Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

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.
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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012

Jason had some difficulties today with his pain management, and as a result did not attend his hyperbaric dive today. In the past the medical staff at UCSD was able to help him deal with it, and there was no significant delay in getting the session, or dive, underway. Today was a bit different in that there was a new doctor there, and he seemed to not be able to deal with Jason's condition and therefore offered to send Jason down to the ER. This would not have been a good idea, considering Jason is military, and the Naval Hospital is only a couple of miles away. The doctor in charge, in the past, as always been able to prescribe something for Jason and he just went forward, this time it didn't happen. To say the least, Jason was a bit frustrated with the personnel at UCSD and basically suggested today was being staffed by the second string team.

We really didn't have much new going on, other than Jason had a couple of early appointments, and we had to get the girls up a little earlier than in the past. They still got to their day care and they still has a great time, while there, so it all worked out. We picked them up, late this afternoon and then Linda and I headed over to Costco to do a little shopping. This was the first time the girls got to ride through Costco with Grandma and Grandpa. I think Stacy really liked the idea of the food samplers... ;-) She also became somewhat choosey in what free samples she wanted - just like a seasoned consumer.

Jason spent the most part of the day in bed, once he was back at home. After being there for a couple of hours he was feeling better and fell off to sleep. I talked with him a little later this evening and he showed me where his pain was coming from and it looked to be the same general area as before. It is something that he is going to be dealing with for the next few months, if not longer, and he will need to work with his primary doctor to see if they can get the pain levels back down to a manageable level. Tonight though, he is more comfortable, so it is something we need to watch, but not necessarily worry about tonight.

Thank you, for your continued prayers and being there for his support. Not sure if there is going to be an entry for tomorrow, so I'll just play it by ear for now. Thank you, and good night.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012

Well, for a July 4th celebration, we did have an unusual ending to the day. Actually, we had all just gone to bed last night, and didn't see too many fireworks. What we did experience though, was what happened to the local fireworks display. Apparently there was a "mis-fire" and a rather large explosion happened and it shook the house to the point that it felt almost like an earthquake. I went out side to see what was going on, and all I saw was glowing skies, that in itself was quite exciting, and we didn't even see it!

Well, on to today... Jason had a couple of early appointments over at the Naval hospital, before heading over to the UCSD Hyperbaric chamber. Linda and I were scrambling a bit to make sure the girls were up and ready to go, so we could get them over to their day care, and then Jason over to his appointments. Jason was done with his Naval Hospital appointments in time to get over to the UCSD center, where we had to work with the doctors, prior to the dive, so they could measure all his wounds. I feel pretty good in that they step back and allow me to take care of the dressings, to the point that a couple of the interns seem almost intimidated by me and how I am able to converse with the other doctors. All of this extra attention delayed the dive by about 1/2 an hour, but that was okay, since it was only Jason and one other today, and they other was running late anyway. They took measurements of the wounds and will be comparing them to the measures taken when Jason first started. I am hoping that they can tell me something tomorrow, but if nothing else we'll get an update on Monday.

One of the other things that was going on today was a recognition that Jason's pain levels have been elevating more lately and there is even a greater need to find a solution to his discomfort. I am hoping that the right steps are taken to get things corrected as soon as possible, and this is where I have to bow to the superior knowledge of the doctors, working with Jason. The common thread that we hear is, "Jason is unique." And that is mostly due to the fact that few doctors really know what to do for him. If it were not for his positive spirit and attitude I don't think I could have gotten this far myself.

Well, as a quick update on my two-day ride that is coming up in October... I have now gotten to the level of $2525.00 in donations, and am hoping to get even more. For those that are wondering where they can donate, you can go to: www.eodride.org and then select Riders from the drop-down menu. Click on my name and that will take you to my donation page. For all who have donated... THANK YOU, very much, and  thank you, for all your prayers and continued support for Jason and our family.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 4, 2012 - Happy Fourth of July!

Today being a holiday, there were no appointments, and as a plus, Jason was feeling pretty good today. When I first got up, at about 07:15, I simply went down stairs and check on how he was doing, and he said he was fine. I asked him if he needed anything, or if he wanted breakfast, and he said, "No.I'm okay." Then I told him I was off for a bike ride - still need to get in shape for that two day event coming up. BTW - I am now the number two fund raiser so far - I'm hoping to be number 1, but the guy in first place is $3K ahead of me right now. Anyway, I rode out to Cabrillo National Monument and had a great time. I was tempted to ride farther but decided to just get back to the house, since Linda was probably starting breakfast and I promised to help.

We had pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and it was very enjoyable just being able to cook without having to worry about the clock. Stacy even helped with the breakfast, and both the girls were having fun with it this morning. After breakfast, and after cleanup we didn't have too much extra to do, other than some laundry and doing some reorganizing of the supply closet. We me leaving soon I figured it would be nice to have it better organized, and easier to get things from. I showed Jason how it was now set up and he seemed happy with it. I also was able to get rid of a few things, and that helped clean it up.

