Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011 - End of the year... Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve is a time of reflecting back on the past year, and hopefully looking forward to the next. This past year has been a difficult one for the Ross family, and especially for Jason. We have had some set backs, though none so dire that we could not go on. Jason was seriously injured, and he survived. He will have challenges for the rest of his life, and will have to learn to live a whole new life. On top of that he will be doing it without his wife, who has decided to go her own way. I have been providing Jason with all the love and support I know how, and have been able to do so because I have a wife and family that show me love and support; and, then there are all the extended family and friends that have also been providing help along the way. It looks like I won't be going home, to Livermore, anytime soon and we have a plan, though preliminary, that Linda (wife) will be coming down to help. Initially it will be two week intervals, and then maybe longer periods. Right now were just playing everything by ear.

Today, Jason and I had the girls to ourselves for most of the day. Bridgette and her father did come by for a short while, and then later this evening, as they were going out to celebrate the new year they stopped by, mostly to see the girls and to drop off something they mistakenly took to her house. We had a great time, and stayed pretty active, though I was able to get all of them to lay down for a little rest this afternoon (that included Jason). I took the time to clean up a little and then rest some myself. Dinner was very simple yet tasty, and even had some left overs for tomorrow's lunch.

The new year should provide new opportunities for Jason, and effectively me, as he works his way through his rehab. The recovery is almost over and I hope the extra stress doesn't cause any kind of relapse. I just need to be a bit more pushy when it comes to Jason getting the needed rest. Funny part is that I also want to be sure that he gets a good work out when he goes to OT and PT.

Happy New Year to everyone, may you have a great year and may God provide you all that you need to continue to move forward. Thank you, for all your prayers and support, it is much appreciated.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011

Just got Jason to bed, and he is doing okay. You can tell that the split from Bridgette is taking a bit of a toll on him, and on me actually. The good thing though is that we were able to talk about it for a little while, and I think it did him some good (me too). We took care of some personal things today, and generally had a busy day. A big portion of being busy was the fact that we had both Stacy and Jackie with us, so it was a little bit of extra work. The good part of that was that they were both tired by the evening today, and went to bed with little effort, and should sleep pretty soundly.

I think this weekend is going to be a little more relaxing, as we don't have to be anywhere, or do much of anything, other than possibly go do some grocery shopping. We have some laundry to do, but that is just a matter of sorting, washing and then folding later. We might go for a nice walk around the neighborhood, as we haven't done that yet. It will be good to get out of the house to do something relaxing for a change.

Not much else to write about today, I think I'll be fixing oatmeal tomorrow, with raisins of course. We don't plan on doing much celebrating, and will probably be in bed by this time tomorrow. We don't have a television so we can't even watch the Rose Parade or any of the bowl games (that will be strange for me). I really haven't missed the TV until now, oh well.

Thank you, all, for continuing to support Jason and his recovery, please continue to pray for strength and healing, and healing in more ways than just physical.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011

Today was a busy day for Jason, though not a great deal was accomplished. Jason and Bridgette are splitting (getting a divorce), and it saddens me that it has come to this, in their relationship. I won't go into detail, at least not now, all of the issues that have come, just that it seems that they are both irrevocably decided on this course, and as Bridgette asked, Jason agreed. As a result, there are a number of things that Jason feels he needs to get done, and because of the holidays it is difficult at best, to get much of anything done. We are all still living in a single residence, though Bridgette has found a place she is going to be moving to. It is unclear as to where the girls will be living, but we hope they stay here, at least initially so that it isn't too disruptive to them.

This has caused a higher level of stress on Jason (and me) and he has missed a couple of appointments - and I'm not happy about that. I will be working more closely with him to be sure his appointments are kept in the future. Dinners are a little strange in that we never seem to know what is going to be happening until it is time to eat. Yesterday Jason ordered a pizza, and it was plenty big for everyone. Today, Bridgette brought in Del Taco, though neither Jason or I had much of it (I had one taco and Jason ate a bean burrito).

Next year is going to be a better year for Jason and we do look forward to it. I hope that I don't have to write again about the divorce in the future, its just that I felt you all should know what is going on. Thank you, all for your continued support and prayers. I am sure God has a plan for Jason... I just hope to learn more about what that might be sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011

Today began with me getting up and getting myself ready for the day (shower, brush teeth, etc.); and then I went in to assist Jason, who wanted to take a shower. He hasn't been able to get a shower this week, due to all kinds of interrupts, so now he is really wanting to take a shower. One of the first things I need to do is to get his dressings removed, and then he gets into his chair. Only problem today is that when I removed most of the dressing from his wounds I didn't like what I saw, and I had him get back ready, quickly, so that I could get him to ER. I guess it was the lighting or something, but I could have sworn that I saw separation and honestly it scared me. When we got to the hospital ER we were taken in pretty quickly (no doubt this irritated some of the others who had been waiting) and within a few minutes he was on an adjustable table and we had his dressings off... again. This time though it didn't look near as bad as what I thought the first time, and in fact some of the areas looked pretty good. Needless to say, I felt a little embarrassed, but on the other hand, it did provide a test run of an Emergency Room visit, and that is always a possibility. It also showed that they are still watching Jason closely, as he was served quickly, and several of the medical staff that had been taking care of him on the ward, came and saw him. It was like old home week or something.

Well, we finished up at the ER and headed out. Jason still didn't get his shower, and we were now at the hospital. We had an appointment, and needed to see a few of the folks here so we decided to go ahead and get started. The OT visit was good, as usual. Lynn set up a regular schedule and that is what we will be following for the next few weeks. Then we had to set up our PT schedule and we'll be going with that over the next few weeks also. It will be so nice to have a regular routine going again, and I am sure that it will help Jason recover more effectively and with as little stress as we can achieve.

Tomorrow we will begin again, in the morning, after breakfast; and, this time try to go through the day without any emergency. I am working with Jason to attempt to put together a schedule, that we can basically stay with, as long as we are doing this, and I am needed as his non-medical attendant. From what I am beginning to see, that period of time may be longer than I had first hoped.

Thank you, all for all your continued support and prayers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

December 27, 2011

Today was another day that required some thinking and exploring of ideas for Jason, and I know this sounds a little mysterious, but I don't have the liberty to express more than what I've said. On the positive side, the day ended on a better note than it began, so all is not bad.

I took Jason over to the hospital, late this morning, and the nurse practitioner felt that his wounds were looking better, and I had to agree. I actually did the dressing change on my own, and have no problems with that. It was kind of funny, that I had brought most of my own supplies and then when we got there I didn't have to use very many. They had gotten all the right stuff, so it was quick and easy, and basically what I carried in I carried out, plus a few extras.

After the appointment we went over to the pharmacy to pick up Jason's prescription, and then we headed over to OT. Actually, today was for just getting "oriented" and for setting up the next appointment. The orientation went very fast, since Jason had spent a few hours there already, over the past several weeks as an inpatient. I like those kinds of appointments - quick and easy. We set up another one for later this week, and with that one he'll have to do a few more exercises.

Stay tuned for more updates and thank you, for continued support and prayers.

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011

We drove up to see David, Miriam and Dylan today, well that is, me, Linda, Jason, Stacy and Jackie. This was the first time for Jason to be visiting with his brother, at his home in Los Angeles, and as such the first time for the girls. David is in heavy trial prep mode right now (he's a lawyer) so he didn't get to visit as much as he would have liked to, but we did have a couple of hours with him. The rest of the time was spent with Miriam and Dylan, and that was wonderful in itself. On top of that, Miriam's mom, Bonnie; her sister Julia; and her brother Saul were also there, and we hadn't seen them in over a year. Unfortunately Julia and Saul didn't stay long, though Saul came back later - Julia had to catch a plane to fly back to New York City.

