Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 23, 2012

Wow! Where do I begin - there has been a great deal of development over these past several weeks, and I really do need to start updating more often. With that, I'll begin...

Jason has moved out of the hospital and into building 62, with his wife and kids. It is a very happy time and good thing for all of them. He was able to move out as of Thursday this past week, so you're not too far behind the major developments - only I am... ;-). Jason did receive his paragolfer and he got to use it  one time, to take a picture with Dr. Malone (she is going to be deployed sometime early next year, so she will be out of the picture for awhile, it seems). The down side is that some of the doctors seem to be uncomfortable with the chair and are not allow him to use it right now. He can, however, use his other power chair, so at least he has regained some mobility. This is a really good thing for multiple reasons, especially since it came before Christmas.

The wounds have all continued to heal and he is in better physical shape than he has been in for some time now. I am going to attempt to post an updated photo of him, but that may take some extra technical help, since the photo is coming from a text message. I first have to send it to my gmail account and then see if I can pull it down and a jpeg or something else.

I have been working now for a few months as a chauffeur and have begun pulling some much needed money to the household, and things are starting to look better for us. I am still searching for employment, and am hoping that the coming year is a much better one for me, with that regards. Linda and I are headed down to see David and his family for Christmas, and we'll spend some time with them. It should be a great time for all of us, since David is also taking us to Disneyland, for a nice fun visit.

Next month we are hoping to get out to the inauguration, as we have tickets and Jason and his family have tickets, so what the heck, we want to go! The interesting part of this is that Jason was there for the previous Obama inauguration, only that time he was working with the security folks and standing around in a nice suit. He said it was some of the coldest duty he has ever done and didn't want to do it again, if he didn't have to. I hope this year isn't as cold as 2008. Anyway, we'll be taking pictures and I'll post some to the blog. Thank you, all for all your wonderful support and continued prayers - God Bless and have a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

(I'll get that picture posted as soon as I can - it still hasn't shown up in my gmail yet

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive and able to write this blog... I've just been remiss in getting to it. My life schedule has really gotten a bit out of hand, and I need to work on being a bit more regular, so I apologize for the delay since the last post.

Anyway, Jason is doing very well, and he has now received his Paragolfer cart. He texted me a photo, and I need to figure out how to transfer it to this blog, so the rest of you can see it. He looks great and he is standing with Dr. Malone. As it turned out he isn't supposed to be using it very much at all right now, and I think she only allowed him to get in because he has been waiting for so long to get out of bed. It will be another couple of weeks (maybe only 10 days) before he can ride it on any kind of regular basis. Bottom line is that he has it now, and it is exactly what he wants.

The wounds, obviously, have healed in a great deal more now, and the pain level has gone down. These are very good signs and we are all hopeful that it will continue to improve. Jason gets to go down to the MATC now on a much more regular basis, and this is good for him physically, as well as emotionally/socially. The interaction with the other guys, in a "non-hospital room" setting is valuable beyond expression. You can see from the picture, once I finally get it posted, that the physical efforts are going pretty good, too! Thank you, all for all your continued prayers and support. It has been an amazing pillar of strength for me and my family. God has a plan and obviously Jason is a player in that plan - as we all are.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our trip home was uneventful, except for a small switch problem on the Delta Airlines airplane. As a result of that switch problem we were delayed taking off from Washington by an hour, and as the ripple effect goes, our flight out of Salt Lake City was missed. We ended up staying in Salt Lake City for about five hours then took another flight home. That's twice now we've flown Delta and twice that there has been an equipment malfunction that has caused us to be late. Now, I don't mind traveling with safety, and I believe in correcting all issues BEFORE taking off - so that's not the issue. The issue is, as I see it, why the heck are their planes having such problems so frequently. I am getting to the point where I really don't want to fly Delta any more because I don't trust them to keep up with their maintenance. Problem is that these flights are donations and we really don't have a great deal of input to decide which airline to travel on. Maybe we can just buy our own tickets next time.

That reminds me... I have a job interview on Monday! It will be the first I've had in nearly two years, so I am pretty excited. Don't get me wrong, I've spoken with recruiters in the past, and those have all been good, it is just that this is really with the employer, and it is a second round of interviewing. Wish me luck.

Jason is going to be getting an update on his wounds and the wound vac tomorrow, and we are all hopeful that the news will be as good as it can be. If it is, it would mean that the vac is coming off and that in about another 10 days (maybe sooner) he would be able to finally get back into a chair. Now that would bring up another challenge, where the folks responsible of the prosthetic parts, including his seat, will need to get his chair and seat ready. With the removal of the HO, a couple of months back, the previous seat will no longer be functional for him.... I guess the excitement just never ends. I will be keeping you all up on what happens and all I can do is thank you, for your continued support and prayers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

We had a great visit with Jason and the rest of the family here in Bethesda. Now we head back to California and getting back to our lives. Jason was dealing with the lack of action, due to a new doctor on duty, and that was the biggest issue for controlling his pain. Linda and I had a great time being with everyone here and hope we can get back here sooner, rather than later. I don't have too much more to update with tonight, so I'll just say thank you, for all the continued prayers and support.
Okay, I'm finally getting to the blog again. It has been a busy time for all of us this past week, and we have been able to enjoy each other's company. Jason is dealing with some issues related to his pain management, and that is primarily due to the fact that some of the medical staff seem to forget that they need to check his medical chart prior to checking on him, though we managed to get through it. We have had a few visitors of note, such as the Commandant of The Marines, General Amos, and a few others who are a bit less famous. It was good seeing General Amos again, and I think Jason really enjoys chatting with him now. A bid difference from the first time they met.

Linda and I will be heading back to the SF Bay Area tomorrow morning, VERY early, and arriving in Oakland just after noon. We all have been invited to the inauguration in January (21st), so we will be heading back here in a matter of a couple of months. We won't be here for the Christmas holiday but since we will be back in January we can tolerate it a bit more easily.

We went shopping at the NEX today and found some things for the girls, so we'll get to deliver them just before we leave. We're also leaving some X-mas presents with a friend, so we won't have to worry about trying to mail them out here. Besides, he is probably going to be over in building 62 in a matter of a couple of weeks, and then the dealing with the mail change isn't something we'll necessarily have to worry about. We will be heading over to see Jason in a matter of a few minutes, so I'm going to sign off for now. I'll try to get another post in tonight, but if not I'll get it in tomorrow. Thank you, to all you supporters out there and for all the continued prayers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Better day today, as I was able to work with Jason a bit more and had the opportunity to actually view the wounds, and how they are healing. Most of my concern was a result of the seepage from the skin graft area, though I did not see that yesterday - all I saw was areas of what looked like irritation. I was wrong in my assessment, and I'm happy about that. Jason's attitude and outlook are still very positive and both Linda and I feel he is getting better.

As for visitors, we had Susan and Dwight Sipprelle came to visit and to offer encouragement to Jason (and the rest of the family). Bridgette's mother and brother also came in today, so the family is getting bigger around here. Linda and I have been invited to about 6 different Thanksgiving dinners, so I don't think we're going to be going hungry any time soon. And the visit with the girls at their day care today was wonderful. We didn't spend a great deal of time with them there, but just enough to let them know we were still around and to help get them ready and down for their nap... Linda was in heaven.

The rest of the week is going to continue to be enjoyable, for all of us. Tomorrow Jason goes in for his regular procedure to take a look at the wound vac, and to make an assessment on whether or not it is going to be removed this week. I hope it does get removed, but also recognize that it could be next week before that happens. Thank you, all for your continued prayers and all the support you have been sending.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Well, we arrived yesterday and made our way to the hospital, here in Bethesda. We got to visit with Bridgette, Stacy and Jackie at first, and the girls were very surprised to see us. It was a great reunion, and I think it made Linda feel very good. The girls were all over her with hugs and kisses. After that encounter we went over to see Jason and found out that he wanted Taco Bell - so I headed down to pick up the order and, as usual, the order was goofed up - just not too bad this time. We stayed and visited for a short while, and then Bridgette and the girls also came over. About an hour later they went home and then we left another hour after that. Besides, we were getting tired and it was getting late.

