Captain Jason

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


Snail Mail:

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

Phone: 202 577 0092

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Off to PT-Twice in One Day

I woke early so that I could spend time in Lenten prayer and reflection before I headed to the hospital. Today's readings focuse on "Choose Life" and I thought that is what this experience is for me. The MD's, the RN's, the patients and family members and friends must all choose life: spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, and mentally. Each person plays an equally important part in supporting the patient's choices as Jason "Chooses Life."

Jason asked that I arrive at his room at 8 AM this morning as he was going to try to go to PT. Dutifully, I did arrive and he was sound asleep. His roommate Chris was having some pain issues last night so Jason did not get a lot of sleep for the second night in a row after surgery. Jason asked that I wake him at 8:30 which I did and we headed off to PT about 9. We met the discharge nurse in the hall and discussed pain control for Jason. Jason said, "I took 2 percacet and slept all night." The RN was impressed as Jason had major surgery and this was only the third day after.

Kyla was happy to see Jason up and was going to really flex and stretch the right thigh this morning. She wants Jason to be sure to go to weekend PT and keep working on the flexibility in his right leg and to develop strength. Dennis showed up for his final morning with Jason as he returns to Chicago about noon. I left as Kyla prepared to work on Jason's leg. Kyla said she would use Dennis as an assistant if she needed one. I said "Goodbye" to Dennis as he would be leaving before I returned.

I left to attend my counseling sesssion at WATER and didn't return to WR until after 1 PM. I stopped at Whole Foods for a Jamba Juice for Jason and picked up some ribs and chips for him for his lunch. Jason lost his appetite (common side effect of painkillers as they suppress appetite) and hadn't eaten breakfast so I was hoping the ribs would entice him to eat a little protein. I came back to find Jason gone, Chris thought to OT. I ate my own lunch while we listened to a car chase for a woman who had stolen a police SUV out in CA. Interesting lunch topic. Chris said in Iraq the best way to stop a car was to shoot through the engine or I think he said the manifold. He said "stopped them cold." Chris thought the police should do the same as she was speeding through residential streets and "somebody innocent might be killed."

I headed to OT only to see John the OT coming toward me. "Where's Jason?" John said, "Jason cancelled, too tired after the morning PT." John filled me in on his job search in N. Illinois which sounds as if he will have a position in McHenry county by next week. I congratulated him and went off to see if I could find Jason.

Jason was having a second session with Kyla who was in the middle of the "jaw stretch" which is slowly widening Jason's ability to open his mouth. I looked at the bandages on Jason's wound from the surgery and saw fresh red blood, "Kyla, did you see this?" Kyla looked and said Jason needed to have the wound checked and she did not feel comfortable continuing the session at this point.

We returned to room and told the RN to please call the MD for a wound check. The RN added a layer of bandage to catch any excess blood. Jason ate the ribs and Jamba Juice while we waited for the MD. We watched a program on the FBI catching bankrobbers in the Chicago area. Jason had hoped to work as a hostage negotiator for the FBI after he was released from the Army this spring. The Chicago FBI office has offered to seek a position for him as an analyst if he would choose that career instead. With his wounds, he can not wounds in the field.

While we waited, two Vietnam Vets came by to "check in" They wished Jason well, recommended he contact the Disabled Veterans of America and gave him coupons for McDonalds. They were very interested in the model of the HO and appreciated Jason's sharing about the surgery and this phenomenon. One of the vets was very interested becasue he had lost bone in his jaw after dental surgery. He mused "Wouldn't it be great if the docs could harness that ability to grow new bone? I would be part of that experiment!!"

Dr. Frisch and his four interns arrived about 4 PM to check on the bleeding wound. I stayed with them as they removed the drains. Dr. F said that the wound drains often clog because the blood clots and plugs the plastic tubing. Then fresh blood leaks out of the wound around where the drain tubes had been inserted. So much for good drainage of wounds, thank goodness Jason's blood is clotting.

After looking at the wound about 10'' long in a pretty straight line, I remarked, "Dr. Frisch, I thought you said that Jason would have a wound that looked like a crescent moon (what the moon looks like tonight on my walk to Mologne)." Without batting an eye, Dr Frisch replied, "Well, working with the scars Jason already has I thought I could get my initial... Didn't quite work." He had us all in stitches, including Jason who I am sure was imagining spending the rest of his life with his doc's initial on his butt.

Jason asked about a weekend pass in case he wanted to go to Mologne. Dr. Frisch wasn't going that far, "We will have to see how this wound is doing tomorrow." Jason thinks he won't be discharged till next week as Dr. Frisch asked me, "Would I feel comfortable changing the dressing on Jason's wound?" I said, "No way, uh uh." I want professionals changing Jason's wound dressing and examining the area regularly. I minister in homecare, but I am not medical. I told Jason that after the docs left.

After the MD's left Jason got out his Ipod and earphones and said that he was going to try to listen to music and rest. I headed back to Mologne to do the same. I returned at 7 PM and found Jason waking up from a nap as he had fallen asleep as soon as I left. Another patient soldier Evan whom we had met in the pre-op room on Monday stopped by. Lt Evan is interesting because he is dating one of the RN's from 57 so he can't be bedded on this ward but is a patient on 58 where Jason was before his recent discharge. The wards are connected, so Evan is just a short walk from "his nurse." (Doesn't it sound like a soap opera? He is a real charmer.)

Evan also has and interesting surgery story. He was wounded in his right arm and much of his flesh was lost. The skin is so thin the MD's decided to do a skin graft. So on Wednesday they surgically connected his arm to his side with skin from the thigh of his right leg grafted to his arm. He has to remain sown together for three weeks. My understanding is that the stomach area has a lot of bloodvessels and will suppy the graft as it grows onto his injured right arm. The miracles of modern medicine. Evan said the area where the graft came from (imagine being flayed, he showed us the patch on his thigh-maybe 8 inches by 3 inches. ) hurt more than the graft area now connected to his side. His sister is in the Navy and has been reassigned to the DC area so that she can be his medical assistant and help him as needed. He was very thankful to the Navy for her assignment.

Jason had asked for his DVD and movies and we decided to watch Office Space when I returned as I wanted to see a comedy. By the time we got set up, Jodi called! so no movie for me tonight. I said "Goodnight" to Jason, to Chris and his mother Debbie and headed for Mologne for the night.

On the way back I met John the father of Noah whose room was near Jason on Ward 58. Noah celebrated his 21st birthday on mine in January. After his arrival, he had lost one foot in Afghanistan; Noah was told he would have to have the second foot amputated. John has returned to help Noah transition to outpatient at Mologne. He got his travel orders extended for another week and is really enjoying this special time with his son. John told me about how Noah sees Jason and me and is glad to see us. John said, "We love our soldier sons and they are special, but they get a lot of support from their peers and that is important." John was very glad the treatment encourages the patients to visit with other soldiers. So am I. He gave me a hug and said, "Thanks for being a friend to Noah." I smiled and thought of Doctor Wagner's book that I quoted before on the blog; "It takes a community to help the soldier heal." And we are all part of that community.

Please pray that Jason gets a good night sleep, that he is pain free, that the surgical wound heals quickly without any after affects of infection or blood clots. Blessings to you too and may you have a good night's rest knowing you are part of a loving, healing community.


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