Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

November 30, 2011

Today marks the end of our first month in San Diego, Balboa Naval Hospital. When we arrived we thought we would be here through November, and into December only we didn't know for how much of December. Now, it looks like there is no solid end in sight, and it might carry on through the rest of the year. Having said that we might have a change coming up. The biggest obstacle right now is simply finding a house that Jason can live in, at least for a few months, and possibly for the entire time he is here. I have searched through about 100 listings, and we even have gone out and looked at a couple of possible places, and they did not pan out. Today I was able to identify a property that isn't ADA compliant, but otherwise a very good fit for what Jason and his family would need - and like. We will be headed out there for a visual inspection and then if it still looks good, we will see if there is money to make modifications to the house, so that it can accommodate Jason's whee…

November 29, 2011

Today was a good day, as Jason went to OT and then on to PT, and all within the Hospital (The C5 gym is in another building across the court yard). First there was talk of doing the dressing change in his room and then go to OT. Then there was talk of taking a shower, new dressing and then on to PT. Then, finally, there is what happened... Lynn, from OT, came in and said she was going to be helping Jason with his shower, and then left. I helped Jason get in to his chair, so he could get to the shower, and he went into the bathroom, and started to shave. I thought this was good, as he was starting to really need a shave, though I seldom tell him that. After he got himself all cleaned up Lynn came back and then we helped Jason get into the shower. It was actually kinda cool as Jason did most of the work himself and Lynn and I pretty much just stood on the other side of the shower curtain while Jason washed himself. The last time Jason took a shower, it was recognized that another bar w…

November 28, 2011

First, apologies for the late post. It has been a very busy day for Jason and I, and I am still not done. The down side is that tomorrow is going to be another busy day, and I need to get up early, or as early as I can.

Jason had OT this morning with Lynn, and she spent a little over an hour with him, working on all kinds of different exercises and skills. I got over to see Jason, and effectively watched him finish his breakfast. We then talked for about 30 minutes, and then he needed to get ready to head over to the gym. Lynn wanted him to stay up on the floor, and use the smaller gym, to save some time, and make it easier for Jason to get to and from the gym. Once Jason was done Michelle (PT) came in and worked him for another 45 minutes, to the point that he was very tired. Jason was still demonstrating his determination of healing and getting as much of his life back as he can, so he puts his all into everything he does. Once he was back in his bed it was getting close to lunch …

November 27, 2011

Went over to see Jason this morning and he was still having his breakfast. After breakfast he needed to get ready for PT, so that he could get some work on his arms and shoulders. I have to admit, I was not particularly happy with the efforts of the woman who did the PT today, as she seemed to be very low in energy, and without much concern for what got done. I will speak with the regular PT folks and ask that Jason only have better people on weekends, in the future.

Anyway, after PT I asked the nurse to check out some of the dressings that were in need of some attention, so she did and asked the on duty doctor to come by. He did, and said that they bandages did look a little more colored than usual, and that they should place additional padding on, as the dressings were going to be changed in the morning anyway. I said that, that was all I wanted in the first place, but I needed to have one of the medical team do it. Tomorrow, prior to the new dressings going on I believe Jason is g…

November 26, 2011

We got up early this morning and I went over to pick up George, so that after breakfast we could just go over and see Jason. We had breakfast at the Fisher House, and then we finally went over to the hospital. It was probably better that we ended up going a little later in the morning, as he was able to get his PT work in, before we got there, though Jason was a little tired from the work out. So we visited for a while, and then noticed he was starting to fall asleep. Linda and George (III) had to head for the airport, as their plane was leaving early this afternoon, so perhaps it was better that Jason was getting tired at that time anyway. We all said our good-bye's and then I took Linda and George to the airport, and Jason went to sleep.

