Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21 Update

Of course we've had another busy week and it's not over yet! I realized today we were overdue for an update. So here goes!!

Good news on the medical front! Chaz had contracted a bacterial infection with the staph infection. We discovered this after his surgery when Dr Strauss took his 20 samples. They were worried about the bacterial strain because Chaz is one of four soldiers who have had it so far in the entire department of defense medical system. Obviously it's new and came from Afghanistan. Infectious disease has been watching it very closely. We got the call this week that they are showing no sign of it at all. In addition the staph infection is not showing up. So he will get one more week of antibiotics and then out with the Picc line! They are going to retest him Monday to make sure. If the results come out to be the same then his last dose will be July 27th and the pic line comes out July 28th!!! Woot-woot!!!

Also his last set of legs have been ordered. The C-legs are en route! These legs are not the c shaped running legs, he'll get those later. These are the legs with the bendable knee and ankle and will feel more natural. Hopefully they'll get here before we go to TN. That will make our lives easier when we get home for our vacation.

Alright update on us. The girls are great. We started homeschooling this past week because they were bored. Right now I am just focusing on review and then tossing in extras here and there. They are having a blast with the other kids here at Fisher House. They have also highly enjoyed our field trips. They are super excited that we'll be back in TN within a month. They are like Chaz and I, ready to go to the house! I am enjoying all of the awesome opportunities that keep coming to us. I just think this is all so amazing! We are all having a blast with our new adventures.

We are officially number 1 on the apartment waiting list. But that could mean this week or next month, who knows. But we needed up in the company commander's office thanks to the non-listening abilities of Chaz's chain of command. We finally found a set of ears that listen and care. I lost it Tuesday! Chaz put in for leave last week. His Primary doctor and therapists approved the departure date of Aug 15th without any problems. Well Tuesday they said we could go now and get back by Aug 18th or leave Aug 20th. I flipped. First we can't leave now, the doctor wants his infection cleared up and I want him to have the picc line gone, so we have one less thing to do while we are at home. So the first idea is a no go. Then they said we can leave next week after the line comes out and we cut our leave short to be here on the 18th, uh no! We are taking those 30 freaking days and I am not cutting it short again unless it's another medical emergency. So then the guys says well then you'll just have to wait until Aug 20th. Chaz said, you know what there's a reason we picked Aug 15th. The reason is our daughter has a cardiologist appointment at Vanderbilt Hospital on the 16th. The guy then says well your wife can change that appointment or your daughter can be seen at Walter Reed or Bethesda. Chaz said no, I want the 1st Sargeant and CO (Company Commander) in the CO's office now. Chaz had warned the guy and he finally pushed him into a corner and Chaz flipped. You just don't mess with our kids and definitely don't mess with the medical treatments of our girls.

We left the meeting we were in (we were asked to participate in a couple's resilience study) and went straight to WTB. Chaz went in first. He said eye contact with this guy is now non-existent. Sucks for that guy, huh?! So the CO actually listened and said oh ok, well then what can we do to help you guys. He asked me what do I want. I told him I need an easy button to make this all go away because my stomach is paying the price for all of it. He then said can you stay at WRAMC Fisher House until I get you an apartment. I told him I could check. He then said, "Ok you stay here, I am going to work on the apartment". I then asked about sending the stuff we don't need or will need in TN to our house in advance. He said, "Sure do you need boxes, if you do let us know and once you get it in there bring it here and we'll mail it for you." Then he said "We'll be moving you, so don't worry about that. I will make sure you get the help you need. But I bet you'll want to pack it." I told him the girls and I can handle that. Then we moved onto the leave topic. He said he had denied our leave upon the recommendation of the Sgt, but the Sgt didn't tell him squat about De's dr's appointment. He said he agreed with me that Deryn needs to stay with her continuity of care and agreed being seen here wouldn't be worth starting over. He agreed him approving the leave was the best thing to do for everyone. Then he said it's not like I have to hold your hands as you walk into Bethesda, but that's where you'll be seen once you return. We agreed, but the funny thing is, that was exactly why the Sgt wanted the leave denied. UGH!!!!

