Captain Jason

The latest news on the recover of Jason after his injury in Iraq by an IED.


Pictures

Snail Mail:

Cpt. Jason Scott
WRAMC Building 20
Mologne House Hotel #316
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone: 202 577 0092

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Dr. Todd's answer to a leaky faucet=New Room

Remember yesterday when I asked Dr. Todd to see about fixing the leaky faucet? Well, "Voila" Dr Todd took the credit today when Jason was moved, yes moved to another room!!! Not so fast Dr. Todd, he also asked about the locked locker which sad to say is still locked in this room!

Jason is now in Ward 58, Room 5834 Phone 782.9628. I hate to be a party pooper but Jason will probably be moved again. In this room he cannot see visitors as they sit to his right side. So we have requested a room so that visitors sit to his left, his good eyesight eye. As soon as one opens Jason will move again. Maybe the foot locker will be unlocked! and I will have to bow down to Dr. Todd. (who is a real cutie by the way)BTW how do you move a patient? You do it while Jason is in OT (out of room) pile everything on the bed and quick as a wink you are out of there and into here!

Uncle Bob Lincoln was impressed by one of Jason's visitors. Do you remember General Honore after Hurricane Katrina? Jason did not recognize him-being in Iraq. But Bob did and asked to be sure. Of course, both of them forgot the camera in the drawer and so "no proof" we will have to take their word that General Honore did indeed visit! (they are always saying Lisa and I are compulsive about pictures) Speaking of visitors Jason says the "Raven's cheerleaders" not in uniform visited during I think PT this morning. To be honest I have to right that Jason said, "would have been cooler had the football players visited" So you who schedule visits ....take heed to the soldier's requests. The group that sponsors sports for the amputees came in and really wants to take Jason to CO in April to ski and whatever. Fr. Rich came by and asked if Jason was still considering Lourdes. So I think there is definitely travel in Jason's future!

But I save the best for last...
Jason tried the first "made for him" arm prosthetic. Well...something went wrong with the electric/computer chip thigamagicy and it began to spin around his arm! Jason said, "Cool now I need a blender arm attachment to make homemade smoothies!" So I guess they have to rewire the darn thing or whatever...Adventures in prosthetics 101 here we go!

I went to Quixote Center for liturgy which is a blessing and pray for each of your intentions. Let us pray for Jason and all the soldiers and their families and for peace.

Early pictures

Xenia (17 year-old cousin) found and scanned in some pictures of Jason we had around the house. The album is here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Uncle Bob Lincoln comes from CA

Jason continues to "walk up a storm" doing almost a mile this morning after PT and two more laps around the outside of WR this evening. This evening was a little bit blowy with rain coming down but we stayed dry on the 2nd floor veranda. Uncle Bob from CA walked with us as did Vera and Bill Sisolek who had come to pick Bob up. Dan also joined us bringing Jason's BDU's for his promotion ceremony on 12/1.

Bob arrived after PT this morning and helped Jason with lunch and going to OT while Dow and I did chores. I met Jason and Bob at OT where Bob was fascinated by the "computerized biofeedback" After OT Jason and Dad and Uncle Bob watched part of Anchorman. Jason said "It wasn't as funny as I remember the first time." Bob is a radiologist and asked Jason if he could see his xrays. I hope Bob will write a blog about them, Jason said that Bob was very impressed with the work done by the MD's. He also said that Jason was healing very well from very extensive wounds.

Jason was visited by a General from the 42nd ID and was given an Army coin. Dr. Todd visted when I was present and I asked him for his help on two areas. The faucet in Jason's room leaks and irritates Jason while he is trying to sleep. Also there is a locker in Jason's room that seemingly no staff person can unlock(It opens on the hall side and every day I schlep pillows and Jason's night boots outside the room, store them till needed and schlep them in at the end of the day.) I told Dr. Todd "If You can solve these insurmountable challenges (going on two weeks), I will indeed bow down before you." (and you all know me and authority figures, but I thought for my son....) He rolled his eyes and said "I can do anything but to move maintenance.....?" I thought I have pushed the poor man to his limits, he will never return and is probably ready to have me declared "officially dotty."

As you know I am a chaplain and today was a "kinda chaplain day" A young soldier very seriously injured was promoted to sargent today. His room is next to Jason's and his parents invited me to attend. Jason was at OT so I was glad I was able. He and his very young wife have a beautiful 11 month old girl named Grace and she is a grace to our floor. We all love her especially when she wears her "I am a princess shirt" and rides her dad's lap in the gurney chair. I went to OT and sat with a woman for a moment, I was drawn to her. She said all these young men were her "family." She began to tell me how she had lost both her husband and son in the Middle East. She wanted to go to Arlington but each day something intervened and tomorrow she returns to Europe. I listened to her story and offered to go with her. She declined and was glad we talked. I went to a family support group at the end of the day and offered support to others. A woman began to tell me about her teen daughters and how she had to return home, they had been staying with family and inappropriate behavior had taken place. She was going to pick them up and bring them back to WR where her husband is awaiting surgery on Monday. God bless of each of these patients and their families. Bless you for being with us on the journey. I am thankful for all the good people of America and the wonderful staff at Walter Reed.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday 11/28/05 Jason is Promoted!

Jason headed off to PT as usual this morning. He walked around the floor and also did "a lot of stretching!" Kyla his PT really works Jason out. Dow likes her and feels she really pushes Jason and helps him stay motivated. Jason successfully walked the inside halls of WR without stopping to rest 4 times around! Jason felt good after the workout when I reached his room.

Jason also sat in his "chair" (really a cardiac gurney that folds to be a chair-only one Jason sized) today for about 2 hours. About noon Mike came for his first visit. He is a Vietnam era vet who spent time in WR 35 years ago for injuries to his left arm from a mortar round. He and Jason headed for OT (Mike said he was amazed that it is computerized!) while Dow and I went to a fantastic Italian restaurant for lunch. I ate the best herbed bread I have ever had. We brought some lasagna and veal Parmesan for Jason to snack on. We then went to Borders as Jason was after Jim Buffet and Dave Matthews music. Jason has started to listen to music for a while after dinner or in quiet time in the afternoon.

During the day Jason got a call from Ft. Stewart Col Grimsley and a Lt. General(working at the Pentagon) have scheduled Jason's promotion ceremony to Captain for Thursday Dec. 1 at 2PM in the family room on this floor. Col. Marcone (who was the battalion commander when Jason first joined) wanted to be here for Jason's ceremony but could not make it in from CA because of duties there. If you are in the DC area please come to the ceremony if you can make it. Give us a call and let us know that you are coming. I have not the slightest clue to such a ceremony and the protocols. So tomorrow it will be a mad dash of phone calls to try to get goodies and be sure all the MD's/RN's/staff on Jason's team are notified so they can attend. He wants them to be present if possible.

Col Martha stopped by at supper time and brought Jason a Chipotle (sp?) salad dinner and chips which Jason "pigged out on." Martha knows how to choose the best food for Jason! We had brought him a jamba juice from Whole Foods and Jason drank the whole 16 oz plus protein because he had worked out so hard in OT. After a rest, Col Martha, Jason, Dow and I (on Dow's great suggestion) went down to the second floor and walked the outside veranda--1/7th of a mile!! The weather is gorgeous here in the 60's and Jason REALLY enjoyed being outside. He walked without help the whole way around the building. If the weather holds we will try to do it again tomorrow before the snow arrives (so we have heard).

After the walk Jason listened to music while waiting for his evening call from Jodi. Dow worked on getting tickets for Lisa and family to come to WR Christmas week to hold our family gathering here. It will be interesting because our grandchildren are JC 8, Jonathan 7 and Ellie 4. A lot of kid energy! If you know of any good "Christmas events/outings" for families with little ones in the DC area let us know cause the hospital will get boring pretty fast!

Please continue to pray for Jason's complete healing and recovery. Blessings to you and yours in the holiday season.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday after Thanksgiving

Good evening to all,
A quiet day at WR but with Good News for Jason
"Bone docs said 'looking good to get the cast off next Friday or following Monday'" "Dr. G will decide need/don't need the graft for Jason's bottom also this coming Friday."
Jason also has a small butt wound on his right cheek and about a 1" deep butt wound on the left. The RN's change it with wet/dry dressings each day. These wounds are healing as decubitis from the inside out. Healing well in the 6th week after his war injuries. Jason has one remaining stitch on his buttocks at the entry point of the shrapnel that went from the right side of his buttocks all the way through to his left side.

In PT Jason wore 10 pound weights on his left leg, nothing on the right leg at this time.
He is doing a lot of stretches to help heal the scar tissue and to be limber to walk. Jason did three laps around the 5th floor during PT and later on in the evening Jason did 3 more with Mom and Dad at his side. No help but Jason did need to sit down and rest at the end of each lap for a couple of minutes. Jason's balance when walking is off because of the cast on the left arm and the missing lower right arm. Jason's skin is so dry we lotion his hand and feet at least twice a day.

