I have only great expectations for this week. Have spent the last week at Walter Reed (WR) National Military Medical Center with some of the most challenged and courageous individuals that you will ever meet. Overcoming challenge is what gives us purpose. As always, every Monday is the chance to start anew. So let the games begin!
You cannot walk the WR halls without meeting brave lives that were shattered by war but now being rebuilt by some of the world’s best doctors, specialists, therapists and nurses. … It can be awkward … What do you say? ‘Gee, you are looking good’ … How do you look without looking? Missing arms and legs and hands and feet have been replaced by every contrivance of possibility in what now borders on sometimes cyborg design. … And then you realize that it all goes on … yesterday cannot be changed … many of these wounded warriors have a smile on their face and their family by their side. The children of these warriors seem to adjust to their changed parent … lots of smiles and playfulness … at least in the hospital where services are provided to help the entire family evolve to what comes next: living life and overcoming life’s challenges.
About the nurses, I spent quality time with 7 or 8 of them. There must be a special pill that each takes when they start their shift. Every WR nurse that I experienced was cheerful. Scary cheerful. Positive attitude cheerful. ‘What can we do to help?’ cheerful. It is the nurses of WR that most definitely help bring you back to living life. Bless them.
One other thing that I learned: don’t try to laugh while in the ICU as you are recovering from a collapsed lung. It hurts like hell. … Was trying to peel a banana and just as I was about to eat it I must have squeezed too hard. The damn thing flew off like a rocket across the floor into the hallway. I rang my bell and the nurse retrieved my banana … with comment ‘Perhaps it is best to eat something else’ … it was a good laugh but I cried for almost 20 minutes afterwards.