Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012

Today started a little rough for Jason, as he was feeling achy and generally poorly - though there was no fever. I think that perhaps it was a combination of two weeks of the hyperbaric chamber and the cutting back of the pain meds, and his body was just saying, "I need a break." So, that's pretty much what we did. I called the folks at UCSD Med Center, and then over to the hospital and let them know. A short while later, Jason decided to take a shower and after that he felt much better, though he still did not want to go do anything.

On a brighter note, Linda (a.k.a. Mom) arrived this morning and I went over to pick her up at the air port. She is going to be staying down here in San Diego, until we leave to head back up to Livermore. It is going to be nice having her here, and she will be very much involved in helping around the house with the different things that need to be done, as well as helping with the girls. If I understand it correctly, the girls will be coming back to the house tomorrow, and then will be staying with us for the next two weeks. The down side is that we won't have them around us for several weeks, since they will be staying in San Diego and we'll be up in Livermore. Perhaps there will be opportunity for them to stay with us, but that is unknown right now.

I didn't go for a bike ride today, mostly because of Linda coming in and Jason not feeling 100%. I thought it would be better for us to remain close by, just in case. When I set up the ride I set an initial goal of $1000, and I'm happy to say that I've almost hit that level. Still would like to get more support and sponsors, because I would like to hit closer to $2000 and the money is going to a good cause. If you are thinking about sponsoring me, please feel free to do so at: http://www.active.com/donate/eodride2012/GRoss94 any amount is appreciated.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012

Jason's day today, was pretty much the same as yesterday, and that's a good thing. The wounds on his left side have almost closed up, and that is a better thing; and, he is taking on greater control of his own life and that is the best thing. Okay, maybe I'm being a little over dramatic here but things are going well and Jason remains positive about the future. We're making plans for my departure, and I have spoken with the folks at Balboa, including giving them a list of the things that I need to do regularly for Jason. I will be working with others, over these next two weeks to make sure as many of the points are covered as possible, and then it will be simply up to Jason to learn what he still needs assistance with.

The treatment with the hyperbaric chamber seems to be going well, I just wish they could get their schedule to be a little more stable. It seems like the get started with their "dives" a little later each day now, and so that means he gets out a little later each day. We didn't get out of there until after 13:00 (1pm) today, and that tends to disrupt the rest of the day's schedule. Jason will have four more weeks after tomorrow, and then a decision will be made as to whether he should continue with more, or if there has been enough improvement. Once that point has been reached they will then talk about his next surgeries, and that could mean travel back out to Bethesda, MD. We'll just have to wait and see on that one.

Thank you, for staying with the blog all these months, and thank you even more for all the prayers and support that you all have been sending out way. I will be continuing the blog, through the rest of these next two weeks, and then it will be updates as things happen, so please continue to check on the blog from time to time. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012

Today was about as routine a day as Jason ever has. We got up and had breakfast; then, we headed over to the hospital at the Naval Base; and, finally we went over to the hyperbaric chamber. They got started a bit late, due to some new patient, but other than that, it was pretty much normal. Jason is dealing with some recurring pain, and that is probably related to his meds being cut back, so that is just a matter of time before he is able to not have the discomfort bother him so much. We are looking forward to Linda getting her on Friday, and then she is going to be staying with us for the next two weeks afterward. Well, actually at the end of that visit I will be heading back home with her.

Yep, I am going to be going back home, and staying there for at least two weeks, and probably longer. Jason and I have had a number of conversations and we both think it is time for me to take a step back to my own life again. He is getting to the point of being able to take care of many of the things on his own, and he can make many of the decisions for himself. I have spoken with the support staff at the hospital and arrangements are being made so that help will still be available for him, to make sure he gets food, and general help around the house. His transportation is going to be taken care of so that he can get to and from his appointments, as well as other running around that he wants to do from time to time. To be honest, it is going to be more difficult for me, than for him but I need to let him take the next step. If I am needed to be back, all  he has to do and call and I'll get back here. I will be coming back in October, for the 200 mile/2-day bike ride, so I am still involved (Sponsor me at: http://www.active.com/donate/eodride2012/GRoss94 ) and will be paying attention to how he is doing. Linda and I are both a bit nervous about this, but we realize it is time. Not really sure about how the blog is to continue, but I'll take it one day at a time.

Take care and stay positive, and thank you, for all your prayers and continued support. I don't think I could have gotten through this without it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012

Today was an exceptional day for Jason, where he is showing that he is becoming more in tune with his healing and his body. He is learning so much better how to deal with the different levels of pain, and he is getting better ar dealing with that pain and discomfort. Like many of the guys who go into the hospital for long term recovery, usually from some type of sever injury, he doesn't want to be on any kind of pain med, any more than he has to be. Because of the level and seriousness of his injuries he was placed on some pretty significant amounts of pain medications, and over these past several months (almost a year now), he has been cutting back on the amount of medication he is taking. Recently he stepped down to a lower dosage and he is feeling the affects, yet he is once again, learning how to deal with it. It really makes me feel proud of him, to see the determination in his face, with regard to taking control of everything. He is fully aware that he is going to need help with many things in his life, but for those that he can do on his own, such as controlling some of the meds, he is determined to be in charge.I'm not sure if that made much sense, but it is how I'm feeling right now, along with being tired.

We had dinner tonight with Bob Hammer, author and retired FBI agent. He is such a great guy to be around, because he is a Christian and a great story teller, and on top of that, he bought dinner! He wanted to go have sushi and he knows that Jason and I enjoy sushi, so it was an easy fit. Jason has gained so much dexterity in his right hand, it is like nothing happened to it, though there is still strengthening that has to be done. Tomorrow he will be going to OT at 08:00 in the morning and working on some of that strengthening. Afterward we will head over to the hyperbaric chamber, and hope it goes better than today. We were over at the UCSD Hospital by about 09:45, and that was plenty of time to get set up so we were feeling pretty good. The problem is that the chamber holds six people, and they generally don't do a dive unless all are there. Well today most of them were late so Jason just sat around for nearly an hour before the dive started. The good part is that he is getting to meet some other interesting people, and from a social standpoint it is probably good for him. I know it is kind of fun watching him interact with the different patients.