Jason's favorite football teams won this weekend --the Bears and Virginia Tech Hokies. He watched The Simpsons and the Family guy and is talking to Jodi. I thought I would give a brief overview of Jason's day for you...
Jason gets up early M-Fr at about 6:30. Dow is here for personal care and prep to go to PT usually about 8AM. After PT he might go to OT or return to his room for personal care depending on the RN/CNA availability. Jason's mornings are busy with MD's visiting etc.
So if you want to call or visit after lunch is a better time. Jason usually has a midday call with Jodi his girlfriend for 1/2 hour or so. I arrive about 11 AM and Dow takes off to do chores, or sometimes we can have lunch together if a visitor comes.

After lunch is a quiet time but often Jason heads for OT about 1-2PM for at least an hour.
then back to his room for dinner. After dinner is quiet with maybe TV or movie, visit and an evening call from Jodi. Night meds are taken about 10PM and quiet time follows. Jason likes to have one of us here until he falls asleep around 11. I pray quietly for his healing as he falls asleep and visit the chapel before I head back to the apt about midnight.

Thank you for your continued prayers and good thoughts for Jason's healing. We have come so far in six weeks, you all have been blessings to us.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jason's Phone Number in his room in hospital

I wanted to post Jason's phone number in his room.
A soldier from Iraq called our hotel room by mistake so to clarify:

Jason's room is 5831
His phone is 202 782 9626

update 11/26/05

Hello to all,

Sorry for the numbering problems.
I am using Jason's laptop and being computer illiterate....
Just pretend the items are in a line and numbered 1 to 8.
Like I told Lt Crouch earlier today, "I am a 20th century mom trying to get by in the 21st century hi-tech world."

Jason "Boring Day..."
when I asked him this evening before I left to do the blog.
So let us review Jason's day,
  1. PT where Jason did balance exercises and walking and standing strength exercises.
  2. This afternoon Jason walked the halls for three full laps sitting for a few moments between each lap. Dan and Dow on each side, mom pushing chair as backup.
  3. Home made turkey leftover lunch by Col Martha, Jason said "Best turkey ever!" Martha also washed Jason's hair and delivered a new personal DVD player and all the M0nty Python TV shows (borrowed from Martha's son) After Martha left Jason immediately watched the first MP DVD (with Mom!)
  4. Dinner by WR-baked chicken with rice. Jason ate it all while watching MP. Followed by Russell Stover chocolate, sliced by mom because the face surgery still has his jaw "locked down."Jason can sometimes smell things "a whiff of" so maybe smell cells are reawakening or nerves reconnecting.
  5. Carol dropped by for a quick visit and left smoothies.

6. Visit by Col Andrew who read the blog and said, "You have a good memory for conversation." I didn't have the heart to tell him as a hospice chaplain, listening is my life. Andrew also wanted to know where Jason got his sense of humor. I said, "Came with his DNA, Jason has been this way all of his life." The older Jason gets the faster he gets with the quips. I think of Jason as an Oscar Wilde.

  1. Mom or dad reading to him from Jimmy Buffet's latest book.
  2. Back to watching another Monty Python with Dad and Dan as I type the blog.

Jason may call this day "boring" but I experience this day as true miracle: the gift of Jason's life, your friendship and love and prayers for Jason's healing and recovery. All is gift, I thank you for joining us as companions on this special journey. Many blessings to you and yours on this "boring day."

From Idaho

Glad to hear that you all had a good Thanksgiving. Nancy and I made it home late Sunday night last week and I immediately started the catch up work.
Even though this is late, I wanted to say how much we enjoyed out visit with Jason, Katy and Dow. Jason made giant leaps in the rehab progress and we were there for the good news that Jason is going to be able to drive--he said he was excited about getting 50 percent off his car insurance cost with Geico. Jason has the fastest wit on the East Coast. It does my heart good to see him dish it out to his Dad--what goes around comes around big brother.
On Thanksgiving I had so many things to be Thankful for: The chance to spend time and laugh with Jason, for the inspiration from Jason, Dow and Katy, for my sister Nancy to travel with--someone else to laugh with and my husband who made the travel arrangements. Thanks to Lisa for helping to schedule. And I'm also thankful for our sister Susie who went first and then called us with helpful hints about travel, metro and buses plus watching out for our well being. Then there is Bob who will be visiting next week. I think that family and friends are what it is all about.
Thank you to the volunteer family who provided a place for us to stay in Washington DC and the volunteers who picked us up at the airport and took us back. Thanks to Kathy Quin for all the phone calls to set this up and again to Lisa.

When we returned to our host family at night after spending the day at Walter Reed, we told the stories of Jason and other wounded soldiers. Michael reminded us of this poem. I think it fits well. Thank you to Jason and all our US troops.

I Am The Captain Of My Soul

Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole. I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.


"Invictus,"
by William Earnest Henley

Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Jason's Aunt Barb

New pictures from Lisa

Lisa sent me a bunch of new pictures that I put in the photo album this morning.

Friday, November 25, 2005

update 11/25/05-Good news today

Hello to all, Hope everyone had a good day yesterday with family and friends round the table.
Jason is watching a tape of a Thai kickboxing event. One of his nurses, Zack, ex soldier is from Thailand and purchased the tape. Zack said he has never been to an event when he has gone home to visit but it is the national "sport" Guys are dressed like American boxers with gloves but are bare feet. You can kick anywhere you can reach.

Jason had a pretty Quiet day. Spent his morning in PT doing stretches etc. No walking.
After Patrice one of the American Red Cross volunteers stopped by to help out with lunch, Jason still cannot feet himself. He can now lift and move his left arm, still casted to scratch his head etc. Also now uses it to push food into his mouth as he still cannot open his jaw fully. His dad is using a "stretcher" every morning to help widen his bite.

At noon Bishop Emeritus Walter Sullivan from the Richmond Diocese made a visit. We had lived in his diocese from 1979 to 1996 and I had served on Diocesan commissions, etc. under his auspices. Jason said he remembered attending mass with Walter as presider. Bishop Sullivan is known as a Bishop of Peace and was Bishop President of Pax Christi for some time. Walter was surprised at Jason wanting to discuss Sharon and his leaving the Likud party. Being the bishop he was very political and sat on the fence on the issue. Sigh. But over lunch Dow, Patrice and Walter and I had a good discussion of "religion and politics" Walter gave Jason his blessing and said he would like to visit at Christmas when he returns to his sister's home near DC. After lunch we met Fr. Patrick Kenny and his sister Sr. Evelyn who returns home to Ireland this week. Seems like Walter and Fr. Pat are old buddies! Go figure, first time Walter ever visits WR and he finds a priest he knows. I figure my reputation in religous circles just went up a notch at Walter Reed. Can't hurt if I am friends with a Bishop. Sr. Evelyn assured me she and all her sisters would pray for Jason's healing!

After eating Jason was tired and with Patrice at his side, our afternoon adventure begins. Jason was to have OT at 2:30. OT had said now that we did not have an in apartment laundry, "Throw in a load in our washer/dryer" while Jason has OT. OT has a complete apartment called Ft. Independence in its area to help the amputees learn how to do the tasks of daily life. So I assumed that Jason was to arrive at 2:30. So Dow and I went to the apt/room gathered up our laundry and headed to OT.

I threw in the first load, started it and asked "Jason coming?" The OT said, "I'll call up there and see." I headed to 5831 thinking I could help with Jason....Jason is still in bed. Patrice says, "He was sleeping so I let him sleep and no one from the floor ever came to get him!" Jason is waking up and saying "I want a day off from OT." OT is happy because she gets to go home early. I am not because my laundry is in their washer! Now what. I run back down to OT. She says, "Lock the door behind you!" and heads off home. I can tell that the laundry is going to take a while so I wait till its done and decide to take back to Mologne house and try the dryer there! (I'll do it later, actually Dow is doing that right now) So I schlep the laundry up to Jason's room and find Dr. Golarz and team...

REALLY GOOD NEWS
After Dr. Golarz tells his turkey story. He says "We are here to change the "butt vac" dressing." The butt vac had not worked since sometime last night! (by the way they are 22K a pop, about the size of a shoe box). Dr. G and his two cohorts do their thing with me outside. He calls me in and says "Voila! No Butt VAC! Dr. G says the wound is closing so well he thinks the dressing is now interfering with the healing!!! (thank you for all your prayers and good thoughts!) Dr. G will check and give it about a week or so. If necessary he will do the skin graft. The wound is about the size "between knuckle and end" of your thumb. Jason is flying high! The Butt Vac is off, cast on left arm to go soon! Jason says it feels so good not to have that on his tail bone (which was broken by the blast) and freed from feeling tied to the tube that drained the wound!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

How is Katy doing?

