Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

Today was a good day, though a bit of a challenging one. We got the girls off to school just fine, and then came back to the house. I had the colonoscopy scheduled for this afternoon, so I continued to not eat - the toughest time was when I was making the girls lunches. I managed to deal with it, though, and focused on other things.

My appointment was at 13:00 (1pm) and Jason also had an appointment at 13:40 (1:40pm), so Linda took both of us to the VA. This is where it got to be a little challenging. Jason's appointment should have allowed for plenty of time to have whatever they were doing, taken care of, and still be able to get back to the girls when they got out of school. My situation was much more relaxed, since I was going to be in recovery for a little while, Linda could take Jason back to the house and then come get me.

Well, as it turned out, my appointment was delayed a little, as most of them are with the VA, and this was no big deal. Jason's, on the other hand, was also being delayed. This means he is just sitting in his chair, and THAT is a big deal. He sat there for almost two hours and they were still not ready to see him. The girls were getting out of school soon, so Jason simply decided to cancel his appointment and he and Linda drove back to the house, to drop Jason off and to pick up the girls from school. Once they were all settled at the house, Joselyn was there, and she was willing to help where ever it was needed. Linda came back to pick me up, as I was done now and ready to leave the recovery area. Tomorrow, I will be letting somebody know that they seriously screwed up.

The rest of the evening was fine; the girls were all happy and having a good time; I managed to get through the rest of the recovery, which took about two hours; and, Jason was resting nicely in his bed. I am hopeful that we can get everything in order, as it should be, for Jason, because the idea is to have the wounds heal, and their actions could be detrimental. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014

We got up this morning and I decided that I'd like to go for another bike ride, since we didn't have the girls this morning, and Jason's appointment wasn't until this afternoon. I jumped on the bike and Linda jumped on to her elliptical trainer, and we were both exercising (I told you, we are serious about loosing some weight). I got in a nice 18+mile ride and then, after getting back to the house, cooled down and took a shower.

Linda was going to be focusing on some personal matters and taking care of the girls and I was to help get Jason to his VA appointment. His appointment today was with Dental Care. I have absolutely no experience with VA Dental, so I don't know what it is like. We arrived on time, and they called him in, only after waiting about 5 minutes. So far I am impressed. When finished, about 15 minutes later, Jason told me that he has to come back for a follow up cleaning and that today they only examined his teeth. I hope this is the level of care and performance we can expect all the time.

Tomorrow I get to go in for a colonoscopy, so the only meal I had today was breakfast, and that was a small yogurt and an apple (that's typically what I eat when I go for a ride). Because of the timing of the procedure I won't be eating again until tomorrow afternoon sometime, possibly early evening. Funny thing is, I am not that uncomfortable from lack of food. Perhaps the laxative they use allows the hunger aspect to be controlled or suppressed. Anyway, tomorrow is going to be another fun day for us.

The rest of the evening was preparing dinner, and yes that was a bit difficult, as I was hungry at that time, and then relaxing and finishing up with Stacy's homework. She is very good about keeping up with all her homework. Kindergarten doesn't have much homework, but still it is good to stay on top of it. Linda and I finished the evening by watching something on the television, and then we went to bed (me, right after the blog was finished). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 28, 2014

Linda and I got up this morning and the first thing we wanted to do was to get some exercise in. Funny, how your life adjusts when you start exercising regularly. Anyway, it was early enough that we could get some calories burned and get our bodies moving, and still have time to get ready for church. It felt kind of strange going to church this morning, and not having the girls with us, but they are not so we couldn't bring them along. Also, today was the last day for the Aloha Shirts and next week the pastor will be wearing his more traditional robe again... Summer is officially over now.

After service we came back to the house and jumped on a few other things that needed to be accomplished, and we worked pretty hard, all day, at getting them done. We didn't get everything done, but we did make a serious dent, so I'm pretty happy with the way things worked out.

Jason is doing well, and his wounds are still making some very good progress. He has been staying down more, and except for the time with the Blue Star Moms yesterday, over these past couple of days he has been taking it very easy - and that is a good thing. Tomorrow he has another appointment with the VA, at their dental section, and then possibly a visit to his "new" primary (all depends on how the schedules work out). I put new in quotes because we have been told that he would be seeing Dr. Peo as his primary, and the good doctor is the same primary Jason had when he was active duty. Dr. Peo left the Army (he was an Army doctor working at a Naval Hospital, helping Marines heal) and came straight to the VA. Jason was happy to hear about the primary assignment. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27, 2014

The year continues to move forward and time just keeps on moving along. We are already coming up on the end of September, and time just seems to fly by now. But I guess that is what we should expect to see as we move along with it.

I got a nice bike ride in today, about 17 miles, and then Linda and I continued to work on our projects, mostly finally getting our 2013 taxes filed. There were a couple of other smaller projects we got involved in, and that was a nice break; and, Linda used one of those "smaller" projects to fulfill an obligation with the Blue Star Moms.

The San Diego North County Blue Star Moms (Linda has gotten involved with them) held their annual fun raising dinner tonight and they wanted us to be there. Especially Jason, as they wanted him to read a message to the guests - about the POWs and MIAs that come from every war. Jason did an excellent job and showed that he really enjoys being in front of a group, no matter what size.

That was pretty much all the moving around that Jason did, and I was glad about that. He is making some solid progress with the healing, and I like it better when he is laying down. I am going to do my best to make it possible for him to stay in bed most of the time, over these next several weeks, and that is even considering our busy schedule.

Tomorrow is going to be another quiet day, and about the only thing he will really need to do is to take a shower. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 2014

Today was a much better day for us, and Jason has his truck. Actually, the Ability Center brought it, and his chair, by at about 08:50 this morning. It was pretty exciting and we did take some pictures, but for some reason I am having difficulties getting them down off the camera right now, so I'm going to have to wait to share them - I'll do my best to get them to you this weekend sometime.