Okay, I said I would be putting the link in the blog, for those that would like to help me raise the needed funds for the bike ride - http://www.active.com/donate/eodride2012/GRoss94 
I didn't get a chance to ride today, but I do hope to get one in tomorrow - maybe another 30 miles or more. I do need to strengthen the legs and condition them, but I think the bigger issue is simply getting my bottom used to the saddle, since I'm going to be sitting on it for several hours each of those two days. Thank you, to everyone for all your spiritual and emotional support and thank you for all your prayers, and now I thank you for any of the donations you are able to help with.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012 - Half way to Christmas!

Wow, to think that a year ago we were back in Bethesda and Jason was up on the 5th floor making all kinds of progress. Most of his surgeries were over with and all the focus was on his recovery. Yeah, there were still a couple surgeries that had to be done, but for the most part the focus was on him getting more involved with the PT and OT folks. Now, here it is a year later and two of the biggest areas that he is working on is PT and OT. There are a number of other appointments that he has to contend with, though most of what needs to be done is just get him up to a strength level as well as an ability to move is hands and arms so that he can deal with his own needs, as much as he can, on his own. Jason has been recognized by so many of the different command folks, both in Bethesda as well as out here (Wounded Warrior Battalion East and West), for his attitude and how positive his out look continues to be. And, it seems that because of his attitude and out look, his recovery has been moving along much more positively, and with stunning results. I guess that is what has really made it easier for me to be able to stay with him, and know that he will get through this.

Okay, I guess I should talk a little about what happened today, I was getting a bit long winded there. Jason had two appointments at 08:00 this morning, with one of them being at the hospital and the other right here at the house. He decided to cancel the hospital appointment, since he would be able to deal with the other appointment right from his bed (the less time in the chair, the better). Well, as with many things in life, "best laid plans..." The person who was to come to the house called in sick and Jason was notified at about 08:20, which made it too late to try to get over to the hospital - I think Murphy was hiding in there somewhere. We headed off to his hyperbaric appointment and took a different route getting there. It was a much shorter route so we were happy to take advantage of it.

After the treatment we simply headed on back home and Jason just wanted to get back in bed. Sometimes the treatments take more out of him than others, and on top of that he is adjusting his meds and I think the combination of the two just took him down a couple of notches. We had lunch and then he went to bed for some needed rest. Once he got some sleep he seemed to feel better, though I could still tell he needed more rest. While he slept I went for a 30 mile ride out to Pacific Beach, by way of Sea World. I was looking to start building longer rides in, and this seemed like the right time and way to do it. He was still asleep when I got back to the house, so I just let him sleep a little longer. A few of you have asked about registering for the ride in October, and I have been told that the registration is closed. I think I just made it under the wire. My donation page will be ready by Wednesday of this week (if not sooner), and when it is I'll send the link out so that those who want to sponsor me, are able to do so.

Well, that's all for now. Thank you, for your prayers and the continued support.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012

Today was another day of just Jason and myself. We were going to attempt to get out to see Anthony Netto, and spend a little time at the beach, but that just didn't happen. Jason was just a bit too uncomfortable and he didn't feel like he was up to getting out. I believe part of the issue is that he has been cutting back on some of the pain meds and his body is still adjusting to the lower dosages. I am hopeful that it won't take too long to adjust because if it doesn't he may have to go back to a higher dosage again. He did take a shower today and he made the comment about how much better he feels after taking a shower. When I changed his dressings the wounds looked pretty good, and for the most part, the smaller of the two primary wounds looks like it might be closing up in the next couple of weeks. Perhaps I'm being an optimist, but that's what it looks like to me.

I did get a chance to get in a nice ride today, about 20 miles, and found some new places to go explore. Actually I noticed a route that will possibly take me all the way to Sea World, and that would be very cool and about 25 miles. I told Linda that I need to start working on longer rides simply to get my butt used to being in the saddle for longer periods, as well as strengthening my legs and lungs. Anyway, not much more to go over tonight, so thank you, for all the prayers and support that continues our way.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012

Today was another day of just the two of us, for the most part. We did get a chance to get over to Costco, to pick up a few things. We really can't buy too much there since it is just a small family that is being cooked for and stuff. Jason does love his Frosted Mini Wheats, so we almost invariably buy a large box of those. It is amazing how he can eat in the morning - though breakfast is the most important meal of the day (I wonder who said that first). Along with everything else we picked up a couple of nice steaks and I cooked them on the grill tonght, and they came out great. We had a nice meal, with a salad and everything. Tomorrow we will be trying to get out to the beach, with Anthony Netto, though it all has to do with how well he is feeling, so we continue to just take it one day at a time.

I think I told everyone that my son David and his wife Miriam had a baby boy, this past Wednesday, but I don't think I mentioned his name, so here it is.... (drum roll please)... Ethan James Ross. Pretty cool name if you asked me. I especially like the way it is so balanced, or at least that's the way it feels to me. A BIG Congratulation to David and his family, and especially to Dylan (there first son) who is so anxious to have his little brother home.

One other thing I did today, besides getting out for my bike ride (I found a new hill to challenge). In October is a 200 mile bike ride, and I signed up for it today. I will be looking for sponsors so I may be reaching out to some of you, if I'm close to my goal and need a little more help. I'll be putting more information in to the blog about this, since it is being done for the support of Wounded EOD Warriors, and that includes Jason. Well that's all for now, so I hope you have a great rest of the weekend. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and for all the continued support.