It seems that Jason's recent skin graft is taking well, and in a matter of another 10 days or so he is supposed to be getting in his chair again - FINALLY! I am anxious for this to happen, as I need to know that he can get around again. I have seen some of the changes of his body, now that the surgeries are completed, and I am uncomfortable. I'm glad that we get to speak with the doctors tomorrow, and that we're actually going to get out with Jason and move around the base a bit. He will be heading down to one of the offices to take care of some personal business, and he will be "driving" his prone cart. I haven't see him operate it yet, so I hope it helps to assuage some of my concerns. His attitude and demeanor is still very positive and up beat, and that is a very good thing.

When Linda and I first got to the hospital we came across a couple of folks that we knew from the past, when we were here prior, and they were very excited to see us. It felt good to be here again, and be around people who were working to help - Tomorrow I hope to be able to get down to the MATC to see where Jason is getting his therapy, and ask what their plans are for his development, as well as where do they plan to keep the paragolfer, when it gets here at the end of next week. Unfortunately we won't be here to see it delivered. I will be doing my best to provide updates daily, while we're here and I would like to thank you, all for all your continued prayers and support.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Well, I'm finally going to get another update in here - apologies to all for the long delay in getting this out to you. Basically, Jason is doing okay, though there are still a number of challenges he is facing. He is not yet able to get into a chair and become more mobile, though he does have his prone cart, so that he can at least get down to the MATC (physical therapy area) and participate with the physical therapy, and more importantly, the social interaction. Sitting in his room social interaction consists of any visitors he might get, his family, and the medical staff. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just could be a great deal better. That's why I'm happy about him getting out and down to the MATC.

Jason will be undergoing another surgery on this Friday, where they are going to be doing another skin graft. There is a bit more confidence in it this time, as the wounds have been progressing (slowly) and it has been a consistent progress. Previously it was a back and forth situation where there was some progress and then there was a bit of a set back. Let's all pray that this time it really does work, and Jason can see some solid progress towards being able to sit up again. I spoke with him today (actually every day for the past several days -- I'm just slow on getting some updates in) and he was telling me that he was ready to get out of the bed and into a chair. He spends just about all the time at a 45 degree angle and it helps to keep the pressure off the very sensitive areas, its just so boring now that he is starting to finally talk about it.

Linda (Mom) and I are planning to get out to visit with him over the Thanksgiving holiday week. All the arrangements have been made and as far as I can tell, all we need to do is pack our bags and get to the airport. We're anxious to see Jason, and especially the girls, Stacy and Jackie. I think we're going through some grandparent withdrawals or something. Anyway, it is something that we are looking forward to be doing this time around. Thank you, all for all your continued support and prayers and for continuing to follow in my blog. I need to start blocking out some time to get that book going again, and move forward with a decision on how to get it published. I might try to put it out as an e-book, and then be able to get it out in sections, or just wait to have it all together and release it all at once. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Okay, for all those who have been wondering - Jason and family weathered the storm quite well. The "southern" sections of this latest hurricane went through the Maryland area, and Bethesda got soaked pretty good. However, it wasn't anywhere near as wet as New York or other parts North (and East). When I spoke with him yesterday and today he seemed liked it was no big deal, and that all he noticed was heavy rain. Of course, when I spoke with him today, he had just gotten back from one of his "procedures" and he was still quite groggy from the anesthetic he had been given. I asked him about the girls and he said they had been in earlier and that Bridgette had to get them back to the room so they could lay down, since they were getting kind of cranky. My guess is that with all the bad weather they are not getting a chance to even go outside and are starting to feel a bit of the cabin fever.

We are looking forward to going out to see him and the family next month, so Linda and I are both feeling a bit anxious. Funny how I feel more anxious about going out than I did about the hurricane coming to the area. I guess I just basically knew he was going to be safe where he was, and that the Naval Base and Hospital were both on high ground, with their own power supply. I continue to pray for him, though and thank you all for all your prayers and support.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Okay, its been long enough since the last entry - and the good news is that there really hasn't been a bunch to report. Jason is doing well, though still in the hospital and waiting on the folks who do the housing set ups to get his housing done. He has a prone-cart that provides him with a bit better ability to get out and around, so that he doesn't have to remain in his room all day long, and that does make him much happier. They are still working on his wounds and trying to get the healing to take place, and it looks like they may be going back to a skin graft, but we're waiting to hear more about that. There was a procedure done to help with the pain level and discomfort, in that they deadened the nerve(s) in the area that was causing the greatest discomfort, and it seemed to make it better for Jason.

Linda and I are planning on going out to see Jason and the family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and will be there for the entire week. We hope to be able to spend a considerable amount of time with Jason and the rest of the family, and also with some of our friends out there. What is allowing this to happen is the generosity of Luke's Wings, who will be flying us out and back, using donated frequent flier miles. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We had a great chat today, right when he was finishing up his dinner. He said that Bridgette and the girls were supposed to be coming by a bit latter, so we didn't get to talk with them this time. Linda had a class tonight and I had a couple of chores to get done, so we really didn't have a lot of time to call back later anyway. Jason is doing well, though he is beginning to really feel the "cabin fever" from not being able to get out like he used to. The good news is that he thinks the issues with the housing are getting worked out and perhaps they will be moving in soon, though no date was given.

He will be going in for another procedure, again for the wound vac change out and a checking of the healing of his wounds. This is going to be going on for a little while longer, and then he will be starting all over again with the right side, and a major surgery again. The bright side to this is that this coming surgery is going to be much smaller than that experienced on the left side. I'm happy to report also, that he was laughing and joking with us and that it made him feel almost as good as it did Mom... I was a distant third... ;-)

Not much else to report other than his spirits are still up and he is very clear headed, and that is a good thing. He is dealing with the medical staff, and keeping them on their toes, so I'm not too concerned about that, at this time. Thank you, all for all your prayers and continued support, and please keep it coming.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Well, I'm back and I have a bit of an update for you, and I'm hoping that I will be providing another update tomorrow, as well. I did the Wounded EOD Warrior Ride, from Los Angeles to San Diego (just over 160 miles) and I was able to generate some funds for the organization. While on the ride, at one of the times I found myself being basically alone (no one ahead of me within sight and no one behind me within sight), and I was feeling tired. It was the second day of the ride and we were traveling along the coast, right at the beach and I was thinking to myself, "I'm doing this for Jason." I had to repeat this to myself a few times, and it got me through. On the bright side, I only had one flat tire, and it wasn't too difficult to fix - I just replaced the tube, once I determined the tire was still good. My guess is it was a "pinch" type puncture because there wasn't any thing sticking through the tire. A couple of the other riders had stopped to assist and then the follow vehicle caught up and I was able to use a much better pump to inflate tire/tube. An old injury kept me from getting up and over Torrey Pines, so I can't honestly say I rode the entire distance, but I did do most of it. There were about five of us that didn't make the entire ride, so it gave us something to shoot for next year... Yes, I want to do it again! Oh, and one more thing... I was able to achieve my financial goal for this ride, and will be looking to do more next year.

Now for Jason update... He is doing well, though he is getting somewhat irritated with the folks who are supposed to be setting up his housing. They can't seem to get all the work coordinated, that he needs done, so Bridgette and the girls are yet to move out of the hotel room and into a bit of a more normal setting. It would still  be smaller than his house in San Diego, but much better than the hotel room they are in now. He is still dealing with some of the healing challenges, and the wounds are getting better, just much slower than he was hoping for. If he can get all of the surgeries and wounds healed up he might even be in a position to ride in the Ride, next year - we'll have to wait and see. I'll be giving him a call tomorrow and see what is new from their side of the country, and hope to get to talk with the girls, too. But, that's all I have for now.

Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support - we really do appreciate it.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Turned into a great day, even though we got sweaty and dirty around the house. We had a clean up detail from the church come over and we got a great deal of work done, as well as relocate our possessions from a large storage unit to the next size down. Then after we were done we were able to sit down and have a great phone call with Jason, Bridgette and the girls. They all sounded great and it sounds like Jackie is talking more. Jason said he is doing well, and that he is going in for another procedure on Tuesday, to have the wound vac moved/changed. He was also pretty up because he got out on his prone cart and was scooting around all over the hospital. When I was at Bethesda, with him, I always went with him so they didn't have to send anyone along; now they have to send someone along to make sure he is safe, and that is a good thing. The funny aspect of it was that Jason was going to places at the hospital that the corpsman wasn't familiar with and Jason actually had to show her around, and she's been there for over a year. I think he was having a great deal of fun with it. Anyway, it was a good conversation and we'll be talking to them more regularly, at least that is the plan. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, and I will be updating the blog a little more regularly, as things happen. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Well, a bit of an update for all those out there who are wondering what is going on with Jason and his recovery. He had a major surgery several days ago, and most of you, I believe, already knew that. What most of you don't know is that as a result of that surgery he had to go through another series of smaller surgeries that were (are?) for the replacement of the wound vacs and general clean up of the existing wounds. Fortunately these are much shorter in duration, though they can still take a couple of hours, and he has to endure a general anesthetic. Afterward he is usually uncomfortable for the rest of the day, and quite sleepy (probably a good thing), and the next day is much more tolerable for him. The thing is that he has to endure these "short" surgeries every couple of days, with the pattern being something like three days, then clean, two days, then clean, three days, then clean, then two days and so on, until the next major. It is a bit of a pain for Jason to tolerate, but the good thing is that the HO is being dealt with and he is more comfortable as a result.

On another front, he is finally able to get out of his room. As of a few days ago he was able to use the prone cart again, and that means he could get back down to the MATC (San Diego was the 5C's) to get some exercise and therapy. They are still looking at his shoulder and trying to figure out what is going on with that, but as of right now I am not aware of them finding any solid answers to what the "pin" in his shoulder is. At least he is getting a chance to get out and do a little more social networking.

Bridgette and the girls are still settling in, and I think they are all happy to be with Jason, though their living conditions are not what they wanted. They are staying in the Naval Lodge, and it is better than the Fisher House, just still not the same as they had in San Diego. In San Diego they had a house and the girls had their own bedroom, so it was MUCH more like home. It is a great deal of work for Bridgette, but I think she is doing well so far, in handling the load. It would just be nice if we knew their schedule a little better as we miss being able to talk with the girls whenever we wanted.

Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers - Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Seriously, there really isn't much of an update, since I didn't get a chance to talk with him today, and yesterday it was only for a short minute or two. He sounded fine and his spirits seemed pretty positive. I think him having the girls there have done him some real good. I'll be talking with him tomorrow and then I can provide a little more information. Otherwise, please remember to keep him in your prayers and thank you, for all the prayers that have come our way. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jason had a procedure today, to clean out his wounds area and to reset the wound vac. It was later in the morning, so he wasn't too happy about having to go without eating, but it was something he is getting more accustomed to (Not sure if that is a good thing). He got back mid afternoon and fortunately we had stopped to get him something to eat, courtesy of one of the Yellow Ribbon fund folks, Laura K. ( I didn't ask her if I could put her name in, so that's all you get). We also had a great visit with the mother of one of the other patients, and I think she got as much out of the talk as we did.

Not much else going on today, and we're leaving tomorrow. I will be continuing with the blog posts, as I have information to provide, though I don't think it will be on a daily basis. Not sure when the next time we will be able to get out here to be with Jason, but I hope it isn't too long. I would like to thank everyone for all the help, support and prayers for Jason, and us - it is truly appreciated.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Well, I finally made it to a place where I can get a decent signal. The "Free" wifi at the Navy Lodge doesn't work in our room, for some reason. I even went on a 30 minute phone call with their network support people, and the guy determined that my laptop and their network are both working fine so it came down to simply the location, our room, just doesn't get good signal. I am currently in Jason's hospital room and the signal here is excellent! Okay, on to the blog post...

Jason is doing great. His spirits are up and we have had some very positive talks. We got to meet with Dr. Malone for an extended visit, about 30 minutes or more, and we talked about everything from Jason's wounds to playing guitar. Jason received another gift today, a "cigar box" electric guitar. Dr. Malone also has some experience playing guitar and banjo, so she said she would like to have her teacher come by and give Jason a few pointers as well. I'm pretty excited about him getting back with the banjo and now learning a little about the guitar. It is really a pretty cool looking guitar and it came with an small amp.

He has to go in for surgery tomorrow, and we know it is for the second cases. This is a good thing, in that it shows that he is not considered an urgent, or emergency, case and yet it is still early enough that he doesn't have to go most of the day without eating. From what I understand the procedure/surgery tomorrow is going to be focused on more procedure and less on surgery. The work that was done on his left side is healing up very nicely, and he is much more comfortable now. We were talking about him getting fitted for a prosthetic, and it actually felt like we were really talking about it actually happening this time.

There are a couple of other guys here now who have similar injuries as Jason, so that is a little better support net that Jason will have. They will be able to talk things through and help each other when they are feeling our of sorts or just a little down. I wish we had more time to stay here, just to get to meet with some of the people here and to reconnect with some of the folks we knew previously.

On another positive - my efforts to raise funds for the EOD Ride, coming up next month is coming along nicely. I have now made it to $4280, and so I think I have a real chance of making it to $4500 or even $5K before the start of the ride. For any that would like to help please go to:
www.eodride.org and use the pull downs to find my page.

Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. I am feeling very happy about how things are going right now, and I feel a big part of it is because of all the support from all the people out there supporting us.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012 Blog post 525 (for those keeping score)

Jason had a pretty good day today, though I am sure he would like to get off of some of the meds, antibiotics, and other things - but generally a good day. He had some nice visitors, one of whom was President Obama, again. Jason said he came in and gave Jason one of those "Good Old Boys" kind of punch on his shoulder. Jason thought it was kind of amusing that the President considers him more on a personal level now. I think this is he third visit, so maybe he is... ;-) His other special visitor was Kelly Carlson, an actress who has learned of Jason via Bob Hamer. Bob is a friend and also noted author, that has gotten to know Jason and me, over these past several months while down in San Diego.

Jason will be going through a number of procedures, along with the surgeries he is having to endure, so he is quite anxious to get all this done, as he would like to be able to get out of his room. The folks are all being supportive and doing what they can to make him comfortable, but some of the steps (such as antibiotics and wound vacs) just seem to take forever to complete. His spirits are up and he is looking forward to seeing us in a few days, and so are we. Thank you, all, for all the support and continued prayers.

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012

We didn't get a chance to speak with Jason today, though we did yesterday. There is definitely a challenge with getting Skype working in Bethesda, though we are still pushing to make it work right. Jason looked great and he was able to talk with his girls, as well as Bridgette got a chance to speak with them too. He is sort of looking forward to his next surgery next week, as well as Linda and I coming out to visit with him. I just hope he gets to move away from the pain a bit more with the new surgery.

Not much else going on, other than the Undefeated EOD Ride coming up and I've crossed the $4K fund raising. I am hoping that I can get a bit more, and  maybe even make it all the way to $5K. Otherwise things are going well and we're looking forward to this weekend. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012

Okay, no update from Jason today, so I'm going on the old adage, "no news is good news."

We have all the flight information together for our trip out to Bethesda, and all four of us are getting ready to fly back on an early morning flight. We will be there from the 15th until the 19th and Linda and I will be spending an inordinate amount of time with Jason, as long as he allows us to stay in his room. We'll also be getting some time to visit is some of the other folks we know from our previous stay, so it should be good all around, for us.

