Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Friday, October 31, 2014

October 31, 2014

Feliz, Dia de los muertos ... Okay, some people don't use the "los" in the greeting, but that is how I learned it... It goes along so well with Halloween and All Saints Day that I wanted to include it. I hope you all had a great Halloween - we did.

The day was a little busy at first with taking care of a few chores around the house and then Jason wanting to get over to the Men's Warehouse. He has a tux that needs to be altered for a black tie event that we're gong to next month. He purchased the tux there so they will make the alterations. The challenge is that his arms have really gotten pretty big and he can just get the jacket on. The tailor came out and measured him and marked the jacket and said he cam make some adjustments, but wasn't to sure how much he could improve the sleeves, since there isn't much 'extra' material there. Jason took it in stride and basically said, "Okay, we'll see what it looks like when done."

After that we headed back home to get some lunch and to get some final touches on things prior to taking the girls out for Halloween. Linda had gone over to pick them up from school, and they will be with us for the next five days, and right now they were laying down for their nap. Stacy decided on her Dorthy (Wizard of Oz) costume and Jackie stayed with her Hello Kitty costume. Both of them looked great, and were very excited to be going out. Of course we had to have dinner first, and that was probably the most difficult thing the girls had to do. Other kids were already coming to the door while they were eating, and I think it only increased their excitement. Once we were headed out, Jason and I walked with the girls around to several of the houses, here in the base housing, and they ended up with a bunch of candy. We were surprised with Stacy said she was done and wanted to go back home and pass out candy with Grandma. Jackie wasn't quite done, but was happy to be walking around still, so we turned and headed back, and Jackie was still able to knock on doors.

We were back at the house by about 19:00 (7pm) and after walking in we didn't get anymore trick-or-treating kids coming by. They start early and apparently finish early. I don't think we saw many kids out, who didn't have a parent with them, and most of the kids in the area were from other military families. Next year we'll be looking to go through another neighborhood, and learning new neighbors. Linda has already begun decorating the house, in her mind, so I expect to have a great time, even better than this year. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 30,2014

Today was quite the exciting day - First it started out with me attempting to get in a nice bike ride, and I did manage to get in about 12.5 miles. The challenge with the ride was that I felt like I hit nearly every red light on the course and for whatever reason the crazies were out in force, in their cars. I spent about as much time on the 12.5 mile ride as I would if it had been over 15 miles. After the ride Linda had to get to a doctor appointment, and that was about the smoothest thing that happened today.

Linda got to the doctor's office, almost exactly when the appointment was supposed to be and within a few minutes she was in with the doctor. The visit didn't last long and we were back on our way back to the house. We were both thinking about the luncheon with the Nice Guys and both looked at the radio clock at about the same moment. It was one of those moments when you both start talking about the same thing at the same time - nice to know we think similarly. She called Jason to ask him to start getting ready, so that we could get going shortly after we got home.

We arrived at the house and I immediately grabbed the vacuum, so that I could clean out the dog hair in the back seat. We wanted to have the truck looking nice, since it was the Nice Guys who were able to assist and make Jason getting this truck a reality. We then drove through a car wash, and from there on to the restaurant. We had a great time at the restaurant, and it was fabulous finally getting to meet the Nice Guys members, and for Jason to be able to thank them personally. We left the restaurant feeling good and feeling full.

Finally back at the house, Linda and I decide to walk over to Target - it is about a mile from here, and we needed to walk off a little of the meal. On the way back we stopped at the "Family Fun Day" that was going on here, at the Gate Way, and looked around a bit. It was something they had done for the kids in the military housing, and I think they did a good job of it. The rest of the evening was spent at the house, where we had a nice simply dinner and Linda and I watched Brave Heart (for about the 6th time). I was amazed... it still ended the same way... ;-) Thank you, for all the support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 29, 2014

November is just around the corner and that means the holidays. I know, some of you are already in that mode, but for me, it has to be November before I can start to think of them. Today also marks the end of the baseball season - completely, with the end of the World Series. Most of you already know I am a Giants fan, so I'm pretty happy about the end results for this year. I have to say, though, that the Royals were nearly there, instead of the Giants. Both teams played well, and it was an exciting series this year.

Today we saw the girls off to their school, and we won't see them again for a couple of days. This is going to be a little strange for us, since they have been with us for 16 days straight. They will be back though, in a couple of days and staying with us again, for five days. I am happy to say that they seem to be adjusting to the changes to the schedule and are very happy, Linda has all their Halloween costumes ready and even if they should make a last minute change, she will be able to adjust.

Jason went to a Wound Care appointment today, and it was good. They are very pleased with the way the wounds are doing, and it seems the prognosis is continuing to be positive. The challenge is that we do have some things coming up, along with his appointments, and the more active he gets, the more there seems to be set backs with the healing. We're just going to have to be balancing the social interactions with the activities and not allow it to get out of control.

Not much else going on right now, other than Jason, Linda and I heading to a Nice Guys luncheon tomorrow, so he can thank them in person, for the truck. It is also going to give us chance to actually see, face-to-face who these folks are, and to get some pictures. I suspect that it is going to be a good time. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October 28, 2014

Another busy day, and just a bit more productive this time. The morning started off pretty much like the other mornings, with us getting the girls up and off to school. The difference being that Linda and I were both doing our best to get some exercise in, as we've found that it really does make us feel better, and what the heck... it's healthier.