People have been asking "How is Katy doing?" after a month at Jason's bedside. Many of you know that I have been a peace activist since Vietnam and have marched in DC against that war and this one. When in Chicago I regularly attend the Tuesday morning Prayer Vigil for Peace started immediately after 9/11/01

I give thanks
1. For Dr. Gus Cwik my Jungian analyst who has walked the journey with me especially these last four years with Jason in the military and Iraq. Dr. Gus told me, "Katy you are prepared for this experience into which you are plunged."
2. For Sister Pat Bergen and her community of Sisters of St. Joseph of LaGrange. Sr. Pat is my spiritual director during this past year when Jason has been in Iraq. Thank you for your spiritual wisdom and holding us in prayer.
3. For the Roman Catholic faith communities of St. Gertrude's and St. Harold Washington in Chicago and my faith communities here of the 11:00 AM Sunday Mass at WR and the Wednesday liturgy of Quixote Center. For all the faith communities praying for Jason whether they be parishes, congregations, orders, for all the members of other Christian communities and other faith communities. For prayer groups and scripture groups, for all the circles to which you have brought the needs for healing of Jason. For the parish of Holy Trinity here in DC and its wonderful hospitality and friendship under the leadership of Cathy Quinn. For all the great theologians of the RCC including Fr. John Dear SJ, and the brothers Phil and Dan Berrigan, Fr. David Corcoran and his wife Barbara, for Kathy Kelly and Voices in theWilderness.
4. For my ministry of chaplain at Hospice Partners and all my fellow hospice workers and friends for teaching me the meaning of compassion for patient and family and working together as a team.
5. For the great RC reform groups and their members who are supporting us including Women's Ordination Conference, Call to Action, Corpus, and Spiritus Christi of Rochester NY. Your energy to enflesh the Dream of Sophia for the People of God assures me of Godde's Presence and supports my belief in Godde even in this most difficult experience and challenge of my life.
6. For the peace movement especially Pax Christi, SOA Watch, Sojourners, MFSO, Jonah House, Christian Peacemaking Teams, Quixote Center, the Taize community, Bishop Walter Sullivan-Bishop of Peace and past President of Pax Christi USA, the Tuesday morning peace vigil members and Pax Christi at St. Gertrude's. We bind up the wounds of war for Jason as did the Good Samaritan to the man bloodied at the roadside. We speak our truth in the public forum prophesying and challenging our faith and political communities to the Catholic Christian call to be Peacemakers within ourselves and for the larger world.
7. For all the environmental organizations that tend and care for Mother Earth (as I reflect on the environmental devastation of Iraq and all places of war). God's creation given to us through the evolution of the universe and our own evolution to be "meaning makers so that we might have conversations with our God/universe." I thank Rails to Trails, the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife, Sierra Club, National Wildlife, Audoban Society, Defenders of Wildlife and many others. I want to especially thank the great orders of religous sisters who are doing so much to defend and save the earth especially through promoting the Earth Charter. I would like to thank Dominican theologian (even though the RCC threw you out, we didn't) Matthew Fox, Thomas Berry, Brianne Swimme my favorite cosmologist, and of course Pierre Teilhard De Chardin (sp)

What have I learned?
I have learned that Walter Reed is a place for peacemakers. Our soldiers carry the wounds of war in their bodies, minds and spirits. Jesus calls us to forgiveness and reconciliation from the cross of his own suffering and death. Here Jesus calls me to do His work of compassion and solidarity with those who suffer. Truly WR is a place of healing for all whether soldier or family member, visitor or staff. Thank you for joining us. Come to visit Jason when you can, he will be at WR 9 months at least. Work and pray for peace within yourself, your family, community and our world.

How do I cope?
Each day I spend time in the WR reflection chapel dedicated to Mary, a mother who saw her own son tortured and crucified. Mary is my companion on the journey. I also call on the saints especially St. Lucy and all the soldiers I attended in my hospice ministry as they returned home to our God. I spend time in prayer at Jason's bedside after he has fallen asleep. I believe in the great Christian story; the cycle of life is life, death, life. Death/loss does not have the last word. Life is changed but continues. Jason has a new life, forever changed but the promise is that Jason's life will be rewarding with gifts beyond measure.

I try to frequently walk around WR on the veranda of the 2nd floor. It is 2 miles for 7 times around. During this time I breathe in "pain and suffering" and "breathe out healing and peace." WRAMC is sacred ground, a place of healing and peace. I never expected to be here. It is good to be here. I ask your continued prayers and good thoughts for Jason's healing especially his vision and the reversal of his colostomy. I ask continued prayers for myself that I will be "Blessed are you peacemaker, for you shall be called daughter of God." (Matthew 5)

May your Holidays be bright with the love and laughter of family and friends,
May your New Year be filled with an abundantly rich life,
Blessings on your journey.

Correct Phone Number for Room 316

I typed the wrong phone number for our room in Mologne House.
Please correct to 202.577.0092
We do have voice mail, leave a time when best to call you back.

Blessings of Thanksgiving

Today is very quiet. The floor with a census of 20 has 11, everyone who could go home has gone home. It will remain so until Monday. For PT Jason walked the square for about an hour-3 laps.
Dad held the butt vac, Dan walked along side on the right, Mom pushed the chair behind. Got a picture of "Jason walking the halls."

Visitors:
Scheduled "No show" Army Joint Chief of Staff Shoemaker; understood he visited the mess hall. Jason would like a visit from him next time he comes.

Col Andrew from Air Force and wife who somehow outranks him even though she is not in the service. (When the Col received his rank, in front of 400 guests, the officers called her up and pinned her! Maybe to Andrew's dismay?) Watch the Today Show on Dec. 1. Andrew is the first air force pilot amputee and now does liaison work here in the hospital. He will be talking about the advances in prosthesis. He enjoys Jason's humor and visits often. Jason enjoys Andrew's visits too.

The "Gov" we don't know his real name cause he won't tell. He volunteers with the Family Assistance Office. Somehow he knows everything about every family and their patient. He met me on the van when I first arrived at WR and helped whenever he could. Dow put him on the "Get a Jason sized chair" task as Dow and Jason forbid me to ask our visitor...

The Sec. of the VA system who visited Jason this morning along with an entourage including an armed guard and a soldier with so many pins/medals I didn't think the fabric could hold them all. (I thought the Sec of the VA could get Jason the chair he needs.)

Jason is disappointed today because the floor has only have one TV/DVD player set and a patient has a bunch of movies and has taken it over for the day. We have been playing musical chairs today as the patients have so many visitors, chairs have been moved from all over into A's room or B's room. We lost one of ours so I stole a chair from the RN's break room.

Fr. Pat Kenny's (chaplain, now 70) sister is visiting from Ireland, she is a Mercy nun stopped by for a brief visit. The "Gov" said he took her shopping and she spent a bundle on perfume because it is cheaper here (at PX). I don't know what Mercy nuns in Ireland would do with perfume. Anybody have a guess? She said she didn't like Guinness, didn't drink beer.

The Feast:

For about 2 weeks, everyone has been hyping the WR annual Thanksgiving dinner at a cost of $5 per person. I thought "Good Grief" it cannot be that good, WRAMC IS an hospital (and we in health care know hospitals). Folks, it IS that good!!!

Three chocolate fountains, about 4 feet high --white, milk and dark. Fresh fruit, pound cake and the famous rice krispie bars to dip. I went back for the second time because Jason wanted the white chocolate his favorite which we missed the first go.

  1. Turkey, ham, beef-those famous green beans from the 60's, really good mashed potatoes, the recipe of sweet potatoes and marshmallows-we skipped the sweet potatoes.
  2. Shrimp cocktail bar-ice sculpture of Army eagle
  3. Bread table about 20 feet long,
  4. Dessert table about the same length-pies, cakes, torts, cookies,...
  5. Regular salad bar
  6. Cheese table for appetizer we took a lot for Jason's taste buds. He liked one but I am not sure which one so I can't follow up.
  7. Jason drank Zero coke and ate chocolate after chocolate dipped fondue. The guys got pretty decadent and were just eating spoonfuls of the fondue last time I looked.

As always we had leftovers and gave ours to the RN station for afternoon snacks on the evening shift.

This Thaksgiving Day we give thanks for the blessings of the 5 weeks since we arrived:

  1. The blessing of Jason's life, again, first at birth then from Iraq.
  2. The blessing of the medical technology, and the men in Jason's platoon who saved his life.
  3. The blessings of the disciplines: surgeons, rehab, PT, OT, Psychiatry, Chaplains, RN's and aides on the floors. All the support and administrative staff who make WR run.
  4. The blessing of all the volunteers from so many different organizations who stop by. For example there is a restaurant in the area that provides a steak dinner for the soldiers and caregiver every Friday night. The soldiers and family are provided transportation to and from the restaurant. Jason will go when his body agrees to a night out.
  5. The blessing of all who have sent cards, letters, gifts, and prayers and good thoughts for Jason's recovery. For those who have most generously contributed to the travel fund.
  6. The blessing of our new friends and support circles. The blessings of visits from family members. Thanks especially to Lisa, our daughter who has done a marvelous job in coordinating your visits. We could not and will not be able to support Jason without you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Update 11/23/05

Happy Thanksgiving to all

While he was in PT this morning, CNN was doing a follow-up story on another vet. Jason's media savy continues as he was wearing a navy AirForce tee shirt during a surprise CNN interview with him. Jason was offering support to Mike. (Capt. Colbert expect a call to LTC Wald's office tomorrow-comment by Jason)

Jason's fans are growing in number(especially relevant for all you who have said you over the years that you couldn't wait for our annual Christmas letter because you "waited all year for Jason's section") Today Jason's psychiatrist Dr. Patel-remember the Hokey Pokey story- brought back the head of the department and some Marines, all interns Jason figures. Jason tells the story deadpan, "I'm depressed...What if the Hokey Pokey IS what its all about?" Jason said the MD does the same thing really(as Ms French when he "played her"), really leans in close and is trying to be straight faced, professional. Jason loved it, however when he was done the Dept Head said, "Do that again to me and I will dump you out of the bed!" Which I am sure "Made My Day" for Jason! Of course, knowing Jason he is plotting his next encounter!

