Saturday, June 30, 2007

A New Visitor for Frankie, sort of

So, poor Frank has been in the rehab center for a little over a week now. No, he's not in because he has a problem with illegal drugs -YET - although, they do have him on lot's of narcotics at the moment.

He had his knee replaced on the 18th of June. Yeah, ouch. Does anyone else pronounce the work "knee" as ka-nee when you see it spelled out?? Anyhoo, Rocco has been sort of wondering, well, that is if dogs do that sort of wondering thing; he's been following me around when I blow in and out of the house the way I do these past two weeks. It's been pretty freaking crazy!! Literally and seriously.

Thankfully, and I do mean, THANKFULLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Heavenly choir (in my head) singing in the background; my kids are gone. for. the . weekend. They were dropped off lastnight to their Dad's. Who also, was in the hospital, at the same time that Frank was. Interesting, I know. (I had nothing to do with that!) We get along quite well.

How many women can say that they had the opportunity to spend the evening, in two different hospitals, with two different husbands? Let me just tell you; it's not at all it's cracked up to be, and I did it only one time. I hate running around. And it's all I've done since poor Frank ended up getting his kanee tore open and replaced with the new and improved titanium baby. That had better last the 20 years they say it should. Or I may end up in a pasyche ward. Or under a bridge on lot's and lot's of illegal drugs. Who knows.

Oh, where on earth was I going with this; hang on, back to the top. Right, the dog and the visit. Each and every time I leave, the dog gets crated; which he just sincerely loves. Think bribe. So today was going to be different for good ole Rockhead. Today I was going to treat him to the R..I..D..E; which of course cannot be said allowed for obvious dillerious reasons - think clearing of the coffee table, spit-flying and mad-dash by the 100lb beast. This needed some careful thinking.

As it was, Frank had already needed MY, or rather a better cup of Jo than what the rehab ctr offered. So I got the call to come, and I needed to rescue. Dogs are onto our cleverness, no matter how hard we try to conceal what we're up to, they are on. to. it. He saw thru me, all the way. And I didn't look at him the entire time I was getting clean shirts, and coffee and packing things to bring. But this big oaf KNEW he was going. Let me tell you, it's been a long time since he's been in the van.

Anyway, clearly he enjoyed himself. It's been nearly two weeks since he's seen his Daddy, and I thought he'd pee himself when he saw him. (the dog, not Frank) Frank has rather good control of that. It was a very nice little reunion. Who knows, maybe he'll get to go back later. Maybe! In this last picture, he felt like he had to protect his Daddy each time the door opened up. The staunch protector that he is - yeah, that's him!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

ME????? Come On!!

HealthCentral Top Site Award Well, thank you very much. I must say that I'm quite shocked, to say the least. And a little embarassed. Is that weird? That's me! Mostly weird.

I started this blog to sort of just get my pain down on the computer, and just hook up with other people, like me - in constant, unrelenting head pain - to just vent and oh, I don't know, share stories.

Now, I mostly share stories of my family, and throw in a migraine here or there if I feel like it. They are still with me, unfortunately; but I like the stuff my family gives me better. Let's face it, family is always entertaining.

I am honored to be given this award, I'm all giddy inside, and can't wait to show my neuro next week! Thank you to anyone who stops by here for a read. Don't forget to check out the other winners and the other great blogsites on my sidebar.

OH, and Frank is scheduled to come home on the 3rd! Keep up the good work Frankie!!! YEAH!!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Thank you all for your emails and posts on Frankie. He has had some setbacks, but is doing much better now. He'd been fighting an infection and blood clot; but, not anymore thankfully!

He goes to Physical Therapy in the morning, which is complete torture, as you could imagine. And then he's off to Occupational Therapy in the afternoon. He has been in a rehabilitation center since last Thursday, and it's right up the road from the house. Thank God!

I've been going twice a day with Nicholas, who runs up and down the halls when we get there. And the girls come when their schedules aren't too busy. He is mostly bored, so he is doing what he does best, sweet-talking the nurses. I haven't been there to get any recent pictures of therapy, but he is doing great. No marathons, Jeff.

It's amazing how far orthopedics has come! He was up and walking the evening of his surgery. I still don't believe it.

Thank you again for your concern and well-wishes.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Bionic Knee

No, he's not taking ballet lessons! Though he does look cute in his tights, tee hee. He's actually squatting up and down to stretch his muscles.

And here, he's pulling his leg in as close as he can. "Come on, Frankie, you can do it!! Pull harder!"

Now that is one straight leg! Amazing. On Monday, MONDAY; this man had a total and complete knee replacement surgery. Look at him. He is up and walking. It is not, by any means an easy task. I give him a lot of credit. He's in pain, and he is working hard; but he's doing it.
Go Frankie, Go!! Don't worry, I will take lot's more pictures of his progress.
People there thought I was crazy for doing this - HA! They'll wish they had someone doing the same for them. And they should really, showing them their own progress. They deserve it. This is life-changing surgery. I know this is going to change things for Frank.
He will be able to walk again; take walks. Play basketball, go for a run with Marisa. Ride bikes with me. These are things people take for granted, that can't do them. I look forward to these days with my Frankie.
For now, he must work very hard just to make each new literal baby step. To build muscle that hasn't been used. To strengthen those that have weakened.
I am proud of him for going forward and following thru with this very big and painful surgery.
And anyone else who must go through it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

So What Happens Now

This is the emblem that we have embraced; the sign of Marine. The Proud and the bold. The fierce fighter. The pillar of strength. We had this on our desktop for months while Philip was in Iraq, as a symbol of who he is - a Marine. Of what he stands for - the Brotherhood of our Nation.