Jason had an appointment with the folks at Physical Therapy (at Balboa), and he worked with Mike. He also did a number of exercises on his own, and stayed very busy during that hour (more like 75 minutes actually). Afterward we headed off to the Ability Center and Jason was able to pick up his truck. There is an inherit problem with the contact switch, so he will have to remember to insure the door is closed and that once closed, nothing hit the handle. He's talking about putting a sign on the door to discourage other folks from attempting to open it from the out side. The folks at the dealership (Chevy) said that about the only thing that can be done is to disconnect the switch, but then that would pose a number of other issues and reduce the safety factor. He will just live with it, as it is, for now.

This evening, and tonight we had baseball food for dinner (hot dogs) and the girls were very happy to have them. The only problem was that the Giants were not cooperative, and started out very poorly. Funny how one day the team can be hot, and then the next day it would be amazing to see a single hit come out of them... and don't get me started on pitching. Anyway, we're ready to continue to watch the game another day, and then we can really appreciate the level of effort of both teams. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayer. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

Busy day today, and it was the kind of busy where you're moving all the time, but it doesn't feel like you're getting much done. We got the girls up and to school on time and then the day went a little crazy. First we had to get Jason's truck down to the Ability Center to get a warning light adjusted - it kept indicating the door was ajar, when it was completely closed, and it was on the side where Jason gets in. We had to drive two vehicles because we didn't know what was going to be happening, and it was good that we did because the truck spent the day there and is still there (we pick it up in the morning).

After dropping it off Jason wanted to get over to So Call Guns, and look at some of the equipment there, and normally that's just fine. Today, though, I had made plans to get up to Anthony Netto's and help him with his Quick Books, and to get some things in order. That meant Jason's visit to So Cal was cut short. I ended up taking Jason back home and Linda was getting ready to take off for her errands, and Jason was left at the house with Gracie. That's okay, though as he is getting around much better now and can take care of a few things on his own now.

While I was up at Anthony's and we were going over a bunch of business stuff, I received a call from Linda and she asked me where I was. It was about 13:25 when she called and asked if I had forgotten about taking Jason to his 14:00 (2 pm) appointment. It was still in my head that he had his truck and I didn't need to take him, and Linda reminded me the truck was  in the shop. Also, Stacy needed to be picked up at the same time. We decided that Linda was going to take Jason to his appointment and I would just have to get back down to Stacy's school as quickly as I could, though I ended up being about 20 minutes late (and by the way, Linda had just come back from her errands so she didn't get her lunch - so neither of us are eating).

As I said, I managed to get back and picked up Stacy, and about 30 minutes later I was back to pick up Jackie. Just a few minutes later Linda and Jason returned from his appointment. Now we needed to turn back around and get Stacy out to her appointment, and again, Jason was going to be left at the house, as for him to come back out with us would have been a very long day for him to be up in his chair. Linda and I took both Jackie and Stacy, and then after the appointment we went to Chili's for dinner. Jason had sent me a text letting me know that the freeways were reporting big accidents so it was probably better for us to get something to eat, rather than just sit in traffic.

We finally almost got back home and Jason asked us to stop and pick up some Taco Bell for him. By the time we walked into the house, I was pretty tired. The girls were tired too, until they saw their Frozen costumes for Halloween sitting on the couch. Once that happened they wanted to dress up and Stacy even did a performance for us, and sang Let It Go - she did a pretty good job of it, too. They're in bed now, and I'm thinking I'm going to be headed that way soon. Tomorrow should be a little less crazy, but we'll see. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26, 2014

Today was a pretty amazing day, and it wasn't because the Giants won their 3rd game of the World Series, though that was pretty good. It was because we got up in the morning and got the girls ready to go to church, after breakfast. I know that sounds pretty normal, but another thing was also going on, and that was Jason was getting ready to go off and have a lunch meeting with some friends. This was the first time for Jason to venture out, on his own and go to a "social" engagement without me or Linda tagging along. That is pretty amazing, in my eyes, and he had a good time.

He went out at a little before noon, which means Jason did not go to church with the rest of us. That's okay, as he was out socializing with some of his friends from when he was stationed in Okinawa. Linda and I, along with both Stacy and Jackie, got back to the house about 12:10, and Jason was gone. We fixed lunch for us and made ready for the girls to go take a short rest (actually they just sort of laid down in their room and rested, but I don't think they ever slept). Linda and I took care of a few other things and I even took a short nap. Jason got back to the house at about 14:20 (2:20 pm) or so, and he looked pretty good and was in high spirits. I think the opportunity to meet up with his friends was something he couldn't pass up, and the benefit was excellent. I hope there are other opportunities like this in the future.

The rest of the day was relaxed, though we did go to Costco - and it was packed. I thought that with the football games going it would have been slower in business, but it wasn't. We came back from Costco and put everything away and then shortly after that Linda made dinner, while I turned on the World Series. It was a good game and Madison Bumgarner was absolutely commanding with his pitching. The rest of the evening was pretty much as it always is, and we even managed to get the girls to bed right on time, with me reading a couple of stories (of their selection). About the last thing I did tonight was to help Jason with his shower, while Linda took care of some laundry. That was the end of the day, and we felt pretty good about it. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 25, 2014

A very nice day, to be sure.