Linda and I worked on some paper work, most of the day, and Jason relaxed and played his video games. There was also an appointment that Jason had to get to, with Wound Care, and that went very well. They were pleased with how the healing is coming along, and it was very visible just how much has healed up. So much so that the wound on the left is just about closed, and the one on the right is now only about half as big as it was just a couple weeks ago.

Jason and I did head over to Costco, to pick up a few things... really, there were only 17 things on our shopping list. He was still surprised at the total when we were done, but I guess that is just the way it is when shopping at Costco. The fun part was that we took Jason's new truck. We drove in some heavy traffic, and then got into the Costco parking lot, and Jason did an excellent job of maneuvering around. I think that in another couple of months, once Jason has become much more comfortable with the operations of the hand controls, he'll be driving it like any other vehicle. If nothing else, he has to get used to driving the truck simply because of its size. It is larger than most vehicles and sits high, so his view point is higher than most drivers.

We got back to the house and unloaded the truck and I went inside. I did take some time to sit down and relax a little, then started dinner. Linda is still sticking with her diet, and she is doing an outstanding job of it, so the dinner was basically just for Jason and I. I ended up going with burritos and that was good for Jason also. They're easy to work with, and they can be mighty tasty. That was pretty much it for the day, and except for taking some time to just be together and the day was over, and I headed up to take care of the blog. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25, 2014

Today was a rough day for us - with a number of things that went wrong and errors made. I went for a bike ride and the ride took longer than I had originally planned. It was a matter of construction and obstacles that contributed to my delayed arrival at home, but bottom line is that I shouldn't have gone on the ride in the first place. Linda needed to get to the base so she could attend an event, and so she left on her own, and that caused problems for her to be able to get on to the base. Not being able to get on to the base made her late for the event, and by the time everything got straightened out she was no longer able to go. She came home just as Jason and I were getting ready to leave, to go pick up his new truck.

When Jason and I arrived, there were no handicap parking slots left, so we had to improvise, and it worked out okay. We met with Terry, at the Ability Center and they took us back to see Jason's new truck. He got into the truck and with Terry in the back seat the two of them took off for the official test drive (Gracie, the dog was also along - I waited at the dealership). They came back and it was determined that a minor adjustment needed to be made, and when they were done Jason was asked to get back in the truck, to make sure the adjustment was in the right place. As he was getting in position to get into the truck his power chair stopped working. There was no obvious reason for the chair to have stopped, and nobody seemed to know what to do to get it working again. We were at the Ability Center, so we thought it would be alright, then they asked Jason if he could get out of the chair. At this point Jason had been up for a few hours now, and the techs there wanted to take apart the seat, meaning Jason couldn't be in it. The solution, I would have to take Jason home and bring the chair back. With no power the chair is quite heavy, and I had to get it into the van, and then into the house; then back into the van again.

As I was making my way back to the Ability Center, the tech from the VA came by, to put the belts on to the chair, with more secure buckles. This took about an hour, and we even talked with him about what we needed to do to get the chair working again. He took a look at it and couldn't find anything wrong, though he didn't have any diagnostic tools with him. When he was done I was again off to the Ability Center. In a matter of about 15 minutes they determined that there wasn't a short or disconnected wire anywhere. Terry came out and asked that they be allowed to keep it over night and they would work on it until it was working again. As it turned out I did leave the chair with them and in a couple of hours they had determined that there was a problem with the controller, and once that was fixed they chair was operational again. It was now after 17:00 (5pm), so Terry let Jason know that he would be bringing the chair and the truck to the house in the morning.

There were a number of other things I was hoping to get accomplished today, and eventually I did get some of the tasks accomplished; just much later than I had first hoped. This evening has been much more relaxed and knowing that Jason's truck will be here in the morning made it a bit easier to deal with. Both Linda and I requested a "do-over" for today, but it didn't happen... ;-). Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive. Oh, yes, one more thing - I was hoping to post some photos today, well it looks like it is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014

Today was an excellent day, though it began a bit shaky. Typically I am the household alarm clock, and I'm usually awake no later than 06:30. This morning I woke at 03:00 and realized it was a bit too early to be up, and managed to get back to sleep; then I woke again at 06:00 (almost exactly) and thought to myself - "this is still a little early, so I'll just lay here for a minute or two" - I fell back asleep and woke again at 07:03. The room was all lit up by the sun light coming in and I immediately knew it was later than I wanted and grabbed my phone to check the time (that's why I knew it was 07:03). Anyway, I jumped up and also woke Linda. I told her we were late and needed to get moving right away. We had to get the girls going because it is a school day. Turned out that it was okay, and the girls got to school on time, looking as cute as ever. Linda and I work pretty well as a team getting them going and off - just like the old days when we were trying to get our own boys out the door.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, compared to that first couple of hours of excitement. Jason had an appointment, and then the rest of the day off. Linda and I ended up working on some personal chores and then we both jumped into the garage and began going through some of our stuff. Actually we were looking for some things, and just kept getting more and more into the boxes. We ended up getting rid of a couple of boxes (big ones) and reorganizing parts. We found some things to donate and were able to consolidate other things.

 I wanted to let everyone know that everything else is pretty much back to where we were, yesterday, and we're not concerned about them coming to throw us out of the house. Jason still has to work it through the Marines, and that is going to be a pain in the posterior, so it isn't over, we're just in a better position now. Tomorrow is going to be a special day as Jason is going to be picking up his truck! At least that is the plan right now. If he does get to pick it up I will be sure to put in a couple of pictures for all to see. Thanks, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 23, 2014

Other than being threatened with eviction, it has been a relatively normal day, well maybe a busy day, but still kinda normal. Yes, I said eviction. Apparently there has been some sort of clerical error that took place a few months back, that Jason wasn't aware of, and in fact, we're still not certain of what actually took place. The way military housing works is, each member of the services, who is entitled to be compensated for housing, receives a specific amount each month. This has been an on going thing with Jason, since the injury, and actually he has not even seen the money. They set it up so that whatever allowance you receive, it is exactly the same as the rent costs for base housing. This has been working just fine for the past 3+ years, here in San Diego. Then, at about the same time the divorce was final all of it got mucked up. Jason is working on getting it straightened up, yet in the mean time he was notified he had to pay up a bunch of money (TODAY) or be evicted. Fortunately Jason had the money, and avoided the issue, for now. There is a bunch more to this, and it would take me a couple of pages to get it all down, so just for now know, things are being worked on and we expect Jason to get most, if not all, of his money back.