The kids all played together very well, with Dylan being a very gracious host. Dylan has some great toys he was happy to share, and the way David and Miriam have arranged the house it gave them all, all the room they wanted to play, and generally stay inside, though the weather was wonderful and the kids did get to go out on the patio for a little while. The great thing was that they expended all this energy, so they're sleeping really well right now. I hope Jason gets a good nights sleep as well, as we have a busy day tomorrow, and it is going to start kind of early.

The drive up was just the way I like them to be - uneventful, and the drive back down was just the same way. One really cool aspect of the trip was that it didn't mess with Jason's medicine schedule, and that is a good thing. The only real downer is that Linda did not come back down with us, and stayed up with David and his family. She will be there for a few days and then head on back to Livermore, to take care of her business, and our house.

We have some bumpy roads ahead of us right now, emotionally (and I won't say anything more than that for now), so I would ask that you pray for strength for everyone, and God's guidance in helping to get through this. Thank you, for all that you have done, and please continue to send us your support.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25 - Merry Christmas, Take Two

Today was a pretty good day, though there were a number of challenges we faced. As a result of the challenges Linda will be headed up to our son David's house tomorrow (we will be driving up there with Jason and the girls), and she will not be coming back down to Jason's place. Then, a few days from now she will headed back home. Otherwise it was a nice day, with the girls having a great time with all the presents from so many people, and even some from Santa!

I fixed a turkey for dinner tonight, and realized just how many things were still yet to be stocked in the kitchen. I was able to make it work though, and that turkey came out nice and moist. After dinner we all talked for a short while and then I made sure Jason had all his meds for the rest of the night, and helped him get to his bed, and insured he was comfortable. We will be leaving at about 09:00 tomorrow morning, so we won't be too rushed. I've talked to him about taking a shower a couple of times, but he doesn't want to consider it, as it takes too much time (I don't think it does).

Next week, Tuesday, he has an appointment, and I am expecting that to go well, as well as quickly. His wounds are doing well, and we can not let up on our care, especially now, when they are so close to finally being closed.

I hope you all had a great Christmas, and that you all enjoyed your families. God bless all of you, and thank you, for remembering to pray for us, and keeping us in your thoughts.

December 25 - Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone - I hope you have a wonderful day. I will be posting more tonight, but for right now everyone is doing OK.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Decembert 23, 2011 - The family is back together, again.

I got up this morning and Bridgette wanted to go over to pick up her dad and then return the trailer. Jason and I were going to be heading over to the airport to pick up Linda and the girls, so if things coordinated and connected well, we'd all be in sync and back at the house at about the right time. Not necessarily what happened, but it was too far off.

We got up this morning and because I gave Bridgette, Jason's 06:00 meds, I didn't have to worry about them. I did check to make sure they were delivered, and at least close to be the right time... and they were. We decided to all go to breakfast, and then Bridgette found out that her Dad had already eaten, and therefore wasn't going to be going with us. We went to the Waffle House, just down the street, and the food was pretty good. We got back to the house and Bridgette wanted to get going to go pick up her dad, so they could empty the trailer, and then get it returned. She had a little difficulty in turning it around, so finally asked me to do it, and then she was on her merry way.

Linda's flight did get in on time, but when Jason and I arrived at the airport we found wall-to-wall people, all of them wanting to get through to where ever they were interested in going. The boards all said the flight was in, but we couldn't find Linda and the girls. Finally, after most of the other folks had picked up their luggage and were gone, we found them, or perhaps they found us. It was great to see them, though I could tell Linda was very tired. They had a bunch of stuff, including two car seats and a stroller, and it was all I could do to get it over to the elevator. Linda had the girls, so her hands were full already and Jason was in his wheelchair, that left me to deal with the heavy lifting... again.

We got back to the house and the reunion was nice, though somewhat subdued. Everyone was tired, and after a short visit they all laid down for a nap. Jason attempted to cook dinner, and it was a tasty meal, but it was just too late in the day, before he began. We decided to consider going with it tomorrow, and not have to worry about any other meals for the rest of the day. Not much else to tell about, other than the dressing "updates" I had to do for Jason. It wasn't a real change out, just a changing of some of the pads. I will encourage him to take a shower tomorrow, since his schedule kind of got thrown off, with the wound care nurse visit that he had yesterday. That's okay, he still feels good and the wound looks good.

Thank you, all for your prayers and continued support - Happy Holidays to everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011 - Getting Back Together

Today was a good day for Jason, as we were able to effectively get up when we wanted to (though I still had to give him 06:00 meds this morning); and, we were in no hurry to get breakfast. We had Kix cereal and some fruit (apples), and it was one of the best breakfasts we have had in a long time. After that, we spent some time putting a few things away, as we knew that Bridgette was soon to be here, or at least we were expecting her to arrive sometime today.

After we were done eating breakfast we figured it was time to get over to PT (or maybe OT) and begin some of Jason's out patient care and rehab. Actually nothing had been scheduled or planned, but we figured we go anyway - just in case. We got there and saw Dr. Pyu, and also found out that there really wasn't anything planned today, for Jason. Dr. Pyu was actually pretty happy that we were there, as he wanted to get Jason over to the prosthetic guys, so they could begin working on a prosthetic for Jason. We went over and spoke with them, and they gave some basic instruction to Jason, and set up an appointment for next month, and otherwise it was just nice meeting them. Once that was done we headed back home. I commented to Jason how odd it felt that we didn't have several things to do. While an in patient Jason was kept VERY busy most days, and now it was almost like everything slowed to a crawl. Maybe its just the holidays.

I got a call from Joyce (not my sister-in-law), and she and her husband were wanting to come by and put up a Christmas tree, and some decorations for the house. I let her know that we needed to be over at the hospital at 13:00 (1:00pm) for an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner, and she said she could be over well before that. Anyway, decorations were well on their way when Jason and I left to go, and left the two of them in the house. We were totally comfortable with them in the house, since they brought a bunch of the stuff that is now in the house, and we've gotten to know Joyce over these past several weeks.

Back at the hospital again, we talked with the Nurse Practitioner and she said she was going to be setting up several appointments for Jason, and then wanted to see Jason's wounds. It was a little early for a dressing change, but what the heck, she was the medical professional and she wanted to guide us properly. As it turned out I did the dressing removal and had to help them get the correct materials when it came time to re-apply. I did most of that work too, and I think Jason was probably more comfortable with me doing it anyway, since I'm familiar with what needs to be done. The nurse was very grateful for my assistance, and for procuring the supplies. They typically don't carry them, and again, Jason is different from what they are used to working with. Not concerned though, as it has been the same at just about every turn.

The visit at the hospital took a little longer than we expected, so we wanted to get back to the house as soon as we could. Bridgette was supposed to be coming soon, and the house wasn't even close to what we had hoped. Just as we were done putting things away, and I had just gone up stairs, Bridgette showed up with her U-haul trailer and her dad. They had driven across from North Carolina, and both of them were quite tired. The house looked pretty good, and now that there was a tree with all the decorations and the rest of the house, it was a good positive start to the rest of their lives together.

We went out to dinner, and enjoyed a relaxing meal. Bridgette's dad is staying at the Holiday Inn Express, since were out of places to sleep at this house (maybe that's why Jason wanted four bedrooms). We came back from dinner and I got all of Jason's meds ready for him, and even his 06:00 for tomorrow morning. Bridgette said she would be getting up to make sure he took them, so I just might be able to sleep in for a change... naw... I'll be up around 6, like I always am. Then I'll be headed over to the airport a little later in the morning to pick up Linda and the girls (Stacy and Jackie) as they are flying in tomorrow morning. The family will be back together again, and with God's help they will be able to get back to as close to a normal life as they can.