@Laura, I hope you get a chance to read this, as we would like to spend a little time with you and your family while we are out in Bethesda. I can't find your contact information, so I don't know how else to get in touch with you right now. I will watch for your comment and see if there is a method you would like to use for us to connect up. If you know how to use LinkedIn you can check out my profile... Just a thought.

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012

Jason is having another rough time with the treatments, though the infection seems to have been cleared up. Not sure where the infection has come from, and I understand that there is going to be a continued "search" to see if they can determine what happened. In the mean time he got worn down and turned in earlier than usual. This just meant that the girls didn't get a chance to see and speak with Mommy and Daddy, we can always go again tomorrow. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, and stay tuned for developments.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 2012

Jason didn't have a great day today, in that some sort of infection has gotten in, again, and they have him on antibiotics. The antibiotics are causing him to feel ill and as a result he isn't eating much, and doesn't want to do much of anything. Tomorrow he has to go in for a procedure, though I don't know what kind. My guess is that it is to clean out the dressings and wounds from this most recent surgery. I'll find out for sure tomorrow. The only communication I got from him today was a relatively short text message. Not much else to update on, other than the 50 mile ride I did today. I got a chance to get out and ride with a buddy of mine, Rob, and we headed out to Danville, a city about 20 miles north of here. I actually didn't get the full 50 miles in, but it was close enough for me (49.62 miles) that I didn't feel I needed to go any farther. Besides, my legs were tired... ;-) Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers. Please be sure to ask for strength for Jason as he gets through this new challenge.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 2, 2012

I've noticed a significant drop off in the number of readers of my blog, and I suppose that stands to reason, considering the number of updates I've been posting. Well, today's post isn't going to have any earth shattering news or updates. Jason is still dealing with some major discomforts and getting very anxious to be able to get out and about again. In his words... "This room is VERY boring." He has been in a hospital room for a total of well over a year and in that time it just doesn't get any better. You get tired of TV, tired of playing games, and tired of yelling at the support staff. Visitors are so very important to break up some of the monotony. Linda and I are going to do our best to be back there on September 15, with the girls, and stay for a few days. We really can't stay very long this time, as I need to get back to work. Funny thing happens when you're out of work for nearly two years - you run out of money.

Anyway, as developments come I will let you all know, and I will continue to prepare for the 2-day bike ride and still looking for support at eodride.org. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, it has made a significant difference.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September 1, 2012

Today is the first of September, so it seems like a good time to provide an update on Jason's progress, and just a general idea of how he's doing. He had his surgery; he spent his time in the ICU; he moved back up to the 4th floor; and now he is working with the medical team to get a good balance on the pain management. I say balance because it is a balance of the amount of medication he will be taking vs. the level of pain as he regains comfort. He is getting better but still seems to be a bit too strongly influenced by the drugs to maintain a good conversation, though we are hopeful that tomorrow it will be close to normal. The girls would really like to have a good skype call with Mommy and Daddy. We are trying to pull together plans for getting the girls back out to Bethesda, and towards the middle of September is when we were looking to have it done.

Thank you all, for all the continued support and prayers - even if I'm not updating every day... ;-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012

OK!! Jason came through the surgery in flying colors... We received a call from Dr. Froughberg (not sure I'm spelling it correctly) was the orthopedic surgeon working on Jason, and has worked with Jason in the past. He used the expression, "We hit a home run!" And he was noticeably happy in his speech. Jason is now in ICU, and will be there for a couple of days, while they get him comfortable, and then he'll be heading back to his room. The surgery went for 9 hours, which is more than twice what they originally though it might go. I was thinking that it might go 5 or 6, so I was surprised at how long it took. I am particularly happy with how well the out come was, and now to wait on the next step.

One of the biggest challenges that an amputee has, is that he needs to have what is called a skin flap to help with the healing of the wound. Jason had virtually no flap, and as a result his wounds just wouldn't heal. Well, now he has the needed skin flap, and they have already closed up the wounds and he should be able to progress much more effectively now. What I'm hoping is that the next surgery is just as successful and that possibly next year he will be able to ride the Wounded EOD Ride, and I'll simply ride next to him. Thank you, all for all the support and prayers that have been coming our way, obviously the strength coming through has helped us all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012

I know, "WOW! Two days in a row!"

Well, I spoke with Jason this evening and he is as ready as he can get for this surgery tomorrow. His mental state is up and he is looking forward to getting it over with. About the only thing that is a little out of sorts is that he needs to shave. Due to the treatment for the past several days, I guess about two weeks, he hasn't been able to shave because he has had to stay in bed the entire time, and he won't shave while in bed (I don't blame him - I wouldn't either).

The girls got a chance to say good night to Mommy and Daddy and again the network (wi-fi) wouldn't hold. It will be nice if there can be something done to improve that condition, as it is very frustrating for everyone, and the kids loose interest really fast when they can't talk to their mom and dad and the Skype picture isn't any good. I will be glad to have the girls get back to Bethesda, so that they can be reunited. Grandma and Grandpa are very happy to have them here, but it isn't the best of situations for them. They need to be with their parents, not grandparents. Thank you, for your continued support and for the continued prayers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012

First, an apology to all, for not having put a post up sooner, I know some of you really enjoy reading the updates, and to be honest, there have been a couple.

We all know that Jason is now in Bethesda, with his wife Bridgette, and they are doing well. Jason has a surgery scheduled for this coming Tuesday, where they plan to remove some of the HO to primarily allow him to be more comfortable and to get rid of some of the pain. There will be some other reconstructive type surgery, if the situation allows, and that is basically to remove scare tissue that is also causing some difficulties. The remaining HO is to be worked on/removed at some later date down the road, and that means it could be a matter of weeks, or a matter of months. Linda and I enjoyed a lengthy conversation with Dr. Malone today, as she was able to fill me in on some of the details, and it reassured both of us that Jason was in the right place. I don't want that to sound negative about San Diego, as there are some very good people there. It is, in my opinion, simply a matter of Jason's injuries being more difficult to deal with, and Bethesda having the better resources to work Jason's injuries.

We had a nice celebration for the girls tonight, Jackie's birthday was yesterday; and both of them seemed to have had a great time. I think they ate too much chocolate cake because they were both running around full of energy and doing their best to wear me out. The good news is that by bed time they were both pretty well worn down and they went to bed very easily, and I'd guess they'll sleep solidly tonight.

On a more personal note - I have been riding more and getting ready for the October 2-day ride, and I am getting closer to that $5K level. If you're interested in learning more check out the website for the ride at:
www.eodride.org and play with some of the pull down menus.

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support - it has gotten us this far, and I'm sure that it will get us even farther down the road.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012

We were supposed to get together with Jason today, via Skype, but he wasn't up to it, due to pain issues and the affects of taking the necessary drugs to dull the pain. He basically fell asleep, and that is okay by me. I am hoping that he feels better tomorrow, as the girls do want to see and talk with him. Theresa Sareo was to have come by and visited with him, but due to the sleepiness I don't know if that happened. Otherwise there isn't a great deal of information to provide, and we're all just going to have to wait for an update tomorrow. Thank you, for continuing with the prayers and for all the support.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Jason is headed for surgery on Wednesday, and it is the first step in attempting to get him more skin to allow for the wounds to be in better shape. I don't like to keep using the word experimental, when describing the work the doctors are doing with Jason, but in effect, every time they do something with him, it is an "experiment." His spirits are up and he is getting both visitors and time to get out on his own. He has been to see other "new" patients and does his best to bring their spirits up as well. Otherwise, not much else to write about, other than the girls are doing fine and having a great time with Linda's (Grandma's) day care. We went and saw Ice Age today, and all the kids enjoyed it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10, 2012 - It didn't happen

Well, we were able to speak with Jason tonight and found out that the surgery that was planned, didn't take place. There was a "scheduling" mix-up between plastics and urology. As a result nothing happened, and Jason basically spent the day in his room, just waiting. He is still in good spirits, just a little disappointed that he is going to have to wait another few days, before anything happens. On the other hand, it did allow us an opportunity to have a video phone call (SKYPE) between him and his girls. Everything else is going well, and he is getting a bunch of visitors. People who knew him from when he was there previously and come to see if it really is him, back from California. He is also getting is some regular PT sessions, and he seems pretty happy about that. It keeps him occupied and helps to keep him in shape.