We went down to get a nice family picture taken, as we haven't had that done in quite awhile. Usually the pictures are just of the girls, or maybe Jason and the girls. This time Linda and I were included, and it is probably a good thing, since I generally don't get a bunch of pictures taken of me. Linda will probably be looking or ways of displaying them around the house, and I did not capture any with my own camera, so I don't plan on posting on the blog.

The rest of the day was relaxed. The girls had good days at school and we all got some things done around the house that needed to be done. I suspect that tomorrow is going to be another relaxed day, and I will be doing some work for Stand Up And Play, so that they can know what they're doing. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayer. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014

Not much to report about today, as we had a nice quiet one, the kind I like to see as often as we can.
Jason had a visit with the VA, Wound Care folks and they were just as positive and friendly as the last time, only this time it was decided that since Jason prefers to be treated with the Wound Care folks from Balboa, that is where he will be going until there is a need to change (I don't anticipate any need for change). I had to agree with what they were saying, that is, that there should really only be a single point of control for the wounds, otherwise different treatment patterns could generate more problems, rather than solutions.

Once Jason was finished with the Wound Care we went over to their Physical Therapy area, where there is a real concerted effort to find a more comfortable seating arrangement for Jason's chair. Rick, the supervisor at the VA Clinic, gave us 3 new seats to work with and try out, and attached a new back on Jason's chair. So far Jason likes it much better, and if it continues I would have to say that a new, more specific to the chair model is going to be ordered. The one that Jason is using, right now, is just a little small on the frame, and so they would order a slightly larger version.

We finished up there and came back home. Not much else happened throughout the day, other than some final clean up from Stacy's party. We did find out that Joselyn will probably be leaving soon, as the company she works for is not recognized by the VA, for Jason's support needs. She was given the option of going to work for the company that they do recognize, but that would require a significant pay cut, as well as position reduction (seems the VA doesn't think Jason needs the same level of care and support as we were getting. We (Jason, Linda and I) all talked about it and have come to the conclusion that we don't want lesser care to be brought in, and we'll just have to do a little more work to keep up. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

September 21, 2014

I know I was supposed to post some stuff from Stacy's birthday party, yesterday, but by the time Linda and I were able to stop and relax it was getting late, and we were both kinda tired. Anyway, I will do my best to give you a nice update. I'm also going to post a few pictures, so you can see all the people who were there. Actually, we received R.S.V.P. responses up until just a couple of hours before the party. Did that make it a little difficult to plan? Yep.

Anyway, at one point we had about 50 people in the house, with the majority of them being about 5 years old, and full of energy. Stacy was having a great time, and I think Jackie was also, though she was just amazed at how many people were there (I was too). Linda had put down that they party was to begin at 11:00, and right at 11:00 people started to show up. There were name tags, and that helped a bunch, and there were also neighborhood kids showing up, so name tags were even more important. I had to tell the neighborhood kids that it was a private party, and the jumpy house that we had was just for the party kids. I think they all understood, but it was still uncomfortable having to "chase" them away. I would have liked to been able to let them stay, but we had to set boundaries somewhere, and do our best to maintain some control.

I began cooking the hamburgers shortly after the party began, and actually was able to keep enough of them flowing to allow Linda to coordinate everyone getting fed. I think I took about 15 pictures, and Linda took the other 150 - 180. She always works the camera much better than I do at these events (see below). And when it came around to about 14:00 (2pm), when the party was scheduled to be over, just about everyone did. Actually, at about 13:30 (1:30pm) a number of the guests had already left, so it wasn't like a mass exodus right at the end. Unfortunately, Stacy was not able to open her gifts with all the people there, though I was still able to capture some of that activity with the camera











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Considering how many people were there, we were surprised at how few duplicates Stacy received. Stacy was excited and surprised at each of the gifts, and we were very glad to see that, as well. Linda wrote down all the information for each of the gifts, so that Stacy will be able to send thank you's back out. And then the party was really over.

Linda's parents, Joe and Jess, came down and helped, and we were glad to have them, as well as David (our son) and his wife Miriam, and their two boys. This was definitely a family effort and I don't think we could have done it with out all the extra help. We also had help from one of the young ladies from the church. Linda had asked to have her come over, and she was happy to do so. They only thing that we needed to do after everyone was gone was to clean up. The jumpy house was picked up right at the end of the party, and David and I took care of most of the outside clean up. Inside it was a different story. Again, Linda was taking care of that, and fortunately there were plenty of people around to help with that as well.

Heck, even Jason came out for the party and stayed for a few hours, and he got involved with some of the activities - especially the pinata. Not that he got to hit it - Linda was the only adult to swing at it - just that he was there to help with "crowd control" as well as talking with a bunch of the parents. It was nice being able to get a chance to meet with the other parents of Stacy's class. Many of the kids are from military families, and this helps them, as much as it was a plus for Jason.

Now on to today, and what happened on Sunday. Well, both Linda and I got up early, and both of us knew it was going to be a busy day so we wanted to get some morning exercise in. After that she made pancakes for the girls and Jason. I didn't eat because I had plans for going in tomorrow to get a colonoscopy, and I wasn't to eat much in the morning, then nothing the rest of the day. As it turned out I must have had my days all twisted because a bit later I found out that the appointment isn't until the 30th. Anyway, shortly after finding out I could have something to eat I ate a nice lunch.

