Scars from Iraq: There’s an interesting article on the msnbc web site titled, 1 in 5 returning troops may have brain injury. Many of our troops are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with not only missing limbs, burns and bullet wounds, but also some injuries that are not easy to see like PTSD and TBI. In the same article there is an audio slide show entitled Scars from Iraq. Some returning troops are interviewed about their struggles to return back to a normal life after sustaining various injuries in the Middle East. The interviews were very interesting and well done. Please watch them when you have time. We need to understand the struggles and sacrifices our troops are making for our country.
Blog from Iraq: Sam was mentioned in one of the leading military blogs Badgers Forward recently. It was a note from Sam’s father, Eric. The men of Kilo Battery have quite a connection with the the author of this blog (he is an Army Captain stationed in Iraq) because he was at the memorial service for the three Marines and Navy Corpsman who were killed in the IED blast that injured Sam. See the Fallen Heroes of Kilo tab in this blog for his description of the memorial service in Iraq.
Administrative Notes: I’ve updated the “Sam’s Status” page, which can be accessed from the top menu on this site. If you would like to get an overall picture of Sam and Erin’s journey from the beginning up to this point in time, check out that page.
We’ve also gone over 50,000 hits on this blog as of about 5:30PM on Thursday. The number is a little misleading because there are about 125 people who receive the blog updates via email. In either case, the numbers are still a testament to the many faithful friends, family and well wishers who continue to check up on Sam and Erin on a regular basis.
I also want to mention, or remind all of you that you can leave comments related to each post. Many of you already do this on a regular basis, and it is very comforting to get notes from all of you. To leave a comment for any post that is made on the blog, go to the bottom of the blog post and click on the word “comment”. You’ll be taken to a page where you can leave your note for Sam, Erin and family.
Erin reads the notes to Sam on a regular basis, so if/when you feel like it, leave them a note of encouragement, a prayer or just tell them you are thinking of them. Erin will be sure to read it to Sam.
Meeting with the doctor this week: Erin will be having a meeting this week with the doctors, social workers and therapist concerning Sam and where he should go for further treatment. The meeting won’t be to make a decision on where he will be going next; they will just be exploring the options that are available to them. Erin said the people at the VA hospital aren’t in any hurry to get Sam out of there and in to a new hospital by a certain date, so there is still lot of time to pray and make the best decision for Sam.
Sam’s medical status:
Saturday January 19th, 2008: Today my family spent the day with Erin and Sam. I could tell right away that Sam’s eye tracking has improved quite a bit. When we first came in the door, he turned towards us and looked directly at us. When I said hi to him, he looked directly into my eyes. This may be crazy, but even though Sam can’t really speak, I almost felt like he was looking inside me. It felt like a connection that’s deeper that words. When he looked at me, I felt like the expression on his face was telling me, “I’m here and I want to talk to you so bad!”. He did show us his “uh-huh” word and said it over and over for us. Erin said in therapy this week, Sam was trying to say another word, or at least part of one…”fuh, fuh, fuh…”. I’m sure he was trying to tell Erin he was having “fuhn”….right?
Friday January 18th, 2008: Sam’s backside wound, which was about 2 centimeters deep as of a few weeks ago, was checked today and it was around 1 centimeter deep. The VA doctors have been keeping Sam from doing a few therapies lately (like the standing frame) because his wound hasn’t been healing like it should. Hopefully things are now going in the right direction. Sam’s right heel wound has also been healing nicely.
Sam got new glasses on Thursday. Erin said he likes the way they look at feel. Erin took Sam for a stroll outside in his wheelchair today. He liked being outside but it was pretty cold so they weren’t out long.
Wednesday January 16th, 2008: Sam threw a tennis ball at Donny (his brother). Erin said it was appropriate because Donny threw the ball at Sam first :-). All kidding aside, Erin said Sam is doing much better at throwing the ball. I guess I just needed a little brotherly rivalry to get him going. Along with Sam’s improved pitching with his right arm, his left arm has been getting much better too. It was curling up quite a bit but is doing much better.
Thank you Wendy for sharing these bible verses with us:
”Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”