Friday, December 30, 2011


I know a few people have asked us for the address so I just wanted to repost it again! Please send all mail to this address. The old address is no longer valid. Thank you and have a wonderful New Years! I am also still working on getting the video up! 

Corporal Justin Crabbe
Warrior Transition Battalion
Box 20098
8901 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda MD 20889-5600

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Look What Santa Brought!!

Justin finally got both legs!! He is doing really well walking around. In one day he moved from the parallel  bars to using a walker and now is only using canes. He says it is much easier to walk around with both legs  and there is not as much pain and pressure as there was with one leg. Walking around really wipes him out for the day, but he wants to continue to walk to build up his endurance. His attitude and positivity is amazing. He still continues to say that he can't change what happened so why dwell on it. He makes plenty of jokes and we all laugh (which is probably the best medicine). I will post a video of him walking, but I need to see whose camera it was on. The video I took cut off on my camera. In the mean time here are a few pictures!  

We are so blessed this Christmas season to all be together! Justin's progress has been phenomenal despite all his setbacks. As a family we are really looking forward to a new year with new blessings. Even though this year has been tough on all of us we are still very blessed and fortunate. This Christmas we celebrated the real meaning of Christmas by being together as a family! We hope everyone had a wonderful day together. Thank you for all the continued prayers and support by all our friends and family and even those we have never met. We wish everyone a wonderful New Years! We are all looking forward to 2012! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 Days until Christmas and where has the time gone??

Sorry I haven't updated the blog as frequently lately. Things have been very busy around here. Justin is making a lot of progress in regards to his independence. We finally saw Orthopedics this week and we may have a small setback in February. Justin has a heterotopic ossificiation (HO) on the back of his right leg. What this means is that bone is starting to grow and you can feel it on the back of his leg. It is starting to become painful when he is sitting on it. The treatment right now is to wait at least 6 months from injury to see if it grows anymore. It is pretty common and sometimes they just leave it alone if it doesn't cause problems. In Justin's case his can be felt, it is causing pain, and feels like it may start to ulcerate and protrude through his skin. At the end of January they will do a CT scan to visually see where it is growing and plan to surgically remove it. The way the Orthopedic doctor explained it to Justin is that the HO is like coral reef growing through muscles. We are trying to be positive and hopefully the surgery will not be as invasive as they are thinking right now. Justin is a little bummed because by the end of February he should be walking well on both legs plus the area where the HO is located is underneath his skin graft. Speaking of the skin graft it is doing great! We are still seeing wound care but its only open in one small area.

Other exciting news is Justin has a temporary thumb post for his right hand. Even though he has adapted well without a thumb the prosthetic department made him one. It is a temporary model to see how he likes it and if it increases his functionality. I will post a picture because its really hard to understand without seeing it. I will take one tomorrow! If he really likes the thumb then this company can make Justin a glove that will look like a real thumb and also a glove for his left hand. It is just amazing the kind of things they can do here! Things are definitely moving along and hopefully Justin's right leg will stop giving him trouble so he can progress to walking on it. First the darn skin graft and now the HO. The doctors said they will still allow him to try walking once the skin graft is healed even with the HO.

Justin's, Mikes, and Murphy's friends from Echo battery have been visiting all week. They finally were able to make it out here because they just went on leave since getting back from Afghanistan on Thanksgiving. All the guys have enjoyed seeing each other and catching up. Last night 11 of us went to dinner and we had a great time. It is really nice to finally meet all the guys plus getting to meet their wives and friends.

So I can't believe Christmas is only 4 days away. We are keeping it simple this year and really enjoying the true meaning of Christmas and getting to be together as a family. We have our tree decorated and two wreaths hung up and we are ready. (I am kinda bummed because it doesn't look it is going to be a white Christmas) but I am sure that snow will be coming sometime after the first of the year.

The Crabbe Family would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We are all looking forward to a new year and new beginnings. Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and support!

Happy Holidays from Maryland!

A few pictures from Justin making his gingerbread house last week!

Justin and his Occupational Therapist Caitlin beginning his gingerbread house 

Building away! I am in the background going through all Justin's appointments. I carry the planner everywhere because he is so busy all day.

Final Product

Won the prize for the Best Townhouse! 

 We also went to a Christmas Party at the Commandants House last Wednesday! It was very nice and the house was beautifully decorated. There were about 400 people at the party so it was pretty busy but we all had a great time!

1 of the 14 decorated trees 

The backyard has a parade deck. This picture was taken at night but the flash brightened it up so the parade deck could be seen. 

Original Tiffany's Lamp

With Bonnie Amos the Commandants wife!
The front of the house

Monday, December 12, 2011

Busy December!

