there were still some issues with him sitting up so he switched over to the prone cart. Funny thing is that I think the prone cart worked better. Jason was able to do several laps of the floor, head down to the 3rd floor to visit with Physical Therapy, and spend some time with another patient to let him know some of the things to expect.

The trip around the floor was pretty normal, except that the wife of the Vice President came to the hospital today, and there were some extra people in the hall way. We did get to see her, though we didn't get a chance to speak wi…

October 11, 2011

Today was a very good day for Jason down in the O.R., as they were checking to see how well the skin graft took. I was hoping that we would get as much as an 80% take of the recent grafting. Dr. Malone said she felt it was 85%, so as far as I am concerned it was exceptionally good news, and that things are going very positive for us right now. We will have another update on Friday, when Jason goes down again, and if it is another positive report we may be looking at a departure date being set up real soon.

Well, the only "high" profile visitor Jason had today was the Congressman from the 3rd District in North Carolina, Walter Jones. The 3rd District is where Jason and Bridgette have their house in Jacksonville. Anyway, it was a nice visit and the Congressman said that if there was anything that Jason needed to let him know. Right now I'm not sure what we might ask of him, but it is nice to know that he is willing to help if it is needed. Sherri Beck from Wounded EOD War…

October 10, 2011 - Meeting with the President

Well, I'm sure you all noticed the new picture. It is President Obama signing our Red Guest Book. I wish I could have taken a few more shots, but it just didn't feel right at the time. President Obama had his own photographer with him, and they told us they would be sending pictures to us - though I am guessing it is going to take several weeks before we will see them. Anyway, the big thing is that the President came and saw Jason. Well, me too, but Jason was the reason he came to the room, not me. It was a nice, though short, visit and I would have liked to have had more time to talk with him, but it just wasn't going to happen. He had three Purple Hearts to present and I was told he visited 43 other Wounded Warriors. All this was accomplished in a matter of just 4 hours. That really doesn't allow much time for any one of the guys. Still the President did show sincerity and compassion when he spoke with Jason (and I assume the others) and I appreciated it.

Otherwise, …

October 9, 2011

Well, today is going to be a relatively short posting, as not much happened today, and there really isn't a bunch to report. We had a few visitors, though they were all people who have been by before, so it was good to see them. The Marine Mom's (Katie) came by to let us know they were serving lunch down at the staff lounge. She told us all about her trip out to California and what a great time she had. She was down at Balboa, where Jason is planning on going, and she said we are going to really enjoy it there. Mark, one of Jason's EOD buddies (sorry I don't remember his last name) also came by and visited with Jason. Actually he came in at the same time Katie did, so when Katie and I walked back down to the lounge Mark stayed and visited with Jason. He was still there when I got back with the food (sandwiches) and excused himself as I walked in. He said he didn't want to interrupt Jason's lunch, and he is right, it would have delayed Jason eating, so I truly a…

October 8, 2011

Today was considerably better than yesterday, as the pain level was kept down to a minimum and Jason got some extra rest. With the new graft donor site on his back and the grafted wound site he isn't going to be able to do much moving around for the next couple of days, so its good that it is the weekend. The challenge is that he still needs to "adjust" his position in bed every now and again, and to do that does cause a little pain and discomfort. I've watched Jason do this a couple of times and I can tell it hurts when he does it, though it seems to be more of an irritation or nuisance than a pain that has to be dealt with. The good news is that in a matter of another day or two it won't be bothering his anywhere near as much.

We had a couple of visitors today. Dave the cookie guy and his wife came by, and they had cookies for Jason. They both commented on how big Jason was getting and that he was really starting to build some muscles back up again. Jason reall…

October 7, 2011 - Final Surgery (I hope)

Jason's time in the O.R. and then recovery was much longer than originally anticipated and then, while in the PACU he was experiencing some significant pain and discomfort. As a result they had to control the pain with some extra narcotics. Well, he has been receiving these same type meds for seven months now and as a result he has built up quite a tolerance to them. Since he had such a high level of pain and since he has such a high tolerance they had to give him so much that he almost stopped breathing, or at least breathing normal. The normal healthy male will have a resting respiration rate of between 12 and 20 breaths a minute. Jason was down to 3 or 4 breaths per minute. His oxygen levels and blood pressure were all fine, it was just his breathing. This rate concerned the doctors quite a bit, I'm not going to say what it did to me. When I go to the PACU to see how he was doing I found two nurses and three doctors in his room. The nurses were taking turns telling Jason to…

October 6, 2011

Today was another good day for Jason as he went to the MATC and had some work done on his hand and arm by way of electrical stimulation. They determined that there was probably damage with the ulnar nerve and that he would probably be looking at surgery in the next couple of months to get it corrected. Of course that surgery won't be a factor in when we leave this hospital, it's just good to know that he will be needing surgery again in the near future. Speaking of surgery, tomorrow Jason will be headed down to the O.R. where they are going to be doing some skin grafting as well as applying some of the durma-layer on his wounds. If this all works then it will be the last surgery he has to have before leaving Bethesda. If it doesn't work then all bets are off and we could be here for another few weeks.

