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New Year and New Surgery

Greg and Santa

I started the new year off in typical Greg style… with a surgery!  I feared I was beginning to lose touch with my own sense of personal identity without a monthly operation in December.  I mean, things just wouldn’t be the same without getting stabbed with needles, pumped full of chemicals, prodded by nurses, and chopped with knives like a piece of sushi.  So, after some deep thought, and a fabulous display of acting, I convinced the surgeons to open me up once again.  And so, as the Propofol entered my veins, spreading an intense burning through my hand, I began to fade into unconsciousness. I smiled to myself, and thought, ‘ah, it’s good to be me again.’

Just Kidding.  To be honest, surgery was the LAST thing I wanted to do at the start of 2014.  But, this operation was one that we had intentionally put off.  Originally scheduled for December, I decided to push the procedure back to January, so that it wouldn’t interfere with my classes. The procedure was pretty simple as far as surgeries go.  Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery were working to revise some scarring on my leg and chest.  Some of the older scars had become tighter than the surrounding skin, which caused irritation.  Most notably, the scar along my left thigh would blister after prolonged use of my prosthesis.  So, last Friday, I went through the needle poking, chemical pumping, nurse prodding, and knife chopping once again.  The surgeons were pleased with the results, and as far as my history goes, it went pretty smoothly.

Planning to go home Friday evening, I was dismayed to learn that I’d have to spend a night in the hospital for monitoring.  Come Saturday morning, eager to be freed of my hospital prison, I became, well, less than pleased to hear that I’d have to stay until Monday.  There wasn’t any reason to keep me, except that apparently they have a policy against releasing wounded warriors on weekends.  Some policy kept me locked in a hospital room all weekend?  Well, frustrations grew, I called a few doctors stupid, told a few nurses to take their own blood pressure, and pulled out my IV line.  My cathartic release worked, as I somehow survived just fine until Monday. 

My wonderful mom is here for the next week to help take care of me while I recover.  She has been here for me so many times over the past few years that she deserves a lot of credit for much of my success.  Thanks Mom for putting up with me, and being here when I need you. Sorry to all you other mothers out there, but mine truly is the best.

Other than surgery, my next semester begins in a week or so.  Calculus, Biology, and Abnormal Psychology are all on tap for the spring.  It will probably be about a month before my surgical site is ready for me to wear prostheses again.  Hopefully this will be one of the last surgeries I will need done for a long time. 

Finally, I want to say that I have decided to end accepting donations.  The support has been fantastic, and truly humbling to see the care that many of you, even complete strangers, have for me.  I figured a new year is a great opportunity to shift any future donations away from me, and to others who need it more.  Any donations received after February 15th will be redirected to one of the charities that has been helpful to me since my injuries in 2011.  Again, thank you to everyone who keeps up with me, and continues to support me on this journey

  1. Judy Martell #

    Good in the new school semester and speedy recovery! God bless you.

    January 25, 2014
  2. tree #

    Yes the dismay of staying the weekend, how pleasant it must have been

    January 25, 2014
  3. Sue Muskin #

    Wonderful to read your words and see your picture too Greg. Ya made me laugh with the ‘I told my nurses to take their own damn blood pressure’…lol…I remember it all so well, your feisty and “lovable nature” sure made our day on 4 East! Keep up the great work. I miss your face, take care dumplin.

    January 25, 2014
  4. Mary Olsen #

    Always thinking about you Greg…sorry about the surgeries but happy to hear your sense of humor.

    January 25, 2014
  5. Hi Greg, I think of you offten. I wish you the best.

    January 26, 2014
  6. I am always moved and impressed by your posts!
    You are one amazing human!
    Glad to have met you (at Stefanie’s graduation)

    January 26, 2014
  7. Carol Johnson #

    Hi Greg, Clay and I spied you last night hanging out with the President and First Lady. It was great to see you as we think of you often. I really look forward to reading your posts and following your journey to achieve your dreams. I envy you, believe it or not, taking those classes and doing that homework – yes, I was a school junkie. Biology was my first love.
    I am still sewing for Sew Much Comfort up at CFI. If you have a need for any clothing adaptations, I would be glad to do them for you. Just let me know.
    Best wishes as you move forward from both Clay and I. Carol Johnson

    January 29, 2014
  8. Lee Hilliard #

    Glad the January scar-stretch went OK except for the weekend detention. Maybe schedule the procedures earlier in the week?
    Hope school is going well now and that the worst part is still the commute.
    CT warming up today to melt all the snow before the temps drop again to freeze everything in sight. Hope last week’s taste of winter for DC didn’t trap you for too long. May want to think about adding some Klondike runners to your chair.
    Haven’t been back south since last July but expect to pass through sometime this Spring.
    Continue to heal & rehab! Thoughts & prayers continue from this end.

    February 2, 2014
  9. Barbara Szpilka #

    Hi Greg,
    You are always in my prayers. I wish you peace and strength. I’m very glad to hear about your sense of humor. Laughter really does help us through the most difficult times. You are such a great person to bear your cross and to make people smile while you suffer. You really are an inspiration to all. Sending you hugs & kisses.

    February 17, 2014

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