Monday, March 26, 2012

No More BDubs

Holy Bad Luck, Batman!

My poor husband! How many times can I say that in a year??

This past weekend, we went home. Friday, there was a military wide security demonstration or whatever, so they were pulling out all the stops. It was going to take forever to get on and off base, and so they cancelled PT and OT which meant he had no appointments. We went home Thursday night, and were excited to have an extra day of relaxation! We left after PT on Thursday morning. We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch, and took a stroll around IKEA which I've been itching to do since we got here. Going in stores like that makes me want to redecorate my entire house...after I win the lottery of course. I get so overwhelmed. And then I get so disappointed with all the (nice and practically brand new!) furniture we do  have. And then I wonder why I always second guess everything I choose, and wish I could just be happy with what we have. Who knew that going in to a furniture store would end up making me question my values. Ha. Anyway, I'm getting sidetracked.

I had to tell you that we went to BDubs though, because Jason has a special history with that restaurant. A year or maybe even two years ago now, we went there with some friends to watch a football game. He ordered some hot wings, and got food poisoning that night. He puked twice, and went to work the next day. We didn't eat there again for a while, and when we did, he didn't get anything spicy. Well, on Thursday, he ordered a chicken sandwich with very spicy sauce, and had cajun seasoning put on his fries. He was sweating while eating. More than normal. haha

All was fine until about 2AM Friday morning. He sat up in bed and asked me to turn the light on. "I think I'm going to throw up." He went to the bathroom (on his crutches) and did indeed, throw up. At this point, I was convinced it was food poisoning again, and that his body just cannot handle spicy food like that since BDubs seemed to be the common denominator. We did find it odd that it was more than 12 hours after he ate the food that he was getting sick. He came back to bed, but still didn't feel right. He ended up having to go back to the bathroom to throw up again, and when he was just throwing up bile, we figured it wasn't food poisoning. He said "I think it's the norovirus." I said, "I don't think so..." But after throw up #4 and #5, I decided he was probably he has been about everything else to do with his body. (At this point I'm thinking he should be the nurse in the family, and not me!) So he decided he's just going to sleep on the floor in the bathroom since it's too much of a pain to go back and forth to the bathroom on crutches. (Another thing one might take for granted - the ability to run to the bathroom to puke, if needed) At this point, its pushing 4AM, and I'm trying to go back to sleep, but can't. I get a tiny stomach pain, and start freaking out that I'm getting it too, and that I'll give it to the baby. I picture puking, and laying on the bathroom floor, and then having to breastfeed too. I know that if I get it, everyone in the house will be affected, because I will be sure to make everyone else's life as miserable as mine. I am not a puker. I hate throwing up. I cannot put in to words how much I hate it. I always told Jason that if I had morning sickness of any kind while pregnant, or if I puked while in labor, I would be a miserable b*tch. God must have known that too, and thankfully, I didn't have any above mentioned issues :)

With every new medical development he has, we keep thinking "it can't possibly get any worse than this" and then it does. First, was the obvious. And then he lost that part of his finger and was rehospitalized for it. And then he had yucky withdrawals. And then this mystery rash happened, and he itched so bad he had to go to the ER. And now this!

He laid on the bathroom floor until 4PM Friday afternoon. He threw up about every 45 minutes. He got chills, but was roasting and covered in two fleece blankets. I brought him wet paper towels to wipe his face, and gave him cool washcloths to put on his forehead. I brought numerous cups of ice water and loaded up on gatorade, ginger ale, and saltines. He forced himself to drink fluids so he'd have something to throw up. Finally, around 5PM he thought the throwing up might be subsiding, and he crawled in to the bath tub. I left him with a plate of toast, crackers, and a fresh gatorade. I washed my hands every time I went close to the bathroom. Cooper and I went to the high school girls softball game, and when we came back, he had made it back to the bedroom for the first time in about 18 hours. He finally took some motrin, which broke his fever, and he slept the rest of the afternoon, and all night.

Cooper and I slept in my moms bed for the rest of the weekend, just in case he was still contagious. He finally ventured downstairs on Saturday, and felt a little like himself again. He was still sore all over from sleeping on a hard floor, and throwing up all night. He didn't want to push it, and laid low all afternoon. Mom and I took advantage, and went shopping. She shops like I shop. We walk around aimlessly and find all kinds of things we "need". Jason hates that kind of shopping. I've kind of figured out how to breastfeed Cooper in the Moby. I did that while walking around Target, and I gave him to mom to burp. There's this special bond between Cooper and my mother, and he almost always poops out of his diaper on to his clothes, and hers, when she's holding him. Walking around in Target was no exception. He did his business and we laughed, and kept shopping. She lifted him away from her and we saw the mess he really made. It was all over the front of her shirt, and had dripped down his leg, and in between his toes. A mess.

