Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter. Jason tried to get with the girls but they were not allowed to come see him, and only tonight did he get to talk with them on the phone. We will be so glad to get some arbitration worked out next week, and a schedule of when the girls will be staying with us vs. not. It is hard to believe that there could be someone so self centered and just plain mean, but there she is, and Jason is still being patient. He is a better man than I.

We went over to our friend, Bob Hamer's house, for Easter. Bob had invited us and a few other Wounded EOD guys and their families. We arrived at almost 13:30 (1:30pm) and then stayed most of the rest of the day, and it was a great opportunity for Jason to be around the other guys, to talk "their" talk. Because Jason was up so much today they set up an area where he could go lay down and take some of the pressure off. I was happy to see him take a little bit of a nap and feel better once he was back up.

We stayed until about 18:30 (6:30pm) and then headed back to the house. Jason took a quick shower and then I put fresh dressings on and he went to bed. Actually he is playing his video games right now, so I guess he isn't too tired. We'll be doing some cleaning and working around the house tomorrow, and I might even get some work done on the back yard. Since Jason left there have been some weeds that came out and a general cleaning is in order. I'm also going to be checking out the grill and making sure it still works. Thank you, for all the prayers and continued support. We're making progress and there are good things ahead.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Another wonderful day, sort of.. Jason went out and bought himself a new pet. Smaller than Boomer (the dog), that he had before. I haven't taken a picture of the new pet yet, but will probably do so tomorrow. That's okay because David, Jason's brother, did take a picture and is actually thinking about getting a similar pet for his son Dylan. A pet relatively easy to take care of and fun to have around. For those who just caught it, yep, David came down for a visit. Actually David left his house just as Mom was leaving Livermore. Linda stopped at David's earlier and visited for a short while with Miriam and the boys, then headed on down here, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

David joined Jason and I, as we went over to Anthony Netto's for an early dinner. He invited us over to grill some steaks and sausages, and we had a great time. We drank Squirt, as no one wanted a beer, and it was a nice cool drink. It was nice just the four of us sitting around having a great time sharing and engaging in social skills, like talking. The down part was that David had to get back on the train, so that he didn't get home too late. This meant that he would not be seeing Mom, before she arrived. That's okay, Linda and I have already talked a little and we will be heading back up to visit with them next week, probably (not sure which day yet).

Yesterday I wrote about going to Bed Bath and Beyond because of a trash can that wasn't working any more. Earlier today David and I took the SimpleHuman trash can back over to Bed Bath and Beyond and there was no trouble doing an exchange. Heck, they even through in new batteries (6 of 'em), and now there is once again a trash can in the kitchen that Jason can easily use. It is so refreshing to work with a retailer who knows how to provide true customer service, and backs their products.

Now for the not so good part of the day. Jason found out that he won't be able to see the girls this weekend, as his X is being a bit of a snot. She has been doing her best to keep the girls away from Jason, since she left Bethesda, with them. First she limited the phone contact, and now the physical contact. Jason is being very patient, and trying to be the good guy, but I don't like what is going on. For example, she says she wants to set up a meeting to discuss a schedule, with a mediator, this sounds very positive. She then sent a text today and says the meeting is cancelled, without much explanation. Jason wants the meeting to happen so he can see the girls. She seems to have forgotten that they need to be around him, too and she seems to forget that they are both of their children, not just hers. Jason has been doing really well over these past several weeks, with the healing, and now this extra stress is not good. My take is that she is going to use the fact that she has had the girls all this time so she can get more money from Jason. As Jason says, it seems she is all about the money, and that she is terrible handling it.

Thank you, all for all the support and prayers being sent our way - May you all have a blessed and Happy Easter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Really good day today. The weather was quite nice and sunny, and traffic wasn't bad anywhere we went. Jason had an appointment at about 10:00 this morning and when we go there we were told that we would have to wait a few minutes because new forms had to be filled out. That was about the extent of all the bad things that happened. Those forms took Jason about 15 - 20 minutes to complete and then he was taken in to get ready to meet with the Plastics Dr. (Dr. Salt). I am impressed with the doctor and found that he was very approachable and open.

We discussed why Jason went back to Bethesda, and why he was now back in Balboa. Neither Jason or I held anything back and let him know exactly why decisions were made, for both directions of travel. He was probably the best doctor Jason could have come across for needs to happen for Jason, so I'm glad God led us to this meeting place at this time. Today is the beginning of a 96 break for the military (that means they get 96 hours of time off, or effectively 4 days). The appointment wasn't supposed to have happened today; the doctor wasn't supposed to be here today; and Jason's records are still not completely transferred back to Balboa. Even with all that we managed to have a very productive conversation as well as get a good positive feeling about what was going to be happening, going forward.

Along with everything else from that visit, it looks like Jason is going to be getting his appointment schedule set up Tuesday, next week, and that will open the way for making the needed progress. We left the medical office and headed out and decided to stop and see some of the folks we knew from OT. Lynn was there and we came in and she was really happy to see us, as were all the others that remembered us. I actually felt a little bad about the patient she was working with as she kind of just jumped up and came over to give Jason a really big hug and then one for me. We talked for a few minutes and then we were on our way again. That patient didn't seem to be bothered that the incident happened, so I hope he was okay with it.

Afterward we went over to Bed Bath and Beyond to talk to them about a SimpleHuman trash can. Jason had purchased the trash can about 10 or 11 months ago, because it has a sensor that opens the lid when you waive your hand or anything over it. It no longer works and I wanted to talk to them about what options we had for fixing it. I showed the clerk the unit we had and she simply said bring it back in and we'll exchange it for you. I said, "But we've had it since last year." She said it doesn't matter, if it isn't working we can bring it back in and they'll exchange it for another unit. She was very friendly and helpful and we came out with a better answer than I expected. Like I said earlier, a really good day.

