Mike is doing much better than he was even a month ago. He had an exploratory surgery mid-October that showed he didn't have any major damage in his knee, which is where he was experiencing a lot of pain during physical therapy. It took him about a month to recover from the surgery and then the doctors took away his cane and recommended he push through the pain. He's on his feet with no assistance but he won't be running anytime soon.
There has been talk of putting some army gear on him in the next few months to see how he can support the weight. His job requires him to carry a heavy (sometimes 75lb) rucksack, along with a gun and other gear. The weight on his injured leg may be too much for him to continue his career path, which is fine by me. I'd love to see him behind a desk, even though I know he'd be miserable. As a family, I think we've had enough of the long deployments and close calls.
Like I mentioned before, physically, his recovery has been amazing. It's hard to believe that just 9 months ago he was in a hospital bed for a month and we had no idea what the future would hold. Today, I'm able to watch him walk around (albeit with a little limp in his step) and do almost everything he was able to do before the injury. God has blessed us beyond what we ever imagined. So, I don't have a hard time believing that God will also help to heal our broken spirits. That process has already begun.
OK. So, I have this problem. I can be a tad bit obsessive. I do it with many things in my life. I love The Sims2 PC game. I love it so much that I have every expansion pack ever created and I belong to a few online groups (bowing head in shame). I might play for a few weeks straight. It gets to the point where I have a hard time leaving the house because I need to make sure the current young adult Sim I'm playing graduates from college successfully while maintaining all 25 of her best friend relationships. I know. Sad. But then, I snap out of it and I go about my real life, completely putting aside the simulated ones.
I've done this with a number of things in my life. I know it's probably extremely unhealthy. Anyway, my latest obsession...Twilight. I never imagined I'd even want to read the series much less be obsessed with them. I can't get enough. I happily finished the first book in a couple of days, mostly because I was trying to be responsible and study in between reading chapters. I wanted to read it so I could see the movie opening night with my friend. Mission accomplished. I fell in love with the characters even more after watching the movie. Even though, the movie can't even begin to touch the excellence of the book.
So, I borrow the second book in the series, New Moon. I devour it in a matter of a day. I couldn't put it down. It helped that the day out was gloomy and the family was lounging around anyway, which gave me the perfect excuse to waste my day reading. After finishing New Moon, I couldn't sit still, I needed to get the third book, Eclipse. I merely wanted to have it on hand, "so I could read a chapter here and there" is what I kept telling myself and my wonderful sympathetic husband. Ya know, in between laundry and studying.
I'm not sure Mike quite understands my obsessions but I'm sure his love for me is blind because he took pity on me and drove me around town trying to track down the book. It was out of stock every where we went. I was just about to give up hope, when I noticed the Kmart, "Does anyone really shop there? I bet they'll have it. Let's try there." Mike and the kids drop me off at the door before parking to wait. Instead of aimlessly wandering around the Kmart in search of the book section, I ask a sales associate who points me in the right direction.
It was all I had in me not to sprint across the store. As I approached the book section, which was a one rack display with books on both sides but smaller than my bookshelf at home, I begin to prepare myself for the let down. I decided to go ahead and check. I circled the little book display not seeing anything worth purchasing and began to accept defeat, when THERE IT WAS. The thick 629 page book and its black cover are donning the torn red ribbon majestically. It was out of place and the only book there written by Stephenie Meyer. I stopped breathing for a second and smile from ear to ear. I wanted to jump up and down squealing in delight but I contained myself. The book could have had dog poop smeared on it and I would have gladly still purchased it, along with some Clorox wipes, of course.