Cooper rolled over for the first time, all by himself! Just shy of 11 weeks old, he rolled from back to front. My dad and I were the only witnesses. He's going to be a mover and a shaker, for sure. He's pretty much out of 3 month clothes now. He's also going to be a big boy.

We're so tired of saying "When we move back to Colorado..." we're just ready to go. Thankfully, things are in the works, and we're starting to pack up this stupid room.

Hopefully by the next time I write, we will really be on our way out!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A few things I meant to add to your two month entry...

Oh dear Cooper, you make Mommy's heart swell!

You really hate the wind in your face. Every time we go outside, even if you're sound asleep, you wake up stunned when the wind hits your face. You purse your lips, and suck in your breath really fast as if you can't breathe because of the wind. At first, when you were even younger, you would do this and then cry bloody murder because you were holding your breath, and you didn't like that. Mommy didn't like it either. As you got a little older, I would just tell you "It's okay sweet boy, you can breathe!" Now, you seem to do okay with it, but sometimes it still catches you off guard. Your daddy and I laugh, although I'm sure you don't find it too funny :)

Tonight, I noticed you started bringing your fists to your face as if you were looking at them. Before, you would use your hands to swat your toys, but tonight it seemed as though you were purposely bringing your hands to your toys and then to your face to inspect those new tools. Mommy loves watching you learn new things.

You love reading stories, and looking at the pictures. You coo right along with me as I read to you, as if you're trying to read too :) I love hearing your sweet voice.

Your hair seems to be getting darker, which is weird because your parents were convinced you would be platinum blonde or bald from the get go!

You really are the cutest baby we've ever seen, and we tell you that at least 50 times a day. Mommy loves you!


Jason's mystery rash is starting to go away. We're starting week three of Prednisone, and he still itches in the morning and at night which is a little worrisome. He will probably go back to the dermatologist this week just to be sure it's not going to return after he's done with the steroid.

He got his running leg this past week, and was so excited. He shops for legs and accessories for legs on the internet like I shop for baby clothes. I told him I see his leg as an accessory now, because I'm so used to it. Others are still not used to it as evidenced by the completely obvious family of five in the restaurant we at for lunch today. They were at a round table, so half the family had their backs to us, and the half facing us walking in did the stare and obviously talk about us and look away thing. The rest of the family then turned and looked him up and down, turned back, and talked about him some more. I witnessed the whole thing, and I was just so fed up with it that I just stared them down. I made eye contact with the man in the family and was talking to my friends "I don't know what they keep staring at." So hopefully he figured out I was pissed, and that he and his whole family were being rude. I understand people are curious, but ugh. I thought I was over the staring, but obviously not. I bet after years of it, I will become a grumpy old lady and probably start saying the things I'm thinking to all the strangers. Ha! Watch out!

About a month ago, I entered us in a photo contest that a photographer from Colorado Springs was doing. It was a military photo contest, and a friend of mine encouraged me to enter. I had no idea it would turn in to what it did. After seeing the photo I (and another family who has been enduring the same thing we have) entered, some people chose to drop out of the contest because they felt we deserved to win. Winning included a free photo session and all the photos on a disc. In the end, the other family technically won, but the photographer decided that she wanted to do a session for us, too. We were flattered, and excited. She then started a fundraiser to raise money to fly all the way here to DC and take our pictures. She will also go to San Antonio and take the other families pictures. We did that this past week also. We spent the better part of a gorgeous day walking around DC, and it was so fun. We took Cooper on the Metro for the first time, and started at the Cannon building, then went to the Capital. We went to the Washington Monument, and then ended with the Jefferson Memorial at sunset. The pictures turned out fabulously, and we feel so honored to have had that opportunity. Now we will have some really patriotic and meaningful pictures to remind us of our time here while he was healing.

We have been continuing to pack on the pounds at Restaurant de Lauren (a childhood friend of mine who insists on cooking us ridiculous amounts of delicious food every week). We visited a Brazilian Steakhouse, and Jason was in heaven with the 17 different cuts of meat being brought to him all night. Seriously. When we get back to Colorado, we're working.out.

Well, it's spring time. You know what that means.

Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.

Good night :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jason - Month 7

Let me see if I can get this series of events correct.

The week Jason's mom was here, so the week of February 20th, we started noticing extra dry skin on his left shin. That's where he had one of his skin grafts, and that wound took forever to heal completely. The inside of his leg is also numb from the trauma and skin grafts. I always had to bug him to put coacoa butter on the scar to keep it moist, and help the scar lines. (It's not just his annoying wife trying to get rid of his scars, they dole that stuff out at OT daily) He never put it on. The dry skin around the graft would drive me nuts, and then I would worry that it would ruin the graft somehow. Either way, I nagged him to put it on all the time. I decided I wouldn't bother him about it anymore. So, when we noticed this extra dry skin below the graft, we just thought it was that, dry skin. About a week later, it had become dry from his skin graft (which is about half way between his knee and ankle) all the way down to his ankle. It looked really flaky, and quite frankly, gross. His ankle started swelling, and some days it would look really red and angry. By the time his mom left, he was convinced it was spreading. His wonderful wife was trying to talk him down, convinced it was just dry skin in that one area. "You're just being paranoid now" I said when it started spreading to the back of his left leg, and on his arms. It wasn't spreading like it started on his leg. It was turning in to small red bumps all over. He developed little bumps on his fingers too, the same kind of bumps that showed up when his body was still working shrapnel out. So we thought that's what was on his fingers.