We had pork chops and broccoli for dinner and just kicked back the rest of the day. I did get a chance to talk with Linda tonight, as she is getting ready to head down here tomorrow. She will be stopping at David's and Miriam's house, in L.A., to visit with them and our other grand kids, so she may not get here until Sunday. I am okay with that because I don't want her driving more than she is comfortable doing. If she is tired I'd rather she stop to rest and come in the next day. On top of that she'll be picking up my bike and I can get back to doing some riding again. This is going to be a really good Easter weekend for us, after all. Thank you, for all all the continued prayers and support.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

We actually had a pretty productive day, even if it was basically over by noon/noon-thirty. Jason had to take care of an early morning meeting with the Wounded Warrior Battalion, and it was good to get with the Marines that he is a part of, once again. We met the CO and the First Sergeant, and it was all very good. After that we went around a couple of places at the hospital and took care of an appointment; setting up of more appointments; and, just taking a few minutes to see some of the folks we hadn't seen in several months.

It was good to get a chance to speak with some of them, and there were several. The down side was that it almost made him late for his off campus appointment. He is attempting to workout an arrangement to have a regular sharing of the time with the girls and it seems like it is not as easy as one might think to put together a schedule. At this point he simply wants to have equal time with the girls, so that they can get to know him better, especially since he is healing up pretty well, and it won't be too long before he is able to get out and do more things. Not sure what Easter is going to bring, as far as time with the girls, but it does look like they should have the schedule set sometime next week.

Linda will be here on Saturday, though it will probably be later in the day. She will be leaving Livermore and driving down with the truck and a bunch of stuff that I need, including my bike. To get the bike she will have to stop at Davids, and that means she will be spending some time with the boys. As long as she gets here before it gets too late, that's all I want to see, I don't like when she drives after dark, and neither does she. She has a GPS, and is familiar with the area, so I'm not too worried, but it will be better once she gets here.

Tomorrow Jason has an appointment at about 10:00, and then the Easter Weekend begins. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support and take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Jason and I spent the morning, and into the afternoon, taking care of some of the pressing issues, such as the vehicle registration, and getting the mail package deliveries corrected. The registration late fees were all but completely waived, so that was good. Apparently there was a parking ticket given to the truck (expired registration) as it was sitting in front of the house. Actually, it was just a little ways down the street from the house, yet close enough that it could be watched. I need to get back to Livermore to take care of that ticket, as the DMV is unable to collect the funds and act as the agent. What happened was that when we started, the clerk brought up the information and it showed the ticket, and it matched a copy that Jason had received in the mail, yesterday. When we paid the registration for the truck the ticket disappeared and as a result the DMV can no longer collect on it - I have to go to Livermore to get it taken care of.

After spending a little over an hour at the DMV we headed over to the Post Office, where I expressed the registration up to Linda, and they said she should receive it tomorrow. We also wanted to see about the packages we had sent "home" from Bethesda, and found out that we needed to go to a different Post Office. It was about a block down the street; they don't do package pickup at the Post Office we were in. When we finally got to the right place, they said they would be happy to deliver it, so we set up a date/time and the boxes should arrive on Friday at about 14:00 (2pm).  The guys at the package office were very friendly and eager to help, so it was actually very pleasant.

Finally, Jason wanted to head over to Best Buy to pick up a couple of things, and I had found that my GPS had been damaged on the trip home from Bethesda. I figured it was a lost cause and wanted to find out if the glass could be replaced. When I took it in the guy behind the counter found out that there was still warranty on it (I had forgotten I purchased the extended when I bought it originally) so he said they would be able to replace it, no charge. The day was getting better as we went along. That was pretty much the end of our travels for today. Thank you, for all your prayers and continued support.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jason and I made it all the way down to San Diego today, and we're happy about being here. When we arrived we found that there were a number of things we need to focus on, and that despite the change of address that was submitted, there was a pile of mail waiting some of it kind of important, and probably going to cost a few dollars to correct. (i.e. $500 to get the truck registered because the registration sat here for about six months and picked up late fees). We don't have to be back at the hospital until Thursday, so that gives us a day, tomorrow, to take care of a few things, and that it very much needed. Linda will be down this weekend, and that is something else that is very much needed, and I'll be a lot happier.

The ride from Travis was relatively uneventful, and Jason slept most of the way. I got a few good pictures of Jason in the plane and will have them posted tomorrow. I also got a few good shots from the cockpit, as I was invited to ride up with the pilots. The seats up on the flight deck are much more comfortable, and it was kind of fun listening to them talk about stuff the entire trip down. I was on the flight deck from take off to landing, and they had no problems with me taking pictures out the windows. They have a much better perspective of the ground below, than a typical passenger window seat.

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

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not sure if/when I'll be able to provide another update tonight, so I wanted to let everyone know that we are SUPPOSED to be leaving out of the hospital, tonight at about 17:30 (5:30pm). Other than that I really don't have much more information. I need to finish checking out of the Fisher House (they have been wonderfully flexible with my non-schedule), and then I need to get back over to the hospital to do Jason's dressing change. One of the positives for today is that the antibiotic treatment he has been on is ending today, one way or another, so we don't have to worry about it any further. I'm hoping that our next stop is San Diego, but no confirmation on that yet. Take care and stay positive and thank you, all for all your continued prayers and support.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We are not sure what is going on right now, with the medevac flight. All we know is that we are still here in Washington, and there is no update on any travel. First thing tomorrow I will be over trying to get some answers about what is to be done, and when. Not sure if I'll get any answers, but I'll be asking the questions of any and everyone who will sit still long enough to be asked. I have been doing just about everything, as far as the care of Jason, though the hospital staff still does bring in his water and food, and they do check his vital signs from time to time. I change the dressings; I changed the bed linen; and I spend the time with him in his room. On the bright side, I'm seeing significant progress with the healing of the wounds, and I am very pleased with the progress of one particular area that seemed to not move for the longest time.