Thank you, all for all your continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 - Last Day In The Hospital

Today was an especially busy day for me, as I had to pack up all my belongings (again) so that I could move out of the Fisher House. Then I went over to pack up all of Jason's belongings, so that I could move both of us to his new house. It was a matter of shuttling back and forth, and still spending some time with Jason. On top of all that Jason had his dressings changed today, and I was involved with that, too. Despite all the activity and shuttling, we managed to get out of the hospital by 15:30 (3:30pm) today, and we were in the house just a few minutes later.

The day started out with the packing, and then I had to make the first run over to the house. The bed was being delivered and I needed to be there to receive it, and to make sure it was set up both correctly, and in the right place. The guys from Healthy Back were very professional and had it done in less than an hour. That was great, as far as I was concerned because I still needed to finish with Jason's room. Jason was feeling a little tired today, as yesterday was a particularly busy day for him. I guess it was better that way, since I was gone for most of the time, and he was able to just sleep. He did have one visitor, one of his old EOD buddies, and that made me feel better about taking off.

Once we finally got out of the hospital (after a pretty good tutorial on what I was going to be doing for Jason) we headed over to the house. We got into the house and did some unpacking, then I asked Jason to attempt the chair/recliner. He got into the chair with little difficulty, and he was generally comfortable. This was a good thing, as I was concerned about wheelchair time, and how that tended to be a little uncomfortable when he was in the chair too long. The challenge was getting back to his wheelchair, from the recliner. It was a big effort for Jason, and he did it, though he said it was going to take a bunch more practice before he did it well.

We had soup for dinner, as we both just wanted to something simple and quick. It was fortunate for us that the Blue Star Moms and Furnishing Hope (food and furniture) had the house set up for us. We need to finish getting the house in order tomorrow, as well as we need to get Jason over to the hospital for his first appointment as an out patient! Pretty cool!!

Jason is sleeping now, and I am going to bed in just a few minutes. Thank you, all for all your support through this journey. I set out to track it with this blog, and now it looks like this first chapter (book?) is done. I will still be making entries to the blog, though I don't know how often right now. Please let me know if this is something you'd like me to continue, or if you've all had enough. God bless you all, and thank you again.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011 - Final Papers Signed!

Jason and I went down to the housing office and he signed all the necessary documents to allow him to move in to the new property. I apologize, but I did not ask him about publishing his address on the blog, so you'll all have to wait for at least another day, before I provide it - assuming that Jason will agree to have it out there. The house began the day completely empty, and now it has a full set of furniture through out. The only thing that is missing is his bed, and that is supposed to come tomorrow just a short while before he moves in. The folks who did the furniture did a great job of making the place look like a model home, and Jason was impressed.

The day started out with me going over to see Jason, and then there was a visit from a Major General and a Sergeant Major, both responsible for the Wounded Warrior Battalion that Jason is now a part of. The great part of this is that both of these gentlemen came to Bethesda while we were there, and stopped in to see Jason a couple of times. When they walked in to the room this morning the first thing the Sergeant Major said was, "Hey, you look familiar." I said that we had met at Bethesda and then it all clicked. It was a great visit, and we got another photo, and then I had to take off.

Jason was going to be heading off to OT with Lynn, and I was heading over to his new house to allow the furniture to be put in. The furniture was all donated via this group, and is some really good stuff (I'll get the name for tomorrow's post). The challenge was that I was originally told that they were arriving at about 09:00 then at 09:30; then at 10:30 and finally at 11:30. With the last one being correct. In the mean time I was driving back and forth between the hospital and the house, and receiving several phone calls. There was also another group, Gold Star Moms, who donated a house full of food, including a stocking of the refrigerator and some of the paper supplies - including diapers and pull-ups. The food was brought in at about the same time as the furniture, and they managed to stay out of each others way. Again, Jason was totally impressed with everything that is being done for him.

Jason was able to meet a couple of his neighbors and that was good. It seems like a very nice neighborhood. The house itself is only a few years old, and there are plenty of things for the family to do, all close by. I think Jason would have liked to stay longer but needed to get back to his bed, and get out of the chair. One of the pieces of furniture is a recliner, that I'm pretty sure Jason will be able to use. I'll work with him tomorrow on transfers to and from, just to see how it works. Tomorrow is a check out procedure that Jason and I will have to go through, at the hospital. Once that is done, then he will be discharged and no longer living in a hospital. I'll probably have to cook our first meal tomorrow night... I'm excited about this... to say the least.

Thank you, all for all your continued prayers and support.

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 - the real 19th this time...

Apologies to all those who wait up for my posting, as it is getting late and I am just now getting started. Jason and I stayed for Monday Night Football (Niners and Steelers) and that game was delayed by over half an hour with the two power outages. I was happy with the results of the game, GO NINERS! Jason will be happy about it too, once he wakes up and finds out about the score - yeah, he fell asleep during the half time break, and just slept through the rest of the game. I didn't want to wake him because he had had a pretty busy day.

It started with getting ready for PT/OT, and I mean that honestly. We weren't sure what he was going to be doing, and it turned out to be PT. He had a great workout, and got all sweaty, just the way he wants to be before a dressing change and shower. It was probably the best and easiest shower and dressing change that he has had so far. Jason was able to move better than he has in the past, and he said he was more comfortable than he has been in the past. When we did the dressing change the wounds all looked like they were really beginning to close up, and that was a great sight for me. Wednesday will be the final shower and change in the hospital, and I will be working with him in the future to do it in his house. That is of course as long as he is comfortable with it, and there are no problems. They'll be sending supplies to his house, along with all the other things we'll be taking.

I went over to his new place and picked up the key today. Now that I have the key, and have a schedule for all the furniture, I'm beginning to believe that it really is going to be happening. I still need to get him over to the housing office for his orientation, and that will be taking place tomorrow, late morning. There is going to be food brought in as well, so if he wants to have a Christmas dinner he should be able to.

Not much else to report on today, so I'll sign off now, and thank you all, for all the support and prayers still coming our way. Please keep Bridgette especially in mind, as she drives across the country to get here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 19, 2011

Today was a laid back kind of day for Jason. I guess he might have done just a little too much yesterday, and he didn't want to do much of anything today. It was actually kind of funny, with OT coming in to Jason's room this morning. She said she was going to do all the stuff she was going to do yesterday, but didn't get to because Jason and I went shopping. Of course I asked what she had in mind. She wanted to see Jason do some transfers - bed to chair; chair to bed; and other type transfers. I had to point out to her that Jason was NOT going to be doing a bunch of different transfers due to his physical limitations, but that he could do the bed-to-chair and back again, if she wanted to see that. She said she wanted to see that done. We knew OT was coming in so Jason was already dressed, and I only needed to get his chair over to the bed. He did his transfer to the chair, and then he did his "swing" transfer back into his bed, and she said she was done and didn't need to see anything else. Both Jason and I were a little surprised at this, but happy to hear it. When we get into the house we won't be having to deal with the weekend warriors, and I think that will be a very good thing. I'm sure they really mean well, its just that they don't seem to know much about Jason. I'm going to be talking to Lynn and Michelle again tomorrow.

Jason and I just sat around and watched football. We had a couple of visitors, friends of the medical staff, who came in and presented Jason with a Giants banner that had been flown over Afghanistan, shortly after they won the World Series, last year. They had heard that Jason was a fan and wanted him to have it. I think it will go well with his other Giants stuff. The football games we watched were the Green Bay vs Kansas City and the Patriots vs the Broncos. Both games were good, and we both enjoyed watching; it was just that they both ended very different from what we expected.