I also went off to help Anthony Netto, as he flew back in to the airport, and needed a ride to his truck, back over at the golf course. This really didn't take too long, as traffic wasn't too bad, and the course isn't too far away. Shortly after I got home Linda decided that she would be taking the girls to see the new Dolphin Tail 2 movie, and that it would provide me a chance to relax a little. I did get to relax and even saw part of the 49er football game (I kind of wished I hadn't). The rest of the day was just that, taking care of a bunch of little things and then the day was done. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014

Jason and I were up and out of the house by about 08:00 this morning and Linda stayed behind to get things ready for Stacy's 6th birthday party. Jason and I were on our way to the Holes For Heroes golf tournament. Funny thing is, neither of us has ever really played golf, so we were kind of walking in on the blind side. When we arrived we were greeted with the update that we were not on their roster, and our names had been removed from their play list. I found this interesting, since I had been trying to keep in touch with the planning folks, and letting them know our status, almost on a daily basis. I even called last night and let them know that we were going to be there, though we might not be able to play the entire 18 holes.

As it turned out, we were teamed up with a couple of other guys who came in late, and they needed partners. One was named Vince (the best player in our team) and the other was named Trevor (almost as good as Vince). Because it was a scramble and shot gun start we began on the 9th hole and went from there. Jason did pretty well, with the short game but was unable to drive the ball. Of course I wasn't able to drive the ball either, and I have no excuse other than to say I'm not coordinated enough. We had fun scooting around on the course and made it all the way to the 16th hole when we called it quits. Jason and I told our teammates we were heading back and wished them well. We got back to the club house and were greeted by a few folks, and then we left. There were some pictures taken, and I'll do my best to post a few tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow - Stacy's birthday party is tomorrow and we're expecting a bunch of kids to be showing up to help celebrate. Jason and I got home at about 12:40 and Linda pulled up just a few moments before we got into the house. She still had some running around to do, and the jump house was still on its way, so there was still plenty to get done. By the time we had everything done and were finally sitting down to dinner, it was almost 19:00 (7pm), and I was plumb tuckered out. The girls were very excited about the party and we were having fun with them, all night, and that was a major contributor to me being tired. Anyway, tomorrow should be fun and I am sure Linda will be taking a bunch of pictures. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 18, 2014

This morning started out with me jumping on my bike and going out for a nice ride of 17+miles. I really wasn't sure where I was going, so I began in one direction and then turned around, about 5 miles into it and came most of the way back, and made a right hand turn. This took me out to Mission Bay, and out another 5 or so miles. I would have liked to have been able to stay out longer and go farther, but I had to get back to the house because of a phone call I was expecting (it was from Jason's case manager and there were a couple of things we needed to talk about). The phone call went well and I got some new information, as well as requested more compression shorts, specially designed for Jason. Right now, she seems to be the only source where we can get them.

The rest of the morning and into the afternoon went well, and at about 14:00 (2pm) we headed out to the Ability Center, where they are working on Jason's truck. They had been working on both the truck and the van, but apparently there had been an accident at the shop and the van was damaged. Enough so that they are going to be getting another one and starting over. I did see the damage and I have to agree that it is better to start with another new van. To say the least, the General Manager of the company was embarrassed as well as probably other emotional feelings, yet he held it together pretty well. We do know that the guy driving the van, at the time, was released from the hospital with only minor injuries. Anyway, the truck is in great shape, and today they made all the needed adjustments so that the power chair Jason rides is now set and latches in place so he can drive. We were told that the truck will be ready by Tuesday, Wednesday at the latest, depending on how fast some of the paper work gets accomplished. If the paperwork was finished Jason could be in it tomorrow.

The rest of the evening was relatively quiet, though sometimes when Jason plays his video games he can get a little noisy. Tomorrow we're going to a golfing event called, Holes For Heroes. Not really sure how it is going to play out, but we do want to be there, as it is a great fund raiser to help many of the wounded veterans. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 17, 2014

Another warm day in beautiful San Diego. This morning was crazy busy for me, with  the beginning starting with the girls needing to get to school on time. Linda and I both slept in a little later than we normally do, but were still up by 06:45, so we had plenty of time to get that aspect done. I was also doing my best to work with my counterpart with Stand Up And Play, only he is in Washington, D.C. area, so 3-hours ahead. I needed to get him some documentation, and there was still things to do, to complete the documentation. Well, it all worked out and everything was done on time, and the girls were walked to school with a few minutes to spare. Linda and I got back to the house and Jason tells me that he is in need of a couple of medications, so I had to quickly head over to Balboa to pick them up - I thought he still had some and could have waited until later. The surprising thing was that I was able to go, pick up the meds, and get back in less than 45 minutes - that's the fastest I've ever been able to do that.

It is now nearly 10:00, and I still want to get out for a bike ride. I have an appointment at noon, so I don't want to be gone too long. I decided to take a route that I was sort of familiar with, and on the return trip (most of which was down hill) I was really enjoying the ride. So much so, that I didn't notice when I had missed my turn. I went down the road about 1/2 mile and stopped and said to myself, "Where am I?" Fortunately it wasn't too bad and I was able to head on back to the point where I was supposed to be (which means I was riding up a steep hill again) and soon back at the house. This extra detour caused me to be a bit later than I wanted, and so I really didn't have time to cool down and went in kind of sweaty. Everything was fine though, as I was right on time and all went well.