We got up this morning and I went for a short bike ride. First ride in several weeks - well a few days ago I did get out and rode 2 1/2 miles, but I don't count that as a ride, since I had to turn around and get back to the hospital, to pick up Jason (he was literally done 2 hours earlier than originally planned). Anyway, I got out for a 10 mile ride and it felt good, and when I returned to the house the girls were up and in watching cartoons with Daddy. I think Jason looks forward to Saturday mornings as much as the girls do.

I did have to be the spoiler as we needed to get ready to head over to the University of the Nazarene, where they were holding the Fall Festival (11th annual) and it was something that Linda and the girls were especially looking forward to. We originally planned to be out the door by 10:00, and finally got moving by 10:30.

By the time we arrived there were very few parking places left, and it was quite crowded. Funny thing is, I had not heard of it before, and now it looks like we're already making plans to go next year. There were all kinds of things for the girls to do, and there was even a booth from Rudolph and Sletten (I worked for them from 2005 to 2008). I didn't know any of the guys there, but it was still fun to see them. We stayed for a couple hours then Jason needed to get back to the house. I took him back and left Linda and the girls there, so they could enjoy a couple of other things, like the pony ride. We were all back at the house by 13:00 (1pm) or maybe a few minutes after.

After lunch Jason wanted to head out and get over to Sprint. I needed to take care of some business too, so he and I went together. They were very busy so we ended up just waiting around for a while and then that gave Jason some time to look around. He found a new "toy" to play with, and ended up purchasing a remote controlled robot thing (not sure what else to call it) that he could control from his phone. He was having a great time with it, after it got it home.

Finally the rest of the day was wearing on and then it was dinner time. We had dinner and then I turned on the World Series and suffered through the first few innings and loved the last several. The Giants were all over the Royals, and they have now tied up the series 2 - 2. I do believe that this might go the full seven games, and that's okay by me. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers - Take care and stay positive.

October 24, 2014

Yesterday and today were nice and relaxed and we're all doing well. Jason's wounds continue to improve, and I think a big part of that is that he is staying down and not allowing things to get in the way of his healing. We have some events coming up in the next several weeks and I think he is wanting to be as healed as possible so that he can enjoy being out and with people. Another thing is that for about 10 days now the girls have been with us, and I think that has been beneficial for him as well. 

I have been busy with Stand Up and Play, or I guess I should say Stand UP USA, since that is where I am actually putting most of my effort. The good news is that most of that work is done and from here on out it should flow much more smoothly, and with that I can get back to my bike riding. In fact I have already made plans to go for a short ride tomorrow. I want it to be a short ride so that I can build back up again. The other good thing is that Linda continues to stay focused on her health plan and is eating right and exercising regularly. She is feeling much better... and that makes me feel better.

We let the girls stay up a little later tonight, since tomorrow is Saturday, and the World Series was down to the last couple innings. The only problem with that was that the Giants didn't prevail. When the girls did go to bed they informed me that they were having a slumber party - just the two of them - and that was okay by us. We are so happy that they are happy and energetic, and they always make it a point to go in and say good night to their daddy. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014

World Series got started tonight and the Giants made a fast start out of the gate.

We had a nice day today, and about the only update for today is that we had a meeting about Jason's home, and things are progressing. We still don't have a solid date for when the house will be completed, or even started for that matter, though progress is being made. As more develops I will be providing you all, more information.

The rest of the day is basically taking care of business and keeping our focus on Jason's healing. He is doing well, though there does seem to be an issue with the SP catheter. We'll be going in tomorrow to have them take a look at it. We don't think it is anything serious, just that every now and then it feels uncomfortable for Jason. During the procedure Jason requested it changed out, and they did, now he has moments of discomfort... something wasn't set right.

We're getting closer to Halloween, and the girls are getting more excited about it. They have asked both Linda and I, multiple times, what we're going to be for Halloween. I keep telling them I'm going to be dressed as a grandpa, but they don't like that answer. Jackie wants me to be Superman and Linda is to be Wonder Woman. Ahh, kids... Thanks, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

A relatively busy day for me, as Jason had to get into Balboa this morning for a procedure (laser), and before I could get that done, Linda and I had to get the girls to school. Actually, when I woke up this morning I fell victim to the morning being later for a sunrise. I woke up and thought it was earlier than it was. I intended to get up and head over to the gym to get a little bit of a workout in, since I had not been doing much lately. I got out of bed and headed over to the bathroom, and looked at the clock. It was already 06:35, and that meant we needed to get going anyway. So much for the morning work out.

We got the girls up and going, and after breakfast, off to school. Linda and I walked back to the house, and that was about the only real "alone" time that the two of us had. It was kind of nice just walking back together, though both of us were going about 90 mph in our heads. I needed to get Jason to Balboa by 08:30, and as it turned out we made it, in time... sort of. We got to the gate and that means we're subject to the same delays everybody else is. If there is a vehicle ahead of you, and the guard wants to talk with them, then you just have to wait. Unfortunately, for us, there were two such issues, and that in turn made us a little late. Fortunately, it was only a little late, and everything else went as needed and planned.

The procedure lasted for about an hour, and the doctors were very pleased with everything. Jason's left side is just about closed, and the right side is doing much better. With this treatment we are hopeful that the skin will be durable enough to take the pressure and the wounds will close for good. All of us will be very happy about that situation.