Thank you, all for the continued support and for all the prayers, just please keep in mind the doctors who are working with Jason.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012 - Back at Bethesda... again.

Jason took off this morning, for Bethesda/Walter Reed Hospital. I received a text message just prior to him taking off and then again shortly after arrival. I will be communicating with him daily, and frequently with Skype, so that the girls are able to see Daddy and Mommy, since they will both be there. I am assuming that the flight was uneventful, and to be honest, that is the way I like them. As I find out more about his treatments and procedures I will be updating the blog, though it will still be irregular. I don't know how long he will be in Bethesda, but it has been suggested that he might be there until November, possibly longer. Please continue with the prayers for Jason, and especially for the doctors who will be treating him. You might also want to include the rest of the family, as we can all use some divine assistance and strength. Thank you, for all the pray support in the past, and thank you, for keeping us in your thoughts.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4, 2012

Okay, two updates in a row... Jason is no longer in the hospital, and has returned to his place in San Diego. There was some sort of mix-up and the scheduled flight was pushed out to Wednesday, this coming week. As a result of that push they didn't want him to be just sitting in the hospital, and will readmit him on Tuesday, assuming that he is still going to be going on Wednesday. Needless to say, Jason is a bit irritated by the flipping back and forth on the travel plans, but it does seem that he will be going.

He got to talk with the girls today, on the phone and they were all excited to hear from Daddy again. We are going to be Skyping tomorrow, and we have a time set up and everything. We would have Skyped today, but our schedules didn't match up like we wanted. Anyway, take care and keep your eyes opened for the next update (probably on Tuesday, if nothing else exciting happens). Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support -  it is appreciated.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012 - Jason's back in the hospital

Well, Jason was admitted to the hospital again today, only this time it wasn't because he was having any difficulty or feeling extra pain - it was because he is getting ready to head back to Bethesda. There still isn't a solid travel date set, but it will most likely happen before August 6, and I personally think it could happen as early as tomorrow. His spirits are high and he is feeling pretty positive for the trip, and he is confident that they girls are being taken care of. They are with us, Grandma and Grandpa, and will be staying with us for at least the next couple of weeks, and then we will all get together to determine what is going to be happening. We may end up keeping them with us for the entire stay, but that has yet to be determined.

We have been calling and Skyping with Jason for the past few days, and the girls really enjoy getting a chance to talk with Daddy. It is even better with Skype, and they get to see Daddy. Today they had to settle for just talking since Jason didn't have his system set up yet, but if he is still there tomorrow we will once again be able to look at each other.

I have to admit that this next step for Jason's treatment is tough for me, especially with the fact that I am not with him. It is good to be back home and getting to sleep in my own bed, but I have been through so much of the recovery it is really hard to just let go. It is the right thing to do, and I know it, so I'm happy to be able to call him regularly. It is also good to get reestablished back at home and Linda is happy about that - we're actually sleeping together again... ;-)

Again, I'm going to close with a thank you, for all the continued prayers of support and for all the positive feelings that have been coming our way.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012 - Quick update

I know it has only been a couple of days, but I wanted to let everyone know that Jason did get out of the hospital, again today, and he is back in his house. There was some excitement with the "new" wound care nurse, as she made a few mistakes in changing the dressings, but Jason was able to handle it and everything got done well, in the end. Jason actually told them to, "...get her out of my room and find me someone who knows what they are doing!" And, knowing Jason, my guess is it wasn't in a nice pleasant voice. He is a Marine after all.

Anyway, things seem to be going well for him right now and he is getting used to being on his own. We let the girls talk with Daddy, twice today, and they thought that was pretty exciting. I think Jason enjoyed it too. We were going to be setting up SKYPE, but there were a couple of technical glitches (Jason's laptop doesn't have a microphone) so it will have to wait until tomorrow. Take care and stay positive and please do keep Jason and his family in your prayers. Thank you, for the continued support and caring.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21, 2012

Originally, Linda, the girls and I were supposed to be headed back up to Livermore today and Jason was to take over ALL aspects of his life. As it turned out though, Jason was feeling some significant pain at about 21:30 (9:30pm) last night and wanted to get in to the ER - so I took him. By the time all was said and done they determined that he should be going back in to the hospital, where they could get a better handle on what it is, causing Jason so much discomfort. By the time I left from Jason's hospital room it was about 05:10, and I went straight back to the house. I was getting pretty tired at that point, since I'd been up for almost 24 hours, and by the time I did get back in bed, it was 24 hours.

We checked in with Jason and they were working to control the pain, and it seemed like they were doing a good job of it. Jason had his pca, so that he could get the meds as needed and stayed on top of the pain. The challenge is that they don't know what is causing this latest up tick in pain, so they really don't know how to go about fixing it - at least not yet. My guess is that he will be in the hospital for a few days, and then they should be able to get a better handle on the cause of the pain. They will either do their best to mitigate the pain or remove it entirely, and then get him readied to head out to Bethesda, early next month. I know I'm looking forward to him getting back out there, for multiple reasons, with the biggest being the hope that they can correct some of his other challenges, such as the HO.

This is going to be my last post, of sequential posts, and begin only providing updates on a weekly basis or as significant items happen. I have appreciated all of you readers out there, for staying with the blog and for the comments some of you have made. I hope the blog has been informative, as well as helpful, so that you all have been able to keep up with Jason's progress along the way. Thank you, for all your continued support and for all the prayers that have come our way. God has shown us that there is a special reason Jason is still with us, and in the next year or two I am sure we will find out more clearly what that special gift really is.

July 20, 2012

Today we made some preparations to travel back up to Livermore, and let Jason be more on his own. It is a step we are taking with trepidation and concern, but know that it is the right thing to do.Originally we had planned on leaving tomorrow morning, and made arrangements to have all our things packed and ready to roll in the morning. As it turned out though, Jason's temperature went up again and he was complaining about shooting pain again. Linda and I discussed it and decided that the best course of action would be to either leave later on Saturday, or early Sunday. We want to be sure that Jason is feeling better before we depart. It is hoped that his fever goes back down and that his pain level drops significantly. There is no hurry to be out of here anyway, so it works for all of us. Besides, it gives us another day to finish our packing and see how creative we can be in getting all our things in to the Explorer.

Well, today started with the idea that the only reason we were going to need to head over to the hospital today, was because the girls each had an appointment. Before getting ready to leave (probably about 7:00 this morning) Jason received a call and was told he needed to come in to visit with a couple of medical team and to get some updated pictures of his wounds. As it turned out, he did "meet" with a couple of the team, for a few minutes, and he did have some pictures taken, but the urgency with which it was presented was misplaced. The positive that came out of it was that they prescribed another medication, to help with control of his continued pain, and also a real meeting with Dr. Pyo. At that meeting Jason was informed that the effort is to get him out of Balboa and on to Bethesda by August 4. Now whether that actually happens is another thing, but at least there is a date targeted.
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Right after writing the above I needed to take Jason back over to the ER, due to pain management. They actually found an infection, though it is relatively minor. Not sure what is causing the pain flair ups right now, but hope to understand soon. I've been up for nearly 24 hours right now, and I need to get some sleep. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers - God Bless.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012

Jason had two appointments today, yet he ended up staying at the Naval Base Hospital campus for nearly five hours. He was attempting to get a few things corrected, as well as find out the status of some supplies. I requested supplies about 4-weeks ago and still nothing has shown up. The  "stop-gap" supplies keep things going and he is okay, again for a few days, but I will need to head over to pick up a couple more tomorrow, when we take the girls to their appointments. From what we have been told, the supplies are coming, they just haven't gotten here yet.