The rest of the day was relaxed and Jason was able to get a shower in. It had been more than 24 hours since the treatment and that is what they said he needed to wait. A short time after that Linda and I went out to see if we could find a movie we wanted to see... so we checked the web to see where it was showing. We drove down to the down town theater and walked in and found out that they were NOT showing it and the person behind the counter suggested that we try the other theater just a couple blocks away. We headed over there and sure enough, it was showing, but only at a later time and so we decided to just come on back home. We sat back and relaxed and actually had a better time staying home AND we spent a heck of a lot less money. I've intentionally left out the name of the movie, because I want to go see it before I share it with you. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 16, 2014

Quite an interesting day for us, here in lovely San Diego. The morning started out bright and sunny, and also quite warm. By the time we had walked the girls to school and come back to the house (about a six block walk, round trip) we were sweating. The humidity was up a bit also, and I think that had a lot to do with it. Shortly after getting back to the house, and having our breakfast, the folks from the Ability Center came by to pick up Jason's power wheelchair. The chair was needed to do some final "fitting" in the truck and van, so Jason will be able to operate both. Linda was off running errands and Jason had an appointment at Balboa, and by 09:00 the house was empty.

We got to the hospital and both Jason and I thought he was to receive some laser treatment, as a means for helping the wounds to close. There was also going to be another phytoplast (not sure about the spelling) treatment, and we thought we'd be in and out in a matter of maybe two hours. Well, it took just over three hours and the laser treatment wasn't done. The phytoplast treatment is very delicate and the idea is to keep as much pressure off of it as possible, for at least the first 24 hours and if possible 72 hours of little to no pressure. If they had done the laser treatment it would have caused wide spread pressure and the treatment would have been for not. The laser treatment will have to wait until next month, and is now scheduled for October 8.

During one of the breaks in the treatment I went over to the pharmacy to get a couple of prescriptions filled, and I'll go pick them up tomorrow. We left the hospital without going to building 26, where the Wounded Warrior Battalion is, and that meant we still have stuff in the van that we have been attempting to "donate" to the guys who can use it (clothes and stuff that Jason can no longer use). So now we're back at the house and Jason is laying back down. In a matter of a few hours I will be starting dinner by grilling some burgers in the backyard. It is still a warm day so it will have to wait until it cools down a bit.

It did eventually cool down some, but that is when it got a little strange. It was still about 90 degrees out, and all of a sudden it started to rain. At first it was more like a heavy mist, and the girls were out in the back having fun. It was late enough in the day where I could start the grill and grilling in a lite rain seemed like it might be kind of fun. Well, I finally decided to move over to be under the umbrella, and in a matter of a couple of minutes it was coming down in buckets. In the three years we've been here I don't think I've ever seen it rain that hard and long in the summer months (it is still summer you know). It continued to rain hard for a good 20 minutes, and the girls were having a great time. The thunder and lightening were an added plus. I did still manage to get the burgers cooked, and since I was under an umbrella I didn't get too wet. When they were done I brought them inside, in a covered dish and we had dinner. The fortunate thing was that the rain had just about stopped when I came back into the house.

Not sure what is going to be happening tomorrow, but at this point there are no appointments. We will basically take the days activities as they come. First thing though, will be to get the girls to school, and then wait to see how the rest of the day goes. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

One of those days where things just sort of go right, for the most part. We got up and dressed, and had a nice breakfast (I fixed some oatmeal). We got ready and then we headed over to the Ability Center, to see Jason's future truck and van. We got there (Linda, Jason and I) and Terry, the owner, was soon right there greeting us and asking us to come to the back, where they were working on the vehicles. The truck is awesome, and Jason got to sit behind the steering wheel, and he looked very pleased with being there (check out the pics below). After getting the required measurements and some initial adjustments, we went over to the van, and that one was just about as awesome as the truck. The truck is a crew cab, but due to the equipment that has been installed it will only be able to carry four people, or maybe three and Gracie, the dog. The van is a full sized Ford Econoline Passenger van, and will carry as many as seven as a time, so one is definitely for his personal use and the other is for family adventures. Linda and I were very happy to see how everything was coming along, and Terry said that both of them should be ready at about the same time - about a week.

The rest of  the day was relaxed and Linda was able to even squeeze in a nap. I got to play some games on the computer and just relax for a change, and about the only thing that I didn't do, that I felt a little guilty about, was to get out on a bike ride. I won't be riding tomorrow either as I will be taking Jason in for his laser treatment/procedure, and that is going to happen in the morning. We don't expect it to take much more than a few hours, from the time we get there until we get back home, so it should be a relatively easy time.

Tonight we had some pasta and a nice mushroom and meat sauce. It was pretty good but I have found that I am eating less, and it has become more voluntary, rather than forcing myself to eat less. I am doing all I can to drop some pounds, and so far it seems to be working. I've lost 15 lbs. so far, with at least another 15 to go. The bike riding is a big part of this, so that is why I want to ride all the time. Linda is also determined to loose the weight, and I'm not sure, but she may be ahead of me. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.







Sunday, September 14, 2014

September 14, 2014

Wow, two weeks into September already, and it seems like last Christmas was just here. The girls have been growing quickly, and we've gotten into a much more stable routine (though there are still plenty of times when we get surprised). Jason is continuing to get healthier and healing up nicely again, and now he is a civilian, just like me - they just seem to treat him better at the VA than they do me, and I'm glad they do.

This weekend was relaxed and we were able to get some simple chores done around the house. It also afforded us the time needed to get some solid planning for Stacy's up coming 6th birthday. Well, Linda is doing most of the planning and Jason and I are more like consultants. From what she has done so far I'd have to say it is going to be a very nice party, and it really isn't going to cost very much. Jason's biggest expense (I think) is the jumpy house that he ordered, and that shouldn't be more than $150.00, or maybe even less. Invites have gone out to her Kindergarten class, and there have been several responses so far, so we're expecting a bunch of kids, as well as a bunch of relatives (cousins). Anyway, its happening Saturday.

Funny thing happened to me, today. I was sitting at my computer, upstairs when the cover to the light fixture fell and landed on me. Fortunately it is made of lite plastic and so didn't fall to fast, and startled me much more than it hurt. Looks like one of the latches that holds it in place just wore through and that allowed the cover to slip away. I'll get it fixed tomorrow.