Monday he went to Dermatology, they scraped his leg and looked under a microscope. He said they said it looked like a fungus, but gave him Keflex, an antibiotic. By Tuesday, it was evident that it was indeed spreading. I had to apologize for not believing him when he said it was spreading. (This trait of mine makes me think I'm going to be that mom that downplays her childs' illnesses. Ugh.) He went to Infectious Disease and they said it was a bacterial infection. So they gave him Septra and some cream to put on it. The next day it had spread to his arms bad, vesicles were forming on his hands, arms, belly, and back. It was also incredibly itchy. The portion on his left leg was oozing yellow grossness. He went back to the Amputee Clinic to get a different opinion, and they gave him Lamisil, an anti fungal, zantac, and benadryl for itching. Thursday his physical therapist was tired of seeing him so miserable and just sent him back to Infectious Disease. They gave him Atarax for itching, and thought maybe they were flea bits. Or insect bites. Or poison Ivy. Or bed bugs. Yeah. They really thought that. Friday, we went home because Cooper was getting baptized on Sunday.

The rash was now all over his body, spreading to his face also. It looked like Chicken Pox, but was lasting way too long for that to be it. He soaked in Oatmeal baths every night at home, one day I think he took two baths. We don't have bathtubs here in 62. Again with the genius planning. He was oozing from all the bumps. He wouldn't go in to the store with me when I went to get him a nice shirt to wear for the baptism. After a week of this, no one still knew what it was, and they couldn't tell us if it was contagious or not either. He wasn't holding or touching Cooper because he was afraid he would pass it on.

The itching finally got so bad, he started the night on the hard carpeted floor because it felt good on his skin. He finally came to bed, but just itched constantly. If I ever have to hear the sound of fingernails scraping skin flakes everywhere, I will go nuts. It was getting to the point of insanity! He was absolutely miserable, and depressed because of how he looked. He couldn't sleep, and when clothes touched his skin, it hurt. We decided to go to the ER and they gave him a shot of Visteril which was supposed to help with the itching, but I think it just knocked him out for a few hours so he wasn't aware of the itching. He was so over it. So was I. In the midst of all this, his nurse case manager calls him while he's in a Dermatology appointment (he doesn't answer). When he does return the call, the nurse case manager is upset that he didn't answer his phone call earlier, and informs him that if he goes to the ER, he has to follow up at the Warrior Clinic the next day. One more place to go for them to put their two cents in.

Those last two paragraphs are so out of order, I know, he was at the doctors office so many times that week, I can't keep them straight. Bottom line is, he came home every morning with a new brown paper bag full of drugs. Infectious Disease thought they were flea bites or a bacterial infection. Dermatology thought it was a fungus. The ER thought it could be staph. Warrior clinic didn't know jack. None of the drugs seemed to be working, and the itching was just getting worse and worse. Of his entire seven months of being here, this was the hardest two weeks we've had. He was frustrated, I was frustrated, he couldn't help with Cooper, he thought it would keep him from going back to Colorado, he just wanted it to all be over. He came to the realization that it may be years before he's fully recovered from all this, and that sucks.

Finally, I mustered up the energy and went with him to his appointments so I could put my two cents in. We went to dermatology the next week, and they finally decided to put him on Prednisone. They decided it had to be contact dermatitis, and an allergic, or id reaction to something that remains unknown. He's been on the steroids for a week, and the rash on his body is all but cleared up. The rash/dry skin on his leg is still there, but starting to clear up. He's got two more weeks on Prednisone, so hopefully it will completely go away soon.

Phew, that was a scatter brained mess.

I just want people to realize that while he looks like he's almost fully recovered, something like this will never go away. I fear he will never be 100% again. He'll probably get pretty close, but he'll never be the healthy 25 year old he used to be. He hates the attention he gets, and thinks it is all un deserved. I can see where he's coming from; his friends are all still deployed, and living in the suck, while he's here going out having some kind of fun, and with his family. But I usually remind him that while they're all gone for a year, and it sucks terribly, this is something he's going to have to deal with for the rest of his life. Something that we as a family are going to have to deal with for the rest of our lives. There will always be those little annoyances that we have to deal with that most other families don't.