I was there when it happened:
This evening Dan (Jason's army buddy) and I were at bedside after dinner. All of a sudden, Jason gets these contortions on his face and he keeps making the strangest movements with his lips. He is looking really "snarly" to me, he's not saying a word just these changing shapes-up/down/out/in for about a minute. I look at him and say "Jason what is going on?" "Fucking weird!(direct quote). I can control my lips on the right side, I can feel!" Just like that! the nerves must have reconnected! How cool is this? I felt as when he took his first steps! A body part now working after 5 weeks. Jason was quick to add, "my tongue on the right side is still numb."
So must be different nerve package!

A scary when it happened:
Judy and Bob Madigan and Dow were bringing Jason back from OT this afternoon. Jason had been very busy. On the elevator Jason said"Let me try standing up and riding (from 3 to 5)" Jason stood up, the elevator starts and Jason says, "I'm loosing it!" His chair was right behind him everyone grabs Jason and let him down easy as he passes out for about 5 seconds. Of course Dr. Todd comes up to see him after it happens. In an explosion such as the IED Jason experienced the crystals in the inner ear which govern balance are ______. (I'm not sure what). They usually recover about 2/3 months out. The Ear MD is coming to check Jason's inner ear tomorrow. Jason met another soldier with similar results. The soldier said he passed out the first time he road in a car, and had trouble at movies.

Blessings to all this Thanksgiving Day

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday 11/22/05

Hello to all,
Well, I should have known as soon as I put out the address again: Moving time!
Dow and I are now in Jason's future room at the Mologne House Hotel.
Correct address
Jason or Dow or Katy Scott
Mologne House Hotel Room 316
WRAMC
6900 Georgia Ave NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone 202 577 0992
Does have voice mail!
Please leave a time to call you back as we are out most of the day in the hospital doing therapy rounds with Jason.

Busy day on Ward 58
Dr. Golarz stopped in to change the butt wound dressings. He said he thinks is has healed as it can. Let us continue to pray for healing for Dr. G says if over the next two weeks it doesn't heal more, they are thinking about a skin graft in a very delicate area. We don't really want more surgery for Jason at this time. He has been through so much.

Fr. Rich Spencer stopped by to say that the Knights of Malta take wounded soldiers to Lourdes. Jason is considering the possibility. It would take place late April.

Dr. Patel psychatrist is visiting Jason and has another visit scheduled for this week. We want Jason to be healed in his mind, body and spirit. Please keep Jason's total recovery in your thoughts and prayers.

Jason continues to make laps around the hospital floor up to 4 today. He also continues to work out on the biofeedback computer in OT. He flexes the particular muscles which move a computer picture hand which is how his prosthesis will work. Been told the first practice prosthesis should arrive from CA this week.

Dr. Todd is chasing a Jason sized chair so he can sit outside of bed, eat, watch TV etc. He and I had a good discussion in the hall about "Maybe he should mozey on over to the Pentagon. Go to the Joint Chief of Staff meeting; check out the chairs and politely ask the General sitting in the right sized one to stand up: "Sir, I've got a soldier over in WR needs this size chair." Grab the chair from under the General and hightail it back to Jason's room! I think it would work!

Dr. Todd also presented an application form for a lump-sized payment to the wounded vets of Iraq and Afghanistan. Three soldiers from WR had testified before Congress about the costs for their families because of the long rehabs required from their wounds. A family lost their home, jobs etc. When the budget is passed, the money will be deposited to Jason's checking account.

Visitors today included Bob and Judy Madigan from Blacksburg, home of Jason's favorite football team Virginia Tech Hokies. Jason grew up in B'Burg. Judy and Bob provided our "Chinese take in" a true buffet for Lisa, Jason and us before Lisa headed for the airport and return to her family in time for Thanksgiving. Bryan from Holy Trinity Catholic parish which has introduced so many good new friends for Jason and ourselves stopped in. Bryan brought two smoothies which Jason was working his way through while watching Forest Gump with Judy, Bob and his Dad. Jason wanted to watch FG because if you remember, he also sustained butt wounds. Different taste buds keep giving Jason a "hint of the flavor of food."

Jason said it was a busy day but "that helps me pass the time." For the first time in 5 weeks I will go to our room before 1 AM. Jason gets his meds about 10, it takes about an hour for them to take affect. I always spend a 1/2 hour in prayer by his bedside, do the log, then spend time in the chapel. Today Dow said he would watch Forest Gump and "tuck Jason in." So I finish the blog and head to our new room. Blessings to you all, I keep everyone and your families in my prayers. With Great Affection.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Update 11/21/05

Hello to all,
Jason had lots of company today: I hope I don't leave anyone out.
Opthamology MD: Jason's left eye is now about 20/40 in vision. Please continue to pray for a miracle of healing for his right eye, the bleeding caused loss of the photo receptors. Now we know what to pray for.

Dr. Golarz stopped with his team; Jason is taller than Dr. G--first time standing side by side we took a picture! It should be on the web pretty quick now. Dr. G was surprised Jason was up and walking the halls. Jason now walks from the elevators to the room when he returns from a therapy. (about a 100' so he is trying to get in walking time whenever he can!) Dr. G said, "I am having a great day NOW!"

Dr. Lindsay stopped with her team. She is the plastic surgeon that rebuilt Jason's face in a 12 hour surgery. She is happy but said Jason might elect surgery on the scar for cosmetic reasons down the line-6 months plus.

The nutritionist: Jason has questions about general diet and healing diet and also taste and smell. The nutritionist said she'd come back with the food chart and tongue taste bud chart.
We gave Jason some Pasta and smoked mozzarella from Whole foods and he said, "Wow I can taste that!" Guess it had a bite. He wants us to buy more!

Bob and Judy Madigan from Blacksburg: They babysat Lisa almost 29 years ago when I was giving birth to Jason. So they know Jason since "in utero" retired now they came up to spend the day. Judy is a fabric artist: she, her daughter Cathy and granddaugter entered a quilting contest-three generations and won! Her work is on exhibit.

Patrice Jason's American Red Cross volunteer: Jason was so busy he asked her to come back "during a more quiet time"

Two represetntatives of 3rd ID, one from Ft. Stewart, one Sgt from WR. Sgt is actually an officer stationed here to help with any soldier of 3rd here at WR. He said he would be visiting every 2/3 days to make sure Jason was getting all needs met. The gentleman from Ft. Stewart said he would be back in a month "to take Jason out to lunch"

Captain Wilson(pt at WR) came in to talk about his own experiences and plans for the future.

Col Thad, chaplain, Jason liked him. Of course Fr. Thad, Carmelite had to ask Jason, "How is your mother behaving?" I wasn't in the room, sad how quick I get a reputation with the "Good Fathers."

Interchange with Steve Taylor (Dow's first grad student-now prof at Miss. State)
Steve: So you are going to get a "wacking stick prosthesis?"
Jason: "yes"
Steve "How much to wack your dad?"
Jason"$20 bucks"
Steve: "Deal"
Jason may have a new career "wacking stick wacker" for hire. You can take it from there.
Jason says he is first going to use it on the but vac!

Today Jason walked the floor of WR 3 times around, YES!
Today Jason read regular book print, YES!
Jason was back to painting the moose today in OT and doing residual arm weight lifting.
In PT lots of work walking and strength training for his legs.

On the downside, how does a patient rest?
Blessings to everyone.
Dennis asked for us to give an address:
(you don't want to go to the army system, way too slow)
Dow, Katy and Jason Scott
%Mologne House hotel
WRAMC
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20307

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Update Sunday 11/20/05

Thank you Barb and Nancy for the wonderful Ode to Jason!

Jason has been feeling depressed these past few days because he's finally realized he'll never be able to do the "hokey-pokey" again, and he's really afraid "that's what its all about."

Col. Martha Turner "has established an Air Force Shrine in my room. Clive, (Jason's healing mascot, given by Jodi) has the need for a "Air Force Tee shirt" discussion with Col. (Are the other Armed Services going to take this?) Sr. Terri from St. Gertrude's Chicago, my friend and friend of the Sisolek's who have also visited Jason, stopped by for a brief visit this afternoon. Lois Spoden a faithful friend who visits every Sunday (today she got to read the Washington Post because Jason was on the phone with Jodi) brought Jason mini-blue berry muffins and mini chicken fingers which Jason likes. Lois is already prepping Jason for a 5 K race. Her daughter is a highschool cross country runner and Lois said she herself hasn't run in a long time but is getting ready to "run with Jason!" Go for it Lois and Jason! Jason said Sen. John McCain will be visiting in a few weeks. We got his book and will begin to read it. A special thanks to all who are able to visit.