After the games, and after phone calls and visitors I asked Jason if he'd be interested in going to get something to eat, instead of hospital food. He said, "Sure!" We took off from the hospital, looking for a Mexican restaurant and ended up at the Olive Garden. I think it worked better for both of us too. I enjoyed having the time to just talk about things with Jason, and we touched on some of the challenges he is currently facing, as well as those that are coming along. We also talked about some of the things that are positive and about the help that available to him and his family. It was a very enjoyable and good dinner. After, we started to leave when we received a call from Linda (Mom) and Jason's girls. We were already in the van, so I just drove on back and Jason was able to talk with them on the way. All-in-all it was a nice end to a relaxed day.

Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Jason is getting ready to move on to the next step in his recovery, and it should take place this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17, 2011 - Final Weekend

Well, it finally has gotten here - our final weekend in the hospital. We are so-o-o-o looking forward to getting in to the house next week. The medical staff has been very supportive of us moving out, and at the same time we have heard several of them say they are going to miss us. I guess we have been one of the longer stays they have had here, just like in Bethesda. To be honest we're going to miss many of the medical staff as well, though we will be staying in touch with the doctors for sure. The PT and OT teams will be expanding some, and Jason will have all his treatment over at C5 now.

Jason and I went out Christmas shopping early this morning, and he was able to find a couple of nice gifts for his daughters. It was a bit of a collaborative effort, as he wasn't totally sure of what to get, so he and I discussed just about every purchase. The actual selections were all his, and I am sure the girls are going to be very happy to see what they are getting. He was able to be out for a few hours then needed to get back to his room. We were also planning on going out tonight with a group from the hospital, so it was important for him to be rested before then.

We got back to his room and both of us just laid down and slept for a short while. Well, at least mine was short. I had to wake him up in time to be able to go watch the UFC Mixed Martial Arts fights. As it turned out we went in our own vehicle, and that was a good thing. We sat through the first four or five matches and then he was beginning to feel uncomfortable. It was the signal that he needed to get back to his bed. Jason was a bit disappointed that we were not able to stay for the main event, but he also knew that he was coming up against his limit. The tickets were given to the Wounded Warriors and their families, as a gift from the UFC organizers as they know the Marines enjoy watching the competition, and Jason is no different. Once we got back to the hospital and back in bed he felt better though he still needed some extra pain medication. He and I talked a little about how the pain was affecting him and we agreed to talk with the doctors on Monday, to see what could be done to help alleviate it.

Tomorrow we might get out to do a little more Christmas shopping, or we might just go for a drive do Balboa Park. Then again, Jason might decide he just wants to stay and rest because next week is going to be a busy one, for sure. Thank you, for all your support and continued prayers.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011

Today was a particularly good day for Jason, in that his wounds looked better than they have ever looked; he had a shower, and in the process of the shower he said he was able to move in ways that used to hurt and now don't; we were given the news that were were going to be moving out of the hospital on Wednesday (next week), and Jason signed documents giving him "ownership" of the property. No new visitors today, just a bunch of folks that are part of the different volunteer organizations, supporting the Wounded Warriors. They generally brought small gifts or cookies, and overall it was a very good day for Jason. And... on top of that he was pretty happy with the meals that were coming out of the galley today - all of them.

Jason had OT this morning, where he went down to the C5 gym, in the other building. He was there for about an hour, and had a good work out, though it wasn't to the same level as he usually gets working with Lynn. She was off today, so he got to take it a little easier than usual. There was no PT, as that was scheduled a little later in the day, and the housing lady came by, Nancy, and she went over a stack of papers that Jason had to sign, in order to get the house. Nancy also stated that she would continue to look for a four bedroom unit that was ADA compliant.

Tomorrow Jason will be getting out for a short excursion with me - he wants to go do some Christmas shopping, and I think it will help to make him feel a little more normal. He is also going to be visiting with some of the other patients, to help do some morale boosting, and then finally, tomorrow night we will be going to a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament. A Lt. Commander is coordinating this with all the patients who can go, and Jason wants to go... therefore, I'm going... ;-) I will be driving my van, and taking Jason, and also possibly a couple of other folks, but I'll find out about that tomorrow.

Thank you, for all your prayers and support, and please keep Bridgette and Linda in your hearts and prayers as they get closer to being here also.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decmber 15, 2011

I got back from Los Angeles this afternoon, and it was JUST afternoon (12:03) when I got back on base. Jason was back from his OT and PT workouts, and I'm guessing that it was a combination of working real hard and not getting the sleep he wants at night. I spoke with the nursing staff and asked them to get him back on sleep hygiene again, and she said she would contact the doctor. There is no reason for them to keep waking him up. All his vitals have been steady, and normal for him. I'll find out in the morning if he slept through the night.

I was able to bring back his banjo, so I'll get him to start playing with it, over the next couple of days. All he really needs to do at this point is to practice some of the strumming, and learning the cords. When he was doing it before he could get some of the cords and attempted the strumming, but now that his hand is finally showing signs of muscles growth, perhaps he will be able to really play it better. He was really happy to hear that I brought it with me so stay tuned for the latest updates on banjo music.

Strange how things are going right now, as the ward seems to be getting a little busier right now, and yet I have heard that some of the people were going to be going on leave, mostly because of Christmas. I don't mind if they go out on leave, as long as they have the right number of staff available to support everyone. I don't want to see over worked nurses and corpsman.

I'll be headed over to the new house tomorrow, and I am supposed to receive Jason's new bed. I was told it was to be delivered on Friday, a few days ago, so I am going to assume (I know - dangerous) that it is still going to be delivered. It will also give me a chance to see what, if any, work has been done on the place. Seems like there is supposed to be more work being done, but we hear about it through the grape vine, rather than official channels. I can't help but wonder if some of the suggested work is just slightly embellished. We'll see I guess.

Jason had a couple of visitors today, again it was from a group that works to provide "Christmas for the Patients" and one of them even pretends to be Santa. The Santa guy has a natural beard, though he is dressed in camouflage gear, including the hat, though it has the white fuzzy trim. It was very nice and they were all former active duty Marines, just wanting to bring a good cheer to the guys. I was supposed to be sending them a couple of photos, so I'll need to get that accomplished tomorrow.

Not much else going on, and the main thing we're waiting on is the move to the house. Tomorrow is a dressing change and shower for Jason, and we'll probably get that done after his workout with PT/OT. Thank you, all, for all the prayers and for all the support you've sent our way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14, 2011

Today was a bit of a different day, as I went over to see Jason early in the morning, and we had breakfast together; and, that in itself is not too different. Then I helped him get ready for OT and PT work, that was going on in the gym upstairs, and again, that wasn't too different from other days. The difference came shortly after his work out was over. I went up to Los Angeles, to see one of my other sons, David, and his family (Miriam his wife and their son Dylan). Actually, there were a couple of things I needed to get taken care of, and I wanted to be there in person to do so. Anyway, as I was just about to get ready to go a special visitor came in, BGen John Broadmeadow. He was going around and talking to all the Marines, and came in to the gym and sat down to talk with Jason. He had the Sergeant Major with him and his Chief of Staff, but he did most of the talking with Jason (and me). He said he wanted to use some of the stories that Jason was giving him, when he got back over to Afghanistan, and Jason said sure. I think it was for a couple of reasons; 1) for the inspirational side; and, 2)because some of the stuff Jason described could be used for the safety aspect of what the Marines do on a day-to-day basis.

The visit was a nice visit, and Jason always enjoys talking with other Marines, especially those of significant rank, when he feels he can help improve the chances of others in combat. I took off shortly after the visit, and gave Jason his hug and good bye, then drove up to Los Angeles. I was thinking about taking the train, then found out the times of the runs would place me up in the city at almost midnight and that was not a good thing.