Jason and I got back home and then there was the need to go pick up Stacy, and an hour later to pick up Jackie. At about 15:00 (3pm) the new support person showed up at the house, and she seemed like she really wants to do a good job. The problem is that the company she works for did not bother to call us to tell us she was on her way. Again, we managed to get through this interrupt and both girls were home with enough time to get Stacy over to her doctor appointment. Tomorrow should be a bit easier, but I'll just have to wait and see. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

October 19, 2014

Wow, just to think, this month is almost over, and that will bring us to the final two months of the year... and that'll take us to 2015! That is an amazing thought as those of you who remember Marty and Doc, and their travels through 2015. We should have flying cars in the next couple of weeks, I guess. Anyway, today has been a nice day.

We got up and we got ready for church. Actually, it was more like the girls came up to our room (we sleep upstairs, like it is almost a separate apartment) and jumped on us, just to see if we were awake, I guess. Jackie was up first and then Stacy came up a short while after. They love to play on the bed, with the two of us still trying to wake up, and hoping they will retreat back down to their own room - but that never happens. Linda usually gets up first, as the girls are usually sitting on top of me, or even jumping on me. They followed grandma down stairs and I started to move.

Within a matter of a half an hour I was making breakfast, or something like it, and then we all got ready for church. Jason wasn't going with us, as he doesn't want to move any more than he has to. We went to church and enjoyed the fellowship there, and found out they had a pancake breakfast going on after church. Of course the girls wanted to see what it was, since this also meant there were no doughnuts today. We ended up have a "second" breakfast, and it was pretty good... then we went home.

About the most stressful thing that happened today was working with Sprint, and their "customer support" team. I always enjoy trying to communicate with someone who does not speak English very well, and then half way through a sentence they hung up on me. I wasn't even yelling at them...yet. I have come to the conclusion that perhaps we should have stayed with AT&T. At least I knew how they worked.

The rest of the day was fun and we all were having a great time at the house. I didn't even stop to watch the 49er - Bronco game. I did catch a few updates along the way, and I think it is probably better that I didn't watch it... 49ers lost.

Linda gave the girls a bath and then it was time for bed. Tomorrow Jason has an appointment with Dermatology, where they are going to be doing the laser treatment and then the filoplast treatment. My guess is that it will take a few hours, so I'm not sure how the rest of the day will go, but I'm sure it will be good. Things are moving in a positive direction and this can only be a positive affect, so I'm all for that. I'll let you all know tomorrow how it came out. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 18, 2014

As you may have noticed, I am starting to back off the daily posts, simply because I don't feel there is a great deal to post about. Like yesterday - it was a good day, and we did have some general fun around the house, but not much to write about. I did grill some burgers, and just as I was finishing the cooking we ran out of fuel for the grill - but that really isn't too exciting. The food was done and they tasted pretty good.

Today wasn't much different, though I did get in a short bike ride - and that was the first ride in several days (a few weeks?). I am still recovering from whatever it was that hit me, and I just really wanted to get out on my bike for a little ride. I went about 7 1/2 miles, and didn't go too far from the house. I felt pretty good afterward, and surprised myself in that I wasn't sweating too much.

The rest of the day was again spent around the house for the most part, and just relaxing and doing some of the things that need to get done. Linda did take the girls to Lakeshore, to check out a few things, and to do some window shopping. Jackie was having a little challenge with all the great things and wanted to take all of it home. She was a little upset when told she could buy everything in the store... ahh, the life of a four year old.

I made some popcorn for everybody, and we all watched a movie. Actually, the movie was Frozen, and we've seen it a few dozen times, but the girls enjoyed it just the same.  My guess is that about the only thing we'll do tomorrow is go to church, and maybe do some clean up around the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16, 2014

I'm feeling much better today, and I can say that after a good rest tonight, I should be back to just about 100%. That means I might even want to see if I can get back on the bike, and get going again. I am so glad to have the awful feeling go away - well, at least most of it. The doctors said that the numbness may linger on for a while longer or may not go away at all. I guess they're hedging their bets, so-to-speak, because they aren't sure what it is. You just got'a love the world of medicine.

Today was a nice relaxed day, with Jason and I going in to Balboa Hospital to get a prescription going and to visit with a couple of the medical teams. There is going to be another procedure done on Jason, on the 20th, and he wanted to be sure he had all the right things taken care of. He could have done it via the phone, but being there, face-to-face is always better, if you have the time. The funny part is that we got to the base and realized we had transferred all the placards to the truck, and we were now in the van. I had to go up to the drop off area and let Jason out, and then go park in the regular parking. That's where it got really strange... Traffic has slowed significantly in the past few weeks, and there were a couple of regular parking places available, relatively close to where Jason was dropped. I was totally surprised, and VERY happy.

The visit didn't take too long, and we were back home before 11:00. Jason was hungry, so I fixed him something to eat and then went up to take care of my email. Linda saw us come back early, and that allowed her to take care of a few other things, and also to get some needed rest. She has been working too hard lately, and now that we have the girls for the next couple of weeks she will be working even more. The girls wouldn't be back at the house for several hours, and I had stuff to keep me busy so I told her she could get some rest, and she did (I was happy).