We're in the hospital so the MD had to prescribe a multivitamin which Jason will begin taking. (I wonder how much each pill will cost?) During PT today, Jason walked around the complete floor, no easy feat; this place is big and also walked back to his room. I found out that Jason hasn't an infection but the meds are to prevent one with the weeping buttock wound. Appetite was good today and Jason drank his Jamba Juice. We got him Jimmy Buffet's latest book and Jason was able to read from the intro. YES!. Jason will cap his Sunday off by watching the Simpsons and Family Guy, interspersed with another call from Jodi. Seems to be a pattern developing here.

We now have the Sisters of Mercy, Ireland Province praying for Jason. Fr. Pat Kenny who is a chaplain visiting Jason everyday giving his blessing, has a sister who won a contest to come to NY city! She is in her 60's so...she attended liturgy this morning and gave me a "decade rosary" blessed by Popes JPII and Benedict and said, "I am calling my Mother House today and all the Sisters will pray for Jason" Yes, the land of St Bridget and St. Patrick and St Leprechauns! Ah the Emerald Isle, land of St. Guinness (Jason likes). My sister Connie went to mass this morning and a good friend, a Benedictine I think, and she were talking and she said the same, "We have 400 sisters who will pray for Jason." "From your lips to the ear of God" I always heard that the role of the priest was to "call the community to prayer." I hope each of you is experiencing the power and Loving Presence of God (or Creative Force of the Universe) as you pray or send up healing thoughts for Jason. Many blessings for each of you and your family and friends this week of Thanksgiving. Thank you for being on the journey with us.

Ode to Jason

We made it to Seattle, going on to Idaho today. We are the intrepid Aunts. Here is a quick ditty for Jason. Will write more when we get home.

Captain Jason Scott,Army hottie
by Mildred Plew Meigsz (revised by the Aunties)

Ho, for the Captain Jason Scott,Army hottie!
He was as wicked as wicked could be,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Captain Jason Scott,Army hottie.

His conscience, of course, was as black as a bat,
But he had a floppety plume on his hat
And when he went walking it jiggled - like that!
The plume of the Captain Scotty.

His uniform it was handsome and cut with a slash,
And often as ever he twirled his right hand.
Deep down in Walter Reed the ladies went splash,
Because of Captain Scott the hottie

Moreover, Scotty had a zigzag tattoo,
And struck on his arm where he buckled it through
Were a crow bar, a billy bat, and a squizzamaroo,
For fierce was the Captain Scottie.

Oh, he had a cutlass that swung at his thigh
And he had a hedgehog called Pepperkin Pye,
And a zigzaggy scar at the end of his eye
Had Captain Jason Scott,Army hottie.

His consience, of course it was crook'd like a squash,
But both of his boots made a slickery slosh,
And he went throught the world with a wonderful swash,
Did Captain Jason Scott, Army Hottie.

It's true he was brave as brave could be,
His great deeds they outnumbered a hundred and three,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,
The Captain Jason Scott, Army hottie.

We enjoyed our visit with Jason very much. It was difficult to leave.
Barb and Nancy.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Update 11/19/05

Hello to all,
Saturday is a slow day in the hospital.
Dr. G came by early and took out some stitches on the right side of season's bottom.
It is infected so the MD's put him on Keflex/keflor (?) taken orally.

Lisa, Jason's sister, arrived from FL around 10 AM and we gathered up all the goodies she brought with her from FL-half a huge suitcase full and headed for the hospital. At the same time Dow's very first graduate student from Virginia Tech ('79) Steve Taylor arrived to take Dow out for the day. They headed down to the Smithsonian. Couldn't get into the aerospace Museum they said the line was over a block long. Guess a whole lot of folks come to DC for Thanksgiving week. So the two profs did the Museum of Natural History. Steve was down in Mississippi helping to clean up after the devastation of Katrina (state employees were mobilized). He said he had never seen such devastation. 150' from the beach was swept clean of everything. "Much worse than the TV news" was his evaluation.

Jason had PT this morning as he does 7 times a week. Today he was trying "to step up the stair" did two sets of 20. Did some walking unassisted. Then back to bed to get a rest and eat lunch. Lisa and I went out while Nan a DC friend spent the afternoon telling Jason about the genealogy of her family. They can trace 28 generations. Jason couldn't let that go by, "Well, we can only do one generation!" I looked and said, "Say what?" Jason deadpanned, "Well, we don't know who my father is." The man may be wounded but I hit him anyway! (very lightly on the shoulder) What is a mom to do with such a fast mouth son? Jason was very pleased and said that my facial expression took me off his list of "people I will wack with wacking stick" (remember his billy club arm, it has added an "LA attitude" and is now called a "wacking stick"). Of course that is for today, what fortune tomorrow may bring me?

I had scheduled a acupressure session for Jason and Yvonne spent about an hour with him. I am not sure how Jason felt after. We will see if Jason wants her to come back. I will keep looking for a traditional massage. Jason continues to have pain in his right leg extending down from the buttocks wounds. Today was the first day he said, "I feel like I have an appetite." Sense of taste is still gone as well as smell. He can now taste sweet. Getting different twinges etc in his face at different times so the nerves are "reawakening" Favorites are Jamba Juice drinks and sliced cukes from the salad bar. After Jason drinks the Jamba he is cold and has goose bumps; so we have to cover him up with a blanket until he warms up again! Jason says he goes by texture and feel for food.

The highlight for Jason was the arrival of an acopella(sp?) Baptist quartet from NC. They sang three songs and were excellent. Jason really enjoyed them even though he does not listen to Gospel. Jason liked their talent, as we all did. The RN's and techs stopped by to listen. This was the first time for the quartet to make visits to Walter Reed.

Please keep Jason in your prayers as you attend church on Sunday; especially this infection and his eyesight. Blessings and many thanks

Friday, November 18, 2005

Update 11/18/05

Hello to all,
Sadly, we had to say "Goodbye" to Jason's aunts Barbara and Nancy (who promise to write a blog report when Joe shows them how ASAP) as they return to Idaho on an 8AM flight on Sat. Jason says he really enjoys all his Scott aunts and hopes that they can visit again. Barbara (PT) gave us the assignment of getting a regular chair big enough so Jason can sit in his room and eat, watch TV etc. He will need cushions etc for the bottom wounds.

Jason got good news, his lower digestive track is looking as if it is healing well. How to meet a MD for an appointment? This is the second time this has happened: We are pushing Jason down the hall from one therapy/task to another and someone spots him in the hall. "Oh, good, we've been looking for you. Come to x-ray, right now, we need to do one on your left arm." And she wheels Jason off to xray. (We had heard the rumor that they were going to check Jason's arm and the cast may come off after Thanksgiving.) Young men heal fast (with good MD's and lots of love and your prayers)

MD's, Jason's favorite surgeon, Dr. Golarz from Chicago (actually NW Medical school) came in with his interns and removed some stiches saying, "Look at this one, this is great-mine Look at this one, uh, uh Drew's" inferring that Dr's G are better than Dr. D's. So this is the conversation you hear when MD's remove stitches from your bottom. Thought you would want to know. They didn't remove them all the stitches, lots more healing to do. Saying that the butt vac would probably come off in another two weeks. The MD's advise that Jason have no MRI's for 10 years. MRI's are magnets and Jason has a lot of shrapnel in him. The MD's say that it will slowly work its way to the surface and out! I have picked a piece out of his face already. I am sure that you all have heard buckshot stories-same thing except these pieces may contain germs that can colonize a year from now (happened to a patient we met) Did find some fatty bottom tissue that had died so Dr. G will check the wound again on the weekend.

Jason is busy watching the series Rescue Me, his dad left thought it a bit much. I left the room when Jodi his girlfriend called and with the new headset, I have lost my job as phone holder and dismissed with "Check back in 30 minutes." A box of items that I had sent to Iraq showed up here, the FOB sent it to Walter Reed, we'll check it out and see what we sent...seems like a million years ago now. Thanks again for all your prayers and kindnesses. Please keep Jason's complete recovery in your prayers, including no infections-flu season is coming, the healing of his vision and new dreams for him.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A picture from Jason's driver

This picture just came in with the following email:

Hello
My name is Kim Shovan my son is Sgt. James Benson who was Jason's driver at the time Jason was hurt.

I have a picture that James had taken of Jason over in Iraq. James put a candle on his head (just something to do I guess.)

Please let Jason know that he is in James family prayers and we wish him a speedy recovery.

We appreciate being able to keep up with his recovery.

Kim Shovan
Clinton Township, MI
The picture is also accessable from the link at the top of the blog.

Update 11/17/05

Therapy schedule kicking in big time:
1. 2 hours of PT, Jason walked on his own today! YES!
2. 2 hours of OT, Jason painted a moose with a paint brush attached to his right arm (exercise for left and right hand coordination). Quote: "The hardest part was getting the moose to lay down!" "I looked like I should be wearing a bike helmet licking a window." BTW Jason was standing up during the whole exercise-to increase standing endurance (about 20 minutes total). He is so tall that they cranked the art table as high as it could go, still too low, so OT kept piling up boxes on the table to get the moose to his hand level. Friends Andrea and Captain (Retd Navy) Spencer Johnson spent their first visit in OT with Jason.