I called Jason a little later in the day and he told me that he had had another visitor, Mr. R. Lee Ermey. For those that don't know who he is, he is an actor who was also a Marine, and has quite a resume of films that he has been in. If you're interested you can Google him. I told Jason that I was sorry that I had the camera with me, so he wasn't able to get a picture with him. Funny thing is that just a little more than 10 years ago, Mr. Ermey was also at Jason's graduation from boot camp.

I'll be headed back down to Balboa tomorrow morning, and should get there either late morning or early afternoon. I will have been gone for about 24 hours, and that will be the longest stretch of time that Jason and I have been apart in the past 9+ months... feels kind of strange for me, but probably good that I got away for a little while, or at least that is what I've been told. Thank you, all for all your support and prayers, we are getting ready to turn another corner, and the journey continues.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011

Today was a little more relaxed than the last few, and I think that was a good thing. Jason still had to go to OT and PT, and as usual, OT wore him down a little more than PT would have liked. Jason still did his best and still gave 100%, of what he had left, so to say the least, he was tired by the end of the day. Not much else to write about today, other than we had a few more visitors and they were all folks we had seen before... a couple of times, so I didn't have them sign the Red Book again. One of them was the Sargent Major for the Wounded Warrior Battalion, and we had not seen him since we were in Bethesda, so that was nice. One of the Wounded Warrior support groups came up, all dressed up in Christmas attire, and handed out cookies and other goodies, and that was pretty much it.

Tomorrow is going to start with a shower (after breakfast), and then after that I will be headed off for a trip up to Los Angeles. I will be going up to see one of my other sons, David and his family, and coming back down tomorrow. It will be a nice visit, though short, but it is something I need to take care of (I'm going up for more than just a quick visit).

My guess is that most of the posts, for the next few weeks (with the exception of a few days), there isn't going to be that much to write about. Perhaps this is a good thing and makes for a good transition to ending the blog. After that first of the year Jason's focus will be on Rehab, because the "healing" will be complete, and that is another story in itself. Thank you, all, for all the prayers and support.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 - Moving Out!

Well, as you might guess, from the title, today we discussed Jason moving out of the hospital, and into a more permanent residence. They have found a house that Jason has agreed to. It isn't exactly what he was wanting, though it has some nice features. His home back in N.C. was about 1400 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bath. This new place is just over 2200sq. ft. and also 3 bedrooms and 2 bath. A big difference is that N.C. they had a huge yard, San Diego very little yard. The interior of the home is nice, with plenty of new upgrades, plus a dishwasher, which they didn't have in N.C. One of the other things that Jason was asking to have in the house is front loading washer and dryer, and this place has that. It is also multilevel, with two of the bedrooms down stairs and one bedroom and one bathroom upstairs. The rooms are much larger and there is plenty of space for Jason to maneuver around in. They have also talked about putting a chair-lift in for the stairs, should there be a need for Jason to go upstairs. They are working on getting the house ready, as they previous tenant just moved out, and it should be ready possibly by the end of this week, or no later than first of next week. I have been asked to be available to receive some furniture on Friday, so that is a good indication that they are confident. Jason is planning on moving in on Monday next week, and then have a "living study" (that's where they make sure that it is a safe environment for Jason) done on Tuesday.

Jason took a shower this morning and right after he had his new dressings put on. His wounds are healing up nicely now, though still slow, and we, Jason and I, need to be able to deal with the dressing changes on our own - I'm confident that we can. The meeting (above) took place right after the dressing was in done, and he had gotten dressed. Actually, it was good to see Jason sitting up in his chair for this meeting. He wanted to feel like he was more in a position of power for the meeting, and lying in bed just doesn't cut it.

By now it was lunch time so I went down to the galley and picked up my lunch. I came back up to Jason's room, and then they brought in his "lunch." He took a look at it and let them know that he was NOT happy with their performance and I honestly believe he would have thrown it at them (the food people) if he thought it would help them to start paying attention to what he asks for. Since he didn't want what they brought he sent it back and asked me to go down to the galley again, and pick up something for him to eat. I asked him if he would like to have what I had, and he said sure, why not. It was braised beef in a gravy sauce, over egg noodles... it was pretty good. After lunch he went on to OT, over at C5, where he worked with Lynn and she gave him a good 45 minutes of work.

We came back over to the 5th floor, and before he could get back in his room the PT folks came by and said it was time for them. Actually Jason already new this so it wasn't a surprise to him. He headed over to the gym, on the 5th floor and had another good 45 minutes of work and by the time he was done, he was tired. It was probably the most continual effort that he has done, since coming to San Diego, and it showed. He got back up in his bed and in a matter of just about an hour, he was asleep. It was after 16:00 (4pm) and he was out. I had a few things I needed to get done, so I told him I was taking off and that I loved him, though I don't think he heard me. By the time I was done with my errands, and the traffic, it was after 17:30 (5:30pm) so I just headed back to the Fisher House to fix something to eat. It was also raining pretty hard (something it doesn't do much around here) and I didn't want to get soaked walking back to the hospital. Tomorrow is another day so we'll see where that takes us.

Thanks, for all the continued support and all the prayers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11, 2011

Not much to write about today, other than the fact that Jason and I finally got to go to the zoo today. It was a nice little visit, and we even rode the tour bus around the park. We enjoyed being out and had lunch at the zoo, then decided to come back to the hospital, so he could get out of the chair. Once back at the hospital, we watched a little football, and talked a bit. I went out to pick up sandwiches for dinner from Togo's and then we just relaxed. Jason relaxed so much that he fell asleep. I figured he'd had a busy and adventurous day, so I would just leave him alone and head back over to the Fisher House. We have a busy day tomorrow, again, so I want him to get all the rest he can.

Take care everyone, and thank you again, for all the prayers and support.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011

Wow! A third of the way through the final month of the year, and also a nine month anniversary for me, being in a Naval medical facility. Funny, I never thought I was going to be away from home this long, and then again, I had no idea of how long it was going to be. A bright spot is that they are all very actively seeking a house for Jason and his family to move into, and they would like to see that happen soon. Well, actually, Jason would like to see that soon too. Now, on to the day...

We were supposed to head over to the zoo today, but that didn't happen. After Jason was done with his PT this morning, he had to go down to radiology for some x-rays of his right hand. I thought it was going to take an hour or more to get this done, as my experience with x-rays has always taken extra time. This time however, it only took about 30 minutes (maybe less) and we were headed back to his room. The problem though was that he was feeling some significant discomfort, on his left side, and so we didn't want to head out to the zoo, only to turn around and come right back. Just watching him this morning I thought something wasn't right, and now, at this point I know the problem is pain.

Jason went to sleep after awhile, and after he woke up I asked him how he was feeling. He said he felt much better, so we just talked for a little while, then he got a phone call and was able to talk with Mom (Linda) and his girls for a short while. Linda (a.k.a. Grandma) is finding out that two little girls can be as much a handful as little boys, and at this age, there isn't much difference, though Stacy is starting to be a little princess. Jason and I talked for a while and then watched a little T.V., while he also played his video game. Once the video game was at a good stopping point I asked him if he would like to get out for dinner for a change. He was very receptive to this, as the galley can't seem to get it together on weekends. They messed up his breakfast and didn't get anything right for his lunch. You could tell the medical staff of the 5-West ward wanted to make it right, but it wasn't them making the mistakes, and this is what bothered Jason the most, I think. Anyway, Jason thought going out to dinner was a good idea, and he was feeling much better now.