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

Jason started the day out with another visit to the folks at UCSD, and their hyperbaric chamber. They ran in to a small delay, so he didn't get to begin his "dive" until almost a half hour later than planned. Normally that wouldn't be much of an issue, except that today he wanted to head over to the Sports and Family Fun Day at the Naval Base. As it turned out, the treatment went smoothly and we were headed back to the base at just a little after 13:00 (1pm). The events were effectively all done so all we could participate in in the lunch. Of course that wasn't too bad, so we had a nice late lunch. We got there just a little while after Anthony Netto arrived, and he brought along a ParaMobile (aka - ParaGolfer) for Jason to use. I helped get Jason from his wheelchair into the ParaMobile and then Jason took off to go visit with some of the other guys. It was very exciting for me to see Jason getting around in his ParaMobile, and all of the guys who saw it thought it was very cool. It generated a bunch of talk, and several of the guys were very interested in finding out more about it, even those that have no injuries were asking questions. The entire event was over by 14:30 (2:30pm) and we were one of the last to get something to eat - though we weren't the last.

Jason and I got back to the house and he took a shower. With each of the hyperbaric chamber treatments he tends to sweat a great deal. He naturally sweats more than most people and the chamber seems to make him sweat even more. As a result his shirt and shorts tend to be sweaty and he is anxious to get clean and put on clean clothes. We didn't have any other visitors the rest of the day, and perhaps that was a good thing. Jason slept most of the rest of the day, until I did his antibiotics and then dinner. Shortly after that he was sleeping again, so I just let him sleep. Besides it is kind of late now anyway, and I need my beauty sleep... okay, I needs lots of beauty sleep... ;-)

Tomorrow we may get out and try to go somewhere  - Anthony invited us to the beach - but it all depends on how he is feeling. I hope to finally get some time to work on the little garden that I wanted to set up for the girls, so I am hoping they get to come over this weekend. Thank you, all for all your prayers and for all the support that continues to come our way.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

Today started early as Jason had a very early appointment at Balboa Naval Hospital and then needed to get over to the UCSD Medical Center for the hyperbaric chamber. The first appointment went a little longer than first anticipated, though we were still able to get over to UCSD in plenty of time (I think we had 10 minutes to spare... ;-)). There was both good and not so good news from the first appointment, as there is an issue about the repeated areas of pain for Jason. The not so good news is that the reason for the discomfort is that there is scar tissue build up and they can only correct it via surgery through an area that has already been grafted. The good news is that they also feel very positive about the chances of getting it corrected, he just has to wait until after the HO has been taken care of, and that might get done for another couple of months. That takes us back to the hyperbaric chamber... they're confident that it will help, but don't know how long it will take. The first series of "dives" will be for about six weeks. If things look good after that I am guessing that Bethesda won't be too long afterward. So far, Jason has proved to be very dynamic in just about everything he does so I always leave room for changes and simply say, "guessing."

Otherwise, Jason spent the rest of the day at the house and I was able to get in a short bike ride. Not really sure how far I went, but I think it was about 12 miles. I did a little more exploring and found another area that just calls out to me to go explore, and if I'd had more time I think I would have done so today. I need to start doing more bike riding and getting more miles in as I need to start getting in better shape. I found out today that there is going to be 200 mile ride in October, here in San Diego, and I'd like to participate. It will help bring awareness to the Wounded EOD Warriors, and Jason is one of those guys. I'll be getting more info on the ride either tomorrow or next week. As I do I will keep everyone posted so they can be up-to-date on all that is going on... heck, perhaps some of you would be interested in participating as well.

Jason and I had dinner with Anthony Netto tonight. He came over to visit and I invited him to stay while I grilled some burgers, and zucchini. Everything turned out great, except that I am now out of zucchini again. Anthony and I ate the zucchini, and then the three of us ate the hamburgers. I was very pleased with how it all turned out and tasted. It was very nice just talking about all kinds of interesting stuff like that recently caught alligator gar (for those that don't know, that's a freshwater fish) that was caught (well over 300 lbs. and looks to be about 10 ft long or more); then golfing and the ParaGolfer; and, of course food. Anthony had to get going and I wanted to get up to the blog, so the evening was ended.  It just felt like a very nice relaxed evening, and being able to grill some food made it that much better... Thanks, Tom and Fred.

Thank you, for all your continued support and especially for the continued prayers. Stay positive and keep smiling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20, 2012

Hello to all, and God Bless to each and everyone of you. Linda and I have been up in Los Angeles for the past few days, due to the birth of our fourth grandchild. David and Miriam are the proud parents of a new baby boy, born on June 19, 2012 at 05:25 in the morning, 7lbs 11oz. and 21 inches in length. They have not told us of his name yet, though I am aware that the hospital is pressuring them a bit to provide one. In order for them to be discharged from the hospital tomorrow the baby needs to have a Social Security Number; and, to get one of those you have to have a name. I suspect they will be letting everyone know soon enough, and for right now we are simply going to be happy with the fact that he is healthy and everyone is doing well.

Linda and I came back down this afternoon, and arrived back in San Diego at about 15:45 (3:45pm) +/- a few minutes. We went in and spoke with Jason and found him to be in very good spirits and feeling pretty good. He was surprised to see us, since Linda's flight didn't happen until a few hours later, but none-the-less it was good to see him again. He has gone to a couple more hyperbaric chamber treatments and they went well, and tomorrow we will be headed over to the hospital at Balboa for an appointment, and then over to UCSD to continue with the hyperbaric treatments.

As some of you know, I am a Giants fan and have missed not being able to attend any of their games this year. Each time we have tried to go, Jason has had some complication come up and we stay home. Well, I was able to get in touch with Sarah Farnsworth, of the San Diego Padres and she arranged to get a ball signed by Bruce Bochy to me. That was way cool, considering that it is a keepsake from a totally different team. Of course, Bruce did work with the Padres organization for 14 years, I think, and so perhaps there are still some friendly/positive feelings and that could have made it easier to obtain the ball and signature. Anyway, I am very glad to have it. Jason said that since I'm the bigger fan he wanted me to keep it. Now, if the Giants could just quit loosing to the Dodgers the world would be a better place... ;-)

Thank you, for all the support and prayers being sent our way and take the time to appreciate all that God has given and provided.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012 - Father's Day

Got up this morning and Linda made breakfast for all of us, and it was really good. We did a few things around the house and at about noon Bridgette came over to the house, from her place. We spoke briefly with Jason and decided it was a good time for us to do a little exploring around San Diego, so he and Bridgette could get a little time together. While we were out we came across Anthony Netto and Jim and they were just going to lunch, and asked us if we would like to join them, so we did. Anthony had just gotten back from Michigan, where it was working with another group, and it seems there is some interest there for the ParaGolfer, so it was a good trip for him. After lunch we called Jason and asked about what time we should plan on getting back over to the house and he said stay out until 21:00 (9pm) so we did.