These are fun. I don't really have many blogger friends to tag. So, if you read this and your interested, feel free to snag it. Just be sure to leave me a comment so I can read yours. ;o)
TYPE ONLY 1 WORD. 1. Where is your cell phone? desk 2. Your significant other? loving 3. Your hair? ponytail 4. Your mother? cancer 5. Your father? dorky 6. Your favorite thing? socks 7. Your dream last night? nothing 8. Your favorite drink? coffee 9. Your dream/goal? contentment 10. The room you're in? living 11. Your fear? loss 12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? graduated 13. Where were you last night? dining 14. What you're not? heartless 15. Muffins? cupcakes 16. One of your wish list items: book 17. Where you grew up. Louisiana 18. The last shopping you did? Christmas 1 9. What are you wearing? pajamas 20. Your TV? off 21. Your pet? love 22. Your computer? purple 23. Your life? blessed 24. Lost any Emails? unsure 25. Missing someone? yes 26. Your car? dirty 27. Something you're not wearing? make-up 28. Favorite Store? AE 29. Your summer? awesome 30. Your favorite color? pink 31. When is the last time you laughed? today 32. Last time you cried? 24th
Now it's 4 answers 34. FOUR PEOPLE WHO E-MAIL ME: Theresa, Bridget, Nancy, Andrea 35. FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: popcorn, chicken, tacos, sweet potatoes 36. FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW? bed, Indiana, Hawaii, Germany 37. FOUR PEOPLE I THINK WILL RESPOND. Cheri, Stephanie, Laura, and You :o)
Yes, I woke up at 3am to go shopping. What am I thinking? I don't think I'm as dedicated to the whole Black Friday thing considering I'm still in my pjs at the computer reading other people's blogs and blogging. It's just very rare that it's so quiet in the house. It's lovely. I might try the waking up early thing another day but maybe not so early next time. Well, I'm off to join in the madness at the shops. Wish me God speed. I'll need it.
I don't think I need to tell you all what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving. But I will. I'm so very thankful and humbled by the fact that I have my family together this Thanksgiving. My husband is home and going to get stuffed on ham, stuffing and green rice. My brother is here with his girlfriend and my precious niece. So much to be thankful for today.
The following was an entry on my caring bridge journal:
MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2008 08:01 AM When Mike had his surgery last week, the surgeons had to lay him face down in order to get to the artery in the back of his knee. Fluid built up in his face and when we saw him the next day he looked like Jay Leno's twin. The swelling has gone down but now he has a huge blister on his chin that is oozing something we won't discuss in great detail.
Yesterday, Mike's mom made a nice Easter dinner and brought it to the hospital for me, Mike and the kids to enjoy. Something was mentioned about Mike's chin and Job wanted to know what happened. The following is the conversation that took place.
Job: Yeah Dad, what happened to your chin?
Mike: Well, when I had surgery the other day the doctors had to roll me on my belly and I was face down on the table...(he continues explaining for what seemed like way too long to Job.)
Job: (brief silence as if he's going to say something about it, then he asks...) Can I have another piece of ham?
Mike: Well, at least they still have their appetites.
Having the kids here definitely makes life sweeter. Mike is still able to smile through all the pain and the kids are able to see that daddy is going to be OK. I won't lie and say it's a piece of cake. Things have been tough. I think it's important for me to give a good report here, but the reality of the matter is that Mike hasn't gotten out of the hospital bed since March 4, with the exception of sliding into a hospital chair or onto some sort of medical contraption.
I keep hearing that 'he's going to make a 100% recovery' and 'he's healing nicely,' and 'you'll be home in no time.' Of course, no one has mentioned whether or not that will be before or after he's able to walk again. Mike doesn't complain. I think I do enough of that for both of us. He wants to go home and that's all he's concentrating on. I want him to do all the things he did before the incident and that's all I'm focusing on.
When Mike signed his name on the line to enter a life of service to the government, no one had to mention the price he was about to pay. He knew. I knew. Yet, we certainly weren't prepared for any of this. Many have mentioned how lucky Mike was to come out of this alive, but I don't consider it luck at all. Contrary to what some may think, God is still very much a part of our lives. It's taken me years to realize that bad things still happen to God's children and not because they deserve it or because they're living in sin (insert eye roll) but because we need to experience even the most horrid of tragedies in order to be there for one another.