We headed out to Mimi's and got there just ahead of the dinner rush. We were seated in less than five minutes, and had a very good server. Jason ordered his favorite, chicken-fried steak, with mashed potatoes and vegetables and I had the roast turkey dinner (I guess I just like turkey). Our server seemed to be very tuned in on how to serve us, as he was there when we needed him, and didn't bother us otherwise. The real big surprise was that when the bill came Jason asked to pay for it. I thought about it for a moment, and then decided to let him, as it was just one more thing letting him feel like he was getting a little more back to normal.

After dinner, and back at the hospital I asked Jason if he would like to try going to the zoo again, tomorrow and he said he would. I'm hoping that tomorrow is as good a day as today was, because it is supposed to rain on Monday. I'm figuring on spending a few hours at the zoo, and then get back to his room. If all works out we won't be gone too long, but still long enough to feel like we're tourists... ;-)

Thank you, for all your prayers and for all the support you've continued to provide. There are a number of folks out there who continually send help in different ways, to Jason, and to our family. And, I really want to recognize those that are helping Linda on the home front, while I'm gone. Thank you, Thank you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011

Today started out with Jason going over to OT, and PT this morning. Okay, it started with him eating breakfast, then he went on to OT. Anyway, Jason spent a good portion of the day in his wheelchair, and still had time to do things like find a house. Well, it isn't official yet, but right now it does look like the most promising, and it is a pretty nice place with lots of room. I think there is going to have to be some compromise, if Jason wants to get into a house before the end of the year. If he moves into a place and it doesn't have everything he would like, then after a little while he can ask for another place to move to, though that isn't much fun. Anyway, we did go take a look, and the place is relatively new, and in good shape. He just wants to have a place that his family is going to be comfortable living at.

I was hoping to be more done today, and did my best to keep pace with all that was happening. The challenges were keeping all the different things coordinated and still moving. Jason had PT and OT, like I said earlier; and, then he took a shower (those seem to make him feel best); then, after lunch we got our flu shots; and, we talked with several of the different medical teams, and found out that there were a number of other things they wanted Jason to do. Seems a little bit of infection has come back, so now he is back on antibiotics for the next 10 days; we need to plan for a meeting on Monday with the wound treatment team; and, still get things coordinated and communicated to the correct people.

Tomorrow there are a few predetermined activities we need to get through, then we're going to the ZOO! Jason and I are headed over to the San Diego Zoo, and we're going to spend up to four hours there, depends on how he is feeling. Then on Sunday I'm going to see if he is up for Sea World, and get out of the hospital again. We can get into both places for no charge, because he is a Marine, and I'm with him. I am doing my best to not got to places where we'll have to spend much money. I'm also thinking that I'm going to attempt to NOT post an update this weekend, unless there is something that is really extraordinary. We may even go take a look at other homes, but that would be low on the list of things to do.

I would like to thank you, all for all the support and concerns that you have pointed our way.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011

Jason's days remaining in the hospital are coming to an end, or at least that is what I think I am seeing. His wounds are doing what we want them to do, for the most part, and he is gaining ability to move around more, on a more regular and smooth manner. I was talking with a couple of the medical staff (independently), and they both said that it is probably better for Jason to now be out of the hospital, than for him to be in the hospital. Their rational for this is that many of the people who are in the hospital are there because they are sick, and there are all kinds of "bugs" and things that can cause Jason to get sick; so, why expose him to those dangers? I think it is simply time to get out of the hospital, and Jason is just tired of being there, and I can't blame him. As we do get close to a final date, I'll let you all know, and for now, just know that we are targeting to be out, and in his own home, before the Christmas holidays - though some would argue that the holidays are already here... ;-)

Jason had his PT and OT sessions today, and there was a special luncheon that we did get to go to (the food was good and plentiful). But those aren't the big things for today. We headed out to check out that one possible house, and we wanted to get a chance to get inside, so I contacted a few people who were supposed to make the arrangements for us to get inside, and nothing was done. Jason and I showed up at the house - no one there. We went to the office - they had no idea of what we were talking about. Apparently it was a comedy of errors, so to speak, in that phone calls were made but the right people didn't get a chance to connect, and we didn't get a chance to see the interior. We'll try again tomorrow.

Once we were done with all the running around both Jason and I were both tired. We got up to his room and we both laid down. He was in his bed and I was on the couch. I didn't intend to take a nap, but once sitting down I realized how tired I was and just laid down for about 30 minutes. I felt much better afterward and the funny thing is that Jason woke about the same time I did. I told him I needed to get the laundry done, and would be taking off early today. He was okay with that, as he was tired still, and just wanted to rest.

Thanks, for all the prayers and continued support, we're getting closer...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011

Busy day today, for both Jason and I. We spent the greater part of the day together, and still were able to get a bunch of things done. Most of the things Jason was busy with were things like OT and PT, and he also had a dressing change and a shower. I know, the last time we were looking at a shower tomorrow, but things changed again. That's okay, though, as from what I could see, and from what the medical folks said, things were looking much better, and some of the more stubborn areas were closing up. On top of that, the news of the test for new infection seems to have come back negative, and that's a good thing.

The OT and PT were separated by a couple of hours and he was worked pretty hard today by both. Jason did his best to give 100% effort, he is a Marine, and it showed by the time he was done. Along with the OT and PT he had a shower earlier in the day, and that, in itself is very physical and challenging. Funny thing is that when I first went in to see him this morning I noticed that he was showing some signs of being uncomfortable; I asked him where the pain was and he said it was from the work out he had yesterday - doing crunches. I couldn't help but smile at that, as it meant that the healing was well on its way.

One of the other things that happened today was that four different people came in and let us know that there was a house being made available for Jason, as long as he was happy with it. We are going to be going out to check it out tomorrow, and we are both anxious to see the place. It is a two story dwelling, and they have stated that a "lift" is going to be put in, so Jason can go from one floor to the other, if there is a need. If we can get all the pets in place and the layout works for Jason, then we're set. Stay tuned for the exciting updates still to come.

This evening Jason and I watched the last of the Harry Potter movies. To those that know me, I watched a Harry Potter movie - the whole thing. To those that don't know me well, I'm not a big Harry Potter fan. The movie was interesting, and entertaining, so I can't complain about that. Jason really enjoyed it, and that was the most important thing anyway. The movie is also the main reason this post is getting out so late, though I do expect to sleep well as I'm tired. Much more happened today, but I'd be typing for another 1/2 to get it in, so today is just the highlights.

Thank you, all for the continued support and prayers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011

Today was a bit more tolerable for Jason, though he did get pretty well worn out with OT and PT activities. I went over to see him this morning and we had some visitors from the Marines, and from the medical staff, so it was pretty much a normal morning. Then he got ready/dressed for OT and we headed over to the gym, up on the 5th floor. It is nice being able to go over to building 3, where the C5 gym is, but it is even nicer being able to just stay much closer to his room. Lynn has a high energy level and comes to all her sessions with all that energy to get the guys working hard. Jason was sweating at the end of the session, where she worked his arms and hands, and also did some work on his core. Right after that session Jason and I went out of the building to go rent a couple of DVDs that he wanted to see, and then went back up to his room. It was kind of funny, we were warned that it was cold outside, so I grabbed a jacket for Jason (already had mine on) and we went outside. It was probably 65 degrees and the sun was shining brightly. Jason and I just looked at each other and smiled. Some of these folks really don't know what cold weather is.

We were back up in his room and got a visit from B. William Tyrrell of Wounded EOD Warriors Foundation. It was really good to see him, as we had a good relationship with Sherri Beck back in Bethesda. He brought Jason a blanket that was made special for the EOD wounded warriors and will be a very nice keepsake. Actually Sherri had told us that he would be coming by, but we didn't know when. Anyway, we now have all his contact information, and it is nice to have another friend out here.