Jason and I will be heading over to The Ability Center, where they are building his vehicles. They want to make sure he is able to get into the driver area/compartment, with his wheel chair. I'm looking forward to seeing just what they've done. If I can, I'll get some pictures and post them tomorrow for everyone to see. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

Jason has been really focusing on getting his wounds to heal, and he and I both share the same sentiment, that the more he is "off" the wounds, the better they'll do. So far it seems to be working in his favor, and ours too. We did go into Wound Care, at Balboa, today, and they were pleased with the way the left side was looking. The right side also has shown improvements over these past few days, so over all things are much more positive. Next week he will also be heading in to the VA for a follow up visit, with their Wound Care folks, and I think they'll be pleased as well.

The rest of the day was spent taking care of other errands and cleaning up around the house. The weather has been warmer than normal, and more importantly the humidity has been high. This makes the task of walking around, outside, kind of uncomfortable. The evenings are better, so we make our mail box run a little later in the evening. Tomorrow is Saturday; Linda will be attending a San Diego Blue Star Mothers meeting and Jason and I will be taking Gracie to her training, and when that is done, doing our best to get back to the house as soon as we can. I'm sure there will be other fun things to do, but right now my focus is just to relax a bit and enjoy the weather - I kind of like warm weather. Thanks, for the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

September 11 is one of those days that has a special meaning to Jason, and that is besides the obvious remembrance of those who were killed and injured as a result of the strike on the twin towers. It is also the original day that Jason was supposed to begin his career with the Marines. He was waiting, along with a bunch of other guys, to head off to Boot Camp, down here at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, and all transportation suddenly stopped. Well, at least the airlines did, and they couldn't get any ground transport that would accommodate all the guys going off to their various points. Anyway, he basically just waited a week and then his career began, so he actually has two days that he remembers, and always will.

Today was a day for him to remain down and the positive out of that is that the wounds are doing much better. Both of them are showing positive signs, with the one on the left looking like it will be closing up here in a matter of just a couple of days. We are staying vigilant in taking care of them, and it is a joint effort, so both of us are very much involved. Even Linda has gotten involved with all of care for Jason, and that is another good thing. Not much else to write about for today, other than Linda and I worked a little on the garage, and later went to have dinner with Robb and Pauline Frank. Otherwise it was a nice day to just catch up. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014

We had a great day today, with Jason and I going over to Balboa, and working with Dr. Shue (Jason's primary), and the folks at prosthetic fitting. They brought in an outside party, call Ride Design, and they seem to have some good ideas on how to make Jason more comfortable, as well as allowing him to sit up and not put pressure on his open wounds. This is the biggest challenge they have with Jason, and if they can get beyond the pressure challenges I do believe Jason will be so much better. They appointment lasted for a little more than an hour, and then there were a couple other things to be done, then we were on our way back to the house.

The rest of the day was pretty much laid back and relaxed. This evening, Linda and I were able to go out and catch a movie. We have found this smaller theater that still shows first run movies, but the prices are much lower. We saw the movie If I Stay and I have to admit that I wasn't too excited about going, but Linda wanted to see it. About 10 minutes into the movie I recognized it from some previews I've seen and realized that it WAS a movie I wanted to see, and I had to let Linda know she picked a good movie. Funny thing was that the theater was virtually empty, except for the two of us... we had a private showing.

Jason basically spent the rest of the day resting in his bed and that is a good thing. The more he is off and out of the chair, the better. I am hoping that there is continued progress and when we go in to Wound Care (Balboa) that they recognize the improvement. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 9, 2014

A good day for everyone here, and we hope you had a good day also. Jason didn't have any appointments, and didn't have to go see anybody, so he basically stayed in bed, and that is a very good thing. When he is not in his chair it allows for healing to work so much better, and progress is again moving in the right direction for him.

I did, however, have to take the Rollx van in for servicing, and that was quite the experience. I took the van to Rancho Dodge, because that is where I have been told to take it. If it wasn't for the fact that the van belongs to the folks in Minneapolis, and they pay for the service, I wouldn't go to Rancho Dodge. They are, by far, the worst run business I have ever had to deal with. The mechanics seem to be competent, and most of the service people want to provide help, but the management side is really out of touch with what needs to be done. They consistently bring in more vehicles than can be handled, and apparently the management does not treat their employees very well. I say this because there is always (or at least the few times I've been there) more work than they have staff to handle. Anyway, the van is done and I don't have to deal with them again. Jason should have his vehicles by the time there is a need for another service visit.

I did, however, get a nice bike ride out of the deal. Round trip 15 miles and I got an opportunity to ride up a very challenging hill. I was able to get up the hill with less trouble than I expected, and that made me feel pretty good. I'm going to have to see if I can find more hills to challenge now... ;-)

The rest of the day, and evening, was pretty laid back. Linda fixed a very nice salmon dinner and then we got to help Stacy with her "homework." Jason did come out of the bedroom, after his shower and checked out the homework, and visited a little while with us, and it just felt very much like the way families are supposed to be. No appointments tomorrow, so I might take off for another bike ride, or Linda and I might just go do something together, we'll just have to figure that one out. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014

Today was another good day, with Jason's back not bothering him too much, and mentally ready for the VA visit, to their La Jolla VA Hospital. I found out recently that the La Jolla VA Hospital is rated as THE Best of the VA hospitals, and I guess we are fortunate to have that available to us. I know I have had a few challenges with them, so when we went there today I was a little apprehensive, to say the least.

