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A Considerable Amount of Progress

Progress

Hello to all,

It’s been just over one month since arriving at BAMC in San Antonio, and already Greg has made a considerable amount of progress. Since moving to the new unit, we have been working with the daytime nurses and therapy team to create a daily routine filled with physical therapy, wound care, meals, and time with family. So far, so good. The physical therapists are quite impressed with Greg’s dedication to stretching, basic weight training with his uninjured arm, balance, and pressure control. Day to day we see little changes; from more strength in his right hand, to increased flexibility in his legs. It’s not a lot, but all things considered, the changes we have seen provide hope.

Greg’s wounds are starting to heal. Having removed all of the wires and drip bags attached to outlets, as Greg puts it, he is officially ‘wireless’. The nurses have also taken out nearly all of the stitches in his residual limbs, and are waiting on a few areas that require more time to heal and close. In order to properly fit prosthetics in the future, physical therapy is currently playing a large role in manipulating and strengthening Greg’s legs and realigning his hips. Though Greg still faces high increments of pain each day in his legs and right arm, the quite intolerable pain is the phantom limb pain. In his own words, “it feels like a jack hammer is breaking my legs and feet, where I no longer have legs and feet.” Besides being completely agonizing, I can’t imagine how frustrating and emotionally crushing this must feel. In simple terms, it’s just not fair. Talking with several doctors and other wounded warriors, a few who are further along in the healing process have come in to see Greg, it sounds like phantom pains can stay with a person for quite some time. While there are different treatments that can be done, some amputees say they can still feel their toes, ten years later. The goal, they say, is to be able to control the pain.

Regarding Greg’s arm, we continue to wait on the major player, time. The orthopedic surgeons are looking to see if enough scar tissue will build up to stabilize Greg’s elbow, and allow basic mobility. Once the soft tissue and bone regrow and strengthen, the ortho team will work on reconstructing Greg’s severed ulnar nerve. The external fixator is still on the arm, and will be there for quite some time. We are hoping ortho will remove one of the metal pieces to allow Greg to at least bend his elbow. Time will tell.

We certainly have had our share of difficult days down here, just as we expected we would. Seeing Greg in physical pain or emotional distress is difficult for all of us, and obviously affects Greg the most. Yet the good days outnumber the bad ones. Greg’s determination, perseverance, faith, and love of life remind us all to not only stay strong during moments of struggle or grief, but also to really appreciate life for all it’s worth.

All my best,
Summer

Note: Since becoming an outpatient, Greg’s mailing address has changed.

 

2 Comments
  1. Kathy Mauser #

    Greg,

    Our family will keep you in our prayers. We happened to be watching a U-10 soccer team in a tournament today. It brought back so many wonderful memories of living in CT before our move to Buffalo. Melissa met us afterward and let us know of your injuries. I remember how our Sarah fell in love with you and Moe Bancroft. At five, she was absolutely convinced she wanted to marry you! Oh the crushes of little sisters!

    Of all the people I have met in this world you will be the one that overcomes diversity and provides hope and courage to so many. You have always had a way of making this world a better place, no matter the circumstances. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers and will remain there. With special fondness, Mrs. Mauser

    July 31, 2011
    • brother greg and family : shalom who knows better about the body than the LORD who CREATED all of us ??? please look at james c. 5 vs. 14 – 20 vs. 14 : is any sick among you ??? let him call for the elders of the church ; and let them pray over him ( greg ) , ANOINTING him with OIL in the name of the LORD : vs. 15 : and the prayer of faith shall save the sick , and the LORD shall raise him up ; and if he have commited sins , they shall be forgiven him !!! please read the rest NOTE : please put pure virgin olive oil on greg*s forehead , pray isaiah c. 53 all to him ; there are 24 ELDERS on the throne of god – rev. c. 4 and 5 ; our prayers go up to god as incense , god is faithfull , to those that believe !!! I BELIEVE !!! brother greg has suffered enough !!! Is anything impossible for GOD ??? let him work his work , we all will PRAISE and GLORIFY the LORD and his FATHER O K ??? words of wisdom to give hope , keep the faith brother greg , my prayers for you and your family , peace hope faith mercy love from mount zion amen shalom bye !!!

      August 20, 2011

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