Tomorrow we will be heading over to the hospital  to touch base with the medical team, and then head off to the hyperbaric chamber at UCSD Medical Center for Jason's first dive (that's what they call it). After we get back home to get Jason back to his room and bed, we will need to make ready for our trip back up to Los Angeles to go see David and Miriam, as they get ready to have their new baby. We'll (Linda and I - Sean and George are going t be flying back to the SF Bay Area tomorrow, just prior to us leaving) be staying with them for a few days, and then Linda will need to get back down to the San Diego airport to fly back home. I may be posting another post tomorrow, and then after that I'm not sure what will be happening, so don't be surprised if you don't hear from us for a few days.

Thank you, for all your prayers and continued support.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012

Okay, a bit of an update about yesterday first, since not much happened today, other than my two sons, George and Sean, flew in to celebrate Father's Day with us. Yeah, I was pretty happy about that and very glad to see them, since I don't get a chance much anymore. The beauty of it is that they flew in from two different air ports and managed to get here within 15 minutes of each other. I was able to pick them both up with one trip to the airport. Wait a minute, I'm supposed to be talking about yesterday...

The dinner with Lt. Col. Oliver North and Bob Hammer was set for 19:30 (7:30pm) with the reception starting an hour earlier. That meant Jason and I needed to leave the house no later than 16:00 (4pm), so we did, or at least pretty close to that time. What I failed to remember was that Fridays in June tend to generate more traffic and so it took longer than planned to get there; and, once we were there Jason had to have his I.V. antibiotics. We texted Bob a few times to let him know our progress and when we finally did get to the dinner (it was about 19:40, or 7:40pm) and folks were already starting to eat. Fortunately the servers were still serving. Dinner was excellent and the speakers, and awards presented were interesting, so that was very nice. It was put on by Freedom Alliance, and we sat next to Joelle Carter, of Justified. Bob Hammer and Oliver North sat at different tables, though all three were towards the front of the room. Lt Col. North came over and introduced himself to us and we chatted for a few moments, then had to sit back down because of the dinner. I was not able to get over to talk with him any more because he was mobbed by a bunch of folks and Jason needed to get back. Perhaps there will be another chance down the road.

We left the hotel, at about 23:15 (11:15pm), along with several other people trying to get out. I was anxious to get back on the road, because I "knew" it was going to be a much faster ride home, and it was for a while. We got about 3/4 of the way back when all of a sudden there was all this traffic, and it wasn't moving very much. Because of our position we could see some flashing lights way ahead, but that was about all. Traffic was kind of split, where there was a traffic break or something, so I managed to get way over to the right and made a little better progress (instead of 4mph we were going 6mph). After several minutes, I'm guessing it was about 20, we started to move a little faster (up to about 15mph) and made our way down the hill and started up the next. As we progressed we finally came upon the delay, and it was a few cars, with one of them sitting very much up an embankment, where if it had gone much farther, it would probably have flipped. Anyway we finally managed to get back home and now it was getting closer to 01:30 and we were VERY tired, especially Jason, since he had been up in his chair for so long. He didn't complain at all, though I could tell he was uncomfortable, simply by looking at him. He got back in bed and I went to mine and we both were out for the next several hours.

As for pictures, I dindn't take any... Mostly because I didn't have my camera with me. It was more of a time for Jason just to enjoy being out, and being able to socialize with other guys who were a lot like him. In fact, one of the other guests at our table, Kevin, has injuries that are close to what Jason has, though he isn't having to deal with the HO anywhere near what Jason has, and he has a complete pelvic bone. The table was good to be at, and I think Bob did an excellent job of placing us with the right people.

When I got up today, about 8:00, I felt like there was so much to be done, when in fact there really wasn't too much to do. Linda took care of a large portion of everything and that made my life much easier. We spent most of the day playing with the girls (mostly Stacy as Jackie isn't feel too good right now with cutting teeth). I grilled some burgers and zucchini and we had a great dinner. Sean even showed us a new way to cook bacon, so that we could have bacon burgers with avocado (first time for me, and it was good). We spent some family time together and then I took the boys back to their hotel and then came to catch up on a few things, including this post. We're looking forward to tomorrow, and hoping that all the fathers around can enjoy their families and kids.

Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support.

June 15, 2012

Actually, as I write this, it is June 16, since it is after midnight. We had a very busy day with being on the local news and then ending with the dinner with Oliver North and Bob Hammer. We had Tom and Fred come over to set up a little garden area for the girls and on top of that, we were provided the opportunity to meet Ralph, a gentleman who has been a big help to us these last couple of months. Linda was not able to go with us to the dinner because Jackie isn't feeling too good, and she felt she needed to stay home with her. When I called back to the house this evening, Jackie was feeling better, so it was probably good that Grandma stayed and helped her get back to feeling better.

