Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Peek Into Our World

A lot has happened over the last few days.  Yesterday we had a Discharge Planning Meeting.  I would have liked it if Dr. Kim was there, but we got some answers.  I really liked Dr. West pointing out to everyone that our comfort level as NMAs also matters.  We need to be comfortable with the process and with his outings.  My concern is that his stamina is just not there yet and I don't want him rushed.  He only lasts a few short hours before needing to go back and rest.  At the meeting, Derek found out just what will be expected of him when he goes outpatient.  It's a lot. 

Today Derek was finally molded for his prosthetics!  About time!  His shorts arrived and they seemed way too small, but the prosthesist (sp?) was able to get them on him.  He said that as Derek wears them and is more active, he will shrink, so the shorts should be okay.  The right leg should be ready on Friday and the left leg next week.  Because of the hip disartic on the left, that prosthetic is a bucket. 

At first, the guys get "shorties."  This allows them to practice standing and walking before they get to their real height.  Of course, if the guy is only a single amp, he wouldn't get shorties.

On Friday, Derek will stand in the tilt table on his right prosthetic.  We are so excited!  This will be the first time Derek stands in over six months!  And maybe next week he will be ready for his first steps.

A typical day starts at 7 or 8 when Krystina and I get up and get showered/dressed/ready to go.  Derek wakes around 8 and has breakfast.  If we are not there by 8, the nurses will order for him.

Occupational therapy is every day at 10:00 and physical therapy is every day at 11:00.  Derek doesn't always make it because his stamina is not yet at that point, but he is getting there! 

At 12:00 we head back up to his room and then the revolving door starts.  We usually have visitors all day!  Between visits, the afternoon is spent resting.

Derek has been at WRNMMC for so long that he is part of the family.  The facility pups come and hang out with us during the day.  They are the most important visitors!  Today Archie came and hung out for an hour.

Derek's room is personalized to give him motivation and encouragement.

To the left of the TV, Derek's Army flag hangs.  It has been signed by the Army brothers who have come to visit while on R&R, or other Army personnel who have stopped by.  By his flag is the Team Derek wreath made by Meggan Keith. 
To the right of the TV hangs an American flag that was signed by Derek's platoon in Afghanistan.  We also have a poster that says, "Remember Your Successes, Big and Small."  We also have hung pictures and cards to motivate and encourage him.
Over Derek's bed I hung pictures and cards made by the kids in the various schools who have been supporting him on this journey.  We love the letters from kids!  They are so honest and pure.  "Sorry you got blown up,"  "Sorry your friend died,"  "Sorry you lost your legs," etc.  They make us laugh.
On the door we have photos of Derek with his family and a 10th Mountain dry erase board.  Just inside the door is a poster made by Girl Scouts from West Caldwell, NJ and his 10th Mountain flag.  Family and friends have signed his flag.
Above is another view of the wall.
Along the window sill, we have a plant from the O'Mahoneys, the bears that have been sent to Derek, and Derek's DVD/BluRay collection.

So, that is a little peek into the room and our daily routine.  We have been here six months, and Derek is finally getting stronger and more assertive with himself.  Before long, we will be in Building 62 and ready to take those important first steps on the road to the new normal.

If you are on Facebook and have not done so, please check out Team Derek and "like" it.  More photos and little stories are posted almost every day!

The plans for the rest of the week include a special visitor tomorrow, working out at the Matc, finally standing up, and attending the Aleethia Dinner on Friday nght.  We were told today about a special event on Monday, but I am not going to say anything until afterwards. 

Keep climbing to glory!  If you are having a hard time, just tough it out and get through it.  Eventually, it will end.  Be positive, be happy and be blessed.


  1. Know that you're always in my thoughts and prayers!
    Isaiah 53:4-6 ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  2. Christ went through all this for us, that we might have hope! Praying for you right now!!!
    Isaiah 53:7-10: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  3. Hey! --my brother SPC Andrew Wilson was hurt on Oct 19,2011. He lost both legs- one bk one ak.He is a 10th mtn guy also- 2-87. He is still recovering up now in 62. I had heard about your blog from one of our favorite nurses up on 4C. I went through the in-processing outpatient stuff with my brother. It was hell. The guys are expected to go all over the place to get signatures to fill out this in-processing form. My brother's stamina was only a couple of hours sitting in the wheelchair. It was ridiculous and at the time his squad leader was a huge jerk. She did not care that he was hurting or tired. She would yell at him and me about how we were not getting done what needed to be done. Luckily the in-processing only took us about 2 weeks to complete, but the appt schedule for the first month was very hard. At least 5-8 appts a day to get to. It gets better though. Andrew is at about 100 days out and his appts schedule is much easier, mostly physical therapy.

  4. Thanks so much for the inside peek! What a blessing! Continuing to pray...