Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Leaps and Bounds of Progress!

Time is just flying by over here at Bethesda! I can't believe its already November and the weather is starting to show it. Expect today it was nice and sunny here and wasn't very cold. Well here is the last few days recap!

Sunday: Mom, Auntie Linda, and myself all volunteered at the Marine Corp Marathon. It was a great experience in so many ways. First we rode the metro at 5:30 am to Virginia to the Iwo-Jima memorial where we met our group. Then we escorted the hand cyclists to the starting line and hung out to watch the beginning of the race. (By the way it was freezing that morning since it snowed the day before, but thankfully it was an absolute beautiful day with the sun shining)! Drew Carey who is a retired Marine sounded off the race with the gun shot and he also ran the marathon! After watching the beginning of the marathon we went back to help set up for after the race. Then we spent time cheering on everyone at the finish line who ran the 10k, the hand cyclists, and the marathon runners! It was so amazing to see so many people participating. Many of the hand cyclists were double and single amputees who used there upper body to ride 26.2 miles. It was also amazing to see double and single amputees running the marathon! Justin spent the day with my dad, Uncle Jeff, and Cody. They hung out until we got back in the early afternoon. Justin had a good day, but spent Sunday resting up for the rest of the week. 
One of the double amputee wounded warriors injured in June participated in the skydiving ceremony!  

Early morning and it was cold! 

Drew was freezing standing up there

The Commandant General Amos and his wife! (He was actually pointing and waving to my mom!)

Marathon winner! (Ironic an Army guy won the Marine Corp Marathon) 

Monday: We had a good Halloween! People came by and dropped off candy to Justin and the wounded warriors. Justin went to pick up his Dress Blues from the tailor and dropped them off at the dry cleaners. He also went to therapy and this was the last day of inpatient physical and occupational therapy. Mom and I finished getting all of our dresses and shoes for the ball on friday. It was a nice morning hanging out with the family since this was the last day they were all in town. 

Tuesday: This was Justin's first day down at the MATC (main physical therapy gym). Justin is getting so much stronger and is able to transfer to and from his wheelchair a lot easier now. The skin grafts are coming along, but still are painful when he moves certain ways. His hands are coming along too, especially the left one. There are still pins sticking out, but his range of motion is increasing and pain is decreasing. We are so proud of all his progress! Now we just need his appetite to increase, and the more therapy he does the hungrier he is getting. We also talked to the prosthetists (prosthetic team) and they think his left leg may be ready to start molding for a prosthetic in a couple weeks. We are just waiting for the donor site from the skin graft to heal. The right may take a little longer because the skin graft needs to completely heal. I know this was very encouraging news for Justin! They initially start the guys on "shortys" which means its just a foot attached to the stump. As they get stronger they add length and eventually knees. So hopefully by the end of the month he will possibly have one leg!!

Wednesday: Today Justin made leaps and bounds of progress! Justin had the catheter removed today and his picc line discontinued. He officially has no attachments to anything. We also found out that he may possibly be discharged to outpatient by next week. He is going to begin trial runs over the next few days to see how he does. Justin is so excited and is trying to prove he doesn't need help with anything. He wants to transfer and doing everything on his own so he can go to outpatient. We are so proud and excited that he is taking huge steps ahead and no more steps back! 

Today the Assistant Commandant and his wife came to visit. They were very nice and spent time visiting all the guys. Other great news is that I went around with one of the Marine coordinators and passed out cupcakes (made by one of the doctors wives) to Marines and their families. While I was doing this it was so nice to see only 3 Marines in the ICU/CCU and only a handful on the wounded warrior floor. (All branches of service are up on the wounded warrior floor, but there were only a handful of Marines at this time). It was so nice to see open rooms on the wounded warrior floor. When we first arrived almost all the rooms were full. (Supposedly causalities should start to slow down because winter is coming. I guess they don't like to fight in the cold.) At the same time the reality is outpatient is very full because there are so many wounded warriors. 

Justin and our family would also like to Thank Everyone who has sent letters and packages! Even to those of you we are never met! We sincerely thank you all so much. Most of all thank you for the prayers and support, it would have made this a lot harder to go through without support! So thank you so much to everyone who takes time to read this blog because you care for Justin!

Good Night from Bethesda! 


  1. Hi's Staci. Thank you so much for the thoughtful posts. Many of us check the blog daily and it's great to hear good news. Keep up the great work big sis, your an angel and your brother will never forget you being there for him. Good night from Cali, it's warm and windy here.

  2. This is Mike Livingston, a coworker of your dad's.

    Just want to say how great this blog is for keeping the rest of us informed about what's going on there. And how great it is to hear the progress! Next week maybe outpatient? Can't wait to report this to my Bible study group.

    Hey Cliff, if you get a minute, email me:

    Covering you all in prayer.


  3. Justin and Family,
    I just finished reading the latest GREAT post on Mike's site and now to read about how much progress you're making just puts a wonderful end to the day!

    Hoping you all have a wonderful time at the ball tomorrow night! Please post pictures!

    We continue to pray for your graft areas to heal well so you can move on in your progress.

    Laurie Ritchie

  4. Cpl. Crabbe,
    I'm happy to hear about your progress. I'm also glad to see you and the other Echo guys hanging out and spending some time together. 1st Sgt and I can't wait to come see you guys. We are planning to come out in early January. Keep up the hard work.

    Semper Fi,

    Capt. Ritchie