Like I said, it is kind of late, so I'm really tired - There was a major traffic accident on the way home, so we sat on the freeway for quite awhile - I'll write more tomorrow and catch everyone up on the goings on, with the parting thought that Jason is doing well, and he was able to stay up in his chair for quite a long time tonight, and that was good. Thank you, for the continued prayers and the continued support.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14, 2012

Today was Jason's first full day at home, since leaving the hospital (for the third time) and he spent most of it in bed. Linda and I spent more time at the hospital as we both had appointments, and then there were several people who wanted to just talk with us, especially since Linda was here. I guess it is because some of them have heard me speak of her several times, and now they can finally get a chance to meet her face-to-face. We even had lunch at the galley, and they were serving enchiladas and fajitas (chicken), along with a number of other side dishes. Anyway, after the appointments and we were all done, we came back to the house. There were a number of other errands we wanted to get done, and we did do most of them, with a few left over for tomorrow. Tomorrow is also a big dinner for Jason, and Linda and I, as we are going to be headed to the Ritz Carlton to listen to and then have dinner with Oliver North. There is also going to be someone there that I have been wanting to meet, as he has provided assistance to us directly, and I've never even met the guy, so I'm anxious. He is even providing us with a room for this dinner, so that Jason will have a place to go lay down, if he should get tired or uncomfortable. My guess is we'll need to use the room

We also had a couple of visitors at the house, Monica (she's been here before) and Austin, her boyfriend. They came down to get some vacation time in, and then to also see us. I grilled some steaks and corn on the cob, and we had a very nice dinner in the backyard. They stayed until Jason had to go lay back down, and then a little later. Jason actually came back out, as they were leaving - he is such a gracious host. Once he was back down I got him hooked up with the antibiotics from the IV line and got the first one out of the way. I was originally told two weeks on those, but the shipment only contained 12 more, so I'm guessing that the two doses he received while still in the hospital. Once that was done it was real close to bed time for all of us, and we went to bed. Of course me writing this blog was done first.

Thank you, all for all the support and prayers you have sent our way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012

The day began early for us as the girls came over to the house at about 06:40, since they had not spent the night with us. They were awake and ready for the day, and we were up and also ready for the day, since we had showered and gotten dressed by the time they arrived. Linda and I took them over to their day care at around 07:15, and then headed over to see Jason. He was feeling much better and was actually kind of busy when we arrived. He was working with the staff of five west, and there were a number of members who remembered him from the last time he was there. The MRI was still to be analyzed, so that was a big thing starting out, and as it turned out, there was nothing found, so we were all very happy to hear about that. Not much else went on during his stay, other than to find out that he was in good shape and that they decided to let him go home tonight, and will be receiving antibiotics, just as he did before. He will be getting them for only two weeks this time, and that was really good news, as far as I was concerned. We went through the check out process, and when Jason did check out, there were four of us to help him get back home. Those four are, me, Linda, Stacy and Jackie. The only thing that I wish had been better was the time he was released. Originally we were told he was going to be out by 19:00 (7pm), when it turned out to be about 21:00 (9pm), and the girls were getting tired. Well, Jason is now in his own bed, as are the girls (and Linda, too). I will aslo be headed that direction in just a few minutes, after I'm done with this posting.

I have been working with Jason for just over 15 months now, and the change in him has been nothing short of remarkable. We still have some challenges ahead of us, and we're making progress. Thank you, all for all of your continued support and prayers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012

Jason had a much better day today, and the infection is going away. Initially Jason had a white blood count of about 23K (Monday early) and today it was down to about 8K. That is all in just over 24 hours. The doctors were very pleased, as was Jason (and me and Linda). He is still needing to go through a number of tests and get an update on the MRI that was completed, and then we'll know more about what has happened. He did have some visitors today, and I suspect that there will be others - I think we need to get the Red Book out again so we can capture all the names. Also, it looks like the hyperbaric chamber treatment is still going to be available, once Jason gets beyond this little set back. Linda and I went over to see him and spend some time with him this morning, and then we took off to go do a couple of things we wanted to do earlier. Actually, one of those things was to go have lunch with Huge and Julie Keener. They had come down this way for some personal business, and found some time to visit with us. We did some catching up on Livermore and then they had to take off, for the airport. We came back to the hospital later in the day and Anthony Netto was there having a nice conversation with Jason. When we finally left to go have dinner (no girls tonight) Anthony came with us and the three of us had Italian.

It was a great time for us to get to know Anthony a little better, and for him to get to know us more. I liked him before dinner, and even more after. The girls will be brought over to the house early in the morning tomorrow, about 06:30, and then spending the next few days will us completely. We would have rather they be left with us tonight, but that didn't work out, so they'll have to be gotten up early tomorrow. Otherwise, it looks like there really isn't much else to cover right now, and we'll just have to wait to see what happens with the Jason recovery show tomorrow. Thank you, for continuing to show all the support you've been giving and for all the prayer support that we have been feeling.

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012 - Back in the hospital again

I was hoping to start this post off with a little levity, and I'm sorry to say that isn't going to happen this time. Linda and I got home at about 22:15, and to be quite honest, we were tired after that 3-hour drive. We had had a great time up with David and Miriam and expected to continue to have a great week with Jason and the girls. So we went to sleep about 23:00. Apparently, right after we went to bed, Jason started experiencing some pain and discomfort. It was kind of a different pain, and he thought he could just "will" his way through it, with the help of some of the extra pain meds. The extra meds did help some, by taking the "edge" off, and he tried to get comfortable; then, he called me at just after 01:00 this morning. Since I went to bed tired, and only had a couple of hours of sleep, I didn't wake up on the first ring of the phone. In fact, I remember looking at the cell  phone and thinking, "Why is it making all that noise?" and then realized it was ringing. Jason told me he was not feeling well, and there was an elevated pain level - he needed to get to the ER. I asked him if he wanted me to call an ambulance and he said no. Actually, he was right, if we had called, by the time it had gotten to the house and they got him to the hospital, it would have been about the same amount of time that I took to get ready and drive him there. Fortunately Linda was with us, so she was able to stay with the girls, who were still sound asleep, and we would just come back as soon as we could.

We spent almost 10 hours in the ER. Jason was running a fever that was elevated enough that the medical staff was concerned. He was sweating profusely, and as such, he was drinking a lot of water. Because of his history they immediately put an IV drip on him, with fluids, to help keep him for dehydrating. This all took place in a matter of just a few minutes, and then they started to focus on his pain. They gave him enough of the IV pain med that his level came back down quickly and he was relatively comfortable. They also drew some blood so tests could be done, and then set him up for some X-rays. Once all that was done it was just a matter of waiting. Both of us were tired, only Jason was laying down and that made it a little easier for him to sleep. I was able to catch a little "cat-nap" here and there, but sleep was not a luxury for me this early morning visit. I think maybe the cat-naps totaled up to 20 minutes of some rest, and the ER (and most of the hospital) has terrible cell phone reception, so any communications was done when I was able to walk out of the ER for a few minutes and make phone calls, or text messages.