Linda is doing most of the packing, as she wants to have some level of organization to the stuff we'll be driving back with. I told her I could get the packing done in a matter of a couple of hours, and she said she would rather do it, and let me stick to the heavy lifting (moving boxes to the truck). Anthony Netto is helping us move some of the stuff up when he comes up a couple of days after us, so that makes it a bit easier to bring it all back home. I just want to be sure I can get my bike secure to the back of the Explorer. Actually, that sort of reminds me of something.

I have recently been made aware of an issue with my  fund raising page, for the 2-day bike ride, 200 miler. Some folks are a little shy and would like to sponsor, but don't want their name to be shown. There is an option to go with "anonymous", and you can still offer any amount you would like to use, and no one will know who it is that just donated $200 or $20. I would like to get more funds coming in, and see if it is possible to reach over $5,000. That would be really cool. Anyway, just go to the www.wounded.EOD.org page and select 'Riders'. A drop down menu will provide a list of all the riders signed up and click on my name. That should take you to my donation page, and then just follow the directions for making a donation. It will take you to a page that has, as one of the questions, if you would like to make it anonymous. When that is done, you'll be done. A big thank you, to all those who have donated so far, it is very much appreciated.

Take care and stay positive, and Thank you, for all the continued prayers and all the support.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012

Not 100% sure about receiving an update in the next day or two, but I am sure there is one coming. There was a bit of a meeting today, between Jason and a point of contact at Balboa. Jason did not hold back in anyway this time and the point of contact (leaving out the name on purpose) was appreciative of his candor. There was a desire, by some of the Balboa Medical Staff, to sit down with Jason and go over some options that he has, if he remains in Balboa. Jason flat told them that he is tired of waiting on these meetings that seem to continually get scheduled and no update or information comes from them. Jason said he wasn't interested in any of their meetings, or the results now; he is ready to go back to Bethesda and let them do the surgical procedures that it appears he needs. The point of contact simply said the meeting, which was set for Friday, will now, not be taking place and instead there will be an effort to coordinate Jason's transition to Bethesda.

Jason will be gone for about 3 months and then return to San Diego (Balboa Naval Hospital) for his continued physical therapy, as well as other treatments that still need to be done. The PT and OT teams here have been very good and Jason has absolutely no complaints at all with them. He just wishes the rest were as "driven" to get solutions in place. Well, perhaps now there will be more drive, should they ever get another patient similar to Jason.

We still need to get the girls to their appointments on Friday so it is not likely that we will be home until the 21st. We thought about coming home right after the appointments but then decided that might be a bit tough on the girls (and me), and that an early start on Saturday morning would be better. It feels like there are things in place for as long as Jason is going to be here, so I am not as concerned as I was before. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012

Jason's "new" support team is doing a little better today, though I still had to take care of his wound dressings. I am optimistically hopeful that by the end of the week they will collectively have their act together. I still have some questions on how he is to be fed dinner in the evening, and how his clothes are to be laundered. If there is no one else around he is unable to do these things on his own. Tonight Linda is doing the laundry and she also made him dinner.

David, his brother, is coming in for a short visit tomorrow, so that should be a good day for him. The cool thing about this is that Jason doesn't have any appointments tomorrow, so they should have some time together. Linda and I are going to spending some time packing, and see if we can get everything done by the end of the day tomorrow. Not really that much to pack, but we would like to keep it organized.  Take care and stay positive - Thank you, for all your continued support and continued prayers.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012

Well, today was supposed to be the first day of me totally stepping away from supporting Jason's needs for his recovery. It didn't quite work that way. I asked him if he had contacted Maxim (the company contracted with) and he said he had sent them a text message last night letting them know he needed someone here by 06:30. By 07:30 I had gotten his breakfast; helped him get his clothes together; and, assisted him in getting out of his bed. There was no transportation so I took Jason to his appointments and it happened to be the same time we needed to get the girls to day care, so that was no big deal. The challenge was connecting up with the Maxim folks. It took five phone calls and three trips back to the house before we were back on track. It was also noon time, so at least they were there to help with his lunch. Jason was feeling pretty good today, so that was a big plus, as well as very helpful in getting beyond the frustration of their stumbles.

Tomorrow we are again looking to find transportation and the Maxim folks here in time to get him to his first appointments, and again it will be about the same time we are targeting getting the girls to day care. I hope it goes better than today, though I am a realist and expect some goofs. I guess it is a good thing we're staying around for another few days, otherwise Jason might find it a bit of a challenge to eat. The good thing is that he does have the Medic Alert system now, so if he does find himself alone and in need of help, he can get it with a push of a button.

Take care and stay positive - I'm expecting to hear something from the doctors tomorrow - probably through Jason - about what they think should be happening next. I am also hopeful that we'll find out about if/when they want to get him out to Bethesda for the pre-op work. Thank you, all for continuing to pray for Jason and for providing the support.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15, 2012

Not much to report on today, other than Jason being uncomfortable last night and not sleeping much until today. I think he is learning more on how to position himself so that he can better deal with the pain, and last night was a major lesson for him. I went for a bike ride, and did some aggressive hill runs. I need to build up the stamina so I can do this up coming ride and those hills are a part of that. The only other thing that really happened today was that Linda and I were able to go see Wicked and the San Diego Civic Center. We enjoyed the play and actually a little sorry we didn't go see it when it was in San Francisco - oh well, we've seen it now.

Tomorrow is a big day for some of the medical teams  here, and we are anxious to hear what comes of those meetings. Jason is pretty sure they won't have anything new and is going to request he get to go back to the Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Walter Reed. Otherwise Monday begins the end of the regular blog updates and a sort of a hand off to Jason, to control more of his own care. I will be providing updates still, just not every day. Thank you for sticking with the blog for all these months, and for all the prayers that have been sent our way. I believe that much of Jason's progress has been directly related to that prayer, and remember keep smiling and stay positive.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012

Another great Saturday for all of us down here in San Diego. Jason and the girls are having a good time spending time together and, if nothing else, learning how good a reader and story teller Daddy is. I got up early this morning, at about 04:00. Anthony Netto needed a ride to the airport, so I was happy to help. Once I got back from the airport I went and laid back down and, of course, woke Linda up so we talked for a short while. I then decided to go for a bike ride. I wanted to go a little farther than I have in the past, and also wanted to challenge some hills, so I went exploring. I ended up with a ride that was less than 30 miles, though the hills were very much the challenge I was looking to find. As it turned out I ended up a little past where Anthony lives, and that both surprised and pleased me. I ended up riding back and headed out to Ocean Beach, and by the time I was up that hill I decided that I should have brought more water. The next ride will be accompanied with more water or gator aid.

Linda and I are looking forward to having the girls at home, up in Livermore, and we need to start packing things up. It is amazing how much "stuff" a person can collect in 17moths, because that is what we have to pack. On top of that we have to bring the girls home, and originally I was counting on that space to carry some of our "stuff." Actually, Anthony is coming to the rescue there, as he is planning on heading up to the Bay Area very close to the time that we are going, and he has some extra space. We still need to pack it up, but now we don't have to worry about how we're going to get it all in the truck, or if we're getting a trailer.

Anyway, the day ended on a high note with the girls having a great time, and Grandpa (me) making soup for dinner. We have a bunch of different things we need to either eat or donate to other groups, so that means we have a bunch of stuff that makes great soup - you just have to be creative. Jackie loved the soup and couldn't get enough, just like her daddy. Stacy, on the other hand didn't particularly care for the soup so Grandma had to fix something else for her to eat. Tomorrow should be another easy day, with the main focus being on doing more packing.

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

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012 - Post No. 500

Wow! I would not have believed that I was going to be putting up 500 posts, over the coarse of 17months, but here it is. Jason has made some amazing strides in these 500 different entries, with some of them better than others, and Jason consistently demonstrating a positive outlook. It makes me very proud of him, though I guess Linda and I have always been very proud of him - and all of our sons.