Prior to Tuesday I was moving us from WR Fisher House to Bethesda Fisher House unless or until the apartment became available. Then I was storing our stuff with a friend until we returned. At Fisher House Bethesda you can only be gone for 10 days. You have to move out of your room if you are gone longer and our con leave is 30 days. Now the Army is helping me mail some of it home and then moving where ever we need to go. Finally an easy button!! I have a Hooah button, but I'm long over due for an easy button.

Long story short, we're #1 on the apartment list and hopefully it will be sooner than later. We will be staying at the Fisher House at WRAMC until we go on leave on Aug 15th. We may switch rooms, because our House Manager, Maurice, may be closing our house down and putting us all in the bigger house, which is fine. He says we can take our dear sweet time taking everything over. If we get the apartment prior to Aug 15 then we'll go ahead and move there. If not the Army stores our stuff, which won't be much and they will put it in the apartment if it becomes available while we're gone. Allegedly we will have the apartment before our arrival in Sept. Lord I hope so, because if not I guess we'll go to a hotel upon our return?!

Uh yes this is all frustrating and even confusing. Someone in the Department of Defense or the Army (not sure, maybe both) obviously doesn't realize that we are still at war and we still have soldiers being treated for their injuries. They evidently didn't realize some of these guys will have families and they might need a place to stay because some of there treatments might take a while. Can someone please pass this news flash along? Trust me our little family is not the only family dealing with this crazy frustration and confusion.

Once again I am just thankful for Fisher House. Where would our family be without Fisher? All of the Army's housing is full and the Army is begging Fisher to take families in. Folks we have a problem. This BRAC move is making everyone crazy. The Army didn't prepare for the housing problem, which I actually understand. They can only go off of the inpatients and outpatients in the facility at the time. They cannot predict how many people will be injured and how many will have families and who will need housing. But in January if the hospital was full of injured soldiers and your outpatient housing was reaching capacity, I would assume you need to prepare for that shift that will occur later. But the housing people were too busy dealing with the BRAC move.

I currently stay out of the hospital as much as possible. It is not the same positive environment right now. No one knows what is going to happen next. Some security clearances have not gone through for the Army personnel going to a Naval institution. Some civilian contractors still don't know if their contracts are being renewed. It is a little crazy! The persons with the most expertise are being split between the two hospitals. I am pleased to report Chaz's care is remaining at the excellent level it has always been at. I know some other families have not been so lucky. Now you understand why De's appointment came at such perfect timing. It will get us out of here when things get super crazy!

Now for those worried about Deryn. I got the call from our awesome pediatrician letting me know her concerns. She heard a murmur and wants another set of ears on De. We totally agree. The doctor says on a scale of 1 to 10, she's thinking maybe a 2 for De. So we aren't worrying about anything until the second ears examine her. She's fine by the way.  She is running around like normal. No worries! But we aren't playing around with her health. We are getting her to the cardiologist and getting this taken of.

As for me I am concentrating on our girls and on having fun. When I start thinking about everything else it just stresses me out. Stress causes illness and I don't have time to be sick. My allergies give me enough trouble. I am just so thankful that I can focus on the positive and keep my brain on track. If we didn't have our little cuties to focus on, I would totally be an alcoholic by now. Oh wait, no I wouldn't you, can't have alcohol at Fisher House, I guess that saves me from that huh?! Any who I am thankful for all the wars I have been through before so I can survive this never-ending one. Please say a prayer today for all the families here at Walter Reed and Bethesda. We are dealing with a lot and we all need your prayers. We are constantly at war and on the defense for our families. We need your prayers to survive this BRAC move.

I know that this Fall everything will be better. The move will be over and we can focus on moving on rather than moving around. Regardless we are out of here in a matter of weeks and we are going to have a ton of fun until we go!! Just wait until you see what else comes out way. I don't even know what all is coming and I am super excited about it! ;)

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