When we did get there, about 20 minutes prior to the appointment, we were directed to the area Jason needed to be at (for those that don't know, the La Jolla Hospital is very large), and this was all done very efficiently and quickly. He notified the receptionist that he was there, and why, and within less than 15 minutes we were back with the Wound Care folks. We both thought we were going in to see someone else, but that was due to our own ignorance. Their naming structure is such that Ortho care and Prosthetic care, also means Wound Care. Anyway, we went in and met some very nice people who showed a high level of interest in working with Jason, and an eagerness of wanting to make sure he was comfortable. They seemed very competent and it was very easy discussing the different aspects of Jason's care with them. The Nurse Practitioner who was in charge of the area arranged for Jason to be seen by Prosthetic Care almost immediately, and that was again shown to be a good group of people who were most interested in helping to be sure Jason was comfortable. We will be working closely with them over these next several months, and we're both excited about complementing the work at Balboa (the Naval Hospital) with the work at La Jolla.

Jason and I were back home at just a little after noon, which was good since we were both hungry. We had not planned on being out as long as we were, but the time was well spent at La Jolla. There were a few other things to be done, and Jason wanted to get back down (lay down on the bed) as soon as he could, so the timing worked well. Over these past few days Jason hasn't been up anymore than he needs to be, and it is beginning to show with the wounds. There is some solid progress in how they are progressing, so we are again hopeful.

The rest of the evening was spent with the girls (they were both home before 15:00 (3pm)) and it was a continuation of the positive day. They were both filled with energy and quite happy with all they had to get done (Stacy is bringing home Home-work now), with a big part of that being time to be spent with Daddy, reading. As you can imagine, Linda and I are very supportive of this. I would guess tomorrow is going to be similar, though there are no medical appointments. I do have to take the van in to have the front end aligned, and with that I will combine it with a bike ride, again. I also have a bunch of work to get done for Stand UP And Play, so I will have a busy day again. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September 7, 2014

A relatively easy day for the family, with Linda and I taking the girls to church (they both really enjoy going to Sunday School). Jason is feeling a little better, though his back still giving him some challenges and spasms. While at church we got a special treat, and got to meet the pastor's son Elliot Powers. He is an ordained Presbyterian Minister and has been doing some evangelistic work, and then about 1 1/2 years ago decided that he would turn it into a musical evangelistic ministry. He has amazing talents and singing voice, and we really enjoyed listening to him. He later did a performance in the evening that about 100 parishioners attended. I really do think this guy has a true calling and I hope he continues with this work. He is a little older than Jason and has two daughters, 2yrs and 4 yrs old (about the same spread as Stacy and Jackie).

Anyway, after service there was a carnival of sorts, at the church, with a big Jumpy-house for the kids to play in. They also had some games and prizes for all the kids. Both of them were pretty worn down by the time we finally left, and that was close to noon. After their lunch they went down for a nap, both of them saying they weren't tired, and about 30 seconds after laying down they were both out, and slept for a couple of hours.

I got to watch the 49er game (most of it anyway), and thought they played well, but showed lots of areas where they can still improve - For those that don't know, Dallas lost 28/17. Dallas didn't get into the game until the 4th qrt and by then it was too late.

Dinner was simple and the rest of the evening was relaxed. The girls went to bed about 08:15 and now we've come to the end of the day. Tomorrow Jason has some appointments with the VA, up in La Jolla, so I don't know how long that is going to take, but I do know that if they don't get things going correctly I am going to let them know I am  not happy with them. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6, 2014

Today began with a quick bike ride for me, while everyone else was still getting up. Funny thing was that I didn't know there was a Tri-athalon competition going on, and the route I decided to go was on the bike portion of the event. I had to modify my ride a bit, but that was okay, it was nice seeing all these folks out on their bikes. I really didn't know what was going on, until I stopped and asked one of the officials along the route, what was going on. Anyway, I made a quick adjustment and turned the ride into a nice little 12 miler and was back at the house pretty quickly.

When I walked in Linda had gotten up with the girls and made them, and Jason some breakfast. Our next task was to get the girls ready for the Eagle Court of Honor that we were going to, later in the morning (11:00 start time). Everybody, including Jason, was ready and we took off for the church, where the event was being held. Still not much traffic on the road and we got there with 15 minutes to spare. We didn't know it until after it was announced, but Jason was one of the special guests they introduced to the audience - they introduced all of us, but Jason got the special intro.

The event was nice, and really not too long, and I've been to some where they went on for over two hours. There was a nice lunch afterward and we did get to socialize just a bit. The down side was that Jason's back started to act up and so we said our good-byes and headed back home. When we did get back home Jason was soon back in bed and soon he was asleep (he took some pain meds and they still can put him to sleep).

There was another event that we (Jason and I) were to go to, this evening, that we didn't get to. I called Bob, the man who invited us and let him know the status, and he was, as always, very understanding. It kind of goofed things up for dinner, as Linda had planned on a dinner for just her and the girls, so now there were two more mouths to feed. It all worked anyway, and we simply had a quite evening at home. I am hopeful that Jason will be able to come to church with us, tomorrow, but that remains to be seen. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 5, 2014

Just a quick post, so that you all won't think that I forgot you.

Jason is doing well, and the visit with Wound Care went well, though they do have some concerns with the wound on the right side - as I do. It seems to be doing better now, but for a while it was going the wrong way. We just need to keep a close eye on it. The other one is look so much better, and my thought is that once it is healed the other will also start healing faster.

Tomorrow we will be headed to an Eagle Court of Honor (Boy Scouts) and then to a special dinner with another group. It is going to prove to be a busy Saturday, but I hope that it is an enjoyable one and that Jason and I both have a good time. Linda will be with us, as will the girls, for the Court of Honor, but the evening dinner is going to be just Jason and I. Depending on how he feels we may not stay for all the speeches afterward. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4, 2014

Today was a very exciting day, and one that made me smile. Jason had his first meetings/appointments with the VA, as a retired Marine. There were three appointments scheduled throughout the day, and the first one started at 10:30, with one of the guys who makes sure all the paper work and registration information is correct. As you can imagine, this was a little on the dull side, though very necessary and lasted nearly an hour. The next meeting was with his care coordinator (she had a much longer title than that, but care coordinator gives a basic idea of her position). Linda and I sat in on the meeting with her and Jason (he invited us) so we got to know her a little and that is a good thing. We all felt pretty good about her attitude and energy, so now we just have to hope that she is as good as she presented herself.

