We hope everyone had a good Veterans Day weekend! We had a fun busy weekend here in Maryland.
On Friday we were greeted with visitors on the 4th floor. We met the band Kanas, and they signed autographs and took pictures. Another organization provided lunch which was very nice. (We enjoy not having to eat hospital food) Justin was exhausted from the White House tour on Thursday so he slept most of the afternoon on Friday. Our cousin Cody and his friend Alan had the weekend off so they came up again to spend it with us.
Saturday: The morning started off with a visit from a mom of another Marine from Justin's battery. It was so nice to meet her and her younger son. They spent a few hours meeting with Justin, Mike and our family! She was so sweet to spend the afternoon with us and bring goodies along. Thank you Kenya for visiting! Then the girls running for the Miss America Pageant in January visited, (Oh the boys were in Heaven) followed by tickets to the Notre Dame vs. Maryland game! It was a great game and it was a lot of fun because we were all able to attend. Since there was a lot of us we did not all get to sit together. Justin and dad sat together in one section, and mom, Kathie and another mom from the hospital all sat together. Then the boys and I had seats one section below mom and Kathie. It was a lot of fun, and Justin and dad ended up on the big screen! They also had a very nice tribute to the veterans and service members during halftime and throughout the game!
The hospital really strives on getting the wounded warriors and there families out to events. Now that Justin is feeling better and able to transfer easier we are trying to attend these events. The main reason for the events is to get the guys out of the hospital/outpatient setting and back to attending regular events away from the hospital. They encourage the families to go to get us away from the base. The first two months we did not attend any events because Justin was so critical, now it is nice to enjoy things together as a family. Another important reason for these events is to help the guys attend events where they are in public, but still with other wounded warriors. Even though to some this may seem like a nice family vacation, (and don't get me wrong we are very fortunate to be invited to nice places in the Maryland/DC area) but it is far from it. Emotionally going out in public for the first time put tremendous amounts of stress on these guys. So many people stare at them and kids are making comments to there parents like "mom is that guy sitting on his legs?" or "where are his feet?" These comments are completely natural for children to ask but its still uncomfortable for them. These events help give the guys a sense of normalcy, but also the comfort of having their buddy around "who looks just like them." Therefore we are very blessed to be able to attend events to football games, and White House tours but this doesn't change the situation. At the end of the day we go back to the hospital room and Justin is wiped out exhausted because he used a ton of energy transferring and sitting in his chair.
Sunday: Was a relaxing day and Justin needed catching up from the night before. Kathie spent her last day hanging out with Justin and Cody and Alan had to head back to base early that morning. I was coming down with a cold so spent the whole day in bed on Sunday. Thankfully the body aches and sore throat are gone and just a runny nose is left. (Justin also didn't want me around since I was getting sick) Sunday night we all went out for dinner, which was a nice treat before Kathie left.
Monday: Today Justin had to go back to surgery to have his right leg/skin graft checked and the dressing changed. So far things are looking good and we still don't need a new skin graft. They think it is going to take, but it wont be healed for at least another month. We are just keeping our fingers crossed that this works because Justin will be bummed out if a new skin graft is needed.
Tomorrow Justin is getting back into his physical therapy and occupational therapy routine! We are hoping that maybe by next week he will be moving to outpatient! We are just taking it slow because every-time we get excited we take a few steps back.
Please continue to pray for Echo Battery as they begin to start pulling out of Afghanistan and get to finally make it back home to their loved ones! Please continue to pray for all the other still over there fighting for us!
Good Night from Bethesda Maryland!