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

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday

For Easter, it is a beautiful blue sky day in DC with the trees and bushes in full bloom. Yesterday I saw my favorite spring vine wisteria blooming (look like bunches of living grapes; on vines or pruned to be "trees.").

Jason kept the pain pump in overnight. Doc had said that he put extra in so Jason received about 470 cc's of medication over the two days he was wearing the pump. Jason also is taking 2 percocets regularly saying, "my arm does hurt." His hand is having swelling so Jason is trying to keep it elevated on a pillow when he lies down. Jason keeps saying, "My knuckles looks so funny." When he goes to PT on Monday, I am sure they will check his arm. Jason said that the bloc kept his arm paralyzed and fingers numb. As Sunday went on his hand "became more normal feeling." Jason feels the bandage is a "huge_______" and much heavier than expected. It limits the range of motion in his left wrist so Jason cannot tell if there is improvement at this point. The Doc said he would put as much support as thought Jason needed after the surgery, so he must have felt Jason needed "very close to an actual cast."

Friday during surgery prep; the anesthestist had said, "When the pain meds run out from the pain pump, you can easily pull out the tube." Gulp, this morning it was time to bite the bullet, do the deed. I knew I couldn't talk Jason to go to ER to have it removed, I wasn't even going to try. The tube, where it enters Jason's skin tissue is double the width of a human hair-very fine. They wrap coils of this very fine tube around the entrance site, hold it down with the serri strips, (narrow bandage strips) three in this case, then apply what I would call a "glad wrap" sticky patch about 4 inches square to keep it all in place. Now Jason has chest hair and all this sticky stuff is very stuck to the hair. I took scissors because I thought I would be able lift up and to cut the patch away. Jason didn't yell but he pursed his lips so tight my heart got stuck in my throat which made it harder for me to concentrate on finding where the insert site was and to continue to remove the wrap even as I knew it was hurting him. I cut and pulled and cut and pulled until I had about an inch square junk left. I knew I had to be over the site, so trusting I began to pull up and out.

Then my mouth fell open as I pulled out and pulled out tubing (I felt like a magician pulling scarfs out of hat) "Jason, this tube is long!" (another thing the doc didn't tell me to be prepared for!). About 6 inches of tubing was removed from Jason's shoulder (who knows where the "below the elbow nerve" is located.) It is marked every inch or so, so I kept looking for these little blue markers, finally it ended. It was out with hardly a mark in his skin except for some of the sticky patch, I said, "Jason, that will come off in the shower". Of course, I have no idea how long as Jason still has the strips on his bottom from surgery on the 2/28. This stuff sticks! But I am glad the tube is out and I don't ever want to be called on to do it again. Thanks be to God.

Jason felt much better after being "freed from the pain pump." Jason reminded me of when he had his butt vacs removed. He said, "Let's go to a movie" So off we headed to Silver Spring giving Jason his first ride in his new loaner Nissan Pathfinder. We went to see the "Scary Movie 4," Jason warned me it will have "really, really bad writing." The movie did not disappoint us with good writing. As I had not seen numbers 1-3, I really can't compare to 1 and 2 which Jason liked. I thought some of the "gags" were over the top, but that is what I expected, so it met my expectations. But you need to be "movie and TV savvy" as it is a movie spoofing the latest happenings in the media including War of the Worlds, Brokeback Mountain and the Oprah Winfrey show. Jason had to explain the connections to me.

Jason spent the day finishing off his pizza saying, "Don't have much of an appetite." After the movie we stopped off at Whole Foods for a salad and a slice of baked ham for my Easter dinner. When we got back to the room, I ate dinner and Jason and I watched "Groundhog Day" about Punxtawney (hometown of my father Joseph Zatsick) and February 2 with Bill Murray. It was such a beautiful late afternoon I decided to walk my 2.5 miles around the track. The azaleas are in full bloom, the almond blossoms are fading. The ground was covered with squirrels and flocks of male robins looking for dinner. The flicker was back looking so beautiful with his red cap and black chest band. I wept at the beauty of God's creation and what humanity is doing to the earth.

After my walk I decided to phone visit with my sister Tina in Livonia, her son Mike and our cousin Mike who lives next door. They are all doing well and it was good "being with them" by phone. I called my friend Cindy whom I have known since we moved to Blacksburg VA in 1979. Cindy and I worked to start a hospice for the New River Valley. She has suffered a number of losses recently and we shared our stories of grief and the process of healing. We shared our belief in the Communion of Saints and how deceased patients and family members are our saints whom we call upon to "be with us in our time of suffering." I told Cindy of how I pray to all the soldiers I ministered to in my hospice chaplaincy and know these good soldier saints are watching over Jason and helping in his healing. Soldiers from WWII, Korea and Vietnam surround Jason with love. It is so good to have such sisters as Cindy in faith to share and to support.

