May 1, 2007

No surgery now and Almost done in-processing

The weekend went well – but it was very tiring. I went with Amanda to the house we worked on at 7am on Saturday morning… yes!!! 7am! We really had a good time working out there all day. I personally worked on a few projects. First of all, I took over 150 pictures for Amanda. I also worked on fixing a toilet, installing smoke and carbon monoxide sensors around the house and then repairing the fence that surrounded the house, which involved hammering in probably a hundred nails! After we cleaned up, we ended up back at John and Tamra’s for some pizza and games. Sunday we went to church and then John took me to the PX so that I could buy cleaning supplies for the room. After that, we headed back to the house to try to finish the fence. The fence was repaired, but needed to be primed and painted. We were able to finish priming and painting the outside of the fence, but only got as far as priming part of the inside of the fence. I guess we’ll need to go back and finish the job in the future. I left with John, Tamra and Zach, we had dinner, and then they dropped me back off at WRAMC.

Walking back into my room was a shock. I hadn’t realized what a mess I had left it! I decided to start unpacking and I just kept going and going until I felt like it was habitable. When I looked at the clock, it was 3am. You know… it was worth it. I’m just one of those people that unpacks first just to get comfortable. I’m glad I did because it was done! Yeah, I had to be at a formation at 0830 Monday morning, but I could get sleep after. I got a few hours of sleep and walked into the Gym across the street from our billets and was surprised to see a gaggle of people just sitting on bleachers. Apparently, a formation just means we show up and they account for us. I was expecting to stand in lines of platoons and squads, but I guess we don’t do that here. After that I ran off for a quick breakfast and then met with my social worker who talked to me about my options regarding choosing to stay in the reserves or elect to have a board where I will be medically discharged or retired depending on what disability rating I get. Well, I’ll have more on that later. The rest of the day I just went from place to place to continue in-processing. I was exhausted from all the walking around and decided to go back to my room to take a short nap. Well, the short nap turned into a long nap and I missed dinner. I set my phone to wake me up, but dismissed the alarm. Thanks to my friend Jill N. who called to say hi, she woke me up before I slept way too long! Luckily, there is a little place in the hospital, called Walt’s, which is open rather late where I can use my meal card. I got a hot dog, a salad and some other items, and headed back to my room. I watched some TV, worked on a little paperwork and went back to bed.

This morning I was awakened by a phone call at 0630 by my new squad leader. I knew it was him because I put all the numbers I needed in my phone and the Caller ID tipped me off. I’m not really sure what we said to each other… I guess he was checking on me to make sure I was ok. I went back to sleep thinking that I didn’t have to check in now and decided that I was going to sleep in to get some rest and finish in-processing in the afternoon. My phone woke me up again at 0900 when another squad leader from the platoon called to see if I was okay. Man… I told him about the earlier call and he said he never talked to the guy who called earlier, so they didn’t know what my status was. Anyway, I hope that never happens again! Okay, so I finally got my lazy butt up at 1100 and got going. I must have been extremely tired from the weekend and Monday. I did all the in-processing I could for the day and got ready to go to community group. I made it from WRAMC to where we meet in Arlington in only 40 minutes, which I think is pretty good for mass transit. After the meeting, friends Kezia and Jana gave me a ride back here.

Okay, last thing… my neurosurgeon has wanted to fix the incision on the top of my head for quite some time now. He just doesn’t like the way there is an indention and no hair across it. We talked last week and I thought we were going to do it this week. But after my neurologist said they might be able to go back in to fix the seizure issue, everything got confused. I finally talked to him today and here’s the skinny: My neurosurgeon doesn’t think that any surgery in the brain should even be attempted until all other options have been exhausted and no earlier than 36 months after the end of my radiation therapy. Not only that, but he doesn’t even want to work on my scalp until 12 months after the end of my radiation therapy… which is mid-July. So, no brain surgery for at least two more years, and no working on fixing the scalp until after this July. But he and I are confident that they won’t have to go back into my brain. I know I’m in good hands and he’s pretty sure it will resolve itself over time.

The other issue I have been having here is that my Narrative Summary has not been completed yet and I still don’t have the permanent profile that I need to get this process started since my new doctor last week changed it to a temporary one. Well, I explained all of this to my neurosurgeon and he is going to do both. It won’t be this week, but he said he’ll take care of it. With him involved now, it looks like I am in good hands. I’m going to let my case manager know and put them in touch with each other, if necessary.

Tomorrow I have to attend three briefings throughout the day, so it should be an uneventful long day. But I’m almost done in-processing! After tomorrow, all I’ll need is to have my teeth checked and I’ll be done.
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