Finally, at about 10:00 this morning, we were given the message that they were going to have Jason admitted to the hospital. I was sorry to hear this, because it meant the infection was something they were concerned about, as well as the pain management; and, I was glad to hear it, because I was running on very little sleep, and I was really tired. I got Jason's chair back to the van and ultimately back to the house, while he was being entered into his room. At first I was told he was now in the original room he had, when first at Balboa, then found out it was right next to it. Actually, he had been in this room before, too. I went to the house to help Linda with the girls, and to find out how they were doing. By now I had caught that, "second wind," and was feeling a little better, so with this we headed back over to the Naval base to meet with CMDR Ledyard, who had been wanting to finally meet Linda, and Linda was wanting to meet her. It was a nice meeting, as we also had lunch while we were there. The girls thought it was great fun, and when we were done eating it was now time for them to take a nap too.  I went back to the house and in a matter of just a few minutes I was down and slept for a few hours. Linda got to take a little nap too, after she got the girls down. I was woken again by the phone ringing. Not just once, but several times so I finally got back up around 15:30. There were a number of phone calls and conversations that had to take place, and it all took up most of the day. Finally tonight we fed the girls dinner and then took them over to see Daddy, and to allow them to tell him good night.

Jason is a contact patient (again) so we had to "suit up" before going in, and though they have done it before, it seemed like it was a new experience for the girls. We stayed for a short visit and then turned around and headed back to the house. The girls got a bath (Thank you, Grandma) and then were put to bed and then Linda and I were able to relax a little, and I was able to write this blog. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and all the continued support, it is appreciated.  Jason is going to get through this (as will we), we have faith that God is directing all this for his success.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9, 2012

For those wondering what happened with the blog....

Yesterday Linda (wife/mom) came in to San Diego and we got a chance to visit with the grand kids, for a few minutes. We'd hoped to spend a little more time with them, but it didn't happen. We took off at about 18:20 (6:20pm) so that we could get up to see David, Miriam and Dylan. We've been wanting to see the two of them for several weeks now, and we have a chance so we've taken it. Jason is being taken care of and all should be okay, and besides, if there is a need they can always call me, or worst case, 9-1-1. Anyway, Friday was a relaxed day for Jason and we spent most of it at home. He was not wanting to move too much, so he didn't go to any appointments on Friday. Next week we find out about the hyperbaric chamber schedule and once that gets started we will need to figure out the rest of his schedule, though he still wants to get in as much as possible. Linda and I will be back Sunday night and then we will begin working to keep him on track for the next level of treatment that he will be getting, so it should be interesting. Take care and stay tuned for the next exciting adventure.

Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 7, 2012

Today has been a good day for Jason, and his healing regimen, as we were able to get up and have a quick breakfast, then head over to the UCSD Medical Center. They have the hyperbaric  pressure chamber, where oxygen will be give to Jason and higher pressure to help with the healing of his wounds. While in the chamber he will be breathing 100% oxygen, for 30 minute periods, separated by "rest" breaks. I don't know how long the breaks are, but I'm guessing they are at least 30 minutes also. They said that they have seen some remarkable results on different patients who had wounds that looked worse than Jason's look. Not that their injuries were worse than Jason's, just the wounds at the point of going into the chamber. We took information and pictures to show the docs, but I forgot to bring along the model. Even from the pictures they were surprised at the extent of Jason's HO. It was kind of funny, the way one of the nurses acted, when she started to put the dressings back on Jason. I started to make a suggestion on how to more easily apply the mepilex pad, and she kind of snapped at me saying, "I have 22 years of experience working with all kinds of wounds, I know what I'm doing." One of the other doctors there kind of pulled me to the side and said she was always that way. I just continued to watch how she was doing things and found that she worked twice as hard as she needed to. After the visit we came back to the house and just relaxed. Jason didn't have any other appointments for the rest of the day - and for that matter, the rest of the week. We had a couple of visitors today, Bob Hammer came by, with a nice gift for Jason, from a friend of his, Marsha. She sent a very nice picture, that is framed and we need to find the right place to hang it. I think it will end up in Jason's room, so that he can see it more often. Bob stayed for a little bit and talked with Jason and me, then he had to be on his way. Then Anthony Netto dropped by to have a nice visit with Jason also. As it turns out Anthony has moved and is now closer to us, and we might head over to see him for a little visit tomorrow, with the girls.

I am going to have to go in tomorrow, for a short visit with CMDR Ledyard, to figure out how Jason is going to continue with the other treatments and appointments, if the hyperbaric treatment is daily and at the same time as the other treatments. Perhaps we will be able to get to earlier appointments or something, but right now I just don't know. Another thing I will be letting CMDR Ledyard know is that Linda, my wife, is coming down tomorrow evening, and shortly after that we are headed up to visit with David. I've got all the coverage set for Jason, so it should be okay, and we plan to stay with David and his family, until Sunday evening, then come back to be with Jason, and the girls.

Finally, the Giants won again today, so that's two in a row, and I hope they can keep it going. It is really kind of funny to watch, but they have more errors than any other team in baseball, right now and yet they have as good a record as just about any of the other first place teams, other than the Dodgers (you could also argue the Nationals, but that's a different league). Okay, enough about sports... Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. We're about to run down a different road now, and we'll see where this one takes us.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012

Today started out as many of our mornings do, with getting breakfast ready for the girls and Jason, and then making sure everybody has the clothes they want for the day. That's where it got a little different. Jason has some compression shorts (that's what they're called because they kind of pull everything together). He wears them under his regular shorts, and he says they help greatly in making him more comfortable. Yesterday, I worked with Van (the wheelchair guy) and took apart Jason's seat, and then after a few photos, put it back together. When it was all back together Jason said that it was more comfortable, so with that, and the compression shorts it has helped to make him more comfortable. Having said that, he is still only able to stay in the chair for a few hours, and that's what the hyperbarric chamber is going to help... we hope. The getting ready this morning was also done with the idea that we were going to be having lunch with Gary Sinise. There were three appointments that Jason had to deal with, with one of them being PT, and then the luncheon. While at PT we talked with the therapist, Dawn, and asked her about obtaining more of the compression shorts, since the first ones come from PT at Bethesda. I mentioned we got them from a gentleman named Bob, and she said she knew who he was. She is going to check to see how to get some for Jason.

