This blog is about my return to Walter Reed to get a new leg. I am an above-the-knee amputee. I lost my leg in April 2007 in Iraq while riding in a Humvee that was struck by an "explosively formed projectile" -- a molten metal jet stream released from a homemade roadside bomb. My left knee was shattered and later amputated at Walter Reed. I rushed through rehab to get back to Alaska quickly. But my leg continued to change, and now my prosthetic doesn't fit, and I need to begin again. I'll keep you posted on my progress and experience. This time, it will work.
Awesome day! - 12/5/2009 7:27 pm
Iron Dog - 11/11/2009 6:45 pm
Running and Snow - 11/9/2009 3:40 pm
Waszack - 10/29/2009 7:38 pm
Waiting for the rut! - 10/29/2009 6:20 pm
OK hunt was Awesome! - 10/20/2009 11:51 pm
Football - 10/5/2009 5:50 pm
Golf & Football - 10/1/2009 5:11 pm
Posted: March 9, 2009 - 4:41 pm
So, as I'm sure all of you know, the Brigade is gone again. My best friend left on Saturday. Here we go again, for some it must be a little sureal.
I'm not sure as far as the breakdown of the locations, but I know some of the guys are in EXACTLY the same spot as we were in 2003/2004.
As most of you know, I was not able to make it back up before the guys left. It was a pretty real wake up call to see the front page of ADN's web site and find out that the Brigade has sustained their first casualty. It goes without saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the guys.
I'm not looking forward to the days when we start to get the guys, who are wounded, here at Walter Reed. I know I mentioned that I was having a hard time being here while my guys are gone again. While I know that I am not able to be there in person to do my part, I only hope that I can help the guys cope and adjust to any changes they may face in their on recovery process.
Posted: March 3, 2009 - 3:37 am
I guess it's not really morning there, but who's counting?
No school yesterday and two hour delay today. I understand that the kids need to get to school, but either cancel the whole day or not at all. This is ridiculious! We got around 8-12 inches yesterday and the night before. It is hard to tell how much exactly since it was melting pretty quick, as a result it's like I'm ice fishing out of my front door. Avoid this area as a rule of thumb, but if there is even a hint of snow...CANCEL altogether! If you even mention snow around here, someone somewhere will end up in the ditch, people don't know how to drive!
Posted: February 20, 2009 - 12:08 am
Hope your evening is a bit more restfull than mine. I'm downstairs trying to re-create document on the laptop that crashed. JJ just woke up, because he was alone in bed, so he's knocked out on the couch.
Same old same old on this end. Friday morning already, this weekend flew by. JJ and I have tickets to another Capitals game. Should be a pretty decent game, we've got the Avalanche in town. We're loving the hockey games, but I cannot lie, I'm drooling for the prospect of Baseball. These are two things that I must say, I love about the lower-48.
Posted: February 8, 2009 - 2:42 am
I will ask for your forgiveness in advance. I am having another sleepless night and I'm feeling like I can't stand still.
Speaking of standing, I probably shouldn't be wearing my leg now, but I have stuff to get done. When we were in Minneapolis I only wore my leg teice, and that was just so my little brother could see me walking. As soon as JJ and I made it back I put my leg on, and it has been on since. Pain was there, but I really haven't been up much since my surgery, one thing after another. I have realized since that I have to keep my leg on. It is tough here taking care of JJ and the house, but it is damn near impossible without it.
Posted: January 26, 2009 - 7:16 pm
Greetings all. JJ and I are back in DC, Danny and the girls stayed in Minneapolis to give mom a hand.
I will be the first to admit that I take for granted just how much Danny does! We came home to chores, chores, and more chores. My cooking ability has deffinetly slipped over the years. In some aspects it's a good thing. I am pretty much forced to keep my leg on all day, no time to just "take it easy" with me being the only one here to care for JJ.
I had a nice suprise last night. I was out on Saturday and the neighbor was washing his car. I was saying something to the effect that I needed to do the same, given all of the salt on the roads in Minnesota. He asked me if I wanted him to wash the truck, I told him not to worry I'd get around to it. I came out of the house after dinner to play with JJ last night to find a spotless truck!
Posted: January 16, 2009 - 10:35 pm
He went in his sleep yesterday just past 7pm. I have been blessed to spend these last few days with him. Since arriving here I just kind of fell into the role of spending the night with him. Our mom just made it into the room, I was sleeping in a chair next to him with my head on his arm and holding his hand. He just kind of slowed down and stopped breathing.
I'm not too sure what to put here. A thousand things keep rushing through my head. Towards the end he was pretty un-responsive. Three things got his attention though. His wife's voice, our mom's voice, and when I would grab his hand.
Posted: January 2, 2009 - 1:31 pm
Spent the morning hanging out at the hospital with my brother. It looks like they are going to try and start chemo a bit sooner than four weeks from the surgery. He is still having alot of pain as well as not being able to eat much. What little he can eat is not really staying down long. Their thought is that the lymphnodes are so swollen that they are creating excessive pressure on his stomach. He is on IV nutrition and it looks like he's getting a PIC line.
We're hoping that they can go ahead with the treatments, right now it's mostly waiting on word from the Oncologist, for now more waiting.
Posted: December 27, 2008 - 10:35 pm
Well it's been a few days. The surgery went well, they got the tumor out without complications.
He has a few tubes and the staples. Some issues with those, but they seem to have been mostly taken care of. He keeps dropping weight. There were a few days I stayed away after the surgery, since my whole issue with MRSA. Being gone for a few days, it was apparent that he had lost a lot of weight, even in those few days.
His attitude is great! Everyone keeps saying that's the key. He's a fighter and he's not about to quit, he's got way too much to live for.
