Contagious Joy

The definition of Joy – my little girls:  There’s a wonderful article in “Yahoo! Health called Contagious Joy that I read recently.  The doctor who wrote it described how he was walking down the street and experienced the smile on the face of a father who had his small daughter on his shoulders.  She was steering her father down the road by pulling either side of his beard either left or right.  Both the father and daughter were smiling and laughing as they made their way down the street.  The doctor met the eyes of the father and they were in turn both smiling at each other. 

Ali and Erin at their birthday party_2004 The story brought back so many wonderful memories of raising my daughters, Erin, 23 and Allison, 19.   When they were younger, I used to play this game with them on their bed.  I forgot exactly what the scenario was ( I think I was the monster trying to eat them) and they of course were trying to get away from me.  The outcome was always the same—two laughing, giggling little girls.  Their laughing and giggling always brought a smile to my face.

Nothing in this world has brought more joy to my life than my two girls.  If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting either Erin or Allison, you would eventually end up with a smile on your face because in many ways, they still find a way to giggle and laugh no matter what life brings them. 

Erin’s had it pretty tough the past few months.  They say being a Marine Corps wife is the toughest job in the military.  I think that little saying came about because of all the worrying the wife’s do when their marine is deployed.  But, Erin is REALLY earning her stripes every day as she urges Sam back to health—and she does it with such grace and joy.  I guess the “monster game” was some pretty good life training for her.  She’s still giggling, laughing and joking with Sam as she loves him back home to us.

The Heroes of Kilo Battery:  I’ve recently added a menu item at the top of this blog titled “Fallen Heroes of Kilo”.

Fallen Heroes of Kilo_menu   It is a compilation of my last four blog post memorializing the four guys in Sam’s platoon who were killed in the same IED attack that caused Sam’s injuries.  There is also a quote from an Army officer who attended their memorial service in Ramadi.  Our prayers remain with the families on these young men. 

Sam’s medical status: 

Thursday Afternoon October 11, 2007:  Sam was put on the “tilt” table today and did much better.  Previously when he was put on the table, he was more passive, but today he was looking around more and picked his head off his pillow like he was wanting to look around to see what was happening.

The wounds on Sam’s backside (which I really haven’t talked about in the blog) are not healing as well as expected so they are going to put off any type of seated activity for now, including putting Sam in a wheelchair. 

Sam is on a turning schedule, so his backside is getting some much needed relieve from pressure and more air.  He is being moved either to the left, right or on his back every two hours.

A new bed arrived today that will also help Sam’s backside wounds.  It has a little more padding and has air chambers that help distribute his weight over a greater area.

Sam’s tracheotomy tube was capped for an hour again today.  The pulse-ox monitor showed a steady 100 oxygen saturation which is good.  It should be in the 90 to 100 range.  His pulse was also steady during that time period.

Friday Afternoon October 12, 2007:  Today and tomorrow we’ll be spending the day with Sam and Erin.  When we arrived in Palo Alto, it was quickly obvious that he is becoming more animated.  He is really getting good at moving his right hand around.  We watched the physical therapist work with him.  She would ask him to perform various task, like giving her the thumbs up or to straighten his fingers and he more or less was able to do perform these task. 

The biggest improvement I’ve seen is in the way Sam moves his right hand.  He really moves it around without being prompted by anyone.  When Erin is anywhere in Sam’s vicinity, he lifts up his right arm and grabs her hand. 

Saturday Afternoon October 13, 2007:  We spent the day with Sam and Erin.  Sam was having a lot of congestion issues.  The repertory therapist was in the room quite a few times working on Sam.  It’s hard to watch as they stick the suction catheter down his tracheotomy tube.  Sam gags as they try to get all the phlegm up.  You can tell he really doesn’t like it by the look on his face. 

Sam was lifting up his left leg on his own a little this afternoon.  He’s always had more problem with his left side, so that was a surprise and or course a good sign.

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2 Responses to Contagious Joy

  1. Aunt Cari says:

    Erin is extraordinarily special…though I don’t know Allison, I’m sure she is too. Whatever parenting style you and her mother employed Tony, it really worked. She makes the world a brighter, better place. Without Erin, I’m sure Sam’s healing would not having progressed as well as it has. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    ps thx for the pic erin…looks good.

  2. Sam and Erin we are still praying for you both; NOPE, I have NOT forgotten, I check on you guys all the time; Tony, Julie, and family, hang in there! Susan recently wrote a new song, and it created a video with it; it is very simple, and she wants Sam to be able to view it, if possible, so if you can get a computer screen in front of him, let him see it, and …read this to him

    Hey Sam, Welcome Home Marine!, and thank you for defending our freedoms; my name is Larry, and I have been praying for you for several weeks, and I will not stop. God Bless You!
    click on the link to see the video

    http://www.soundclick.com/pro/view/02/default.cfm?BandID=110016

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