Anthony Netto had invited us over to his place for a picnic/barbeque, so we went over there at about 14:30 (2:30pm), and then he introduced us to another couple there. As it turned out we joined them for dinner, and we had plenty of food to eat. The girls got to go play in the large field, as well as the playground area, both of which were right next to where we were. I think we would have stayed longer except that Jason was beginning to feel the need to get off his chair and back on his bed. To be honest, I was beginning to run out of gas at about the same time. I think I should have taken a nap...

After getting back home, Linda gave the girls a bath and got them to bed, and I came up to check my email and do the blog. Thank you, all for all the prayers and support you have been sending us, Jason has challenges still ahead, and with the help of all of you I know he will be able to make it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012

Well, today was definitely different from yesterday. Jason went to the hospital again today, though he didn't have any appointments this morning. Actually, what happened was that Jason and I had breakfast at the house with Linda and the girls, then the two of us headed off to the hyperbaric treatment center at UCSD Medical Center. We did get a bit of a late start because Jason wanted to take a shower this morning, and then I did a dressing change. Once that was accomplished we were ready to have breakfast, and so was everyone else. The girls had gotten up and Linda (a.k.a. Grandma) was getting breakfast for the girls. We all had cereal for breakfast, and we had fun doing it. Both Jackie and Stacy kept coming up to me eating my Rice Krispies, because Grandpa's is always so much better than their own. Jason finished first and then me, and then we were off to UCSD. Afterward I came back to the house and got Linda and the girls and took them over to their daycare.

I received a call from Anthony Netto, and he invited me over to hit a bucket of balls, over at the Riverwalk driving range. While I did that Linda was over at the mall, looking around. She did make a few purchases, but for the most part she just looked. It is amazing the patience that Anthony has with me, as I am probably one of, if not the worst golfers there is and he continues to steadily help me figure out how to hold a club... I even sometimes hit the ball. I'm beginning to enjoy the game, and I might start to play more regularly, as time permits. Anyway, I did that for about an hour and then had to head back over to pick up Jason. As it turned out, they were a bit late again, though I didn't have to wait too long. Once we were back in the van we had to head back over to Balboa and pick up some prescriptions for Jason.

Jason and I finished all the running around at the Naval Base Hospital and all he had to do was pick up the Rx, so I said I'd go pick up Linda and he was good with that. Actually he knew it would take awhile so he went to the store in the hospital to pick up a few things (mostly candy), instead of waiting in the pharmacy. Linda and I got back and he was back in the pharmacy waiting. Since it was now getting later in the afternoon I went over to pick up a couple of sandwiches for the three of us, and by the time I got back Jason's Rx was just about ready. Jason was now getting pretty worn out so we decided to just get him back home and then come back and get the girls from day care.

Jason laid down and in a matter of just a few minutes was sound asleep. Linda and I headed back over to the day care, since it was getting late (about 17:00 - 5pm). This is when the day really fell off the track. On the way back home traffic was a bit heavier than usual (tomorrow is a holiday) and so as traffic rounded this turn I saw an alternator, laying in the road. I had nowhere to go and I was going too, fast to stop. I did my best to line up the alternator so that it would do as little damage as possible and then we hit. BANG! BANG! CRUNCH! And I said, "I don't like the way that sounded." We stopped over at the Target parking lot and I could smell coolant, and then I saw coolant. The alternator had broken a line and it was draining fast. We had the girls with us, and we needed to get a couple things so we went inside and it was probably the fastest that Linda has ever moved in the store (I guess I was kind of anxious). We made it back to the house and then I immediately took off again to see if I could get the van repaired. There is a Napa Auto Repair center not far from the house and they agreed to take a look and fixed it, all within an hour. A line had been ruptured and it was amazing that more damage hadn't been done. For awhile I was sweating bullets, trying to figure out how we were still going to do the plans we had for the fourth, and now we can. The day got a little rough, but in the end it was okay.

Tomorrow we are planning a little picnic and barbeque, and as long as I don't run over anything else, it should be a great day. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, and Happy Fourth to everyone.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012 - We went to the County Fair!

Well, today started out like just about any other day, for the past couple of weeks, with Jason needing to go in to the Naval Hospital at Balboa, with an early appointment, and then over to the hyperbaric chamber. The appointment went well, and actually, just prior to that, we took the girls over to their day care center, so that when Jason was done at the hospital we made a quick stop at the pharmacy (that was an interesting journey for Linda and I, and I'll possibly talk about it some day) then over to the hospital at UCSD. Apparently there was some sort of schedule disruption, and Jason's dive didn't start until almost 11:00, and that means he didn't finish until just after 13:00 (1pm). Of course I wasn't aware of the delay because I just dropped Jason off this morning and when he is down in the basement there is little to no cell reception, so he couldn't call me. Anyway, we came back to pick him up at the "regular" time, and found the elevator wasn't working. That's okay we can take the stairs down and we'll just have to head over to the other elevators to get Jason back up. We sat around in the waiting room until the dive was done and then he came out. As usual he was soaked with sweat so he changed his shirt and then we headed to the elevator (apparently they had fixed them in the time we were waiting). We headed home and stopped at a taco stand that we've discovered (much better than going to Taco Bell) and then on to the house.