Everything is going well here in Bethesda. Justin is progressing very well with therapy. His skin graft is healing nicely and hopefully should be completely healed within a week or two. Last week was very busy with appointment after appointment again. We had a follow up with Cardiology and the Cardio-thoracic surgeon which ended up being a 4 hour appointment. Mainly because he saw both doctors back to back and they ran a bunch of tests to follow up on his cardiogenic shock. The Cardiologist decided he still doesn't want to do anything with the hole in his heart, but his heart rate is still high. He is now on medication to bring down his heart rate and will have to follow up in a month, then 3-4 months and yearly after that for life. Thankfully his heart looked great with the Echo, CT- scan, and EKG they ran. Justin and I also had a great laugh that day. When we were called back for his chest CT we thought they called his name and said Corporal Crabbe. Well I wheel him back and we go into this room with an X-ray machine and the first thing that crossed both of our minds was I thought they were doing a CT. Right then the technician says so your here for an X-ray of your right thumb correct? Justin without skipping a beat says "Uh I don't have a right thumb so that maybe a little difficult to do" and we start busting up laughing. Then we realized the mix up they were calling another Corporal with a last name that started with a C. So I wheeled back to the waiting room where mom was sitting and she is looking at us because we just can't stop laughing. We told her what happened and we all had a great laugh. I guess maybe it was just really funny in the moment, but I am so glad we can be at a point where we are able to joke and laugh about things. Justin makes jokes all the time because he says he can't change what happened so he just goes with it.

The days here go by very fast with therapy and appointments, on top of Marine stuff he has to do. His spirits are great and he is the same old Justin which is nice! This past Sunday Dec 11 was his 23rd birthday! It was nice to celebrate a birthday with him because the last birthday we celebrated was his 19th birthday. We went to lunch for his birthday and then ran a few errands. He wanted to stay home and watch the Packers Game, so mom made him ham his favorite and we stayed in at the apartment. I think he had a great day! Plus Hueston and Nicholson came by and hung out with him for awhile.

Today in occupational therapy he made a gingerbread house. I will post pictures later but they are on his camera. I think he enjoyed eating candy during therapy, but his house came out great! This week is another busy week and with the holidays coming there are tons of things to do around here. We are attending a Christmas Party on Wednesday night which should be a lot of fun! Justin is really looking forward to his buddies coming next week to visit. His Marine friends just went on leave since getting back from Afghanistan and they are coming to visit next week. It should be fun for all the guys to get together and hang out.

Other than that everything else is going great here minus the cold weather. I guess I can't complain because there hasn't been any snow yet, but its colder than my California blood is used to. Thankfully the last few days its been sunny. Compared to last week with all the rain. We hope everyone is having a blessed and happy holiday season! Thank you for the continued support and prayers!

Lots of Love,
The Crabbe Family!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Update and New Address!

We have a new address here at Bethesda:

Corporal Justin Crabbe
Warrior Transition Battalion
Box 20098
8901 Wisconsin Ave
Bethesda MD 20889-5600

The mail still goes through the base so it may be delayed.

Justin is really settling in here at his outpatient apartment. It is really nice to have home cooked meals and be able to all hang out as a family sitting on comfortable couches. It's nice not cramming into a hospital room! This weekend was quite here in Bethesda, which we all enjoyed since the week prior was so busy. This week we have another busy week ahead of us, filled with therapy and doctors appointments. The new exciting news is that Justin's skin graft is healing so nicely that he may have both prosthetics by next week. He is looking forward to having both legs and we should know more by Thursday when we visit the wound care team. Justin was having pain today from the one prosthetic so they are trying different things to reduce the pain. Prosthetics is definitely an art!  

Justin continues to amaze me everyday by making more and more progress. His independence has  increased a lot the last few weeks. He moves around the apartment and does things for himself. He is a pro transferring by himself from the wheelchair to the couch. This independence is important and he really gets irritated when we ask him too many times "do you need anything, are you okay"? (Okay maybe thats just me) So we try to let him do things himself until he asks for help. We are so happy and blessed he is doing so well! 

I hope everyone has a great week and is enjoying the Christmas season! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Address coming.

After I posted our new address earlier today the post office called and they made a mistake. So please disregard that last post. We will be getting our mailbox on Monday and I will put up the new address then.

Justin had a great morning at therapy, and is looking forward to relaxing this weekend. Also on the weekend agenda is a little shopping and getting Justin off this base. Can't believe its already Decemeber. Where has the year gone? It is starting to get cold here in Maryland, but thankfully no rain or snow for today. We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thank you for the continued support,
The Crabbe Family!