We watched From Paris With Love, with John Travolta, and I have to admit that it was better than I thought it was going to be. It was good particularly since we had a great deal of time to kill. They didn't bring me any food this time, so I walked back and forth from the Fisher House, and it was good since the weather is okay and I enjoy the walk. I just wish there was something Jason and I could do, together, so that he isn't just sitting in his bed the entire time. The hospital is all but closed on weekends, so there is no where to go. I mentioned the weather was okay, but it is still not that good that Jason would want to be outside for very long. Stay tuned for the continued saga of flying out of Washington, and the next exciting adventure - Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, and take care and stay positive.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Jason and I are still up in the Seattle/Tacoma, Washington area. The plane that was to take us down to Travis never made it out of Europe. Apparently there was something that happened (they told us "bird strike" but I don't think we'll ever know for sure), and it prevented the plane from taking off. I was disappointed that there was no back up air craft, or that another one wasn't made ready in an hour or two. To cancel the flight completely just seemed a bit over the top to me. Then again, we're really anxious to get back down to San Diego. We both have things we need to take care of, and these extra delays are really causing us some concern. We would both really like to see the girls, and see how they are. Jason told me they were sick right now, so maybe it would be better to minimize the interface, but I know he wants to see them.

I was completely packed and ready to go, even had the room readied with the sheets off the bed. I ended up just tossing them into the washer, with my few whites and did a load. I might have to do a load of darks if we hang around much longer. On the positive side, the nurses showed a level of thinking that has been kind of lacking, since we've been here, and actually provided me with a tray for lunch and for dinner. Otherwise I would have had to come back to the Fisher House to prepare some food. I know it isn't a big thing, but I'm getting to the point where even little things are starting to bother me. For example, some of the supplies that Jason uses daily are not standard items for the hospital. Fortunately I packed a bunch and brought it with us. Today I had to get somebody to let me get to our stored luggage, so that I could get some of those supplies. I had to wait almost 90 minutes to find someone with a key, in the mean time Jason was waiting.

I walked to and from the hospital, and I'm thinking that is a good thing. It allowed me to "walk-off" some of the stress I've been feeling. Jason and I talked about a few things that are going through his head, and some of the stuff he wants to get done, and then we watched a movie - Percy Jackson, Lighting Thief - or something like that. It was one of those movies where you really didn't have to think to hard, and it was just want I needed. Tomorrow I am looking for an update on our travel, but so far the updates have kind of left us asking questions. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support - Take care and stay positive.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Today was another day that started one way and ended a little different from what I expected. We are still leaving tomorrow, though not until tomorrow late afternoon (sometime after 15:30, or 3:30 pm). I thought I was going to be just sleeping in Jason's room, but because of the later departure I can spend another night sleeping at the Fisher House. The House is close enough to the hospital that I can walk, or I can take the shuttle if the weather isn't too friendly. We won't be getting all the way down to San Diego, tomorrow, and will be spending the night at Travis AFB, just a short way out of Sacramento, CA (actually closer to Vacaville, for those that want to be more specific). We will leave on Sunday, for San Diego, and arrive there at some undetermined time, but I'm hoping for a late morning arrival.

One of the other things I found out today was that Jason's visitors, the base commander, and vice commander, and chief of medical services don't frequent the hospital patients very often (according to one of the nurses), and for all three to make it a point to visit Jason was rather impressive to them. Jason and I didn't think too much about it, until the nurse said something to us. My guess is that they got wind of the Marine who had these amazing injuries and was still in good enough shape to travel around the country. They just had to see who this guy way. Jason and I just sort of chuckled about it.

I'll be leaving the Fisher House tomorrow, at a little after noon, and getting out of here is going to be easier than when leaving from Bethesda or Balboa. Here all I need to do is to make sure all the trash in the room is taken care of and that the linens or pulled from the bed and put in a pile on the floor. At the others we would have had to wash all the linens and fold them up. I guess part of that reason is that the Fisher House here only has the one washer and dryer so to ask people to launder their stuff probably isn't too practical. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support and take care and stay positive.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The good thing about today was that it brought us one day closer to Saturday, and it looks a little more like we are, in fact, going to leave on Saturday. The Air Force has asked some information about Jason's wheelchair, and how it is powered, and I took that as a good sign, since it wasn't asked the previous Monday or Tuesday, when we thought we were leaving on Wednesday. Jason and I talked, and I will check out of the Fisher House tomorrow evening, if I know we are leaving on Saturday, and spend the evening in Jason's room. Of course there are things that could happen that might change this, but for now that is our plan, and I'm sticking to it.

Over the past few days the Infectious Disease team has been testing and checking Jason for any kind of "bug" they don't want to let get started. What they determined was that he could go out and visit the other areas of the hospital and so we have been going down to the cafeteria for lunch, over these past two days. Today, however, after we got back (actually about 2 hours after we returned from lunch), one of the nurses came in and stated that Jason was not to go down to the cafeteria again, because it had too many other people there, and they don't Jason to be around crowds. Obviously, we asked why, and they said that because Jason has MRSA (methicillin-resistantStaphylococcus aureus), and they don't want an outbreak to happen. Jason is on a program of multiple antibiotics, and he has even been taken off the IV drip, so there really isn't much to worry about. We can still go out and run around the hospital and around the grounds, if that's what we would like to do, but we can't be around the cafeteria.