They got off okay, and though they are gone now, we will probably be seeing Linda and the girls in another couple of weeks. Actually, if all goes well, we'll be seeing Bridgette about the same time as the girls, so it could turn into a three…

November 25, 2011 -

Today was a day of mild activity and more family visits for Jason. We started by going over to the hospital and finding out that he had already gone down to work with OT, over at C5. With that little tidbit of knowledge we (Mom, George, David, Miriam, Dylan and me) all headed over to see what was going on. There were some conditioning things OT was doing with his arms, and then the focus went to his hands, and wanting to get them stronger. As it was, it was the perfect things to be doing because Dylan wanted to help Uncle Jason. It was great watching Dylan put the pieces of wood in place so that Jason could use the tool to pick them up and place them back in the container. I think Jason would have rather just used his hands to pick up the wooden blocks, but then they wouldn't have given him any of the exercise that was intended. Jason was able to get through all the blocks (or pegs, if you like) and he got a good work out of his right hand. Along the way we got a bunch of pictures…

November 24, 2011 - Happy Thanksgiving!

You might say we got off to a slower start today, as Jason woke up, ate breakfast and just visited with family this morning. There really wasn't much going on until noon, so he didn't have to hurry and do anything. David and Miriam got in early this morning, with their son Dylan, so now Jason has two of his brothers here, along with Mom and Dad. Sean, his youngest brother, called him this afternoon, so he was able to at least talk with all his brothers. And he was able to call Bridgette and talk with her for a nice phone visit. The girls were asleep so he will have to wait until tomorrow to get a chance to hear from them.

We all visited with him and basically talked about how he was doing; some of the things he was expecting to do over these next few weeks; and, what was going to be happening today. This took us up to about 11:35, when the nurse came in and wanted to be sure we were all prepared for today, and that she was ready to call whomever we needed her to call, to make …

November 23, 2011

Jason was fitted for his new seat today, and that should be a major step towards being able to really get into his rehab.

We went over to see him this morning and we brought George (III) with us this time. George came in last night, quite late (he must have been on the last flight in for Southwest), so needless to say he got to bed late too. Funny thing is, he is very much like me when it comes to sleeping. I get to bed late and still wake up early, and so does George. I had just gotten out of bed this morning when he called me and wanted to know when we were coming over to pick him up... He wanted to go see Jason!

I told him that Mom and I had to still get up and get dressed, and then we'd be over. When we got to the hotel he was waiting outside, so we basically just stopped to let him get in and then we were off. As it turned out, Jason had already gone to PT and was just getting back when we got there. Fortunately I had told Jason that we would probably be a little late, sin…

November 22, 2011

Well, things are starting to really fall into place now. Linda and I took Jason down to the Healthy Back to select a bed for his new bedroom. Actually, it was kind of funny, when you think about it. The folks responsible for putting everything together so he can move into a new home have been putting mild pressure on us to pick out a bed, because it takes a few weeks to get it ordered. Well, we got to the point of ordering the bed and was told we can't order a bed until we have an address - and we don't have that yet as we are still waiting on those same people mentioned earlier. As soon as we do get a final address we'll be able to quickly order the bed and it should arrive shortly after we have moved in. Another thing that has come up is the creation of a custom seat for his chair, and possibly for his prosthetic, when that is finally built. Tomorrow they will take an "impression" of Jason's bottom and create a seat that provides the best support for him. I…

November 21, 2100

Today was a pretty good day for Jason, as he started the day out with his breakfast, and then took a shower. It was the second shower he has taken, and despite our best efforts, it went more smoothly than we could have expected. There was a great deal of confusion as to what the schedule was going to be, since there were a number of things that needed to be done. 1-Shower, 2-Work with OT, 3-Work with PT, 4-Coordinate other activity with the medical staff. Well, the PT person called in sick so that goofed up the plans a bit, and then OT had to go work with another patient, so then she was going to have to come back. Actually her coming back was going to be better, as it gave Jason a little time to get ready.