Easter Sunrise Service at WRAMC
Each year WR has an Easter service in the rose garden across from the original WR hospital, known as Building 1. This year it was the 50th year since Rev. Billy Graham spoke at the service. A newspaper article was flashed on the screen read in 1956 over 10000 folks came to hear Billy. This year (after 9/11 security measures, I am sure. Today I heard it was because President Bush made a visit to the hospital, but I cannot prove that.) I would say about 300 attended the service on a clear blue sky morning but very chilly. I was glad I wore a sweater and coat. This year the Rev David Graham his son and successor gave the homily. His own son is a Army Ranger and is "somewhere in Iraq." I felt connected to him, for David is where I was emotionally and spiritually for all of 2005 "Will Jason come back from Iraq?" and praying that would do so.

The music was fantastic with the Army Chorus and Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon White singing "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Somebody's Praying" which brought tears to my eyes. A volunteer at WRAMC Gracie Rosenberger from TN who had both legs amputated in a car accident in 1983 also sang and has a beautiful voice. She could speak directly to the loss of the soldiers, "I know what it's like to pull back the bedsheet and see less of your body and wonder 'Am I going to be a freak? Will people stare? Will people accept me?'"

The Rev. Graham's homily and understanding of the death of Jesus did not agree with my own theology so it was difficult for me "to stay with him." His request for us to have a personal relationship with Jesus (Christianity is the only religion which saves) and that the "Bible was historically correct" jarred my soul. Certainly his prayer for the troops and for the healing of the soldiers here at WR was supportive to those attending.

Katy's Reflection on the Death of Jesus and Resurrection of Jesus
(Rev David's homily made me ponder once again my own understanding of the resurrection event)

Humanity "never fell from grace into sin in the garden." Evolution, supported by evidence found by paleontologists reveals the opposite. Humanity gained consciousness of self and the search for meaning-God through evolution from common ancestors. I call it a 'reverse fall'-up from animal consciousnesss to a human consciousness that experiences life as, "I am an individual identity." The God of Evolution can best be described as Mystery hidden both in the development of human DNA with its consciousness and the ongoing creation of new universes, planets and stars. We know that evolution is always toward complexity and humans, plants and animals continue to evolve. Suffering is inherent in all living systems: trees, plants, birds and animals all get sick, age, get hurt, and ultimately die. One Mystery created and continues to create both life and death: it is our reality and the reality of universes.

Jesus was born, lived and died a Jew. Jesus was killed for political reasons by the religious leaders of his time-just as Jeremiah was thrown down a well to die and Joseph sold into Egyptian slavery. (Just as Joan of Ark died in fire and many other examples of Christian murder of those who challenged the status quo/systems of power) The God of Mystery is not a child abuser. God did not require Jesus to die on the cross "to save us," human sin of desire for power tortured and killed Jesus. What did Jesus do and why do we celebrate his life and resurrection?

Jesus' life overturned the ruling paradigm of human behavior from one of self interest to one he named "the Reign of God." Its hallmarks are physical, emotional and spiritual healing, sacrifice for the other, love for others as one is to love oneself, and reconciliation within the community. We are "not the individuals of consciousness created in us by evolution" but to be fully human are embedded in loving, caring, sharing circles of compassion and altruism. Immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus:

The first Christian communities of Acts 4:32-35:
"The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common...There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need."

This is the Christian paradigm of community and theology as St. Ireanus wrote, "God is the human fully alive." That is who Jesus is, why He rose, and why He lives today. Jesus IS the human fully alive and his Love is our own to live and breathe and in whom we have our being. We are called to live in the Reign of God and to enflesh it as Jesus and the early Christian communities did. In our time and place Compassion is found in all non-violent movements for justice and peace whether in the political, social, earth's environment, or religious life of our communities, nations and the world.

When we choose to enter into the Christian life enfleshing the reign of God in works for justice and peace, we enter into Mystery/God at a new level and resurrection continues: Life, Death and Life restored. I could write more but this is a beginning as I again participate in resurrection; this year especially after Jason's near death. May Jason live a life of resurrection, walking in a garden of delight in life filled with pleasure and rich experiences beyond my prayers for him. Surely, the God who is creating universes will create such a life of blessings for Jason. This is my hope of resurrection Easter 2006.

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