Today at the MATC Jason did some work on strengthening his core muscles, with a big focus on him learning his balance, or I should say his new balance. We need to get working…

October 5, 2011 - Fish Dinner

Today was a nice busy day for Jason, for multiple reasons. There was a medical procedure done; there were several visitors; and, he had appointments with a couple of PT areas. The good side was that it made the day go by more quickly, and the down side was that we kind of missed lunch.

Jason and I had oatmeal and raisins again this morning, and I brought over my dirty laundry to wash (the hospital actually has a new washer and dryer available for the families to use) along with washing some of Jason's clothes. The doing of the washing wasn't really much of an issue, except that I had to keep track of the time so that I didn't tie up the machines needlessly. On the surface that doesn't sound too bad, except that once I got started it seemed to send out a signal that visitors needed to start coming by. Br. Gen Tom Jones (ret.) came bay and stopped to have a short visit with Jason. Right after he left another group of retired Marines came in and spent a little more time …

October 4, 2011 - Pictures have been posted!

Okay, I finally sat down and took the time to figure out what I wanted to do with the photos. I did a test and it worked for me, but then again, I am the owner. Please check it out and let me know if you were able or unable to get to the pictures. The photo album is immediately below the pictures on the right.

Today was a good day for Jason in the PACU, where he had his dressings changed. He came back a little uncomfortable, as there was an attempt at changing how they had some of the bandages, and it seems to have back-fired. Actually, I think it will be just a matter of time before he gets used to it, as he is considerably more comfortable than he was this morning. Dr. Malone came in to visit with Jason this morning and the conversation quickly went to how the staff was doing and taking care of Jason. Jason provided some feed back and pointed out a couple of places where he thought improvements could be made. As it turned out one of those "places" was a bit of a hot button…

October 4 - Picture Update

Sorry for the delayed post, and the lack of photos. Due to a few technical difficulties I was not able to get them to the blog yesterday. Will work on it today. The new picture on the blog is me and Lt. Col. Tarter's wife (she was there representing him) pinned the new rank on Jason. Lt. Col. Tarter and MGySgt Todd are out of the country, so were not able to attend.

October 3, 2011 - Promotion Ceremony

Today was an exceptional day for Jason, with all the attention that was given him for being promoted to Staff Sargent. His ceremony was today and his room was packed (we didn't have any other place set up for doing this, so we just did it in his room). Sgt Linderman got him a blouse (that's what the Marines call their uniform shirts) so he could have the rank pinned on. None of his own uniforms are here with him, so even though it was a borrowed uniform it worked for this purpose. Jason and I went down to the barber, where he got a hair cut, because he wanted to look like a Marine for the pictures, and he did. The room was packed, as I said earlier, though none of his EOD brothers were able to make it, since we weren't able to let them know with enough time to get here. On the plus side, Col. Tarter's wife, Carol, was here so she pinned on one of his new chevrons and I got the honor of pinning on the other. Lots of pictures were taken, and I hope you are able to see th…

October 2, 2011

Today was a nice relaxed day for Jason, as there was no real plan for us to do anything, other than get out on his prone cart, sometime today. My daily routine, for the past few weeks, has been to bring a few bottles of water over to Jason - he still likes bottled water over their "filtered" water, and then, if he's in his room, go get some breakfast for the both of us. Today I went down and got some oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar, same as yesterday (the oatmeal here is really pretty good).

After breakfast, Dr. Malone came in and had a nice little visit with Jason and a quick check to make sure he was doing okay, and to answer any questions if there were any. No questions today, so she only stayed for a few minutes and then went to go see another patient. Shortly after she was gone I asked Jason if he would like to get out on his cart, and get some exercise. The funny thing about getting ready for either his chair or his cart, something always comes up that extends…

October 1, 2011

Not a great deal going on today, as there is no schedule visit to the PACU, or the O.R. I got over to see Jason early this morning and we had oatmeal with raisins for breakfast. It was actually pretty good, once we had the brown sugar mixed in. There was a large selection of other things at the galley, but neither of us was much in the mood for anything else.

We had the usual visitors from the medical folks and they all came in to make sure he was doing okay, and that we didn't have any questions. At this point the biggest question is - "When is this going to be over?", and we're already aware that the answer may be two weeks out, or it could be longer. We just have to wait and see. There were a few other visitors as well with the most notable being "The Tick", or at least the actor who played the tick came by. He name is Patrick Warburton and he has also been on a number of other shows and movies (on the new Honda commercial, too). It was kind of a fun vi…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office