Not much else happened today, other than his regular dressing change, and the wounds are still showing some progress, though I would have rather he had spent this time in Bethesda, with the treatment of all the right equipment. I have been doing the basics and keeping the dressings clean, but I don't have the use of the Mister or UV light, and he is not getting the showers he would normally be getting. I think he will want one tomorrow, but that is such an effort that he might just decide to wait, we'll see tomorrow. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

We didn't have much of an exciting day today, as it started out raining, but then a little later in the day it rained even harder. Finally, after a few hours it started to let up some, but didn't stop, and then finally after most of the day was over it was down to a drizzle. That's about when I walked back to the Fisher House, from the Hospital. That's right, I am now in the Fisher House, and it is within walking distance of the hospital. It is about 3/4 mile away, but that really isn't too bad, as long as it isn't raining too much. The room is as nice as the hotel, maybe even a little nicer, and I have the rest of the "house" to use, if I feel like going out and just sitting down for awhile. Best of all, there is a laundry room where I did my laundry, and they have all the needed detergent already here. Actually, that was one of my concerns, that I was going to have to unpack more clothes, but now I don't have to.

Jason took a shower today, and he felt very good afterward. There was a serious challenge for him to be able to get into the shower, but once we made it past that point (and then having to get back out again) it was much better for him. I went over the dressing changes with the Wound Care Nurse, and she gave us her ideas about how the wounds should be dealt with, and those ideas were somewhat different from what we have been doing at Bethesda and Balboa. I will take her comments and see what might be incorporated, but considering that what we're doing is working, I don't think I want to make too many changes right now.

After Jason was showered and dressed, he said he wanted to head on down to the hospital cafeteria for lunch. Their cafeteria is much smaller than either Bethesda or Balboa, but the food is okay (the vegetables are consistently over cooked, but it is cafeteria style), and it tastes better than what he has been getting in his room. We wondered about the hospital for a couple of hours, and stopped in on the OT and PT areas, just to see what they had, and to see if there was anything Jason might take advantage of. As stated in previous posts, they are not set up for injuries such as Jason's, so even though their facilities are nice, it isn't something that Jason will be going back to visit.

I had dinner at the Fisher House, tonight, where I had a couple of pulled pork sandwiches with fruit, and it was adequate for me, for tonight... and it was free. I plan on getting over to the hospital about the same time tomorrow, and then perhaps Jason and I will head down to have breakfast down stairs - depending on how he is feeling.Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support, and take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wow! There have been more than 600 posts now to this blog, and I just noticed it today. One of these days I plan on going back over all these posts and seeing if I can actually put together a book of some sort, but that is way down the line from now. Anyway, on to today's entry...

I got up and going a little earlier today, than yesterday, and I stayed a little later than I did yesterday. I might do the same again tomorrow. Oh, wait, some of you are thinking, "Hey, they're supposed to be traveling tomorrow, and heading back down to California, ultimately San Diego." And, you'd be right in thinking that. We are SUPPOSED to be headed down, but due to a scheduling issue, it was decided that Jason and I will be here at least until Saturday. The problem arose from the fact that there were four patients scheduled to get on the plane and fly down. Three of them were not ready/able to do so, so Jason and I are stuck here for another few days. Neither of us are happy about it, and we're looking into other options that might allow us to still get down sooner.

The folks here are all eager to help us, and they are doing their best to provide the needed care, but the truth is that this hospital is not set up for amputee support, and Jason needs other care, than what they can provide. We have people on both coasts working to come up with a solution, as they don't like the idea of Jason being here any more than we do, or at least that's how they sounded when contacted today. On top of that, I am currently staying at an on-base hotel/Inn, and it is nice but it is too far from the hospital for my needs, and I am having to pay for it, out of pocket, and will be reimbursed later. I have been told that they are going to attempt to get me into the Fisher House tomorrow, so that will help. It is right across the street from the hospital, and it has all the facilities I need (assuming that it is like the Fisher Houses I've seen in the past).

One of the issues that Jason has been dealing with is that the room he is in (and the floor for that matter) does not have internet access, for the patients. We felt that since we were to be leaving on Wednesday it wasn't something we needed to fight about. Today we fought about it... Jason now has internet access in his room, and he is the only one on the floor to have it. Another challenge was being able to get up and out, so tomorrow we will be going for a stroll around the grounds, for at least a little bit, and then try to use their shower facilities (again, modified today for Jason).

Late yesterday, we got news that Army Sgt Derek McConnel passed away, and it was kind of a shocker for Jason, as we just spoke with him on Friday, in the hospital. He was up and around with his fiance' and neither of us suspected anything was wrong. He made a point of coming over to talk with Jason and to tell him that Jason was one of the first guys to come visit him, and that Jason was his inspiration for fighting so hard. He had been at Bethesda/Walter Reed for about 18 months. God has received another of his warriors.
So, tonight I ask that you all say an extra prayer for his family and loved ones, and thank you for continuing to support us along the journey... God Bless.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Today I learned a great deal about the difference of how the Navy runs their operations and how the Army runs their operations. There are some challenges associated with both, and both have areas where improvements can be made. Having said that, the Navy support operations is far superior to that of the Army. The medical staff and doctors here seem to be focused and ready to provide the level of support and service that I would expect, so I have not problems with that. I will even go so far as to say that they are on a par with what we've seen at Bethesda and Balboa. However, the other support operations, such as the so called shuttle service, really sucks big time, and the hospital food staff can't seem to get Jason's meal requests right. He fills out a menu in the morning for the next day and so far they have not gotten any of his meals correct. Today I went down to their cafeteria and purchased what he wanted and that was his lunch. It is really amazing how simple a task it is, and yet it can't be accomplished.