Jason has a plan to drive his psychiatrist "batty" He is thinking up all kinds of scenarios to tell her. You cannot keep an INTP down! Their motto is "7-UP" they will best you at word play and Jason is relishing the thought of harassing his Psychiatrist and any other MD is fair game. He is straight with the RN's and Medics. Likes Eva (very competent) who has a stud in her lower lip, wears Goth, wild jewelry, necklaces, earings etc; and Mike the night RN who is ex army, tattos everywhere but has a real rapport with the guys. He is a natural for the soldiers!

Distinquished visitors today:

A "Professional staff member" (serious that is what his card said) connected to the House Armed Services Committee, met Jason on the way to OT. Gave me his card, said "If he needs anything..." Jason didn't say anything about wanting a job-missed opportunity...?

An Army general showed up Jason said, "NO coins either" (So Go Air Force-Katy) The General's name is like General Generoux Jason said, "General General?" Then went on to imagine what it must have been like for the man Sgt. General, Major Gen., Col Gen. etc, etc.

Ongoing Prothesis discussion:
Today trying to get to Dr. Todd, now head of Jason's care. Jason asked for a "crowbar arm to continue his life of crime. Jason said coolly Dr. Todd(ex Marine) quipped back, " Well, you will need another arm to carry the TV out!" So Jason is thinking what he can propose next... Got any ideas let us know and we will pass them on to Jason.

On a more serious note Jason is noting the extensive injuries of some of the men and saying, "I am thankful that I do not have that injury." Jason says he worries about his vision the most. Let us pray for his vision continuing to be healed.
Many blessings to all who are sending prayers, good thoughts, hopes and dreams for Jason's future and complete recovery.

Photo album

I have created a photo album of pictures Lisa sent me. If anyone else has pictures they want posted send them to me at Jason@joehuffman.org. I'll get them up as soon as I can and post something here about the album being updated.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Update 11/16/05

Hello everyone,
Today was prothesis day. The MD's have told Jason that they will return him to "same functionality he had prior to his injury." Jason is thinking of a "crow bar arm" so "I can return to my life of crime." (Don't forget his billy club arm for bar fights) They are working on preparing casts of the arm to create the foundation for his prosthesis. Jason's arm was so swollen they could not fit the foundation. Jason has an appointment early tomorrow to try again.

Jason loves Jamba Juice drinks so everyone is bringing him one when they visit so he had one before the visit to prosthesis. Today's was from Aunt Barbara and Dad who had gone in search of "head set that works" as Jason has no hands to hold the phone. We can say "Success" so if you call, Jason can sit and chat and we don't have to"hold the phone" A blessing because I was phone holder for last night when Jason talked to Jodi for an hour! Let me tell you the strange contortion of holding a phone to an ear of a man lying flat on his back in his hospital bed!

Another special event was Jason's first meeting with a general, in fact I belive it was 4 Generals, and Jason wanted me to be sure to write, "The first generals I have met and they were....Air Force, not Army!" They gave Jason these commerative coins, I am sure you in the military know what I am writing. It was a big thing because they wanted their picture with Jason to be giving him these coins. Any way they were from the Pentagon, I don't know their names but they pretty nice for generals.

Jason has heard that he can drive with one eye and the Army will send him to a special school to prepare him for driving. Also Jason can recieve a voice activated computer from the VA that is his for life along with updates in programming, etc. The American Red Cross has a volunteer who does sewing and is altering shirts, shorts and pants so Jason can wear them. It is time for Jason to "get out of the gown" as his aunt Barbara says and "into street clothes" and as we all know way more modest!

As he enters this phase of recovery, nerves are reawakening in face and buttocks and sadly this part of the healing journey has also brought his first real pain. For the last two nights he has taken oxycotin to sleep and today he really felt the pain in his right side of his face (remember 12 hours of surgery to rebuild) Let us all keep Jason's complete healing in our prayers and his experiencing minimal pain and having good night's for sleeping.

His dad and Jason watched more of the TV show Rescue Me (with Dennis Leary) jtoday and he and best friend Dan are watching another episode as I type. Col. Martha (Blessings on you) and I went to the Quixote Center for liturgy and meal as is becoming our Wednesday ritual. It is good to attend and inclusive liturgy centered on justice and peace; food for the body and my soul.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Update 11/15/05

Hello to all,
Today was a much better day than yesterday for Jason.
Jason got up and did a full 2 hour workout at PT.
I believe he said that he did 4 full walks around the room.
Having Aunt Barbara a PT of many years experience is a great blessing this week.
As with Col. Martha, the RN of many years experience, Barbara looks at Jason's activities with professional as well as familial eyes. She tells the staff, "let's do it this way."
One of the problems we have encountered on this floor is that Jason could not fit in a "regular wheelchair." Aunt Barbara went after a more fitting chair and so today we are using a "cardiac chair" which is sorta like a gurney with side rails.

Jason also had a long session of Occupational Therapy in the afternoon.
Preparing for the prosthesis is very high tech. The OT attaches electrodes to Jason's right residual arm at different muscle groups. Jason through flexing the muscles "steers" a car through a maze getting points if he doesn't hit walls. The OT says the better Jason gets the faster the car will go. This practice will train Jason to operate an electric based hand. Next the end of the electrodes are attached to the hand he will use and Jason opens and closes the hand. Jason after one week can literally pick up cones and stack them. Jason is not wearing the hand as his own prosthesis will be created after his arm is healed, the OT holds it.

Next Jason went to an exercise machine for the same arm, his left arm will be in a cast another 4 weeks. The OT said there will be much work to do with the left arm as it will be trained to be his dominant. The surgery was also very extensive and the arm will need rehab. A armband was velcroed above the right elbow. a metal line was attached to a machine that measures resistance, so today for an introduction Jason worked with a 5 pound weight. Just think of it as a way to hold a weight in a hand that is not there to work the upper arm. Again, biofeedback via green bars of different lengths depending on what he lifted. When it comes to working out Jason is totally focused and the OT says he really learns quick.

This ward has its own strange rules. I can't take Jason's basin out of the room. One of the RN's on 65 said, "you are always getting ice, take the basin (everyone is familiar with the plastic basins they give you in the hospital?") and create a ice chest. So we stick in a can of ensure, gatorade, water, milk, and now diet coke and during the day Jason can "mix his drinks" to whatever his tastebuds desire. (Jason can now taste sweet, had some tingling about his right side of his mouth yesterday, said he didn't have today. So nerves are trying to reconnect we think.) I said, "I can't take this to the pantry and refill it? I have been doing it for the last month on 65!" So I guess I have to sneak it out when no one is looking!

On 65 we had our own can of super disenfecting towelettes (you must wear rubber gloves when you use) that we were to use once a shift on every flat surface to keep germs down. On 58, so the story told to me goes, a person was using them to clean the patient, so NONE in the rooms. We have to chase from the RN's!

Jason needs a room freshener sometimes. I asked at the RN desk. "Sorry patients aren't permitted air freshners!" I said, " Ward 65 kept it in his room. Would you please call Jason's MD for me?" The RN station controller(secretary) said, "Wait, let's talkto the LT"( sitting right there). He looked at me and I said, "Look Jason needs it now." Lt Couch said, "Fine I will go to 65 and get some,' about 5 minutes later I had it. This is life from the patient's mother's experience at Walter Reed premier military hospital. Tell me about it! Thank God for my hospice chaplain experience where the patient and the family needs DO REALLY come first. This time I am on the other side of the bed, but my knowledge and experience sure keeps me from backing down from these yokels. You know me and my passion! Good quality health care for Very Seriously Injured, VSI, soldiers from Iraq is my number 1! No questions to be asked by any staff!

Jason's vision

I talked to Barb (Jason's aunt) earlier today. His vision is improving. He can read large font books now. The doctor says, "Of course he will be able to drive again."

Very good news.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Jason Has Moved 11/14/05

Jason has been moved to the rehab ward, they did it quickly to day.
New room number is 5831, that is on Ward 58.
His phone number is 202.782.9626
We expect him to be in this room for sometime.
This is also his one month anniversary of his injuries.

Jason needs lots of affirming support, do send cards and letters. Phone calls: upbeat. Think about visiting. Lots of prayers for healing of his eyesight and lower digestive tract and emotional and spiritual healing for Jason. I think one month out Jason is beginning to discover the work before him to heal and be rehabilitated. Talking about careers, "What to do when my rehab is over?" Work? Go to school? Jason is an intuitive thinker so looking at the big picture and what next is part of his life. His new night RN was saying for his "accomplishments" Jason needs to look at intermediate goals: When the butt vac comes off, when the cast come off, etc. He knows he will be at WRAMC at least 6 months to a year for rehab and to a healthy young man that is a very long time.