The shower must have been wonderful for Jason because once he got in to the shower he sure didn't hurry to get back out. Once he did finish and then get dried off he had to have a new set of dressing put on his wounds. I took a good look at them and they are all starting to lo…

November 20, 2011

Not much to report on today. Jason went to PT, later in the morning. Still working on his balance and doing some strengthening moves. Then he headed back to his room, where he stayed the rest of the day. We originally talked about getting outside for a little today, but then it started raining, so we stayed in side. Funny thing is, a movie came on that seemed appropriate, at least a little bit, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." We also watched a little football, Jason played his video/computer game, and slept.

Along with all that he did have a visitor, Patrick, from Okinawa. Well, he really wasn't from Okinawa, that's just where Jason and Patrick originally met, when they were both attached to the EOD team there. Patrick is now with the Fist EOD Company and out of Camp Pendleton. It was a nice visit, and though I think Jason enjoys Mom and Dad being there, I think he enjoys even more when he sees one of his fellow EOD brothers. They tend to speak a different lang…

November 19, 2011

Today was another Saturday, much like last Saturday. Got up and had breakfast; talked a little and then went on to PT, weekend PT that is. The philosophy (I think) is to be sure that Jason gets a chance to do something, other than just lay around in his bed. This is fine, except that the PT person brought in to work with Jason is unaware of what Jason's needs are, and so far they have not taken the time to really familiarize themselves with Jason's file, or what really should be worked on. Don't get me wrong, the weekend team is trying to do what's right for Jason, and at no time is Jason in any danger of being injured, its just that the same basic questions get asked, and it feels like we just go round and round, over the same material. Jason is cooperative, and goes through the exercises, mostly because its something to do, and the sessions don't last much longer than 30 - 45 minutes anyway. And that's how we started the day today.

Instead of going back to hi…

November 18, 2011

Another building day for Jason, as he went early to the gym with the OT therapist. She isn't very big (can't weigh more than 100 lbs.) yet she can get Jason working and sweating pretty good, with some simple routines; and, she is supposed to be the lighter workout person. Jason was on his way to the gym at about 08:30 this morning, and he went over on his prone cart. There are some benefits to being on the cart, as it allows him time to lay face-down, exposing the wounds to a little more air, and it gets the pressure off of them for a little while. The real good aspect of all his workouts and moving from bed to cart (or chair) and then to the gym, is that he is getting better and smoother with each attempt. The OT work lasted for well over an hour, and then PT came in to the picture. She made the comment that next time she wanted to get Jason before he was worn out. She could see he was already sweating pretty good when she got there. The efforts that she wanted to work on wit…

November 17, 2011 - Showers are nice

Jason's day started out a little different than other days. Not because he had breakfast with Mom and Dad - which he did, in his room; and, not because of special visitors - which he had. It started differently because right after breakfast, his OT (occupational therapist) came in and said she wanted to work on some different skills today. Well, the different skills turned out to be learning how to take a shower. The plan, originally, was to get dressed and head over to the gym with OT and then later work with PT and come back to his room. What happened was that the wound care team came in and said they wanted to do a dressing change, and that is what we did. As it turned out, I did all the bandage removal, and that went well. Then one of them, I really don't know who, suggested that Jason should consider taking a shower today, to help with the healing. We all, including Jason, though it was a good idea so OT did an immediate change of plans, and started working on Jason takin…

November 16, 2011

Today was a very busy day for us, again. At least the first part of the day was. Jason and I had breakfast, early this morning, and then within a few moments of us finishing eating we began to get ready to go to PT. Actually there were a few medical interrupts that needed to be taken care of first, and then Jason started to get dressed. It is very rewarding to see him nearly dress himself now, with only minor assists from me, and he does it very quickly. The doctors have requested that Jason lay prone more, so we took his prone cart to PT. The cool part was how he was so easily able to slide (transfer) from his bed to the cart, and even better was that he has now also figured out how to get back from the cart, into bed. This is way cool...