I was told that the shuttle leaving the hospital to head back to the hotel would be leaving at 15:20, or 3:20 pm. Because of this, I made it a point to be out at the pick up point at 15:15. I figured I could wait around for 5 minutes, and it gave me a little time in case I needed to have a cushion. There were a couple of other people standing there, so I asked one of them if the shuttle had come by and they both said it not only came by, it had already left. I again checked my time and it still wasn't 15:20. Another van came by, and offered a lift, but he wasn't going to the hotel, and could get us (there were two passengers now) within a block of the hotel. That was close enough for me, as it had turned into a nice day (it was raining all morning). Just as we were getting off the van, the shuttle showed up and so I went and spoke with him and asked him if he was the shuttle that was to have picked up at the hospital at 15:20. He said he was, and that he had showed up and didn't see anyone there so he left. Apparently he doesn't follow a schedule. I guess I wasn't too friendly with him, but I was civil in my language. I let him know that his professionalism was in question and that the schedule was there for a purpose. I will be speaking with management tomorrow, after I get their phone number.

Jason and I are still on the travel list for Wednesday, though we still seem to be unable to obtain information on WHEN we will be leaving. I have asked a number of folks to do their best to find out and let us know tomorrow, but my fear is that we're going to be given a very short notice. I will be getting over there early in the morning, and making sure he has his breakfast, and we'll start the day off that way. That is about all for now, so take care and stay positive. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Today was a lay around and do nothing much kinda day. I went over to see Jason early this morning, as he needed his dressings changed, and as it stands, right now, the good people in the hospital don't have the needed supplies to get the job done. Jason called me early and asked me to bring some things over, so I called a taxi (no shuttle service on weekends) and headed over. Unfortunately, the hospital and the hotel that I am staying at are about 3 miles apart, and that is a little farther than I'd care to walk, especially with it raining, and me having a cold (yes, I seem to have caught a cold).

After the dressings were taken care of I spoke with the Charge Nurse and another RN and identified what it is they need to have ready by tomorrow. They seemed pretty confident that they would be able to address the needs. The folks there are very much wanting to do whatever it takes to make Jason's stay a good one, and for them this is an opportunity to work with a patient they have never seen the likes of. We will be here until Wednesday, or at least that is what we were told is the next available flight, so I have a couple of days to get rid of the cold and Jason and enjoy the view from his window. He is up on the 6th floor and has a great view of the mountain range, and it is really nice.

I spent a good part of the day going through my email, and FaceBook communications, and also watching the History Channel. I need to get up early in the morning, so I will be taking some NyQuil and doing my best to sleep through the night. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and for all the support. Take care and stay positive.
Since there was no post last night, I figured I'd at least put a quick note to everyone...

Jason and I are up in Fort Lewis, Washington right now, as the flight we were on was diverted. We were supposed to get over to Whidbey Island and then head on down to Travis, but Jason spiked a high fever on the flight and so we are now at an Army Hospital, Madigan Medical Center. They primarily deal with PTSD and gun shot type injuries, so they were actually kind of excited to see Jason... something different.

We were here for about two hours when they determined that Jason was still okay to travel, but the plane had finished refueling and was well on its way to the island. Because of that, we are going to be here for a few days,  and the next available flight is Wednesday. This time Jason will be traveling in-patient to in-patient, instead of out-patient.

Anyway, Happy St. Patty's Day, and I need to get over to see Jason. I have to call a taxi in order to get there. Housing isn't as good at the Naval bases... ;-) Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Just a quick post and then I need to get to bed.

Jason and I found out that we are to leave Bethesda at 05:30 tomorrow, or at least be at the ER so that we can leave. We finished up a few last minute issues and items and then went to dinner with SSgt Tim Brown and his mom Barbara. We have been with them for more time than anyone else, and so we know each other's story probably better than most.

As I said, Jason and I will be heading to the ER at a little before 05:30 so I need to get some sleep and then I'll be getting up at about 04:00. I have arranged for a vehicle to help us get our stuff to the ER area so I won't be too bad. What I'm concerned about is what few things we leave behind that will still need to be shipped back to San Diego - like his specialized bed. Couldn't ship it earlier because he was using it, now we have to depend on others to get it done.

There won't be another entry for the blog for a couple of days, or until we get back to San Diego and at least a little unpacked. Take care and stay positive, and keep those prayers coming in. Thank you.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Well we're still here in Bethesda and still no travel set up yet. What we do know is that our names are on the list for the next flight out, whenever that might be. My guess is that we will here for tomorrow and then about noon o'clock we'll be notified that we're leaving early Saturday morning...FINALLY! Of course it could also be delayed until Monday, next week, but we won't go there.

Tonight Jason and I decided to head out to dinner, and fast food was not an option. We ended up going to The Cheese Cake Factory, as Jason had never been there before. It was actually kind of a last minute selection, since we were already at the mall, and there it was. We had a nice dinner and got a chance to talk about whatever we wanted to talk about and then we went off to the movies (er go the late blog post) and saw the Great and Powerful OZ. It was an entertaining movie, but I could have waited for the DVD to come out. I didn't think there was too much that had to be seen on the wide screen. As for the theater itself - it had "seating" for Jason in two locations, real close or in the back. We chose the back.

Now we're back at the apartment and both ready to go to bed... actually he's already in bed and I'm about to get there. Thank you, for all your continued support and prayers.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jason and I spent the day finishing up on the sign out requirements, and that did take a few hours to accomplish - and it is accomplished. We also took a couple pictures, in frames, down to be packaged up and shipped back to the house, so all we have left to do is finish packing up our stuff in the room  and then we'll be on our way. Actually I have my bags just about packed, and much of Jason's stuff in his bags, so that the final packing won't take more than maybe an hour or so, and that's if I take my time.