The rest of the day was relaxed, very much the way we needed it to be. Joselyn came over for a visit, and to catch up with Linda, and then even went with Linda to pick up the girls. Tonight I fixed a nice dinner for everybody and then we finished the day by watching the Giants win the Pendant for the NLCS. I have to admit, I thought St. Louis was going to take this one, but Linda told me that the Giants would win, then the boys came through in the end. Stacy even informed me that she still wants to be a cheer leader for the Giants, and how come they don't already have some. A few years down the road and I guess we'll be petitioning the Giants to allow her to become their official cheer leader. The game ended real close to their regular bed time, so it all worked out very well. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October 15, 2014

The crazy schedules seem to be continuing for us. Jason had an appointment with the VA today, so we went in at about 10:00 this morning. This, in and of itself is no big deal. What happened is that we were contacted by Urology, and they wanted to also meet with Jason, at close to 14:00 (2pm). This gave us time to get lunch, and then make it to the appointment, so that's what we did and didn't go very far away from the hospital. The appointment was very thorough and the doctors (there were three of them) all seemed very interested in finding ways to help Jason. The idea is to allow him to get away from the suprapubic catheter, and to find something that is less irritating to the body. My guess is this line of investigation is going to continue on for several more months. With the appointments being as they are, it provided time for Gracie and I to just sit back and wait... the challenge with this is that I really can't afford to just wait. Anyway, we were on our way back home after the initial visit, and more visits are on their way.

The cool thing for today is that the Giants won the play off game with the Cardinals, and now lead the series 3 to 1. I got to watch most of the game today, and it was very exciting. Tomorrow there is going to be yet another game, and we'll probably get a chance to watch that one as well. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 10, 2014

I guess I'm probably back to about 95% and should be back to normal tomorrow. I got up this morning, feeling pretty poorly, and fortunately that only lasted for about an hour or so. I was thinking that I was suffering a relapse and going the wrong way with the healing, and then started to feel better. by the middle of the morning I was doing okay, but feeling a bit weak and awkward. As the day progressed I gained more strength and stability and was playing with the grand kids by this evening (not too much, but much more than in the past several days).

Jason is feeling pretty good, and his wounds are looking better again, with the left side almost back to where it was a couple of weeks ago. The real positive is the right side continues to progress, and is much better than it was a few weeks ago. We didn't have any medical appointments today, but will be looking at a couple with the VA tomorrow. A real special happening for today was that Linda got to ride in Jason's new truck. We went to Costco and Jason drove (I rode in the back seat with Gracie). We didn't spend too much, so I was happy, too.

Not much other stuff going on around here, other than regular chores and stuff like that. Linda was having fun with the girls, as they get more and more excited about Halloween. Linda has helped them get into, and out of their costumes a few times, and they both look great. We are now beginning to look at things with Jason's future house, for his interior, and I think this is going to be one of those areas that Linda really enjoys. Finally, it was a very close game, and everything that makes baseball special to me - and to have the Giants win today made it an even better game. Both Stacy and Jackie watched the game with us, and told us that they want to go to a Giants game, so we're going to try for next year. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

What a very "different" kind of day for us.

I got up this morning, very early, as I still wasn't sleeping well through the night. Because of how I have been dealing with this intestinal infection/virus, it has really been starting to get to Linda. I finally agreed to call the V.A. hotline (24-hour Nurse support), and I figured I'd end up getting an appointment set for Tuesday or something. Well, there was a new development with my symptoms, a sort of a numbness on parts of my back and left side, and even down my triceps on my left arm. When I began talking about this the nurse immediately thought I had either experienced a stroke of some kind, or was in the midst of having one. She insisted that I get down to the VA hospital as quickly as possible (she quickly determined that if we drove it would be faster than taking an ambulance).

Linda was getting ready to go work out on the elliptical so it really didn't take long for us to get out of the house and down the road. Jason was feeling pretty good and knew he would be able to take care of himself, at least for a few hours. We arrived at the ER of the VA Hospital and they quickly took me in (the phone nurse had called ahead) and that is when the exams and testing and X-rays began. I was fortunate to have a more senior nurse as my care giver, as she was able to put an IV in with little discomfort. I felt like the drew about a full unit of blood for the lab work. I was to go through several exams, and be sent to the radiation area for several pictures, and while all this took a great deal of time Linda was able to go take care of some other things that were still hanging out there.

Jackie needed to go to her speech therapy, and then back to school, and later both girls would be getting out of school and Linda was supposed to pick them up. Needless to say, Linda drove back and forth a great deal today, and we were able to make all the correct times and appointments. Jason was even able to head over to Target, by himself, and that proved to be an adventure in itself (perhaps I will go into it tomorrow). The day was finally over at about 16:00 (pm), and Linda came back to pick me up.

One of the more interesting, funny, sad things to happen was that two of the doctors who came in to examine me, asked if I had been to Africa recently. I guess the Ebola issue is worry more and more of the medical community, especially when a patient comes in with something they can't figure out. They finally sent me on my way with some medication and instructions to monitor a couple of areas, and watch for specific rashes. There is a chance that what has happened is that early on-set shingles has raised its head. Anyway, I'm doing okay right now and we're getting ready to get to bed. Jason had a great day and Linda spent the day as a shuttle service as well as helping me get through the day, as best she could. Thank you, all, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

October 12, 2014

Better day for me, today. It started out a little bumpy and I nearly went in to the ER, as I was feeling very poorly. Fortunately, I began feeling a bit better once I started moving around a little, though it wasn't until several hours later than I felt significantly better. I am still focusing on clear liquids, as my stomach is not back to its normal self, and I figure I'll need to take it easy tomorrow, then I'll be as good as new.