Anyway, the luncheon was great. Gary showed up and actually met us prior to going in to the Galley. We were able to talk with him, and as it turned out, we were able to introduce several other people to him, as they were walking by. There were also several other folks who came by, that recognized him, and the cameras kind of popped out, as well as requests for autographs, and then we finally were able to get inside to get our lunches. It was kind of humorous, the way some of the people and staff were acting, when they realized who he was. They were all using their iPhones and smart phones to take pictures of him at the salad bar or wherever he happened to be. Jason and I were just trying to get our food and make our way to the table. A special table had been set up for him, and for all the other Wounded Warriors that were having lunch with him. As it turned out, Jason was able to sit directly across from him and I was able to sit next to him. Because of the way the tables were laid out Jason was not able to maneuver in to sit next to him, and it seemed like the other guys were all afraid to sit next to him, as I was not the first person to get to the table. There were about 12 to 15 people already there. It worked out nice for the two of us. Larry was with us too, and he sat down just a little farther, at the next open space.

Tonight I picked up the girls after a nice bike ride. I would have like to have not had to pick up the girls but it was needed for me to do it. Once at home the girls were all excited to be able to sit with Grandpa and I read a couple of books to them, then I had to start dinner. I grilled some hamburgers and made some zucchini that Tom Lightner  gave me earlier today. He grows it in his garden and I love fresh zucchini. He also brought me some string beans and I'll work on them either tomorrow or Friday. I just might wait until Friday since that is when Linda gets here. Over all , the day today was very good. I'm getting to bed at a reasonable hour and should be refreshed for all the stuff going on tomorrow.

Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. This journey is far from over, though we have come a long way. Jason is here because there is something planned for him, we just don't know what it is yet. God will no doubt continue to guide us along, even down some of the paths we don't like, and still ultimately good for Jason, and his family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

June 5, 2012

Today was a busy day, for many reasons. Jason had a couple of appointments to get to; we needed to speak with Cmd Ledyard to get some supplies ordered in; today is Jason's older brother David's birthday; and, we were supposed to be going to the Padres - Giants baseball game. We got the appointments done, and even were able to meet with Van, the wheelchair guy, about working towards a new seat cushion. Actually getting that done was more difficult than you might think. For whatever reason, Jason's schedule and Van' schedule always seemed to be just a little out of sync. Dawn, from Physical Therapy,  was finally able to get both of us together, at the same time and in the same place. The supplies all came in, but unfortunately it looks like they didn't come in until just after we left the building, so we'll have to pick them up tomorrow. The Giants game was something we were looking forward to, and being able to go was being made possible as a gift from the Padres, and they even know we're Giants fans. As it turned out the Giants lost anyway, so maybe it was better that we didn't go. The reason we didn't go was simply because of all the pain spikes that Jason has been having lately, we'll need to speak with the Dermatology doctors tomorrow, since it seems directly related to what they're doing.

The pass for the vehicle, that lets us get on base, expires tomorrow, so I attempted to get a new one today. I guess I had just been lucky in the past, as I was able to go to the Pass Office and get a new one. Today I went and they were closed, and it indicated they closed at 15:30 (3:30pm), whereas before I recall going in at 16:30 (4:30pm), and even later, and they were still open. Anyway, I will go tomorrow morning, sometime, and see about getting another vehicle pass.

I'm thinking that tomorrow may end up being another day, much like today. One difference is that the girls have a doctor appointment too, so I may have to split off to take care of that, while Jason takes care of his appointments. If there is time we may drop in over at the Turn Center, and see about making another pen or maybe even something else. Anyway, tomorrow could turn into a busy day.

Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support.

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

Jason started today with a couple of bowls of Frosted Mini-Wheats. It seems to be his favorite cereal. The girls were still sleeping while we ate - I had Wheat Chex, and only one bowl. The girls got up just as we finished, and so I got them Kix to have this morning. Jason was still dealing with the pain, and he said it wasn't as bad as it has been the last couple of days, so that was good to hear. I got the girls ready and we were off to day care. As Jason got on to his chair and then into the van, his pain level went up. That one area, near the sacrum, where it has opened up again, is really giving him some problems. The good news is that on Thursday we head over to UCSD for the hyperbarrik treatment. We found out today that the treatment will probably go for several consecutive days, so the other appointments will have to be cancelled, or possibly set for later times.

We found out most of this information while we were talking with Jason's case manager, and then we also asked her to set up another appointment with the Ortho doctor to discuss his HO, and what is going to be going on with that. Dr. Pyo, his primary doctor kind of started that discussion with us, just a little earlier in the morning, as he was asking us what was going on, and what was the plan.  I still need to send off one piece of information to the coordinator at UCSD, and then it should make it a little easier to get in smoothly. The only other thing we needed to do was to pick up Jason's Rx for the pain relief and then we could head home.

Tonight, once we were all back at the house it was kind of relaxed. The girls were in bed at about 20:30 (8:30pm) and Jason was kind of sleeping in his bed. The good thing about the pain meds is that it allows for some blockage of the pain, though it also puts you to sleep. The sleep is kind of a problem since it messes with schedules and I always worry about Jason taking all his meds, at the right time. Jason has set his phone to alarm at the times he is to take his meds, and that helps, but I'm not always confident that he is going to wake up when the alarm goes of. He can be a pretty heavy sleeper. I guess I just need to trust technology more, as he hasn't missed any yet, and he always seems to wake up. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day with a more "regular" schedule of appointments. I hope it makes for a better day.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3, 2012

Not much to write about today, other than Jason did take a shower and had his dressings changed this morning. The wounds need to be looked at by the doctor, and I will make it a point to have them do that tomorrow. The strange thing about tomorrow is that he really doesn't have any scheduled appointments, other than urology is looking for him to come in sometime, in the morning. We'll take the girls over to day care, probably around 09:00, and then head over to urology, and then we go to see one of the doctors, probably dermatology, or maybe Dr. Pyo - or both. We need to renew some of his Rx anyway, so we'll stop and see Dr. Pyo one way or another.

