Wowzas, are these days ever going to slow down?
We started the morning out with mental health and brain injury consolation. Before going overseas everyone takes a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) survey. This serves as a baseline for when all these soldiers come home, to ensure their mental stability after a deployment. These tests are critically evaluated in the case something goes terribly wrong, like it did during Taylor’s deployment, and the warrior is forced to come home early. The doctors are looking for residual signs of concussion or brain injury from the blast. They are also looking for any potential signs of PTSD. I understand these are serious issues that should be address with the upmost responsibility and professional manner but these test are stressful! The way the doctors word things make you question yourself. You start to question yourself, when you could have bet your life on your recollection of the events. They say things like, “ok so you neglect to recall losing consciousness” or “you deny remembering being dizzy, nauseous, or disorientated after the significant blast you experienced.” The appointment consisted of two parts. The first part would be better described as an interrogation of the events that led up to that life changing moment on May 3rd. The second part of the appointment was more of an IQ or intelligence/memory test. The doctor was thoroughly impressed with Taylor’s efforts during this part of the test. She asked Taylor to name as many animals as he could for 60 seconds. She said that Taylor name the most she had ever seen! Overall the appointment went well but it was stressful watching the test, so I could only imagine how Taylor felt during intense questioning while under the influence of strong medication.
Breakfast was cut short when the ultra sound technician came to follow up on the fluid filled sack in Taylor’s left leg. The doctors had decided to take a needle to the sack and extract the fluid but they still wanted another test to verify what the CT scan found last Friday. The ultra sound confirmed the fluid sack. So we have been waiting the doctors to schedule an appointment so action can be taken on this fluid sack, believed to be infectious bacteria. Taylor’s white blood cell count came back today as 13, down from 18.5 from yesterday, (normal is 10 and below). His white blood cell count has been bouncing up and down over the past 2 weeks but this is the lowest it has been in a while. I am not sure if this will change the doctor’s plans of extracting the fluid. I am not sure if we will wait and closely monitor the white blood cell count. But I do know this will be one of our first questions to all the doctors during morning rounds tomorrow. We want to know what we are dealing with and what our plan is to keep ourselves on the fast track to recovery. So we will continue to ask questions and work hard to get to this resolved.
Today Taylor’s arms and legs were rewrapped. This is the first time we saw all four extremities exposed. We were told to become intimate with the extremities. We were told to get to know every freckle, scratch, and skin pigmentation. This would be vital to Taylor’s recovery. Down the road when we are working with prosthetics, we need to know if the skin looks irritated or distributed. If we recognize an irritation early on you can prevent weeks of relapse. This wasn’t a challenging request for either Taylor or me. We were intrigued with how everything was healing; how the skin should look once everything has completely healed; how much weight or pressure the incisions can handle. Juli on the other hand, turns green whenever wounds, blood, puss, or other bodily fluids are exposed. Taylor and I will tackle the task of evaluating the wounds to ensure absolutely no changes that would cause ANY setbacks would go unnoticed. Juli can work on rubbing and tapping the nerve endings to get Taylor’s legs ready to tolerate prosthetics as early as possible. We make a good team!
Taylor had another successful workout. They had him scheduled for an hour but Taylor is ready to get to work. He worked with PT and OT for an hour and a half. Most of the work involved core strength and coordination. He also worked to stretch out the muscles that have been manipulated, pulled, stretched, and stapled to a new domain that would allow the most functional future. Lastly, he worked with a computer system that let him practice muscle movements in relation to prosthetic arms.
Busy, busy day but I don’t see it letting up anytime soon so we are going to rest up. We need to be ready to give tomorrow hell and show them we are here to work hard.