Jason had a day of spending most of his time in bed, and that was what I was hoping for, yet I was a bit disappointed to see the wounds on the left have expanded some. It is very frustrating to see this when the treatment is basically the same, with regular visits to Wound Care, and activity has been kept to a minimum. The right side, however, seems to be doing better and that is a good thing, I'd just like to see the left side close up. Otherwise, Jason is doing well and in very good and positive spirits. There are no appointments tomorrow, as the government recognizes Columbus Day as a holiday, so we will simply be staying at home, other than a trip to the store (Costco?) to pick up some needed supplies. We also get the girls tomorrow, and they will be with us for the next couple of weeks. Their mother is going into the hospital and will need some recovery time. She has asked Jason to take care of them during that period.

Not much else to blog about today - Linda stayed busy with general clean up and organizational stuff, so that we can get rid of some old boxes of stuff. She has been working some extra duty, with me being sick, so I appreciate all she has done. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 11, 2014

I slightly better day for me, as I continue to fight the bug that seems to have landed in my belly. I called the 24-hour Nurse Hot Line and we talked for about  30 minutes, or so. She said it is likely not the flu but more of a intestinal virus, and suggested that there are a few things I could do. I followed her advice and within about eight hours I was feeling a bit better, and then it progressed upward from there. That conversation took place at about 02:00 this morning. I still didn't get much sleep the rest of the night, but was able to catch up on some later this morning and into the afternoon. Now, with the day over, I'm feeling much better, and on top of that the Giants won over St. Louis. Bumgarner was pitching, and he has been awesome all year and now well into the playoffs.

Jason rested for most of the day, and Linda worked on things around the house. Jason did have visitors, while I was resting. I did get a chance to get up and say, "Hi!" but I didn't visit much, as I was still looking pretty bad. It was good to see folks coming to spend a little time with Jason, as I am sure he gets tired of seeing us all the time. His wounds continue to confound us, as the one on the left looked like it was going to finally close up and now it opened a bit more. Jason has not been up too much, so I don't know what happened to cause that set back, but it is something we deal with.

Tonight was relaxed and restful. Linda prepared a nice chicken meal for Jason. I had a bowl of soup and she had her diet prepared food. Tomorrow should be a good day all the way around, and I am looking forward to getting out a little and possibly a run to Costco. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014

I pretty much stayed away from everyone today, though Linda was brave enough to come spend some time with me. I did find out that what I have is a gastrointestinal virus, but I'm still going to call it the flu, cause that's what it feels like. Not sure where it came from, and I don't have a feel for how long it is going to last, just that it is a real pain.

I did get some time to work on a couple of other things, that I have been pushing aside a bit, over these last few weeks. Since I was spending most of my time upstairs I had time to sit at my "desk" and get on the computer (Desk is in quotes because it is really more of a large shelf, but it works). I made a few efforts to lay down and just rest, but wasn't really successful. I'm progressively feeling a little better all the time, so I'm hopeful that by tomorrow I'll be feeling much better.

Linda went with Jason to his appointment today, and I guess it went okay, as they didn't report anything negative. Because Jason did some driving in his truck we moved the handicap placard to the truck, so when they went to the hospital in the van, they didn't have it. Basically, Linda had to drop Jason off and then attempt to find a parking place in the garage. It was one of those things that you don't normally worry about, and if planned for really has little to no affect on the timing. Because it wasn't caught until the very end it did cause a bit of a scramble at the end. Jason made it on time and Linda was able to park just fine... she just had to walk a bit more.

Not sure about what is going to be happening tomorrow, other than a possible trip to Costco. We need to pick up a few things, and otherwise just relax a bit. We'll do some cleaning around the house and maybe put up some Halloween decorations before the girls come back on Monday. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9, 2014

It has been a good day, and fortunately I was able to relax for most of it. We did have a meeting with the home builders, and things are progressing with Jason's house. I asked them when they thought, realistically, when the house would be ready for us to move in, and the response was late summer, next year. Still too many variables out there to nail it down any tighter, and I'm okay with that, I just wanted to know what to expect (I do wish it was sooner, but I can deal with the time line - I appreciate their honesty)

I am apparently dealing with some sort of flu right now, at least that is what it feels like, I feel pretty good in the morning but as the day wears on I start to wear out. By the end of the day I feel like I've been beat up or something. Linda is doing a great job of keeping things going, and fortunately, right now the girls are not with us. I have a couple of days to beat this thing. And, Jason is driving now, so if he needs to get to an appointment I don't necessarily have to drive.

Anyway, the day was relaxed and not much to report on. I'm going to bed and hope to be able to sleep through the night (I haven't done that for a couple of days now). Jason has one appointment and that is about all. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October 8, 2014

What a difference a day makes. Today, Jason had just the one appointment and for the most part he just stayed down. Linda and I took the girls to school this morning, and I guess I could tell a little about their reaction when we got home yesterday. Apparently they didn't quite understand that we were going to be gone for a couple of days and kept asking Grandma (Linda) where Daddy and Grandpa were, or wanting to know when they were going to be coming home. I picked up the girls from school and they were both quite excited to see me, and continued to be when they got back to the house. It always makes Linda and I feel happy when we see the girls jump up on to the bed with their daddy, and they start playing or want him to tell a story. Not sure how long they were there, but it did seem like a little more than usual.