Today Jason spent most of the day in his bed, and laid in the prone position, as that helps with the pressure on the wounds on his backside. Most of the discomfort he is experiencing is from that area, and this is about the only thing he can do to help relieve some of the pressure. I'm hoping that the hyperberic treatment is going to be useful, as he needs those wounds to close up, and the sooner the better.

Not much else to update on, so it is an early post, and thank you, for all your continued prayers and for the support.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 2, 2012

Today was like many other days, especially weekend, where we have plenty of things to do, but not sure which are the best things to do. The girls got up early, about 07:30, and were full of all kinds of energy. I did have to give Jackie a bath as there was a diaper failure last night and it was a little messy when she first got up. It really wasn't too bad, just bad enough that it required a new set of sheets and a bath. After that I fixed breakfast for all of us, and we had oatmeal. The down side was that we're out of raisins... That was okay, it was still good.

Jason was still feeling a little uncomfortable, and unfortunately he needed to have the dressings looked at and adjusted. He'll be taking another shower in the morning, and that should help out some, but because of the level of pain he has been going through these past few days I doubt that we will be going to church in the morning. We talked about it for a little today and he said that he thinks it might be better to not move around anymore than he has to, and I'm in full agreement with him.

I did take the girls out back and let Stacy ride her "bike" around and Jackie was just being Jackie. She loves to run around and just enjoy everything she sees, while Stacy loves to ride that tricycle all over, and goes just as fast as she can. Jackie went down for a nap just a little before Steve and Yolanda came by, and that was very fortunate, as it allowed me to head on over to Home Depot to pick up a couple of things. In the backyard there is a railing that comes out the back door and down the short ramp; and, at the bottom it has a metal kick-plate, that is about four inches high, and only about 1/4 inch wide. My concern is that if the girls fall on it they will seriously hurt themselves so I went out and bought some heavy tubing to cover along the top of this kick-plate, and make it less of a hazard. Steve helped me cut the tubing and make sure it fit. I also purchased some tools to trim some of the bushes and got started with that. A little later in the day Stacy was helping me water the plants with a new watering can, and she thought that was the greatest thing ever.

Tonight we had grilled chicken and hamburgers, with salad. I did the grilling while Yolanda did everything else. It has been great having them here for the past few days, and I'm sorry to say they are leaving tomorrow. They need to get back home, so they can get back to work, and back to their home. The food was very good and everyone (including Jason) sat around the new patio table and umbrella (I put the base on the umbrella, as it is now filled with sand), except for Stacy and I. We sat at the little table and had our meals there. It was great fun, even if I couldn't get my legs under the table.

All-in-all it was a nice day. It would have been better if Linda could have been here, but she won't be down until next week, and that gives me something else to look forward to. Thank you, for all your continued prayers, and for all the support we've been receiving from so many. I truly do mean it, Thank you.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012

Today was a good day, though Jason did have to deal with an elevated issue of discomfort and the occasional spike in pain. The good part is that it only comes once-in-awhile, and it really doesn't last too long, but he would really rather not have to deal with it at all. It kept him in bed for most of the day, though he was up a few times and came out to play with the girls for a little while. Linda and I bought Stacy a tricycle back at Christmas and she has only recently gotten big enough to ride it correctly. She is always wanting to go out in the backyard and ride her "bicycle." Jason was able to get out and watch her ride and it made her very happy and Jason really enjoyed being there for her. Jackie likes to get out in the backyard as well, and she also has a little scooter type rider. The rider has four wheels, so it doesn't fall over, and it is very lite weight. The challenge is to get Jackie to want to use it. Stacy is riding all over the patio and Jackie is just as happy as can be, running around and picking up leaves and things.

There were no appointments today so we didn't have to go in to the hospital. It turned into a busy day for me personally, as I started out helping Jason with a shower, and then I did a dressing change on his wounds. They are looking better, I think from the laser treatment, though there are some new areas where you can tell the skin is breaking down, so I am hoping it is just from the laser treatment. After I had the new dressings all in place he was able to get up and move around, so I got up and went for a bike ride. I wanted to ride over to the bike shop I found and pick up a couple of inner tubes (you always need to carry spares if you're going to do any serious riding) and I guess I was out and back in about an hour. Then a got a call from Anthony Netto and he invited me to come do some golf practice drives with him. The fun part was that I've never done any golfing, other than the putting I did, the last time Jason went golfing. I guess I did alright for a first timer, and Anthony was really patient with me, in giving me instructions. Jeff Harding was also at the golf course and he came down to hit a few balls as well. He also got some instruction from Anthony, and the good thing is that he doesn't have much more golfing experience than I do - that means we don't have any bad habits to unlearn. Anyway, after the golfing we went over to Jeff's business, Recycle San Diego, where he runs a green business and recycles all kinds of stuff. He told me about a need for his company, with their IT environment and phone systems and now I'm going to be doing some work for Jeff. It was truly a great time to learn how to golf. I have been wanting to get some sort of employment going and at least I know have a start.

By the time I returned to the house, Steve and Yolanda had shown up, and Larry had just left for the day. Yolanda was in the kitchen working on dinner and Steve was in the backyard with the girls. The girls have really taken to them and it has been great having them here for these few days. Unfortunately they have to get back home this weekend, and tomorrow is going to be the last full day that they will be here. Tomorrow is still kind of an unknown, depending on how Jason is feeling. We might be able to go do some sight seeing, or we may just laze around the house. Whatever it turns out to be I'm sure it will be a good day.

Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers, and thank you, for reading my blog. I know some of you have been steady and have stayed with me from early on, and I appreciate it. I also appreciate all the others who have joined along the way. I feel like it has created a giant prayer chain that has circled the globe. -God Bless you all.