Jason worked with his physical therapist for most of the time at C5, and then spent a little time with the occupational therapist. Again, he worked on strengthening his body, with a emphasis on his back and arms. The OT work was more on getting the …

November 15, 2011

Jason started with a busy day of needing to get down to the C5 gym, where he was able to work on both physical as well as occupational therapy. The two therapists were happy with his results and would have liked to have had more time to work with him today, so decided to have him start even earlier tomorrow. This morning I went over and had some oatmeal with him (with raisins and brown sugar of course), just to be sure we both had some breakfast to get started. Then, just a few minutes after we finished we had to start getting ready to go on down to the gym. We didn't get very far, and then there were all kinds of people coming in to his room.

They were asking questions about his "new" house, and wanted to know if there were any other things he had questions about. Actually, that is one of my favorite questions. People ask, "Do you have any questions?" and I am sure they are being as honest with it as they can be. The problem is that the real response is, "…

November 14, 2011

Today was another positive day for Jason, even if the folks down in the galley can't get is meals right. Jason was feeling pretty good and we got up and out of the room right after breakfast. By 09:15 we were headed over to the C5 gym where Lynn (Occupational Therapist) began working with Jason on his hands and arms. Michelle, Jason's Physical Therapist, came in at about 10:00 and wanted to work with Jason on his transferring skills. While he was in the gym, working with Lynn, I got some pictures, and then when he was working with Michelle there were more pictures taken. The cool thing was that the transferring skills were specifically targeted at making it possible for Jason to go from his chair to my rental car, and then back again.

The first thing that was needed was for me to bring my car up to the front of the hospital, and then Jason was brought down to the car. We soon discovered that the car I have does not accommodate wheelchair transfers very well. I am going to nee…

November 13, 2011

Wow! What an interesting day. I got up at a little before 06:00 this morning and decided that I would still like to have some oatmeal for breakfast. Sounds great except we don't have any that I can cook, and the galley isn't open. IDEA! I'll go to the store and just pick some up, and then cook it. So the first thing I do is head off to find a Cinnabon, to get some rolls for Jason. He has been asking for them for several weeks now, and all that I have been able to pick up is those that come from different stores. I want to get him some Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Well, my GPS takes me on this tour and gets me to a place on Broadway, and tells me "You have arrived." I don't see anything, so I park the car and decide to get out on foot and look around. It only takes me about 10 minutes to find the Cinnabon, AND THEY'RE CLOSED! It just didn't occur to me that businesses don't open that early. Well, at least I know where it is now.

So now I hope back in t…

November 12, 2011

Today was an interesting day for Jason. I began the day with fixing him breakfast. I made huevos con papas y chorizo - That's chorizo and eggs, with potatoes. There were also refried bean and tortillas to make it complete. Linda and I went over to see him with the food and we all had breakfast together (I think I ate too much, but it was good). After we sat and talked about what he wanted to do, since it is Saturday and on top of that a holiday weekend. Jason said he would like to get out in his chair and just cruise around the hospital a bit. Then we all sat back and relaxed a little.

Well, actually Mom fell asleep... Jason said he was ready to get going so I helped him get dressed, and then I had this clever little idea, that right after Jason got into his chair, he would go over to Mom and wake her up. I thought it would be a nice way for her to be woken up for a change and a nice little surprise. Okay, best laid plans - Jason got himself in to the chair, all by himself, and …

November 11, 2011

Today was a good day for Jason, and he even got to go to PT earlier than on the past few days. The PT guys came by and said that because it was a holiday weekend that the schedule had changed and that Jason could go down a little earlier. Of course this all happened after he had his breakfast, so it was a win. The only thing about the early start that didn't work the way he wanted was the fact that he couldn't get down to the C5, and he had to go with the smaller gym on the 5th floor. He was still able to get all the exercises in that he wanted to and he felt tired, like he likes it.

The wife of the Secretary of the Navy came by today and as things usually turn out, Jason was still at the gym when she came up to the floor. He did get to shake her hand and talk to her, while she was here, but otherwise we didn't get a signature in the Red Book, or a picture. It was nice to see her here though.

Another couple of visitors that came by were Jake and Katie Marrow. Jason was ver…

November 10, 2011 - More Technical Difficulties

Again, I have run in to technical difficulties with my network connection, and therefore I was not able to post until this morning. I will be heading down to AT&T to get them to diagnose the network card I have.