Once we were home Jason got comfortable back in his bed and ate his burritos (they were very large) and I took care of a couple of things I needed to get done. As soon as this was done we let Jason know we were going to pick up the girls and then we were headed to the San Diego County Fair. We made arrangements to be sure that there was support for Jason, in the case that he needed some help. Fortunately, while we were gone he didn't need any assistance, and because he ate those two burritos he wasn't hungry. Stacy was very excited about going to the fair and Jackie was just excited about going somewhere with Grandma and Grandpa. We got to the fair grounds and it was packed with cars, though we were very fortunate in that we found a parking space that was relatively close to the front. We had the stroller with us, so Jackie could lay back a little, when she got tired - and she did. Stacy was so very excited to go in and see all the farm animals and we even watched a 4H presentation (kids showing their cattle). There was a pony ride that Stacy went on, and had a great time. We attempted to get Jackie to go on the ride but she was afraid of the horses so she didn't want to go. Actually, Jackie didn't want to go on any of the kiddie rides, and that was okay as far as Stacy was concerned - more ride tickets for her.

We went to the midway and saw a bunch of different rides, most of which Stacy was able to go on, though she was too short for the bumble bee ride. She rode a Ferris wheel and flew a Marine helicopter; she got to race around in a NASCAR racer and she and Grandma even rode a roller coaster. We stayed at the fair for a few hours and both girls (and grandparents) were tired. We got back home and Grandma gave them a bath. We had eaten at the fair so dinner wasn't something we needed to worry about, and that was probably a good thing. Jason was asleep when we got home so we didn't wake him up, at least not until after the bath. I think the noise of two laughing girls was enough to wake him up - it is amazing what a bath with do to re-energize to small girls. They still went down for the night, without a fight, and were quite happy to do so. All-in-all, it was a very nice day. I am positive that Grandma and Grandpa are going to enjoy this time we have with the girls, before we leave.

I want to also thank you, all, for all the prayers of support and for everything else that you do for all of us. We probably couldn't have made it without you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July 1, 2012

You know, if someone would have asked me, even a year ago, if I thought I'd still be with Jason on July 1, 2012 I think I would have said, "I hope not. I would hope he would be well beyond that, and I would be back home." Well, now it looks like I am going to be going home, and the best date we can come up with is July 16th, the first Monday of trying to get things a little closer to normal. We actually had planned on making the 13th our last day, but I ended up with tickets to Wicked, and it shows on the 15th. Jason is totally okay with Linda and I staying a couple of extra days, and I think he actually wants us to. Sort of a chance to take a couple of days unwind before driving back to Livermore.

Yep, I said driving. Jason has a Ford Explorer that we both recognize he will never be driving again. The cost of converting it over so that he could drive it would far exceed the value of the truck. As a result he is "giving" it to me and I will be loading all my stuff up in it and driving home. Heck, it runs well, looks pretty good and it provides me with a way to get my stuff home a little more easily. Then for Jason, it is one less vehicle he has to work with, and he will no longer have to insure so it is a win for him as well.

Okay, on to what happened today. We got home quite late last night (or early this morning if you like), and we were both very tired. The good news is that they did not find any reason for his fever or his elevated pain; and, the bad news is that he had a fever and elevated pain with no apparent cause. They are doing some other lab test and those won't be complete until today, or perhaps early tomorrow. If nothing shows up with those then we don't know what to say other than stay vigilant and continue to work with the medical staff. He was feeling somewhat better today, for the first couple of hours this morning, then as we were going to get ready to head to church he started to feel some sharp pains again, just when he moved. It didn't take a great deal of movement to generate the pain, so we decided to not go. Later in the afternoon he was still very uncomfortable and as a result he just spent most of the day in bed. He did get out long enough to take a shower and for me to address the dressing changes.

The girls are here with us now, and it was great seeing how they are acting with Daddy. For a little while both the girls where in bed with Jason and they were all having fun, though Jason had to be very cautious as to how he moved and played with them. It really made my heart feel so much better watching them and seeing both girls lay their heads on Daddy's shoulders. I initially wanted to take some pictures, then realized that doing so, at that moment would have taken away from how it really was, and was satisfied that I got to see it. We did get some other pictures, and they'll be posted shortly.

Not much else happened today, other than us playing with the girls  and the normal activities of daily life. Thank you all, for all your prayers and for all the support you've been sending our way... and now a number of you have started to support me on the bike ride as well, thank you for that as well.

June 30, 2012

Just a quick note about today, since it is getting way past my bed time... Jason was having some difficulties, off and on for most of the day, and then right after dinner he really started to feel poorly. His temp went up and he was very uncomfortable. He fear was that it was another infection so he wanted to get in to ER. They did some checking and ran some test and nothing was found. His pain came back under control and we were told to go back home, as long as Jason was feeling well enough to do so - and he did. We just need to check back in on Monday, to find out about the other lab tests, the ones that take several hours to complete. I think Jason was relieved to be able to get back home, and I know I was. I just hope he has a better day tomorrow (today?).

Thank you, for all your prayers and continued support. Oh, and one more thing... while we were waiting in the ER, I was able to finish the book by Bob Hamer, Targets Down - I recommend it. I had a hard time putting it down.