We knew he would come home a little less the pillar. Scarred from the battle. He warned us that something had changed. He was fearful of the jumping inside himself.

It's called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Iraq - because, well, that is where he was stationed; in so many words. And for safety reasons.

And while the military "offers" help for these soldiers, finding it for them available, and getting it to them isn't what you would think it should be.

In the distance, on Friday evening, we could hear fireworks. I knew they would be going off because Marisa was marching in a parade for the festival that led up to them.

Philip; however, heard something completely different. In his mind, he was taken back to the desert. He was bunkered down in his fatigues for a moment. In his mind, he could smell the sweat, hear the blasts, taste the sand. And he froze. He shook as he asked his Dad what the sounds were. In his mind, they were the sounds of gunfire. In his mind. He knew the exact weapon, artillery, range, direction it was coming from. How long it would take for him to get his weapon loaded and ready. In his mind, he was there.

He came in the house, and Frank explained to me what happened, and by this time, we had fireworks going off in two seperate areas, the poor kid! In like a 10 mile radious north and south of us. He sat next to me on the couch, and the couch literally was shaking from his frustration. I felt so bad for him, but I just kept my calm, because with Philip, well, he is a Marine all tough and cool on the outside.

I very calmy explained to him, very slowly, that they were indeed fireworks. That there had been signs posted for them for weeks and Marisa was away in a parade and she had told him about it. He did remember her telling him about the parade, which made him feel somewhat better. Somewhat. But the shaking continued. As long as the fireworks.

With each crack and boom, he would tell me how the sounds reminded him of a bomb or a gun sound. I just listened to him and explained that it would get easier with time. I wonder, will it? I see the horrific stories of others that are struggling and I wonder if they too started like this.

When will it become a priority for our soldiers to get the help they need, when they get home? Will it be when they've become a menace to society, or when Walter Reed has just become to over-crowded with psych patients? Wait, isn't Walter Reed already in crisis? My bad.

Something needs to be done to help our vets!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pain Sucks out LOUD

Oh, the things I subject myself to - for the sake of pain relief. The last being the very large Star Wars like beam that was thrust into my skull. . . . yeah, I'm still waiting. Still waiting for the pain to LEAVE ANY TIME NOW!!!! So, what do you do for pain relief??

I've gone to Boston. I've Been to the Great gods in Michigan for a full month of head-on, full-blast and full-blown, to the core, top of the line treatment folks. I learned so very much from the good gods there, but unfortunately for me, not much else , as far as pain relief, was accomplished.

I've had facet blocks, occipital blocks, nerve blocks, cryoanalgesic (the latest and greatest); I've been a virtual pin cushion voodoo doll for pain therapy. Yet, not getting pain relief. Yet. But there's still hope, right?

I've tried massive amounts of drugs, in all sorts of combonations, and had too many adverse reactions to too many drugs to even put down here. My combination of drugs that I CAN safely take is actually easier to write. I. am. the picture of an adverse reaction. My middle name is anaphylaxis.

Oh, boo freaking hoo. I know. I'm entitled to cry out just a little bit here. I am afterall, in agony once again. And frankly, I'm tired of it. Again. Feeling a gap closing that was looking open. I suppose that is the chronic lifestyle, isn't it. Don't get too comfortable in that normal-looking skin; it changes.

Hey, at least I found a pretty new nail polish to wear while I look and feel like crap. If only I can muster the energy and the tolerancy of the smell to put it on! You know, a girl's gotta look good! I do have my priorities; toes, fingers, clean sheets.......oh, and clean car windows are an absolute must have! Which reminds me, I need to wash the passenger window in my van of the dog snot. I know, gross.

Oh, speaking of pain! Frank. Not that Frank is a pain or anything, but Frank is having or rather going to be having a LOT of pain!! He will be getting a brand spanking new knee on the 18th! Yeah for Frankie!!! He needs it. Cause his knee is like shot, totally. I'll get a really good picture of the now and for sure some of the afters. And you know I'll be getting some of him in rehab. Poor guy.

Suffice it to say - our vaca in Va Beach - well, it ain't happening this year. Bummer for the kids. But, hey, the beach ain't going anywhere right! Health trumps vacation; that's the way we look at life here. That's the way we needed to last year when I couldn't go. and let's face it - there is no way he will be ready to travel by July. boy are we going to be a barrel of laughs.

Happy Day to someone out there.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Home, At Last

Well, Our Marine is safe at home. Here is with his very happy Dad and a buddy, Jake. (Jake is on the r, Dad in middle, Philip on the left) In this next pic, he's posing with his very adorable nephews. It was a steamy, hot day yesterday. The event was a graduation party. Even Rocco came. He made "friends" with a taco dog-a chihuahua.

Anyway, just wanted to post a few pics of our Philip. We are so thankful to have him home. Thank you for your prayers and to Jackie who was so thoughtful, to send him a Christmas card - thank you so very much! Your generosity means the world to us. You just don't know, thank you again.
God Bless the USA!