It is really kind of strange about just waiting, but there is only the medevac flight arrangements to be set and we can go. We even had lunch with the EOD Warrior Foundation (used to be Wounded EOD Warriors but they merged with another group and they now have the new name) and it was good getting a chance to at least say good bye to Sherri and the rest. There is a care giver meeting tomorrow (it used to be called the NMA meeting, but that changed recently, too), and I might go to that. I guess about the most important thing we can do now is to make sure our phones stay charged so that we don't miss any calls. Of course, with the buildings around here we can sometimes miss a call and not even know it. I can't tell you how many times I've called my vmail and heard that I have multiple messages waiting, kind of frustrating.

For dinner tonight I just made chicken noodle soup and tuna-melt sandwiches. Actually it was pretty good, and we were able to finish off our tuna, butter, and chicken noodle soup. We still have a little bit of food left, so we can still eat something tomorrow, but after that we'll have to be on the plane or start chewing on the furniture... either that or go out somewhere... ;-) We just don't want to have a bunch of food left when we leave as when most people do leave they put their left over food out on a table in the lobby, and it sits there for a couple of days, then I guess either people take it or it gets tossed. I don't like the idea of buying something just so it can be tossed out.

Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure, here in Bethesda, of how Jason and George manage to actually get home. Thank you, for all your continued prayers and support.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today was one of those days that feel good, because you feel like you got things done, but it was also kind of rough, in that both of us went most of the day without eating. Not sure why, but we were both very tired when we finally got to bed last night, and as a result we both woke up a bit later than either of us had planned. Jason had an early appointment (09:00) so we really didn't have time to have breakfast. There is no dry cereal in the place, and there wasn't time to cook up some oatmeal (like was planned). As the day got going it turned into one meeting after another and then we had to get back over to building 62 to go see the Gunny. He had a sign off sheet for us, and then Ms Willett came by with an update. Before we knew it, it was almost 14:00 (2pm) and we were both getting hungry, and we needed to get back over to the hospital to turn in some of Jason's equipment.

As it turned out, I did have some time to throw something together for Jason and I to at least eat something, and then we needed to take care of a few more issues. One of the things that has been stumping the guys up stairs is how to get Jason's bed shipped back to San Diego, so I contacted the store, Healthy Back, where his bed was purchased, and asked them if they had an extra box we could use for shipping. They were very helpful and all that needs to be done is simply go down and pick up a box, that they will be holding for us. I guess it is actually two boxes, but bottom line is that it will make the shipping a bunch easier for everyone.

Jason fell asleep a little while after all the excitement, and I wasn't surprised at all, with all the running around that we had to do. It was almost 19:00 (7pm) when I went out to go pick up a couple of sandwiches for dinner. I went to one of the local delis and the sandwiches were pretty good. Fortunately they were big enough that we didn't need anything else. Tomorrow I will do my last load of clothes (I broke down and purchased some detergent) and finish up most of the packing. I told Jason that we are only going to have a couple of days worth of clothes and the rest will be packed. When it is time to go the dirty clothes will just have to travel in a plastic bag.

I'm going to get to bed a little earlier tonight, so I don't over sleep again, and just have to wait for notice that we're going to be leaving soon. The Rideaway folks will be coming to pick up the van, so I don't have to worry about getting that back, and otherwise we'll be ready. Thank you, for all the continued support and all the prayers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

No official appointments today, though we did head over to the folks at OT/PT and spent some time there. We also said our good-byes to some of the people, as we are not sure if we'll be around to say it later. After that we went over to Wound Care and had the dressings changed, and again, said good bye to the folks there. Then we went to get our hair cut... and I mean our. Both of us were getting our hair cuts right next to each other, and I think this is the first time this has happened. As you can see from the postings, we got a couple of pictures taken and it was kind of fun. The barbers were enjoying it as well.

We're almost out of food, so tonight we had Taco Bell, though I still have some Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat for breakfasts, but only a couple. Tomorrow is going to be spent packing up a bunch of the stuff, though not all of it. I need to do a load of laundry or two, and then that will be the last of that, I think. If we are able to we might be able to get out to go see our friend Shauna do a dance performance, but right now we simply don't know.

All of the packed boxes were shipped out today, and it was a bit more pricey than I thought it would be. I guess I should have just sent them parcel post and let them get there when they did, but we also wanted to be sure we had the stuff, since most of it is being used, or is gifts for the girls. If there isn't a post tomorrow, or maybe the next day, assume it is because we're traveling, and I wasn't able to get it done, though I think I should be able to get something in... Stay tuned for the continuing excitement. Thank you, all for your continued prayers and all the support.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Today was a good and laid back day for Jason and I. We were invited to the VFW for breakfast, and it was quite good. I had walked out to the front of building 62 when I was stopped by one of the VFW members and he asked if we would like breakfast. Since I had not fixed anything yet I said I would go check to see if Jason was up to getting out for a little while. I went back out and let him know, and also told him it was going to take a little time before we could leave, since I needed to change his dressings first. He was okay with that and so we were on our way a short while later.

We got back to the room and Jason got back to the bed and pretty much stayed there the rest of the day. I, on the other hand had an exciting day of going to the grocery store and picking up some apples. Since we were getting low on food, and I had a bad case of the munchies (happens sometimes), I wanted to get some snack food that was at least a little healthier. I bought apples, and I think they'll last us through the rest of the time here. I must confess, I also bought some pretzels and orange juice, so it wasn't ALL healthy.