Anyway, Jason had a pretty good day, in that he spent some time down at the C5 gym and then had a dressing change. There was also a retirement ceremony and Marine Birthday celebration, so it was a very busy day here. One other thing that happened was that Linda and I were able to go down to the store that will be supplying Jason and Bridgette with their new specialized bed. It was very interesting to check it out and assuring that Jason will be taken care of after he leaves the hospital.

The dressing change went well, and relatively quickly. He is getting so much better now with his wounds, and they are almost fully healed up now. I would guess that he will be in-patient for another couple of weeks, and then move to the house. Of course I will be moving to the house, init…

November 9, 2011

Today was a pretty good day. The weather here is nice - not too warm and not too cold. I generally go out with a lite jacket (more a windbreaker actually) and then I'll just wear it most of the day, kind of loosely. I'm still wearing shorts most often, though I will wear my jeans if I think there is a need, and then finally I wear tennis shoes, as I really don't have anything else to wear on my feet. Okay, I didn't mean to start out with a wardrobe discussion, but that's what came out first. So, how is Jason doing?

Jason started the morning with his breakfast as usual, and then we just sort of sat around and talk about anything that came to mind, and watch whatever he is watching on T.V. Sometimes we both just sort of sit back and will take a cat nap, as we wait for the PT folks to come in. Today sort of turned into one of those days. Jason is no longer taking his pain meds via the I.V., and the nurse came in and said she was asked to give him one of the meds an ho…

November 8, 2011 - Technical difficulties

Apologies to all the folks that read my blog on a regular basis, as last night there were a few technical glitches with my system and network connection. Still running slow, but at least I am now connected again.

Jason's day was a good one. He went down to PT at 10:00 again, and he worked on his balance more. He also worked on his arms and core strengthening, something he is going to need for transfers. In my opinion he is already strong enough to do all the transfers, he just needs to learn HOW to do them, and as soon as those pesky wounds finally heal over, he can start. When he was getting ready to go to the gym, he has to get on to the prone cart, and they do it a little differently here. They like to put him on a sheet and then lift him over to the cart - mostly due to the elevation difference from the bed. To get him on to the sheet he just grabs his trapeze and lifts himself, completely off the bed and they slide the sheet under him. When he does this, the corpsmen are alwa…

November 7, 2011 - Happy Birthday Marines

Jason's day started out much like the others, since we've been here; I came over early in the morning, actually got there well before he woke up (the time change this weekend goofed me up); and, we had breakfast. Jason was feeling good and is getting used to not having that I.V. line attached to his arm anymore, and I'm glad it is gone too. He got dressed and on to his prone cart, and then went off to PT, at about 10:00. I asked him a little later if he thought he would be going to they gym on a regular basis, at 10:00 and he said he thought so.

His therapist worked with him on his balance and like usual, I couldn't just sit and keep still and just watch. I was giving some suggestions to her, and I think it might have initially been a little irritating to her, but then she saw that what I was saying was actually helping Jason to sit up straighter and improve his confidence. By the time she was done working with him she saw that I was in fact, helping. The O.T. lady ca…

November 6, 2011

Today was a little different for Jason, as it even started a bit different from the very beginning. David and Miriam came over with their son, Dylan, and as usual he was excited to see his Uncle Jason (a.k.a. Uncle Cookie). They visited for a little while and then left to take Dylan to the San Diego Zoo. From what they told us, and from Dylan's reaction, it was a pretty exciting time. A short while after they left we found out that the folks from physical therapy wanted to get a chance for Jason to come down and do some work at the gym. I think it caught Jason a little by surprise, a good surprise, but a surprise none-the-less. He never got the chance to go to the gym on Sunday, while in Bethesda.