Jason did tell Lt Thornton about the day he woke up to see about 6 men in white peering at him. He said, "Am I dead?" That was his introduction to the team of surgeons taking care of him. Jason said the room sometimes feels like the Shrine circus with MD's, RN's, family, visitors. He said it was sometimes a little much. After today's move and wound cleaning and a difficult time with a very too small wheel chair, he said, "I'm wired" and for the first time is having a difficult time falling asleep. So I showed him a breathing technique (thank you Chaplain Diana) and will stay longer at his bedside this evening. Do keep us all in your prayers; Jason asks prayers for his complete recovery.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Update 11/13/05 by Katy

Hello to all,

Jason's aunts Nancy ( school teacher) and Barbara(many years a physical therapist) have arrived from Idaho and immediately began a discussion by saying"Don't believe what Sue (third of the trio of sisters, each a year apart) told you about us." Jason fast on his quips replied, "Not even the good things?" Jodi Jason's girlfriend (twentysomething) leaving to return to college told Dow about his sisters: "They're cute" Remember Jason's aunts are approaching 50. Sue I am sure you would be included had you been here, so know you are cute! Barbara, Dow and Nancy began to discuss plans for Sue's 50th coming next year. Jason joined in with a San Francisco Restaurant something about "beer inside of a giant sequoia type of place." A good discussion spent the afternoon away. Jason was so tired, he fell asleep shortly after 6PM when his aunts left.

Aunt Barbara worked range of motion exercises and Jason did well. In the morning he had walked close to a circuit of the third floor. For those who haven't been at WR maybe a fifth of a mile. Good job Jason. We gave Jodi and Jason private time and went out to an excellant Lebanese restaurant in Silver Springs and got in our own 4 mile walk in a beautiful day here in DC.

I know many of you have sent cards, letters and emails expressing sorry for Jason's injuries. Jason now wants to focus on a future of bright possibilities, so do send cards of love, care, hope and dreaming the new possibilities for his life. Jason will need all the support we as family and friends can provide for his rehab will last up to a year. (Think about coming for a visit) Let us keep his future in our prayers along with his continued healing. Jason can't wait to get the "medvac off his butt wounds"

(PS: For those of you who know my "other life," I am off to the witness Monday at noon to the RC Bishops' Conference meeting in DC this week.
A good break for me, an activist who can't pass up an opportunity to "get another word in to the men in pink!")

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Update 11/12/05 by Katy

Hello to all,
Jason was up early and off to PT where he walked a half of a hallway on the third floor. YES!!!
Can't wait to get the machines unhooked so he can feel more free. Hopefully everything will be gone in three weeks. Dr. G couldn't get to him to clean his bottom wounds so it will happen Monday. (11 more soldiers from Iraq/Germany arrived last night/today-3 added to Jason's floor) Jason had a visit from his commander's wife today and another wife of an officer in his unit. Jodi, Jason's girlfriend, has been here all day and will spend most of tomorrow with Jason before heading back to college in FL. So mom and dad stayed out of the room and gave them time alone. Jason's face is breaking out. Any good ideas for skin care when you can't take a bath? Jason's Aunts from Idaho arrived late in the day and we went out to supper. So the weekend continues to be quiet with less activities, but come Monday REHAB will start again.
It is so busy I am glad they give the soldiers/patients the "weekend off" cause Jason is really spent by early evening during the week of rehab. Please continue to pray especially for the healing of Jason's sight and his digestive system.

I want to say "thank you" for the good thoughts, positive healing energy and prayers for Jason. We have heard multiple stories of soldiers in pain for weeks, Jason has not had any concerns with pain, a great blessing. His best friend Dan was to be sent overseas, stationed at the Pentagon for now. I prayed and again you joined me seeking the best for Jason's care and Dan's assignment has been held till after Christmas, a great blessing for Dan is like a brother to Jason. (Dan may be disappointed, but I am saying "Thanks.") Dow's classes have all been arranged so that after grading a few papers he does not teach till summer. A great blessing. I lost my license a picture ID is required for entry to the post. I thought I had lost it at a restaurant. Returning to the security gate I was dreading multiple hours to get me a photo ID when the security guard said, "Someone found it on the ground, we've got it!" Over and over, many blessings and thankfulness, especially for Jason's health.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Update 11/10/05 by Katy

Hello from WRAMC

Said goodbye to Aunt Sue today; "Thank you so much for all your help." Waiting for aunts Nancy and Barbara from Idaho to arrive tomorrow. WR is very quiet today being the holiday. Jason did start the day with OT and PT early this morning. His PT is Jason, I call him Jason II. Anyway, Jason II really worked him out because by the time Jason II asked, "Do you want to try to walk and stand?" Jason replied, "No, I think I have worked hard enough." I can tell he has really lost weight by the size of his calves.

Chicago friends arrived earlier than we expected, about lunch. Kirby and Robert and Dan; friends from college and karate. Jodi (Jason's girlfriend) arrived about 4. So Jason has lots of 20something support today, which makes Dow and I feel very good.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Jason's addition to the blog 11/10/05

Jason walked about 200 feet around the PT room this morning. If you can picture two women about 5'5" tall holding up a 6'4" 200 pound soldier, Dow asked them, "What if he gets woozy?" They said we will yell "HELP"

From Jason (He is not on any pain meds that I know of... so his sense of humor has kicked in :-);

While I was in PT, the Senator from South Dakota and his entourage were visiting soldiers. About 5 people asked me "Would you care to speak with the Senator?" (I think this is for privacy for the patient and to protect the Senator-Katy) The senator approached me and said, "Your country owes you a great debt." Jason: "thank you sir" Silence for about two minutes. Jason is thinking, his quotes, "Should I ask him for a job?" and "How does it feel sir that the only reason you are here is because the constitution requires each state to have two senators?" Then the aide gave me a tee-shirt from S. D I thought "I think I am a political appointee! Maybe a 'Municipal Water Manager?"

Jason said "I had great fun. I would walk directly toward the group with the Senator and they would have to step aside. "Sorta like parting the Red Sea" It was gratifying, everyone has to get out of the way for a disabled vet!" (Whatever motivator it takes to get this soldier walking, Great in my book!-Mom)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Update 11/8/05 by Katy-Part 2

Talking to Jason:
The head of rehab was in to see Jason while he was in Occupational Therapy.
They had a lively discussion on the over 200 different types of arm prothesis available.
One is available for swimmers. Jason was a water polo player as a teen and in college.
He was also on swim team. Well, the Rehab team was running with this. They have a coach for sports so that men and women who are using protheses can compete in an Olympics. In fact a female vet is preparing for the 2008 Para-Olympics. Jason had to slow them down a little, "I just stood up today!"

Jason also talked about a "titanium billy club" arm essentially.
I guess Dr. Cuz (head of Jason's rehab team) was sorta taken aback by the thought.
Jason said they did the electronic testing to see if he could use the "bionic arm" and he passed.
Jason said that prothesis looked difficult. Not sure exactly why-maybe the surgery necessary.
Most of the men wear the type of arm that is operated by the shoulder muscles.

Also there is a group that finances trips for the amputee Vets.
This spring they are heading for a trip to Aspen CO. in April.
Jason said "I couldn't ski with four limbs, I don't think I'll do better with three." He also can take one guest. I think Jason plans to enjoy the mountains from the inside of the ski lodge-not bad!

Dr G was in to clean Jason's buttocks wounds. He said the cleaning should be over in about 2 weeks: done twice a week, now in his room without anesthesia. Remember that Jason has a wound pump that pulls fluid and blood from the buttock wounds so that it can heal from the inside out. A sponge is set across the wound and the "vac"pulls the fluid away from the wound also stimulating tissue growth. But Jason is "bound to the vac." It is never turned off, like the IV bags on the pole. The ortho docs said Jason's new blue cast (he had a choice of blue, pink, white, black) on his left arm would most likely come off in 4 weeks. So...hopefully by Christmas Jason will be without these extra hinderances on his body and movement will be freer.

Update 11/8/05 by Katy

Hello to all,
Jason stood upright today! He has PT every day. Today they sat him on the edge of the guerney, put his feet over the side and said, "Okay, here you go." Stood for a couple of minutes!
Dow and I both missed it, I was sleeping, (as I do the late evening shift) and Dow had to close out his classes so Aunt Sue is our witness!

Jason's vision in his left eye improves however the right eye has minimal vision. We are awaiting a miracle in our prayers for his vision. Please continue to pray for his complete healing including his eyesight. The loss of taste and smell may be from the injury or may be from the surgery we do not know. It may temporary or permanent, only time will tell.

Jason had time with PT today, OT and visits from his American Red Cross volunteer Patrice whom he enjoys. Jason has changed to be under the Rehab Team. So today they put his shoes on and kept them on all day-even when he was in bed. Trying to prevent his feet from turning under-happens when you are in bed too long and off your feet. Aunt Sue was massaging Jason's feet with cocoa butter because of dry skin. Jason appreciates such personal care. Dow shaves him in the morning. We are to do exercises with Jason's arms and legs to help with PT and OT. Jason is on two IV's one a salt/water solution and the other his antibiotic.

We appreciate your care, compassion, notes and care packages,
We can never say "thank you" enough,
May blessings be upon each of you and your families.
May all our soldiers come home safely and in peace,

Monday, November 07, 2005

Update ll/7/05

Hello to all,
Jason's Aunt Sue arrived from CA and is staying with new friends of ours and Jason's.

