Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Another Day at Eisenhower Army Hospital

Rodney and I together during his stay in the hospital Tuesday 10/24/2006
To my surprise this am-it was a COLD walk from the Fisher House over to the hospital-I didn't think Georgia would be COLD! It isn't really what I would call really freezing,can't be outside weather-but it is cold to the residents of Georgia-they are all wearing coats, gloves, scarves and it is about 40 degrees-I didn't even bring a winter coat!

Rodney is supposed to have a couple tests done today to look at the fragment in his heart (that is so weird to even write-very surreal). He is pretty cranky-can't have anything by mouth so he hasn't had his pain meds nor has he eaten and of course they are running behind. Hopefully they will get an IV going here soon with morphine for the pain, they have one in for IV fluids. The procedure should let us know what the fragment is as well as exactly where it is located. So then decisions can be made on if it stays in or comes out. Rodney and I are both pretty much emotional messes right now and the waiting doesn't make it easier. Finally in the afternoon he was taken down and lightly sedated for an echo, another type of echo where he basically had to swallow a small camera and another test he can't even remember. He was very groggy and tired when he got back to the room. One of his Dr.s met with me and basically said they had a difficult time making out the exact location due to the imaging bouncing off the metal so they will be taking him to another facility tomorrow by ambulance to get a 3D image with a different more advanced machine.They are fairly postivie it is a piece of shrapnel though and not a needle port etc.. We do know that if the fragment stays in he will always have to take antibiotics before dental or mouth procedures and never be able to have an MRI (due to the magnetic part).

We had a visitor from the VA stop by to speak with Rodney about benefits and such-but I don't know how much either of us retained especially with so much going on today. I also made a lot of phone calls today:
I finally made the call to see about getting a rental car-I am tired of walking late at night and not being able to go to the PX on my own. I am on a waiting list.
I made a call to the Kansas State benefits director today-Janet Wisdom-waiting for a call back. Hopefully she can shed some light on what we need to do in that area and what Rodney is entitled to. This is a whole new ballgame for us and no one seems to know the rules! I have been trying to get a message to Rodney's commander over in Iraq to give Rodney a call. He really needs to hear from him and get an idea of what happened. He has spoken with one of the other soldiers wounded (he has already left and returned home for convalescence leave). He know some from him as well as remembering bits and pieces. I think he is starting to build a "story" in his head. I have no idea what the emotional toll will be from this for him-they want to focus on the physical before the emotional but I can't see why they aren't able to do both. I have asked for Chaplin's to visit and they have but that has been the only "mental health" assistance we have received so far.

DR. Lundy, one of Rodney's docs, and in my opinion the best one-came in before his heart procedures and was concerned about the high white blood cell count. He looked at all of Rodney's wounds including even the small pieces of shrapnel on his legs, trunk and chest. He found an area on his left leg that looked as he put it "angry" and could be the source of the infection.He did a small surgery right there in the room-so I had a front row seat! He opened up the area and removed a small piece of shrapnel. A little souvenir I guess. He also took of the bandage on his hip wound and took out the gauze-this was the first time I had actually seen how deep it was-to the bone. I was shocked! Rodney is also starting to cough more again -so off to chest xray he goes! He was also started on blood thinners today because of concern of clotting due to the heart issue. He gets it in shot form in is stomach area-ouch!

It has been a really long day-I have watched Rodney sleep and been doing so much thinking. I am so thankful that he is here no matter what shape he is in. He has been thru so much but I don't want to question why him or why us-I just want to go on from here-knowing that the road won't be easy-but learning form the experience and allowing it to help us grow as people and as a couple as well in our faith. At least that is what I hope for..
Going to go over to my room, do some laundry for both of us, call the kids and try to relax and get some sleep. It is so nice to have a place to go that feels like a 'home'.
More later..on the Georgia Experience!

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