Saturday, August 13, 2011

Quick Note with Special Kindness

Exhausted tonight so this will be a quickie.

Surgery today when well.  They did not place the trach because it was already a long procedure and they did not want to overtax him.  They closed the leg wounds (woot!) - let's hope they stay closed this time.  Last week, they closed the right leg and it had to be reopened on Monday.  The right arm I got a poor report about, but that's for another day.  Long recovery.  The doctor's name was Bender - like from Futurama!

He received dialysis for the third day in a row, and they also did a fluid reduction for over twelve hours due to the amout of fluid retention.

His white blood cell count is down to 15, and it is supposed to be 10.  On Monday it was 34!  BIG difference.  He is off all blood pressure meds, and even though his BP is still unsteady and low, he is maintaining it on his own.

This is the most exhausting, time consuming thing I have ever done.  Watching my child suffer and struggle for every breath breaks my heart.

It was heartening when the liason asked me to talk to one of the new arrivals' Moms who was having a tough time.  Made me feel good to help a new Mom adjust.

Derek had a visit from "Doc," the medic who had been injured a couple of months ago.  He called Derek a "bad ass" who was the only one in the platoon tough enough to survive these injuries.  He is a tough kid, and I know he will get through this hell.

But one of the most special kindnesses to come Derek's ways has been from Lynne and Alan of the Adopt a Soldier Platoon.  They are working hard to bring connections and little things Derek's way to bring up his spirits.  He received gifts I've already discussed, but on Thursday he received a call from Jason David Frank, the Green Ranger. 

Derek is a huge Power Ranger fan.  Yes, even today.

A while ago, Derek had connected with Jason and Jason asked Derek to contact him when he returned from Afoolistan.  When Jason called on Thursday, I do not know how much Derek heard or understood as I held the phone to his ear, but he nodded several times.  Being intubated, he could not respond.

I spoke with Jason after, and he wants me to call him when Derek can talk.  He told me that he receives many requests from fans to communicate, but he felt there was something special about Derek, so he contacted him a couple of months ago.  I know it made Derek's day, because he told me how much he thought of Jason and how he had followed his career.

These kindnesses mean so much to our servicemen and women who give so much for our country.  Thank you, Jason, and thank you, Lynne and Alan for making this happen.  And thank you to everyone else who continues to pray for Derek and all of the other brave men and women healing from the injuries received defending this nation and who are still fighting.

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