Today Jason had the left arm cast "downsized" but he says "still to heavy" PT and OT.
Jason remains positive and his body is healing well after the many surgeries. In fact they transferred Jason from the Surgery Team/critical to the PM&R which is the Rehab discipline. For now he remains in the same room and ward but I assume he will be moving to the Rehab ward shortly. His wounds on the bottom need to be changed regularly/twice a day with the larger wounds cleaned twice a week, now done in his room.

Jason requests prayers for the nerves on the right side of the face, not feeling anything there (may be permanent or temporary), his sense of smell and taste are also off. Please continue to pray for the complete healing of his eyesight. We have had no time to read to Jason but he watched the new Simpsons last night. Jason also listens to his eyepod regularly. Dow reads the newspaper to him each morning and participates in Jason's personal care.

Thank you for all your support and holding all of us in your prayers and good thoughts.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Update 11/5/05 by Katy

Great day for Jason
First time out of the bedroom and out side! A medic pushed Jason in a special bed/wheelchair.
Asked that we buy him sunglasses, VA sun is great and it is 70.
We walked around the front for about 20 minutes, then in.

Friends Chris and Erin arrived from Chicago and spent the afternoon with Jason.
He had the chicken from a pot pie (carry out by parents) and beef from beef stroganoff for dinner. Lots of gatorade and water in between. Doing well the PT visited for exercises in the room (every thing is quiet on the weekends) so we are "hanging out" this evening.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Update:11/4/05 by Katy

Hello to all,
Ginger Williams a friend from Chicago has come to stay through the weekend. She is staying with Jason at night so I can get to sleep and not worry about someone not responding to Jason's needs. Jason had a "hurry up and wait day" He was scheduled to have his bottom wounds cleaned today so NPO "nothing by mouth" at midnight last night. The morning passed and as the hospital is receiving wounded from Iraq almost every day, Jason is now lower in the que to get to the OR. About 15 hours after "no water" we got a call. The OR was overflowing, however, Dr. Golarz decided to "cleanse the wound in the room!" The RN's were astounded, nothing had been done like this before. An anxious intern came in and said, "We're going to give this a try, it might not work..." A true Blessing! the job was done in 30 minutes, no anesthetic (a dilaudid bolis), and Jason's wounds are quickly diminishing in size. I know the good medicals are the healing hands of a compassionate God who guides their care of Jason and his healing is a result of your good thoughts and many prayers.

A veterans group provides a steak dinner on Fridays. Jason couldn't eat his literal pound of flesh, so I bagged it into 5 bags left over. I thought this is the best tasting protein Jason will get!
The nutritionist is pushing the protein but the supplemenatl powder is hard to take. Jason didn't get any today as he was NPO till four when the procedure was over. Monday Jason will have the cast reset on his left arm. He is looking forward to it as he is complaining how heavy this one is. They will shorten it so he can do PT. Jason gets to about 45 degrees on the way to standing up, he is belted to a tilt table and they check vitals. No PT or OT today as he was waiting for surgery. We went through some donated books on tape and he chose some history and a couple of novels.

Jason is looking forward t0 a visit on Sat by friends from Chicago and the arrival of his aunt on Sunday. Aunt Suzie will stay the week to help us out. Jason is very busy during the day with OT and PT, by afternoon he is bushed. For dinner he ate the Chinese take out from earlier this week and of course has been "drinking the night away."

Please continue to pray for the healing of Jason's eyesight, the healing of the Post Traumatic Stress dreams, that Jason's future be filled with many options, and that his recovery be complete and full. We are thankful for all the generous gifts and care given to us by you our friends and family and the support staff here at WRAMC. The Family Assistance center said it has aided over4700 soldiers and 2000 families in the last two years. We are thankful for our accomodations-a two bedroom apartment on the hospital grounds.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Jason Up-date 11-3-05 from Dow

Athough Jason can only move his head at this point he is starting physical therapy (PT). Jason seems to have positive attitude about his ability to get his life back together. However, a senior Physical Therapist said based on his experience Jason may be at Walter Reed for 9 to 12 months. He also assured Jason that this is the best place in the world to be for people who loose limbs. Dow

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Update-11/2/05: from Katy

Hello to all,

This was a very very busy day.
A friend of a friend of mine (Dolly P of the Quixote Center) Col Martha Turner an Air Force career nurse has been spending time with Jason. Martha was with Jason today for Physical Therapy (Jason got to 45 degrees before stopping) and Occupational Therapy. She is an angel sent to be with Jason. Jason trusts Martha and likes that she goes "nose to nose" with staff on his behalf. Jason was able to read Martha's nametag this morning before the RN put drops in his eyes. A Blessing.

In the afternoon, PT returned for another session of movements in bed. OT has given us exercises for Jason also. Jason has had both pain blocker epidurals removed from his shoulders, and is now down to only 2 IV bags: H2O and sodium and some kind of super antibiotic they keep going non stop. When he arrived the bags were doubled on the post plus the pain meds. Jason's cultures came back clean so the Meds no longer wear gowns when coming into the room. It is a blessing that for the most part Jason is free from pain. I have not heard him complain yet, except once after his bottom wounds were cleansed, done under anesthesia.

Jason is eating regular food and tonight we had chinese take-out: true American dinner. Jason ate some. We have to measure all food and drink for nutrition planning. They gave us a protein powder that we are to put into everything as tolerated by Jason. Right now favorites are gatorade and vanilla icecream.

Old neighbors from Blacksburg visited today and Dow and I got out for a walk.
We are reading a book by Dan Weber a sci-fi to him: his choice.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prayers for healing of Jason's eyesight from Katy

Dear everyone,
I know that Dow gave a negative MD report concerning Jason's eyesight. "Medical professionals can offer no more at this time." Lisa and I are Catholic Christian and believe in the power of Love and healing prayer. We are asking that you continue your prayers for the continual healing of Jason's eyesight and his complete recovery. Miracles do happen and prayers are answered.

Earlier this evening Jason saw the clock on the wall about 10 feet from his eyes.
St Lucy is the patron saint for healing of sight, St Jude is a patron saint for difficult problems.
Today is the Feast of All Saints, please pray to your own patron saints for Jason's continual healing. Ask God's mercy and compassion. We all are companions on Jason's physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Thank you for being in loving support of Jason with us. We all will continue to accompany Jason as God provides for his future full of potential.

Jason Up-Date 11-1-05

Jason: Latest Information 11-1-05 (letter revised since yesterday)


Jason is having a good day today; he seems to have recovered from the most recent surgery (takes about 48 hours for the drugs to get out of his system). I read the Washington Post to him this morning and he has received calls from a good friend in California and from his girl friend in Orlando. Two friends visited this afternoon, Dan and Erin. Dan and he were roommates in Chicago when they decided to go into the Army together. Jason goes back to surgery next Thursday.

I am not sure who I have shared what information with but Jason sustained four major injuries when his convoy was attack while on patrol near Samara. The IED blasted through the armored humvee on the right side damaging the right side of Jason’s face, shredding his right arm which was amputated, shrapnel broke his left arm in several places and large piece of Shrapnel went through both buttocks and lower intestinal area. Although he has made progress, he will probably be in the hospital for 4 to 8 weeks and then he will remain at Walter Reed in an apartment until April or May (very loose estimate).

In summary, doctors have rebuilt the right side of Jason’s face and repositioned the eye. They right eye is still swelled shut and we do not know how much sight he will regain from this eye. (We just found out today that Jason’s eye sight will not improve. He has lost virtually all sight in the right eye (see only motion and light) and has very limited sight in his left eye. Jason will not be able to read, watch movies or theatre and drive and it will preclude other activities. The eye specialist says there is no surgery or lenses that can improve the sight in either eye.) The right arm amputation which is just below the elbow has been sealed off. He will have future surgeries on this arm as doctors rebuild it to conform to a prosthesis. It will require about six months for the prosthesis to be fitted and for him to learn how to use it. The doctors have inserted metal plates in his left arm and it is expected heal such that he can use of it. However, they may have to operate again to remove the plates depending on the pain associated with them. His buttock wound seems to be healing well but they are not sure how functional the area will be. Given his inability to help himself (he cannot move in bed) and the trauma of the attack Jason is fearful of being left alone.

The good news is that Jason continues to progress but if will be slow and there are still questions about the extent to which he will recover.

Katy and I appreciate all the kind notes people have sent and their offers to help. We are saving these message and we will read them to Jason when he is up-to-it.

Some people have asked where cards might be sent. The following address should be good at least until the end of November. Thanks to Red Cross and other support groups and individuals Jason, Katy and I do not need anything at this point. As mentioned before, if you would like to give something to Jason frequent flyer miles or a contribution so his girl friend or sister can visit more often (Lisa is coordinating this) is appreciated. If you would like to visit Jason, please contact Lisa since she is coordinating his visits so you will have a nice visit and Katy and I can use the time to handle other demands. Lisa can be reached at rlryan@earthlink.net and 813.657.4497.

Jason’s uncle Joe has created a blog space where you can get information about Jason so I don’t need to send out massive emails and miss people who would like to check up on Jason’s progress. The location is: http://ltjason.blogspot.com/


Again, thank you all for your support, prayers and kind thoughts.

Dow and Katy.

Dow Scott
Mologne House Hotel
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW, Bldg. 20
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
Phone: 202 726.8700