The last meeting was a few hours later, so we took the time out to actually go to lunch at a little after noon. We have a habit of eating later in the day, for some reason so this was a nice change of pace. We tried this new place, not too far from the VA and found the food to be good and quite inexpensive. Linda ordered a salad, and when they brought it we both looked at it and thought it was for the entire table, but it was just for her. It was a good salad and I had that same one with my sandwich (Jason didn't have a salad). When we were done eating there was time to take care of one errand and then we got back to the VA and Jason finished up his first day with the VA. All the appointments were on time and not once did we have to wait much longer than a few minutes before he was called in, just like it is supposed to work. Though we didn't sit in on the last visit/appointment I do believe that Jason was happy with what happened today.

The rest of the evening was relaxed and we had left overs for dinner. Actually Linda cooked some chicken that had been taken out of the freezer yesterday, so it had to be cooked, and there was also some other left overs tonight. For dessert, Jason and I had some ice cream, and Linda had something she felt comfortable eating (sorry, I don't know what it was). Tomorrow we have an appointment with Wound Care and the rest of the day is open, so I should be able to take care of some things. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

September 3, 2014

This morning we got up and Jason and I went with Anthony Netto, to go shooting. For those that don't know, Jason has a new rifle and he wanted to try it out, and the folks over at Miramar, the Marine base. were willing to help out. They opened the shooting range, today - a day typically set for just maintenance, just for Jason and Anthony to get some target shooting in. First they had to "zero-in" Jason's scope and rifle at 200 yards, and then Jason made some shots at 500 yards. I guess they did a good job because in Jason's words, "You can drive nails with this gun, at 500 yards." That means you can hit a very small target, or at least he could.

The two of them had some fun and lasted for a few of hours, then we all came back to the house. For the shooting, both Jason and Anthony used their paramobiles, as Anthony is also in a wheel chair. I chose not to shoot today, and was basically there for moral support and to be a driver. Once we got back to the house we picked up Linda and we all went to get something to eat. I was real proud of Linda as she stuck to her diet and only had a lite salad (I had buffalo wings). Once we came back to the house Anthony and I went over some of the books for Stand UP and Play, and then we all just kicked back and rested. Anthony even was able to take a short nap, prior to him having to drive back home.

The rest of the evening was relaxed and Jason went to sleep early, as he was tired. The only thing we didn't get to do was go to the zoo, for our walk  (the zoo closes earlier now). Tomorrow Jason has some VA appointments, and we'll be gone most of the day - so I am glad he went to sleep early. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 2, 2014

Today started out a little on the slow side and then quickly ramped up. The girls got to school on time; I was able to get in a nice bike ride (over the last three days I've done about 60 miles); Jason got his new computer unpacked (not set up yet); and Linda took care of a whole bunch of little things (I think she worked more than anyone else today). One of the big things Jason and I got done today was to go back through a bunch of his personal belongings, and found some of the items he was wearing, when he stepped on the I.E.D. He reacted pretty much like he has with everything else, and basically said things like, "Wow, so here it is." or "Gee, some of this stuff is pretty dirty." Over all, though, it was a good exercise. He found some things he is going to donate back to the guys in Building 26, so that if any of them need the items he isn't going to be using, they are available and free. While we were going through all of this, Linda was with the girls at the Library, looking for new books. Both Stacy and Jackie love to get books and when we read to them that makes it even that much better.

The rest of the day and evening, was relatively relaxed and the girls got to bed after Grandpa carried them around the house and got them all wound up (yeah, Grandma let Grandpa know I shouldn't get them all excited just before bed). They kind of expect it with me, so it is hard to not play with them. Bottom line is that we were all kind of tired at the end of the day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014

Good day for Jason and the family. We started the day out with a trip to the zoo, right after breakfast. We didn't spend too many hours there, and were, in fact back to the house by noon. But I'm getting ahead of myself. When we got to the zoo we simply walked in and found a path that we could easily walk down. The girls loved it in the reptile area and then over to the tanks of water, where an alligator lived and right next to it another tank where a couple of pygmy hippos lived, both tanks were also filled with all kinds of fish. The alligator came right up to the glass and looked awesome. The hippos didn't seem to want to move at all and were kind of basking in the sun. From there we walked on over to the gorilla area, and got some very close up views of the different gorillas living there. The zoo guides (they were all over the place) said that this was the bachelor enclosure, and most of the gorilla were younger - and it showed. However, even with all these very interesting places to visit, the most interesting of them all was the Orangutan area. These are truly amazing animals, with strong social skills. The sad thing is that they are endangered in the wild and there isn't much being done to help that situation, other than programs sponsored by private persons and organizations. The governments of the world are doing very little to help - it is truly a sad situation.

We also got a chance to walk through a couple of the aviaries and get up close to a couple of the exotic birds that live at the zoo. Many of them are just absolutely beautiful in their colors, and we attempted to take some pictures, though I don't know how they all came out. We were done with most of our wanderings by 11:30 and Jackie was very much looking like she wanted to take a nap. She came over and climbed up on Grandpa and put her head down on my shoulder, and just rested. When this happened I looked at Linda and said, "I think its time to go." So we did.

We came back home and had a nice lunch, and the girls went to take a nap. Later in the day, after they were back up they went out back to play and ride their scooters, so they still were pretty active, and they stayed away from the TV. Not much else happened, other than the monitor of my computer acting up a bit. For some reason have the screen is looking very poorly. I'm going to have to get some help with this tomorrow, to see if I can get it corrected, or if something else has to be done. Fortunately we have two other computers in the house now, so I can always get on line. Thank you, for all the continued prayers and support. Take care and stay positive.