Posted: December 17, 2008 - 1:42 pm
Well I'm setting in my brothers room right now. As I type this he is going under to have his transverse colon removed(?) along with about two feet of his intestine. He is staying strong and is convinced that he will be home by Christmas.
He is only 30 years old. Last March, after his son was born, he went to the doctors complaining that his stomach hurt. They told him he had an ulcer. They never even scoped him. A few weeks ago his back began hurting him again. He was in a bad car accident several years ago and figured that the back pain had to do with that.
He came to the hospital and the short of it is, he has cancer. They believe that it is in the early fourth stage, as there are cancer cells in his lymphnodes. They finally found the tumor during a colonoscopy. There is a baseball size tumor in his large intestine. They believe that it has been there for at least five years.
Posted: December 11, 2008 - 3:03 pm
Well, leave is in. We are heading out either late tonight or tomorrow. I'm getting some rest, mamma is packing the truck, and we're out the door. Praying for good weather along with everything else.
Posted: December 10, 2008 - 1:31 am
I was going to jump on here and post a bunch of pics from the hunt and from the Army Navy game.
Tonight I recieved word that an imediate family member is very sick. I do not want to post too much right now. We are currently trying to get back up to Minneapolis to help out. I will try to keep updating when I can.
Posted: November 26, 2008 - 7:13 pm
Hope everyone here has a great day. We miss home, but at least get to spend it with fellow Alaskans. Thanksgiving with the Guttings. Hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
Posted: November 19, 2008 - 2:44 pm
What's going on all? I just got discharged out of the hospital today. I had to be admitted due to pneumonia and a possible staff infection. They were worried since I had MiRSA so recently.
I have no idea how they ruled the other stuff out, since none of the test results from the blood and cultures are back, but apparently I was well enough to be released. They sent me home with antibiotics and told me not to cough on anybody. That's great! Just good old fashioned pneumonia.
I was a bit more worried since JJ had to be picked up from school two days ago because he was throwing up and now Corinne is sick today.
Posted: November 15, 2008 - 8:16 pm
Wallum (aka duck sausage) and Mason, whats up guys. Are you both in NTC now? A friend of mine, SSG Chad Garrison, is with Stryker up in Wainright and he said that you were his OC.
Mason are you guys getting back anytime soon? I don't have too much time, but I'll be back home from the 28th until the 4th or 5th. Are you still in 501 mortars, or have they continued to switch everything around?
I'm trying to beat a good case of the crud lately. I thought I mostly had it gone when I woke up this morning but an afternoon out in the woods after squirrels seemed to have kept it with me. We have been getting a bit of weather here lately, actually they even had some tornado watches around. JJ had a blast though. Right now I think the two most important things he's learned is to really appreciate the quiet of the woods (even more so since we have to be in the DC area) and that every time we go to the woods we don't necessarily have to kill something to love our time in the woods.
Posted: November 6, 2008 - 7:07 pm
I don't remember if I told you I was fitted (cast) just before the Pennsylvania hunt. I got in today to get fit with the original mold made from the casting. A few adjustments and I should have a leg that fits on Monday!
It is a bit bittersweet though. I had a fall on election day heading into a shopette for milk. I didn't feel anything at first, other than the pain from landing on the stump, I didn't feel anything odd tear. I did start to have extreme pain and spasm's in the stump on Wednsday. It is hopefully just my fault, I was in a hurry to leave and I forgot to take my morning meds as well as bring them to the hospital with me. Just about had to go into the emergency room last night, but it calmed down for the night. When I was being fitted it started acting up though. Hopefully I just pulled or bruised something, but I have to go in for x-rays with my leg on to see if anything ripped.
Posted: November 4, 2008 - 6:38 pm
I just wanted to apologize to you guys who reply to the blog. For some reason I am unable to respond, I can post a new entry, but that's about it.
So to all of you THANK YOU ;)
Posted: November 2, 2008 - 10:21 pm
I'm still kicking, if any of you are wondering. So much for my getting on a schedule and updating on a steady basis.
I'm not quite sure where the time has gone (I'm pretty sure that's got something to do with having kids). I was up in Coudersport, Pa last week on a deer hunt. That was much needed! Ended up coming home with a doe and an offer to come up in the end of November to hunt blacktail and waterfowl in Kodiak.
On top of that I have been out in the woods with a good friend Derrik Gutting, family to the Seavy's. On wednsday it looks like I'll be in a blind with JJ overlooking some soybeans. We'll get a few pics up here when we get back.
Posted: October 11, 2008 - 12:29 pm
So here I am setting in the recliner soaking up all of the sports on tv on a saturday afternoon. Really I am just looking forward to baseball. I have always loved baseball, but this last stay in the hospital really got me pumped for the post-season, mainly due to a getleman by the name of Joe Torre.
I was really blessed with quite a few visitors while I was an inpatient. I had the privilege of talking baseball with Joe for quite awhile. He is quite a man. Not to mention the honor of meeting Rick Monday. For those of you who don't know Rick is primarily known for saving the flag from being burned by a couple of hippies who ran onto Dodger Stadium to burn the flag on April 25th 1976, during the 4th inning. For anyone who is interested there is an excelent clip on this link
Posted: October 5, 2008 - 7:00 pm
Hey, sorry for the down time, I'm betting you figured something was up. I only have a few, but I will say something quickly, and follow up later with pictures and more details.
The initial surgery went well. The bone infection they were worried about turned out to be rather routine. They took the HO off, as well as about two to three inches of bone. With the success of the surgery we thought I'd be out in about a week or two. During the course of recovery I ended up coming down with MRSA (a staff infection) and that took quite a bit longer, as well as another six surgeries.
Anyway, I'm home for the time being, like I said I will follow up shortly.