The PT session was in the afternoon, and from what we understand this is the way the sessions are going to be going from now on. Dawn, worked with Jason and made the comment that OT was doing some of the same things that PT wanted to do, but that didn't seem to bother Jason. He did all the exercises that Dawn asked him to do, with as much skill as he could. It was quite impressive watching him work the different muscle groups and some of this while he was also working on his balance. If he can get his comfort level with his balance down then when he goes to work with his prosthetic devices his learning curve will be shorter.

We were also told that tomorrow there is to be a dressing change and another shower, in the morning. I'm not sure if there is something going on that they have not told us about, or if they just really don't know what to do with his case. Some of the areas that I saw on Monday were looking much better, while other areas still had a way to go. What ever it is, I will continue to ask questions and gently challenge things they say. I do this by asking questions and more questions, so that I hope they think it through again.

Thank you, for all your continued support, and prayers they are still needed.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Wow! What a day. At the end of last week, there was a dressing change for Jason and they applied a wound treatment called A-cell. This is a treatment that helps to generate the body's own stem-cells, so that the skin will grow back in, more naturally. Prior to this treatment, we had been told that dressing changes would be happening twice a week, along with showers. This was fine with Jason, as he would get "bathed" regularly in his bed anyway. Now that the A-cell was applied, it was going to be a week before he could get back in the shower and have another dressing change. Again, this was okay with Jason, especially if this is going to help with the healing.

Well, today, this morning, the medical staff came in to visit with us (and it seemed like they were coming in one at a time), and told us that there was going to be a dressing change today, and that they wanted him to take a shower. That through our schedule out the window... We challenged them a bit, and had the doctor explain what the rational was behind the decision, and agreed with what they were saying. They felt that the A-cell had been on his wounds for almost 72 hours, and that was long enough for it to be absorbed by the body, and that the showers really did help and make Jason just feel much better. Lynn, our OT person, was supposed to be working with Jason, so we pushed that back and I helped Jason get his shower in. They feel that we are now able to take the shower on our own, and it is much better for Jason when it is just me.

After the shower we headed over to OT and did a number of activities, and Jason got some social time in too, with the other Marines who were there, and in particular a Sailor (yes Navy) who was also EOD. I think Jason enjoyed talking to him as much or more than some of the Marines. The only difficulty was that because we got over to OT later than we originally expected, the session was shorter than usual. We got back over to his room, and within a couple of minutes his lunch was there, so I needed to take off, to grab me something to eat, and then came back to his room so we could have lunch together.

While we were eating lunch, Nancy, from Housing, came in. We were told she would be coming at about 13:00 (1PM), and showed up at 12:50. Neither of us were done eating, though we were close. It was alright though, as she basically just wanted to talk to us about the housing situation and to get some ideas about what Jason was looking for in a home. We also talked about the houses we had already seen, and why they didn't work, and perhaps that was one of the best take-aways for her. She has an inventory of houses that she can search through, and there are a couple that she is going to want us to look at, so I expect to be taking Jason out either tomorrow, or Wednesday, to look at houses... maybe both days.

After Nancy's visit, and I mean almost immediately after, Dawn from PT came in to work with Jason. The good news was that they were just going to the gym on the 5th floor, so it was close. They again worked on his balance and core strength, and I guess because he was noticeably tired by now, she only worked with him for about 45 minutes. Jason came back to the room; he got back in his bed; and took a bit of a nap (and so did I). Of course it didn't last too long, as they came back in to give him his meds, and then in a matter of a few minutes his dinner came, so now it was time to eat. Over all, it was a busy day, and we did get a bunch of stuff accomplished. Now, tomorrow, we need to get more things done, and hope we can get some of the things we wanted to do today, done... ;-)

Thank you, for all your prayers and continued support.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011

Today was another stellar day for Jason, as we had visitors and more visitors, and we went out and did some sightseeing.

Today is Sunday, so no PT/OT exercises. Jason has spoken to the PT & OT folks and requested a day off, and will no longer have to do any of the therapy work on Sunday. As it turned out, we didn't do any yesterday either, but that was unintentional. I went over to see him early this morning and we watched the National Geographic channel for a little while and talked about what we were watching. We knew Uncle Larry (same Uncle Larry that came out a few months ago to Bethesda) and Aunt Joyce, and cousin Katie were coming a little later this morning. Well, they arrived about 10:15 and came up, and it was a great time for all of us, especially Aunt Joyce. She has been asking about Jason more than just about anyone, so it was good to have her finally get a chance to see and talk with him. She was impressed with how big and strong he has gotten. Uncle Larry was a bit surprised too, since Jason has grown some sine the last time they saw each other.

The room visit only lasted for a short while, as we all decided to take off and go do some touristy things. I have a wheelchair van for the weekend so we don't have to coordinate with transportation, and the medical team encourages Jason to get out. We went down to Old Town and first drove around a little, then we had lunch. After lunch we went for a stroll around Old Town and stopped in a couple of the shops and museums. We were all having a great time, and Katie was the official water girl for Jason, so she stayed right with him at all times... except when she was shopping... ;-) While we were out I received a phone call from the Ferea's, and found that they were at the hospital, wanting to know where Jason was.

The Ferea family and the Ross family have been linked since the late 1980's. Their son Matt and Jason grew up together, and went through Boy Scouts together, and even on to climb Mt. Fuji together (while Boy Scouts). They had come down from the S.F. Bay Area to see Jason, and now that they were in the hospital, they wanted to know where he was. As it turned out, their timing was really pretty good. Jason said he wanted to get back to the hospital, and that he was getting tired, so that's the direction we went.

Once at the hospital, we all got together and went up to Jason's room. He got back in bed, he wanted to get a little more comfortable. Uncle Larry and Aunt Joyce, and Katie all said their good-byes, to let the Ferea's have some time with Jason. Then the Ferea's spent the next couple of hours talking with Jason, and actually Jason did most of the talking. It was very good to see him and Matt together again. Both of them grown men, and dads, talking about how things have changed in their lives. Matt has two boys, and Jason has two girls... hmmm... something to be pondered later down the road. After a couple of hours of talking I could see that Jason was getting tired, so I suggested that it was time to get some rest. Jason gave everybody a good hug (he got lots of hugs today). Then they were off, headed back north. It was good to have them come and visit, and Jason was truly happy they were here. I hope there is another opportunity to do it again, once Bridgette, Stacy and Jackie are here. The group was Ron and Margie, Matt's parents; Megan, Matt's sister (she was actually closer with Sean than Jason, but I think she kind of looked up to Jason as a second big brother); then finally Bernadette and the two boys.

A big thank you, to everyone, for coming to visit today, it was so very much appreciated. Thank you, also to everyone for all the prayers and support we have been, and continue to receive.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December 3, 2011

I know I had said I was going to stop writing the blog posts on the weekends, but today was such a good day I wanted to let everyone know.

I went over to see Jason at about 9:00 this morning, and checked on how he was doing. He said he was doing great and still wanted to get out today, to take care of a couple of errands and then go take a look at a potential house. The transportation was supposed to come at about 11:00, so we had plenty of time to just relax and visit. The cool thing was that my friends, Rob and Karen had come down to visit, and they were still here, so we were all going to go together. Well, the driver actually showed up just a little after 10:00 and I stepped out of the room to talk with her. She told me that she was going to have to deal with a medivac run at 13:00 (1pm) so we might not be able to get everything done. I asked if she could just drop us off, and then come back and pick us up later. She said she would check and get back to me in just a few minutes. She came back and offered to let me have the SemperFi Mini Van and then I could just drive myself. This was great news. All of us could fit comfortably in the van, and I would do the driving (they let me have the van for the entire weekend).