Today was a good day for Jason, in that we were able to get with Dr. Pyo and talk about some of the progress that Jason has been making and some of the ideas of what else can be done. We also spoke about the things that didn't work so well, such as the hyperbaric chamber; some of the early first wheelchairs; even some of the early wound care, and despite the set backs, how it all has come together in a positive way. There have been some significant positives and successes along the way as well. Such as Jason being able to transfer himself sooner than they thought would happen; Jason beating every infection that he has come up against; Jason's body and constitution having the strength and resilience to mend in so many different ways.  Jason has contributed so much to the body of knowledge, within the medical field and now it looks like there is going to be more. There is to be a meeting, on Monday, of all the heads of the different teams Jason has been associated with, in one manner or another, and the out come of that meeting is a possible road map for his next steps. Jason, Linda and I are all excited to hear about what they come up with.

Next week will be a continuation of his appointments, and even though Linda and I will be here, we will not be participating in working his schedule. For example, on Monday he does have two early appointments but the only thing Linda and I have to focus on is getting the girls over to their day care. This next week is a transitional week, so that he will be able to keep things going as "normal" as possible without our involvement. The next week we will be back in Livermore, with the girls and the dynamics will have made a major shift. We have been working towards this for some time, so I have a high level of confidence everything will be alright. We just need to see it work. Once this week has gotten past us the blog will be making a transition of its own, to a weekly update, or whatever works best for us. I don't want to close the blog, but I also know I won't be able to provide updates as regularly as I have in the past. Having said that...

Thank you, everyone, for all your continued support and prayers. God has truly blessed us with all of you.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012

What an amazing kind of day, today was. Jason had a couple of appointments at the hospital, with one of them being at OT. Now ordinarily going to OT would be focused on working with the hands, arms or some combination, with the target of being better use and strengthening. Today was a little different in that there were the activities associated with strengthening and use, AND cooking! There was this great spread of food set up so that we could have breakfast burritos in multiple ways, although I only had one. Jason, on the other hand, fixed himself a couple of different burritos and enjoyed them immensely. The only thing that was wrong with this picture was that Linda didn't come with us this time and so she missed out on the great food. Shortly after I was finished with my burrito we had to head out so that Jason could get over to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD). They were having a "Family Day" celebration and he wanted to see what was going on, and he was hoping to see some of the Drill Sergeants that he knew. Unfortunately he didn't get to see any that he knew, but he had a pretty good time anyway. There were booths set up for all sorts of stuff, including memorabilia, food, collectables and other great stuff. He ended up staying there for well over an hour. We had to get back home to allow him to get some rest before we headed out again.

At 14:00 (2pm) we were all supposed to head over to see Anthony Netto (StandUpAndPlay.org) and talk to some folks who want to do an interview with Jason and I. It is a Faith based group and it is set to show case how Jason's faith in God, support from his family, and his own internal fortitude has gotten him to the level of recovery that he is today. As it turned out, we were a few minutes late, but that's okay, as we really aren't on a tight schedule anyway. We had a great time talking with them and everything was actually quite fun. Jason loves to tell his story and when he gets to share his experience it kind of provides him with the opportunity to just let it out. It was also a chance for him to ride the paramobile, and he enjoys being able to do that. It also gave me a chance to talk with Anthony and discuss ways we can get some other help with the machines.

Ultimately it was a busy day, with plenty of things to do and by the end of the day I think we were all pretty tired. When we got home from Anthony's Jason just wanted to take a shower and get back in bed. This also meant I was to change his dressings and change the sheets on his bed. We had a quick dinner and then we were all pretty much ready for bed. That's when I headed up to my little "apartment" (that's what I call the 2nd floor living area - it has a bedroom, a bath, an office-like area and plenty of storage) and began going through all my emails, since I hadn't see any of them today. Now we're at the end of the day and I am ready for bed.

Thank you, all for all the support and prayers - Jason is getting better and it looks like good things are moving forward again.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July 11, 2012

Jason had a couple of appointments today, and he wanted to get his hair cut (after all, it has been two weeks since his last one, and he was beginning to look shaggy - at least in his eyes). I needed to get over to meet with Anthony Netto, so after I dropped him off at the hospital, and saw him on his way to his appointment Linda and I took off for our meeting with Anthony. Before getting there I received a call from the PAO (Public Affairs Officer) of the hospital, Mike. Mike and I are frequently giving each other a hard time, since he is a Yankees fan and I support the Giants; it started almost the second week we were here. Needless to say, we get along well, and enjoy the banter back and forth. Well, when he called he asked me where Jason was, and if he could speak with him. I told him he was welcome to talk to him, but he wasn't with me, he was at the hospital. I gave him Jason's phone number and then asked what was so urgent. Apparently Gary Sinise was back at the hospital and was again asking to speak with Jason specifically. Anytime a celebrity/special guest comes and asked to speak to one of the Wounded Warriors by name it always causes the powers that be to get a little excited; so, I couldn't help but chuckle a bit. Anyway, they (Jason and Gary) did connect up and got to talk for a short while, then Jason went from room to room, visiting other Wounded Warriors and patients with Gary and I think it did as much good for Jason, as he was doing for the guys. It just was one of the few times I wasn't there, and wished I could have been, as I need positives once in a while too.

Anyway, we finally went over to meet with Anthony, and found out there is another production company that wants to do a short segment on Jason and I, and I think the connection with Stand Up And Play, Anthony's organization/foundation. We will get that coordinated tomorrow. Otherwise, that was pretty much if for today, in the world of Jason's recovery. My guess is that he is going to want to shower tomorrow, and go on to his one appointment, or he might want to shower after the appointment. What has happened in the scheme of his recovery schedule is that his hyperbaric treatments have been put on hold and they are trying yet another method for helping him with his pain, and it seems to be helping some. As I learn more about this new treatment I will expand more.

Thank you, for continuing to be a part of this long journey and for providing all the support and prayers to help in Jason's recovery.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

Today was a very challenging day, from the very beginning of the day. Last night, after I had laid down to go to sleep, Jackie started to cry. She was running a very high fever (103+) and that meant I needed to get her to the ER. The good news is that we were only there for a few hours, and I was back in bed, well before 02:00 (2am). The other good news is that the doctor recognized what was wrong and prescribed an antibiotic for us to give Jackie for the next week. This works, as we will be leaving in about a week, so we're hoping all works well together to get her well.

I turned around and was up at about 07:30 again, as Jackie was again uncomfortable so Linda went down to see what she could do, and I needed to get up anyway. I wanted to get Stacy over to the day care to limit the amount of time she was spending with Jackie, right now. I was actually hoping to get in a bike ride today, but the way my head was feeling and the need to go back and forth between the hospital and Jason's place kind of made the idea of a bike ride seem silly. Perhaps I'll get one in tomorrow.

Jason was released from the hospital, and they felt they had a pretty good handle on the pain management today, and they gave him a new device to help him - or at least that's the theory. It is a electrical stimulator that is supposed to make his muscles "move" differently, when he feels the pain coming on. At least that is how I understand what we were told. I'm open to new ideas so Jason can give this a go and we'll see if, and how, it works. They also stopped the hyperbaric chamber treatments as it is thought they the treatments are now causing more harm than good. Personally, I don't think there is enough data to make an assessment, but they are the doctors, and sometimes we just have to go with what they say.

Jason has an appointment tomorrow, and it is a little later in the day. As a result I can sleep in and maybe even get a bike ride in, finally. I really do need to start working on the rides. That is about all there is to go over today, and a part of that is simply because I'm tired. Thank you, all for all your continued support and for all the prayers everyone has been sending. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012 -

For those of you that don't already know... Today is my birthday. I turned 60 today, and I'm being told that 60 is the new 40. I'm not really sure what to do about that, since I kind'a liked the "old" 40, whatever that was. Five years ago I had no idea that I'd be doing this blog every night, and doing my best to keep people aware of what is going on, with the life of one of my sons. Yet, here I am and it looks like I'm finally coming to a close, of at least this chapter in the lives of the Ross family.