The rest of today was definitely more relaxed and Linda and I were able to finish up on some of our personal chores. I woke up this morning with a bid of a soreness in my right elbow, and I give all the credit to trying to learn how to play golf. My guess is that maybe after a few years I might actually learn how to swing a club, and that is okay. I had fun anyway.

Tomorrow we have a meeting schedule at about noon, and then we will probably get involved with running around and taking care of a few other things. I want to make sure that Jason gets all the time he needs to relax and recover. His wounds are looking amazingly well, and we're all happy about that, so we need to make sure that continues. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

I know it isn't much, but here are a couple of pictures with Jason getting into his new truck, and one of him sitting in the van (of course the van is a whole n'other story).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 7, 2014

Hello, everyone, we're back!

Jason and I were invited to head up to Pelican Hill Resort, along with other Wounded Warriors and their caregivers, to attend a long weekend (Saturday to Tuesday AM), and see if we could shoot some clay pigeons and do some golfing. Since neither of us had much experience with either of these, it seemed like a good idea. It was put on by the Carrington Charitable Support Group and the Gary Sinise Foundation, with support of the Veterans Airlift Command. Please go on line and check them all out to learn more about what they do. Who knows, you just might be moved to send a donation their way.

Anyway, we left Saturday afternoon, to drive up to Newport Beach area, where Pelican Hill Resort is located, and we stayed until late this morning. What was really cool about this whole thing was that Jason was able to do the driving, with his new truck (it was just about a 90 minute drive, which is getting real close to his limit of driving - more on that some other time). We were not the first to arrive, nor the first to leave, so I guess you'd have to say we were kind of in the middle. It was great seeing all the folks again, that we hadn't seen in several months. They live out on the East Coast, so they had to be flown in (er go, Veteran Airlift Command). Some of them basically looked the same, while others had gotten married and all kinds of changes in their lives.

Linda had the girls with her, and was visiting with her parents (Joe and Jess), and because that meant they were kind of close, Linda and the girls came to dinner, on the first night Jason and I were there. The girls were particularly excited about being there, and when they saw the dinner was right down on the beach (actually very close to the beach), it was more interesting to play in the sand than visit with the people.

The clay shooting was great fun, and I was totally amazed at how well some of those guys were able to shoot. There are a couple of the Warriors there who are quad-amputees, and they were still able to shoot the guns. The range master had managed to put together these systems that allowed them to work the shot guns with their prosthetic devices. I know this won't be a surprise to some of you, but some of them were better than me. Jason ended up receiving a new shot gun case and an ammunition bag (to me it looks like a small  camera bag). We all had a great time, though it was a long day, and I was plum tuckered out.

The next day was the golfing, and again all kinds of great things for the guys. We were golfing on a scramble with groups of four golfers. The rules were that no hole was to take more than six shots - if you hit six you simply moved on to the next hole. This helped to keep the game moving along, and everyone was able to get back to their rooms for a couple of hours of rest and clean up. Jason and I were with Anthony Netto, and two other gentleman, one being a golfing magazine editor, so we were actually a group of five. I think that was because we didn't expect Jason to get beyond the ninth hole, and he actually only made it to the eighth. I left the group at the same time to make sure that Jason got back to the room safely and was comfortable - besides, I wasn't doing very much to help the group score anyway. It was fun, and today my right arm feels like it had a great workout, and the elbow is soar.

There were dinners at the end of each of the days, and the overall focus was not only on the Wounded Warriors, it was also on their caregivers. The one dinner where all the caregivers were recognized was when I missed not having Linda with me the most. Because she was there for the initial gathering and dinner, most of them thought she was going to be with us the entire weekend. They are already working on next year's event and we have been told we will be there next year. That time Linda will be staying with me, and she can enjoy all the fun (and get very tired).

Finally, there was this morning's breakfast meeting, with all the main people who would be involved with the building of the homes, including Jason's. We had seen Gary Sinise earlier, but he had to get back to Bethesda, so he wasn't at this breakfast. It was very rewarding to everyone, to be able to sit down with them and get the chance of this weekend, to get to know them better. We thought they were all great people, with huge hearts, and now we KNOW they are great people with huge hearts.  It is good to be back home, and Gracie seems to be feeling much better now. She was having a bit of a difficult time trying to figure out what was going on, yet still managed to sleep like she does, even when there is all the activity going on around her.

We left after breakfast, and this is when I guess we had the greatest challenge. Neither of us had any cash, and we wanted to take the toll road (much faster) to get back home. We managed to finally find a bank and got the needed cash, and then we were moving on down the road. Again, it took less than 90 minutes to get back home, even with the search for the bank, and then I unloaded the truck. Linda got home (she had made a quick trip to pick up some things at Target) about two minutes after we did, and to make the day even better, tonight the Giants won! Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, October 3, 2014

October 3, 2014

Well, it started out today pretty much as most of these days have started out, and that is with Linda and I getting up to get some exercise in. We have not only discovered that exercising and eating better is good for you, we have fully embraced the idea. It is almost as if it is something we have to do now, and when we don't, we feel a little out of sorts. Actually, I didn't get to do much exercising this morning, though that was my plan. I ended up getting pulled in to a few things going on with Stand Up and Play, and lost track of time. By the time I realized how late it was, it was too late to get started -- Jason had a couple of appointments he wanted to get to today, and there were other things we (Linda and I) needed to get done.