I fixed the rest of the lasagna for dinner, and so tomorrow we'll need to be creative with what we have left. The one thing I should have picked up at the store was bread, so we could have made sandwiches, but alas, I didn't... we'll survive. Tomorrow we hope to find out when we will be heading back to San Diego, so it is a big day for us. All the boxes are packed and taped up now, and tomorrow we'll be taking them down to get them shipped out. It is hoped that we will arrive before the boxes do, if not we'll probably have to chase them down or simply go pick them up at the Post Office. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and all the support.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kind of a laid back day here, with about the only thing that Jason did was to take a shower and I changed his wound dressings. Most of the wounds are looking good, and it has changed in that we used to tell him to stay in the prone position (laying face down) as much as he can, and now we need to tell him that he can lay on his back as much as he wants. The challenge is that he sometimes enjoys being in the prone position, and that actually irritates one of the wound areas. Sometimes if feels like we're a dog chasing our tail and it just keeps getting away from us.

Meals were cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and lasagna for dinner - its the same lasagna that Laura brought over a couple of days ago, and its still very good. I think we can get one more meal out of it... But then, I like lasagna (just call me Garfield). About the only other thing that was accomplished was that I finished packing up some things and all the boxes are now sealed and just about ready to go. Still need to put the addresses on them, then they'll be ready.

Tomorrow will be another relaxed day as we don't have a great deal to do. I am planning to clean up a bit, and that should take me all of 30 minutes, and possibly do a load of clothes. With me going to the gym more frequently the darks build up faster, and there is almost load ready now... I think. Take care and stay positive, and thank you, for all the continued support and all the prayers coming our way.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some packing has been accomplished, and tomorrow we'll probably get some things shipped off. Fortunately Semper Fi Fund is going to help us with the shipping of those boxes, and the rest of this stuff is simply going to be going with us when we return to California. No, we haven't been given a specific date yet, for our return, but were told it could be a matter of just a couple of days, or maybe a week - I'm pulling for a couple of days... ;-)

Today was good for Jason, as he had only a few appointments - one of them really surprised me, in that he was finally getting his flu shot, but that's okay, at least he has it now. We went to Wound Care and they were very pleased with how things have been going. I guess I must be doing something right since they were very pleased with the progress.

We did get to go out for dinner tonight, as guests of the New Zealand Embassy. We had a great time, and a great meal. They really know how to host the Wounded Warriors and their respective support people. For the most part that support is the Warrior's wife, and in Jason's case, just like a few others, it is their parent. I got a chance to catch up with the former Admiral of the Naval Hospital, and his wife, and it actually felt pretty good just talking with them. They remembered me, and that made it so much easier.

Not much else going on right now, and this weekend Jason and I will be looking to take care of a couple of little things (mostly identifying what we can pack and then getting the stuff shipped out). He will make attempts at connecting with his daughters, but that seems to be a difficult issue this past week, for some reason - and it isn't at this end. He actually called their Child Development Center (CDC) just so he could get a chance to speak with Stacy. They talked longer today than any of the previous times he talks to her when she is at home. I guess not having the TV on, or other distractions for Stacy, make it better to focus on the conversation. Jason was much happier after the conversation.

That's about it for now, so I'll sign off until tomorrow.. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good day for us, today. We were able to get some information for our travel plans, and it looks like things are really starting to come together. We have begun our "final" packing of boxes, and will probably be packing of the clothes over the next couple of days. I guess what I'm saying is that the departure date could be as soon as, in a couple of days, or maybe as much as a week, either way it feels like it isn't going to be too much longer.

Laura K. came by for a short visit, and she brought us a very nice "gift." she brought Lasagna and a couple of salads, and a nice soup (Crab bisque) and some bread. It could possibly be enough food to hold us until we leave. Of course we are also going to be going to dinner tomorrow at the New Zealand embassy, so that is going to help as well.

Tomorrow, Jason has one appointment, and that is for Wound Care, and I believe it may be the last appointment he has, while at Bethesda. I could be wrong, but I can dream... ;-) Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support, and remember to stay positive.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Well, we're back in the apartment, and Jason is feeling fine. It was an interesting journey that left a few questions dangling out there. When in the ER, they stated that there was an indication of infection AND he had an elevated white blood cell count. Today, they say there is no indication of any infection and that the blood is perfectly fine as well. They don't know what happened and that he was free to head back over here (to the apartment/building 62) this afternoon or tomorrow. It took Jason about 1/2 second to decide...maybe not that long.

The major snow storm that we were expecting, and the entire base was just about shut down, as a result of, never materialized. About the only real positive that came of Jason going back into the hospital was getting to see the President again. We didn't know he was coming, but the timing couldn't have been any better. Oh well, strange things do happen.

Anyway, we're back in the apartment and tomorrow we will be taking care of some departure coordination. We still don't know when we're leaving, but because of the hospital visit I am concerned that some of the "balls" have been potentially dropped. We also need to do a little grocery shopping, that is if we want to eat at home, rather than going out each night. I am also planning on doing some of the preliminary packing, to  get it ready to be shipped out. Other than that, we'll just take it easy. Thank you, for all your continued support and all the prayers being sent our way.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jason is still in at the hospital with an infection. When he will be coming out again I don't know just yet, nor do we know what the infection is. I didn't sleep much last night, and still got up a bit on the early side, then went over to see Jason. We were sitting there and talking about getting things together for our trip back to San Diego, when we were visited by a small group (three) of doctors. That's when we found out that there was still no final on the culture they were running on his urine and blood. They do know there is an infection somewhere, as Jason has an elevated white blood cell number (they didn't tell me the number, so for all those wondering, I don't know). There should be an answer tomorrow and then there will be a better starting place for the treatment to begin. Right now they are treating him with an antibiotic for sudemonis (sp) because that is what he had last time. Overall Jason is doing well and comfortable, it is just that he would rather not have to be in the hospital.