I certainly can't own this tragedy. This is Mike's tragedy. He experienced it. He's living it. I'm simply going to be there for him while he's going through it. I appreciate all of you out there, who are thinking of him and aching for him. Even though, you can't be here with him, you're still there for him and his knowing that is making the road to recovery a lot less bumpy.
Mike's leg after partial closure of fasciotomy. March 2008.
November is the month of Thanksgiving. December is Christmas and January brings with it a new year. I love the end of the year. Not only does it give me a good reason to wear adorable scarves and comfy sweaters, but I'm also able to put the crud of the old year behind me and start anew. This year has been rough for a number of reasons. I'll share.
Reason #1: The biggest doozie of them all. My husband was injured while serving in Iraq. It's something that was life changing and covers us like a soggy wet blanket. Things are getting better, but the reality of how fragile we are smacked my family in the face this year and it's going to take awhile (who knows how long) to recover. My husband is recovery well physically. Emotionally? We're all still working on that part. Fortunately together.
This picture was taken at Walter Reed March 2008
I kept a journal on Caring Bridge and I thought I'd share some of it here. Most of the entries were emails sent to family and friends to update them on how Mike was doing after he was injured.
Tues. March 4, 2008 10:18pm I'm not sure that all of you know the following information, but most of you do. I apologize for the abruptness of this email if you haven't heard. I wasn't able to call everyone. Mike was injured yesterday morning by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was on foot, so his leg sustained most of the injury. He did have surgery almost immediately after the incident and they removed all of the shrapnel(I was misinformed. He still has shrapnel throughout his body, but they did remove the stuff that was going to cause problems with veins and arteries). Most of the damage was to his veins in his left leg. Since that surgery, he has stabilized and moved to a hospital in Germany.
I was able to speak with him a couple of hours ago and he sounded in good spirits, considering. He has yet to walk on the injured leg and at this time we're not certain how long recovery will take but the doctor said he should make a full recovery. He did sustain injuries to his head and face, and he has stitches that will leave scarring. The doctor informed us that he will be flying out of Germany and heading to Walter Reed hospital on Friday. We're not certain at this time how long his stay will be there.
From Walter Reed he will travel back here to Fort Campbell, where he'll be in the hospital for an unknown duration. He will more than likely have many doctors appointments and much physical therapy, as well as counseling for himself and the family. Please keep us in your prayers. We're grateful for all the many prayers you've already said in our behalf. I'll try to keep you updated the best I can.
Thurs. March 6, 2008 10:21pm Some of you may or may not have received my first email. If some of this information is repeat, I apologize. As you know, Mike was injured by a roadside bomb on Tuesday morning (our time). He is currently at Landstuhl Regional Hospital in Germany. He mentioned that the staff at Landstuhl are treating him like gold. He's in very good hands. He is tentatively scheduled to fly to Walter Reed in Washington D.C. tomorrow. When I spoke to him this morning, he sounded much better. The doctors have removed him from oxygen, which is a good sign considering most of his major injuries are vascular. Right now, he's in stable condition and his vitals are good. He is still listed as Seriously Injured and will remain in ICU. The army will make arrangements to fly me to Walter Reed as soon as he is on the plane from Germany. At this time, things could still change with his travels and mine, but I'll keep you all updated by email on his status. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I've mentioned to Mike how concerned you all are and it has definitely lifted his spirits to know that you all care and love him. Thank you all so much.
Friday, March 07, 2008 10:22pm
I thought I would send a quick email to let you all know that I'll be flying out of Nashville this afternoon. Mike left Germany this morning and will arrive at Walter Reed this afternoon. I haven't spoken to him since last night but he was anxious to get back home. I'm not certain at this time how long I will be staying there with him, but my ticket is open ended. Job and Belle are staying with a friend here at Ft Campbell until I return. There are many things that are unknown to us right now and we covet your prayers. Thank you all so much for your caring words and loving thoughts. Hopefully, I'll be able to give you all good news before the weekend is out.
Needless to say, the four days I had to wait before I could get to where he was were the most emotional moments of my life. I suppose I hoped that I'd forget most of those moments. I haven't.