In other news, tomorrow will be seven months since his injury. How time flies. We're hoping to be back in Colorado by the beginning of April. He ran or jogged on his running leg the other day, and should have it in his possession by Wednesday. He is also getting two other legs this week. He's going to try to plead his case to get a leg called the Thrive which is made for carrying heavy weight like on a road march. They're new, and apparently they don't give them out all that often.

We went to the Pentagon last Friday, finally. I'm sure you remember the post where I complained about having to miss it for the second time. The third time's a charm, I guess! We got a Pentagon Police escort there, so no getting stuck in traffic on the beltway! When we got inside, there were thousands of Pentagon employees lining the halls clapping and shaking the hands of all the wounded warriors. It was pretty humbling, and some thanked me for my sacrifice, which was refreshing. The tour was led by some Honor Guard Soldiers. We saw the press room, and the room where they award the Medal of Honor. We ate a catered lunch in the Executive Dining Room. A bunch of high ranking guys came through and talked to everyone. I snuck over in the corner and fed Cooper. Jason sat with me, and some of the generals came over to talk to him. One of them shook my foot since my hands were full and my legs were crossed. I was so glad, because I was afraid of how the Pentagon would embrace breastfeeding :) My mom about crapped her pants when I told her. Ah well, times have changed, Ma. :)

Cooper had his 'meet and greet' party this past weekend, which was a success. I'm glad everyone got to meet him. Jason's friend Kyle came down from New York, and we all went out for a night on the town that night while Mom Mom babysat. It was weird leaving him, and weird knowing I had to go home and be responsible for him again. We went to a bar that I frequented in my college days. Oh, the nostalgia. I was the DD, of course :)

A screaming baby will cut this blog short. Hopefully we'll have more good news within the next week or so, as far as a moving date!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cooper - Month 2

My sweet little boy is two months old already! Where does the time go? We've been counting in weeks. Now we're going to have to start counting in months! Agh!

After I fed him this afternoon, I intended to write this blog post. I was thinking of all these wonderful things to write about him, but every time I looked down in my arms, he was beaming at me. So I put it off for a few minutes, and soaked in his sunshine.

Cooper, my love, you play so much better now. You love swatting at the toys on your play gym thing. You exercise your legs so much by doing the bicycle no matter what position you're in. Sometimes you even stand straight up when Mommy is holding you! Your parents are convinced you will walk so soon :) You're not so sure about tummy time yet, but your head and neck are definitely getting stronger. Mommy loves laying with you after feeding time in bed, and watching your smiles directed at her.

You are finding your voice now, too. You really do the 'goo goo ga ga' baby talk. It's absolutely divine.

Everyone we see, says you look just like your daddy. It's a good thing I carried you, otherwise people wouldn't believe you are mine too. Your eyes are beautifully blue, and your cheeks pleasantly plump :)

You've never tasted anything but breast milk, and your mommy is so proud of herself for that! You seem to have your daddy's sensitive skin because your bottom is red, often. We're trying all kinds of different creams, and mommy tries really hard to change you as soon as she can.

You've already had your first trip to the Zoo, and Air & Space Museum, and you slept the whole time, both times!

When we go to Mom Mom's house, you sleep so well. Usually from about 10 or 11pm until 6 or 7am. You are starting to sleep that well at our 'home' too. Last night you slept from 10 until 6. Then you ate, and slept until 10. We usually have some play time after you eat, and then you get really mad, really fast. That's when I know you're done playing, and you're ready for your nap. Except that you try really hard to stay awake with Mommy. Your pacifier comforts you enough to close your eyes, but it takes a little convincing that it's okay to take a nap.

Mommy loves that when you eat, your eyes immediately get droopy. Eating comforts and relaxes you that much, and mommy loves that time together.

You fit perfectly in 3 month sized clothes right now, and have even worn some 3-6 month clothes. You are going to be a big boy.

You love reading stories. Mommy needs to get more books, because we've read them all! Our favorites are The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I Love You This Much, and Five Little Monkeys. 

You were baptized March 4th in Chester, Va. Pastor Finck baptized you. He also married your Mom Mom and Pop Pop, baptized and confirmed your Mommy, and married your Mommy and Daddy. You did such a wonderful job in church. You slept the whole time, except when you were actually getting baptized. You were awake when Pastor Finck walked you up and down the aisle, looking at everyone, and then went right back to sleep for the rest of the service. We were so proud of you. Aunt Brett and Uncle Craig are your God Parents.

Mommy is so impressed that you are still entertaining yourself right now!

Tomorrow is your two month check up. We can't wait to see how much you've grown.

On Saturday, we're having a 'meet and greet' party for you at Mom Mom's house. It's so everyone can meet you because we're moving back to Colorado soon! You will have your own room there, and we can't wait to introduce you to all our friends there, too.

Keep growing healthy, and stay happy, boo boo, Mommy loves you!