We actually got out at 10:55, and went straight to the van. This is the first time Jason and I have been able to get out of the hospital, and not have some last minute delay hold us up for at least 20 minutes - actually felt kinda strange. The next great thing was that Jason went over to Sprint and got himself a new phone, so now he is able to make and receive phone calls, without the worry of using too many minutes. I think Jason was please with getting the phone and even more pleased that he did it all on his own, as I only drove, he handled everything else. After that was done we all went to lunch and enjoyed a great meal away from the hospital. Just relaxed and talked around the table for an hour or so. Finally, we decided to go look at the house that I found on the listings. The listing said ADA friendly, and the front of the house seemed to be just that. Around the back though there may be some challenges, though we still need to go back and see if we can get inside. It is a very nice house and in a great location, only about 10 miles from the hospital.

After the house visit it was time to get back to the hospital, as Jason was now beginning to feel the affects of being in his chair for so long. We got back to the hospital and got him back in his bed, and he was feeling a little better after that. He was able to stay out in his chair for about 4 1/2 hours, and able to do it with only minimal pain meds. He is wanting to get away from the meds, but still knows that it is important to use them when needed. Also, after getting back to the hospital, Rob and Karen had to head off to the airport, so they could get back home. It was a very nice visit from them, and I think Jason really enjoyed having them here... I know I sure did.

We were also able to speak with Mom (Linda) on the phone this evening, as she is now back in Jacksonville, to pick up the girls (Stacy and Jackie), to bring them back to California. Two weeks from now, maybe less, Bridgette is supposed to be here too. Linda went to pick them up so they wouldn't have to drive across the country, and we thought it would be a little easier on Bridgette too. Jason is pretty excited about seeing all of them again, and so am I. So, I thank everyone for all the prayers and support that has been coming our way.

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2, 2011

Jason had a rough day today, though it was supposed to be a nice and easy kind of day. It was to start off with a shower, so that means all the existing dressings were to be removed, and I did that. It was followed by a shower, and the OT person (it wasn't Lynn this time) was there to help anyway she could. Actually I did most of the work with Jason for a couple of reasons. 1) I already know what to do and Jason is comfortable with my efforts; and, 2) Jason didn't know who this "new" person was and really wasn't all that comfortable getting naked in front of her (he's still not that comfortable in front of Lynn either). Anyway, Jason got in to the shower and aside from me handing him a couple of things he did most of the work by himself. His shower was uneventful, and if felt good, or at least he said it did. He got back in to his chair and we went back to the main part of his room to get on to the prone cart (this is where the skin treatment is to be done). This is where things got a little off kilter.

A few days ago, while talking to the wound care nurse, I asked if they were going to be putting on A-cell treatment, and she said they intend to use Durmalayer (its important to know this). While on the prone cart Jason asked what we were waiting for and the wound care nurse said the doctor wanted to come in and check the wounds, before they were covered. We all thought this was a good idea, so we waited. The doctor got there and examined Jason and his wounds, and said, "We need to use A-cells treatment." The wound care nurse just looked at me and I didn't say anything. Well this change caused a bit of a delay, for some reason, and Jason had to just lay on the cart for an hour. It took them that long to get the correct materials. The prone cart is not the most comfortable thing to lay on, so Jason had to keep adjusting himself and was quite happy when all the right materials came in. The process of putting on the A-cell took about another 20 minutes, and then we had to put on the rest of the dressing pads and his shorts. Finally, he was able to get back in bed, and he felt very tired. He had started this effort about three hours ago, and needless to say, Jason just wanted to sleep now, so we let him rest.

Originally we were going to be going to the cell phone store and the bank, and then possibly anything else Jason might want to do. Now that he was tired that wasn't gong to happen. Rob and Karen are still visiting, so they patiently waited while all this effort was going on, then I told them there was a slight change in plans. They were fine with the change, but I was a little embarrassed. We will still be going out to hit the cell phone store and a bank tomorrow, and also go find a possible house for Jason and the family, so no real loss, and Rob and Karen will be able to go along with us. We might even be able to get a lunch in there. The rest of this evening was spent visiting with Jason and calling Mom on the phone. Linda is going to be headed out to Jacksonville tomorrow, with our friend Chris, to pick up the granddaughters. We're all very excited about it. We also made sure we were able to sample some of the cookies that Karen and Rob brought. I left a tin of the chocolate-chip with Jason before I left this evening. Today started rough but ended with a cookie - I guess that's not too bad.

Thank you , for all your continued support and all your prayers. We're getting closer every day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1, 2011

Wow, I honestly didn't think that Jason and I would still be in the hospital at the beginning of December, yet here we are. The change right now is that the main reason we are still in the hospital is that there is no other place to go right now, and as far as I can tell, there won't be for at least several more days and quite possibly several more weeks. Jason's wounds are not closed yet, though they are getting better and at a point where I should be able to do all the dressing changes at "home". The seat for his chair, the custom one they are putting together, should be done in a matter of a couple of weeks, and I was informed today that I would be getting a van so that Jason and I can travel around, and not have to depend on someone from the Marines Liaison Office to put transportation together for us. So, as you can see from what I am writing, there are still some issues to take care of, though none of them are particularly large issues, and none are show stoppers, except the house. We now have about 20 different people looking for a house/home for Jason and his family, and welcome input from just about anybody else that might know of a place, that is willing to rent for a year-to-year.

Jason had a good session with OT and PT again today, though the two sessions were a couple of hours apart. Lynn came by first, early this morning and still after breakfast, to pick up Jason and get started. I helped him in his chair and we headed off to the gym. I got a couple of pictures of Jason doing his routines and showing off his upper body strength, and they were pretty good too. Its kind of funny about how he is doing with his healing. You take a look at him and you see this guy with some pretty impressive muscles across his chest and arms, yet you look at his right hand and you can tell there is something wrong. He is still very much on the mend with his hand, and yet can do all these other exercises that allow him to build up his arms and chest (his left hand is in great shape).

We also went out to check out a house that we were hoping was going to be a possibility. It sounded good, and the owner of the house was not only willing to work with us, she was already in the midst of having some work done on the house now; the additional work I thought needed to be done, was less than half of what really needed to be done. Once we saw the house and tried to figure out a way to simply get inside showed us that it wasn't going to work. I wanted to get in the house with Jason, and there just wasn't any way to do that. I felt kind of bad for the owner, as she seemed to be a very nice lady who was willing to work with us, but there was just too much additional work.

A group of DIs came up from Camp Pendleton bringing holiday cheer and decorations for the Marines and patients of the hospital. I had actually stepped out of Jason's room, to go take care of some transportation needs. And, when I came back they were all standing in his room. I didn't do a head count but it looked like there was close to 15 of them, all standing in his room, and all wearing that canary yellow gown - very impressive sight. I attempted to get some pictures (I didn't take the pictures and honestly haven't even looked at them yet) and they all signed the Red Book. Jason was grinning from ear to ear. Like I've said in the past, he is always happiest when talking with other Marines, because they understand better than anybody else.

Another couple of visitors that came by today was my friend Rob Weaver and his wife Karen. They have been following the blog from the very beginning, and actually Rob was one of the first friends I spoke with, after Jason was injured. I have been in contact with Rob during this time, but tonight was the first time I've seen him and Karen in several months, and it was good. This was actually the first time that Jason and Rob (and Karen) were able to meet each other, face-to-face, so that was another plus. They will be here for another couple of days, then they have to get on back home.

Thank you, for all your support and prayers, and please continue to keep all these Warriors in your hearts.