But, instead of taking a walk down "reflective lane", I'm just going to stick with the regular and tell you about the day. I woke Jason up this morning, at about 06:30 because he had an appointment at 07:30. At the time I wasn't aware that he had had a rough night sleeping, all I knew was that I needed to get him up and going and that he wasn't going to get to eat anything, because of the procedure. Linda stayed back at the house, with the girls, and I was to come back and get Stacy and take her to day care. Jackie is fighting a cold so we didn't want to take her in to be around the rest of the kids. Okay, now that 's the setting of the beginning of the day, it just didn't work out that way.

We got to the Naval Hospital with plenty of time to get ready for the procedure, and we went to where we thought we were supposed to go. They had no record of the procedure happening, and told us that it was probably going to happen over in the main building, since Jason was going to be given a "general" (the last time they attempted to do it with a local and couldn't get the job done - that's why it was rescheduled for today... we thought). We headed over to the main building and went to surgery. When Jason told them why we were there we got another surprise. Not only was the procedure not scheduled, the doctor had no idea about what we were talking about. He wasn't even on the base. He apologized for the communication mix up, but there was no procedure being done today. Both Jason and I recall the conversation with the doctor, and because he said he wanted to do it on the 9th, it became a little more important to me. The fact that he was talking about my birthday caused it to stick in my head. On top of that, Jason was now beginning to have some difficulties with his pain level going up, and he was out of the pain meds.

We headed over to Primary and spoke with the Nurse Practitioner and she was able to get more meds ordered for him. This meant the next stop was at the pharmacy. While we at Primary I decided to ask for some supplies and told Jason to go on ahead and I'd join him there. I guess it took about 15 minutes to get all the supplies I had asked for and then I went to the pharmacy. When I got there I could tell that Jason wasn't doing well. He was looking a bit flushed and sweat was dripping off his forehead. I asked him the status of his meds and he said it was going to take another 45 minutes to fill, because of the type of drug it was. That meant it was going to be possibly another hour and a half before he got any relief. I suggested that he needed to get over to the ER for some pain relief and I could wait for his Rx. This coarse of action would usually be the best way to go, except that the ER was very busy, and backed up, so he wasn't being seen anywhere near as quickly as I, or Jason for that matter, wanted to have it happen. I finally went over and started to speak with some of the other folks I know and that turned out to be what I should have done in the first place. They swarmed on him and within about 45 minutes we was admitted to the hospital and there were several people now working on getting his pain under control. Jason had sat in the ER for almost 90 minutes, and it didn't look like he was going to be seen anytime soon. My guess is that he would have been admitted to the hospital anyway, so there was really no need for him to have to go through that phase, just to get there.

With all this running around and going back and forth, it was now about 15:00 (3pm) and I hadn't had too much communications with Linda. I had been able to make one run back to the house to let her know that Jason was being looked at, and also to get Stacy over to the day care, but she wasn't aware of Jason being admitted to the hospital. Linda's cell phone is no longer working and that is another story; without it, she has no communication except through my cell, or if she is around one of her friends. Anyway, we need to get her another phone, and this is an example of why. Anyway, once Jason was back in the hospital I headed back to the house and Linda had a couple of errands she wanted to get done and so she, Jackie and I took off to take care of those, and then picked up Jason's laptop and power cords and headed back to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital we could tell he was doing much better. He was actually getting ready to eat his dinner when we arrived and Stacy was anxious to go in and see her Daddy. Because Jackie has the sniffles and was a little warm we decided not to get her too close to Jason, and so she stayed outside his room, with Grandma. Grandpa and Stacy went in to see Jason. My guess is that Jason will be there for a couple of days and then get to come back to the house. I also believe that this is going to be a sort of a wake up to him, in that he needs to really pay attention to keeping his pain level under control. We stayed for a short while and then headed back to the house. We fixed dinner and then a little while later the girls were headed for bed. It has been a busy day, and I'm glad it is just about over.

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

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8, 2012

Good day for Jason, though there is the on going battle of pain management. We went to breakfast, early this morning, with some friends, and we actually went to the Original Pancake House. For those readers who have been with me for over a year, you should recognize the name as one that we frequented while back in Bethesda. I knew they were out here, but just had not taken the time to locate until now. Actually it was at the request of our friends, and it was where they wanted to go have breakfast. It was good they wanted to go early too, since by the time we left there was a long line out the door. I think we might have stayed a little longer except that Jason was uncomfortable and needed to get out of the chair, or as he likes to say, "off my feet."

It was good getting with Larry (for those that don't know Larry, he and I have known each other since high school and he was the best man at my wedding - heck, he's the reason Linda and I met) and his family. I hadn't seen him in a long time, and it was nice catching up on things. We got to visit with his kids and his grand kids, and he with ours, well, some of ours. His son John is about embark on law school, and Jenny, his daughter is mother of his two grand kids. Jenny is also married to Tim and they have a great home down here in San Diego. It made me wish I had been able to stay closer in touch with Larry and his family, but I can 't change the past, so we can only make the future better.

The one thing I didn't do today, that I would have liked to do, was go for a bike ride. Instead, I took a nap. I guess sometimes it is better to just relax and catch up a little on your sleep... ;-) Tomorrow is going to be another busy day for Jason, he has an early appointment for a procedure. He won't be going to the hyperbaric chamber because of the procedure, and they are already aware of this. We won't be taking the girls to their day care until a little later as well. Tomorrow is my birthday, though it was already celebrated this past Saturday. I think most of the celebrations are done for now, as I don't want to be gaining too much weight, and in fact, hope to loose some. With the bike ride coming up I don't want to gain any more weight than I need to. I don't want to be hauling around any extra weight for nearly 200 miles, if I don't have to. Please check on my page: http://www.active.com/donate/eodride2012/GRoss94 just to keep up on how I'm doing.

Jason did have two visitors today - Gary and Matt. Apparently Gary was up at a Gaming Convention, a couple of days ago, and spoke with one of the vendors there. He told them about Jason and so they provided Gary with a copy of one of their newest games and asked him to deliver it to Jason. Jason, needless to say, was very happy to receive it. Also, while there, he happened to see Brent Spiner and got him to autograph a photo for Jason. Jason is somewhat of a Trekkie so he appreciated receiving that as well. Anyway, the visit lasted for a short while, and then they needed to get going, and Jason needed to lay back down. Then, a little while later, we were all going to bed, and came to the end of a nice weekend.

Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers - God bless you all, and the U.S.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

July 7, 2012

Jason spent most of the day in bed. He got up twice, for two different reasons. First he wanted to take a shower, and obviously there is a specific need for him to be out of the bed for that one. I changed the dressings on his wounds and they are looking okay, though the smaller wound has actually gotten a little bigger, and there is a "new" wound on his right side. Jason said he might want to talk with the dermatology folks to see if he should have another laser treatment. There was some progress with that, even if it did seem a little worse after the treatment. A few days afterward and the wounds looked to be healing up a bit. The other reason for Jason getting out of the bed was to come to the backyard.

Linda had organized a birthday party for me, though my birthday isn't until Monday. It turned out nice, and we had a good turn out of people and the social gathering was better than I initially expected. I guess I should sometimes listen to her... ;-) I grilled up some burgers and hotdogs and there was plenty of food for everyone. The party started at about 16:00 (4pm) and lasted until everyone was gone. There were some pictures taken, and I still need to down load those so that I can post them on to the blog. We had a number of folks stop by and just about everybody got a chance to eat. I hope most of this makes sense, as I just got hit with a large dose of, "I'm tired!" I started the day with a good bike ride and have been busy ever since.

Thank you, for all the support you've gen to Jason and his recovery, as well as all the prayers.