The appointments went well, though one of them took a little longer than normal - it wasn't a VA appointment, so it wasn't a VERY long time, just longer than usual. Linda needed to get going, as she was taking the girls up to her parents (Joe and Jess, or as Stacy and Jackie call them: Nana and Tata), for the weekend. Jason and I are headed up to Newport Beach to participate in a golf tournament and skeet shooting. This is being put on by Carrington, and they wanted as many of the Wounded Warriors there as could make it. It was decided that because the girls are so young that it wouldn't be fair to them to bring them along, and that going to Nana and Tata's would be way more fun.  Anyway, Jason and I will be driving up tomorrow sometime, either late morning or early afternoon.

The rest of the day seemed kind of strange, to me. I am so used to having Linda and the girls here that with all of them gone (they left at about 14:30 (2:30pm)) the house is so very quiet. I watched a little baseball, but that was after the Giants had already won their game, so though it was interesting, it wasn't enough to keep me focused. Jason and I will have to pack up tomorrow morning (after I do get some exercise in this time) and then head on out. Jason is going to be driving up in his truck, so that should be kind of exciting, and fun, I hope. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

(apologies for the type-o's and mistakes - Linda isn't here to help with the editing duties she usually does for me).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2, 2014

I got up this morning and decided I wanted to get out for a bike ride. We had a few things going on a little later in the morning, so that actually meant I could go for a little longer ride. Linda got up with me and jumped on the elliptical, so that means we're both burning some extra calories - and that's a good thing. Anyway, I got in over 22 miles, and made it to the top of Mission Gorge, again - it is quite a hill to get up. I figure that when I can finally do Mission Gorge without feeling like my legs are about to fall off, then I'll be ready for Torrey Pines. That hill is about twice Mission, so yes, for me it will be a significant challenge. 

Jason decided that it was a good day to get some shopping in. Well, initially we went over to the DMV (yeah, I know - a gluten for punishment) and found out that he could expect to receive his new plates (purple heart and disabled veteran) in about 2 months. Apparently they are, like everybody else, running a little behind. I have to admit it was pretty cool that Jason was able to just walk in and go to the front of the line, and there was quite a line going out the door. The guy behind the counter was very helpful and seemed honestly wanting to provide a good service (I wonder if he could go work for the VA... ;-)). 

After this adventure Jason wanted to get over to the Exchange and do a little shopping. He felt that he needed some new shorts, and just wanted to look around a bit. While we were there I found some shorts for me, too, and they were on sale! What they didn't have were some belt clips, for a backpack. The people at the exchange said that he should attempt to contact the manufacture, to be sure he was getting the correct clip, and that the clips were not sold separately, at least not in these stores. 

We came back to the house and Linda had gotten back from a dentist visit. She had gone up to Vista, to see our dentist and get her teeth cleaned. Kevin Salgado, DDS provides excellent service and that is very important to us. Anyway, once we were all back at the house it kind of slowed down a bit. We did end up having to pick up the girls from school, but they were only with us for about an hour. We always like to see the girls, so it was kind of a pleasure for us. 

Tonight, once we had some dinner, Linda and I went to a 10 year anniversary gathering, for the Wounded Warrior Project. We got to see a few people we hadn't see in a while, and that is always a good thing. We won a door prize, one of their camel back water bottles, and a thermal cup. I think that by the end of the event, just about everyone had won something, we just happened to be the first to get something. Once the event was over we came back to the house and Jason was doing just fine. He received a new video game (I think it is something to do with the Hobbit) and he was playing it. Linda and I still had some other things to take care of, and then came our relax time, just before going to bed. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

Well, to begin with - The SF Giants are still in the game and go up against the Nationals on Friday. They did an awesome job of beating the Pirates, and the best part is that I actually got to watch a big chunk of the game. I was, as you can probably figure out, very happy to have this happen. I am hopeful that this is just another of their weird comebacks for the season... but now on to the regular blog.

Jason and I headed off to the appointments today, with the first being at Balboa and Wound Care. It was a nice visit and they were quite happy with his progress. Both the wounds are improving and the left side is just about closed up - another two or three days and it should be there. The next appointment was with the VA, and Jason's Case Manager/Social Manager. It is her responsibility to insure that Jason continues on his journey to recovery, AND to make sure that the VA is doing all it is supposed to be doing to help him get there. Having said that, she was informed about the mess up with urology and how they effectively dropped the ball. She said she would be speaking with urology and letting us know what the out come is. I let her know that Jason has to be given preferential treatment, if they expect the healing to continue. Him sitting in the waiting room for over 2 hours was not good. Both of us were pleased with her reception and feel that she has the right focus for Jason.

The rest of the day was spent at home, though I did make a quick trip to the pet store - Mr. Jingles was out of food (almost) and needed some new bedding material, and I picked up another bag of dog food, since I was there. We relaxed and did some things around the house. I made a quick dinner with the left overs in the refrigerator, and that was about it, until the baseball game. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.