Well, because of the pending visit to the gym, he needed to get some of his work out cloths on, and both Mom and I were there, so we helped him get dressed. This was a first for Mom, and I think it was pretty exciting for her, to be able to help Jason. Well, Jason left for PT and both L…

November 5, 2011

Today was a very good day for Jason, as he didn't have to deal with a dressing change, and Mom (Linda)came down to stay with Jason (and me!) through to the end of November. On top of that, David and his family - Miriam and Dylan - came down to spend the weekend with all of us. All-in-all, a pretty good start to a very good day. Then on top of all that, they were able to obtain another bed for Jason, and this time it had the trapeze with it, and it wasn't a problem with configuration or size. I think Jason was happy with this one.

There were a couple of new patients brought on to the ward today, and that is going to provide Jason with a couple more people he will be able to talk with and get to know a little better. It will probably bring a little more activity to the floor and I think that sometimes more activity is a good thing for Jason, and his healing. Along those same lines of thought, Jason got out on his wheelchair today, and was able to wheel himself around, with very …

November 4, 2011

I need to be honest about something. When we first got here I was truly happy to be back in California, and it was great being closer to home. That was about all the positive feelings I initially had. I missed the treatment and care that Jason had received in Bethesda, and didn't feel that same level of focus at Balboa. Over these past few days though, I have begun to become more comfortable with how they do things here, and have gotten to know some of the doctors a little better. I am now feeling that even though Jason is back on the 5th floor - if you remember, that is where he started in Bethesda - he will do very well. One other little thing I need to point out is that while in Bethesda, Jason was in Building 10, and here it is Building 5. And I guess since I'm talking about some of the details, the address here is still - General Delivery, but now its: Naval Medical Center // 34800 Bob Wilson Drive // San Diego, CA 92134. If you had sent anything to Bethesda it will be f…

November 3, 2011

First of all, I have to apologize as I meant to have the address posted, for those that would like to send something to Jason. Part of the challenge is that he will soon have an actual residence, and then you'll want to just send things there. Of course I can still send you the address of the hospital, and then you'll be able to send cards and letters to him, so part of my tasks for tomorrow is to get that new address posted on the blog. Once Jason does have an actual residence I will publish that address too.

He had a pretty good day to day, and quite busy. There seems to be a bit of a challenge with getting him a bed and trapeze, that he likes. I think he was just used to the system and bed he had back in Bethesda, and he just needs to get used to the new stuff. He did get to get on to the prone cart (yeah, he has one of those still) and went over to the PT area. The difference here is that the "gym" is just down the hall from his room, so he doesn't have to g…

November 2, 2011

Things are getting better here, and it feels like we are starting to develop a rhythm in our activities. We were able to meet several members of the medical staff, both yesterday and today (beyond those we met when we first arrived), and they seem to be some very bright people. A big difference here is that there are fewer Wounded Warriors for them to have to focus on, and there is a definite effort being put forth, insuring that Jason and his family (me right now) are being taken care of. I will be getting a rental vehicle in the next couple of days, and like in Bethesda, I won't have to deal with any cost associated with it, except for fuel. There are several other support groups here, and some familiar ones, and that makes it a little more comfortable. Also, Jason has told the Marines that Balboa is where he would like to do his rehab, so that means he will be here for probably more than a year. With that, they have already located a home for him and his family to live while he…

November 1, 2011 - First Full Day at Balboa

Jason and I spent most of the day in his room, and he only had to endure a dressing change, this afternoon. Not too much going on, really, it is just that there are several new people we need to meet, and we need to get used to the "new" facility. We did meet several new doctors today, and for the most part they seem up to the challenge that Jason is providing them. The only time Jason left his room today was to head down to get some X-rays done on all the different areas of his body, so the doctors could take a look at how everything is doing.

I think we have a good working relationship with the new dietician and the food is good, so Jason just has to learn another new process for getting his meals, as I won't always be there to go get him food. We have begun to learn the new Marines around here, and a special treat was that we actually know a couple of them, as they came from Bethesda a couple of months ago. It is always nice going into a new area, and then finding ou…

January 2017

January 2017
Jason gets a visit from Gen. Jon Monett

January 2017

January 2017
With Gary at the GSF Office