We did have a couple of visitors, General Tom Jones, ret. came by and visited for a short while. He hadn't seen me since just before Jason and I went to San Diego the first time, so that is over a year ago. He still remembered my name, and I thought that was impressive. We also had another visitor (actually there were several people associated with the second visit) as President Obama came by. He walked into the room saying, "Hey Jason, how the heck are you?" and then shook my hand and said he was glad to see me again. They visited awhile this time, and he was trying to remember just how many times he had come to see Jason in the hospital, and we  suggested that it was four or five times now. We got a few more pictures (also now on the blog) and I even have a few more with my camera. Afterward, there was this Marine Major who came in, and talked with Jason for a couple of minutes. It was nice seeing him as well, and he is the Marine adviser to the President.

Not too much more happened today, other than me walking back and forth from building 62 to the hospital. Apparently Jason slept through dinner (he was as tired as I was) so he called and asked me to bring him something to eat. I did and then told him I was tired and needed to get back so I could get some rest. I will be  heading back over to see him tomorrow in the morning and seeing where the day takes us. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sorry for the late post - Jason is back in the hospital with another infection. We just spent the last 6 hours in the ER and for whatever reason, it took them two hours to go from deciding to admit Jason, to actually doing it. Anyway, he is feeling fine right now, but wasn't earlier (obviously, that's why we went to the ER in the first place). It looks like he won't be there more than a couple of days at the most, and we were told it probably won't have a negative affect on the travel plans... we'll see.

The funny thing is that we both felt that it had been a productive day and we were able to get several thinkgs accomplished. We had a great visit from Shauna, who stopped by on her way to dance practice. It is always great to see her, she and Jason get along so well you'd almost think they were brother and sister. We ended up heading over to the ER about an hour after she left. That's all the update for now, as it is getting late and I am tired. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A day spent pretty much just at the apartment. It actually got a little cool last night and into this morning, but not too bad, and it didn't snow (or if it did I didn't see it). I went over to the gym early this morning, well not too early, it was just after 08:15 and it didn't open until 09:00. I still got in about an hour of a cardio workout, and then came back. We were out of milk, so I walked over to the quickie mart, about a 1/4 mile away, and it wouldn't have been too bad, if it had been just a little warmer. I think the milk got colder on the walk home.

Jason spent the day watching some of the videos he has and I worked on some data clean up issues with my laptop and old BlackBerry. I fixed dinner (rice, corn and chicken - yeah, we eat a lot of chicken) and then cleaned up. Finally, I got a chance to speak with Linda, since it is getting a little late around here, and now I'm updating the blog. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for us, I hope, with the identification of when we're supposed to get out of here. On top of that his wounds are looking really good, and have shrunk down about  50% or more, since I've been here. Thank you, for the continued prayers and support - Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Relaxed day for Jason and I as we had a visit from an old friend Dave the Cookie Guy, and his daughter. We hadn't seen them in quite a while, or at least I hadn't. They did get to visit with Jason while he was still in the hospital. They brought by some berries, and sense Jason doesn't like berries I'm going to have to eat all of them... oh darn... ;-).

We did start the day with a breakfast at the Original Pancake House, and it was nice just relaxing and talking with Jason about what he wants to do when he finally gets out to California. He really misses his girls and hopes that he can spend more time with them, especially now that his wounds are healing up so much better. We had a late breakfast, so we didn't do much for lunch, but then had Mexican food for dinner, though that was even pretty lite. He talked about the different places he might end up, and the different possible paths he can take, and it felt like it was one of the best conversations I've had with him since the injury happened.

After dinner we went to see Jack the Giant Slayer. The movie is a bit of a different twist on the nursery rhyme, and was entertaining. There were a couple of families there with children under 10 years old and I didn't think it was an appropriate movie for them to be seeing. I can imagine that there will be some nightmares for a few of those kids. The movie is rated PG13, and I think that is an appropriate rating, and I think it would be great if parents would pay more attention to those ratings.

Tomorrow will probably be another relaxed day, with some packing going on, but not too much. Linda has already done most of the heavy work for us. Thank you, for all your prayers and support.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Just want to do a quick update tonight as it is getting late and I'm tired.

Jason had a very good day today, and it started with a quick breakfast and then off to the OT and PT treatments at the MATC. Max set him up on the electrical stimulus device that he has put on Jason's arm several times now, and Jason's arm was shocked for about 45minutes - this is to help with the "rewiring" of the nerves in Jason's right arm with the muscle functions. It seems to be working well, though we're not sure when Jason will be back to 100% - or even if he will be able to get there. He has already made greater strides with this than first thought was going to happen. Afterward, he went over to see Mike at the PT table and he had Jason work on his cardio exercises. Jason basically lays on his back for about 20 minutes turning the hand crank for this machine, and that gets his heart and full respiratory system moving. The one thing is that once he is done with this, he is tired.

After that we went on over to Wound Care where they monitor the progress of his wounds healing and they were all very happy with the progress. The one large wound is now two smaller ones, meaning that there has been enough healing to form a solid separation and the skin growth continues. All around, the wounds are looking much better and we're all happy about the progress. They put on fresh new dressings and we headed off to take care of a couple of errands (took less than an hour) and then back over to the apartment.

We both wanted to get Jason  laying back down because tonight we were going to dinner with the group over at the Washington Press Club. We actually didn't get to leave until after 17:15 (5:15pm), about 1/2 hour later than planned, but that was okay it allowed for some of the traffic to die down. There were about 45 people there, and of those only about 12 got the Mahi Mahi, Jason and I were two of them... ;-) Throughout the entire meal Jason was enjoying himself and he remained that was the entire night. This is actually a first for him, and I was quite pleased. We returned to the apartment and again got him laid down and me over to the laptop. I went through my emails, called Linda and wrote the blog. Next step... go to bed.

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