Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Medical Update

Wow, I hadn't realized that it's been over month since my last post. For those who are interested, I'll try to recap what's been going on:

Three weeks ago I had another medical procedure performed called an MUA, which stands for Manipulation Under Anesthesia. Basically, they numbed up my arm and then worked the wrist back and forth to break up all the scar tissue that had formed since the operation. By all accounts it was a success, and I was surprised to see my wrist move with something close to the flexibility it had before the accident. Now the question was, could I maintain it?

In order to take advantage of the situation, we scheduled daily therapy appointments for the next 2 1/2 weeks. Since we live 35 miles away from the naval hospital, we decided that it would be impractical to try to drive down there every day for my sessions, especially since I wasn't cleared to drive yet and my wife would have to act as my chauffeur. It would be much better if I could get a room down there and simply walk to my appointments, with the added benefit that I could get some schoolwork done down there as well.

Since I'm in the process of being transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit, or WTU, I decided to go see the unit commander there at the hospital about getting a room. After I explained my situation to him, he told me that it simply wasn't possible - the quarters were for enlisted personnel and officers weren't allowed to stay there. The nearest Bachelor Officer Quarters, he told me, were down the road at the 32nd Street Naval Station. "That's fine," I said, "but how am I going to get my appointments, since I can't drive?" "Oh," he replied, "we'll have a driver pick you up." "Ok, but how am I going to get around down there - I can't get too far on my crutches, and there's no mess hall or restaurants nearby." He had no answer for that, so he simply repeated the fact that he was sorry but no rooms were available. Too bad.

Not being one to take no for an answer, I left his office and went down to the hospital's Patient Admin office and spoke to the sailors there. They in turn called in the Chief, and I told her my story. She immediately said that she would "take care of it" and I could check-in the following Monday. Sure enough, when I arrived Monday morning she was waiting with a letter signed by the Navy commander in charge of the barracks authorizing me to stay there for the next three weeks. The Army liaison at the barracks was a little miffed that I hadn't going through "proper channels" to work my request, but a short and one-sided conversation with the Chief was enough to change his state of mind and by the time it was over he was all too willing to get me squared away in my new quarters. As anyone in the Navy will tell you, if a Chief can't get it done, then it simply can't be done or isn't worth doing. :)

Now, three weeks later, I'm back at home. I've managed to retain somewhere around 80% of the flexibility I had immediately following the manipulation, which is good. I'm still working on being able to rotate my arm palm up (supination), but that too is progressing. As an added bonus, I was recently given the all clear by the doctor who operated on my ankle to finally lose my air cast and began walking on my own. I still have a bit of a limp, but that should clear up once my joint gets more stretched out.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and words of encouragement - God has been faithful! And BZ to the Navy's CPO association for getting things done!

Apologetics 101

For those who haven't stopped by there yet, Neptunus Lex is one of my favorite blogs - authored by a retired Navy Captain and former F-18 pilot (callsign "Lex") who has a knack for writing and who also tells some wonderful sea stories.

Yesterday, he posted a bit about The Atlantic's Ross Douthat and his essay up on the New York Times entitled “Dan Brown’s America." Quite unexpectedly (for me), this led to some critical comments on the veracity of Scripture and Christianity in general and prompted my response to those allegations. Since the "core group" of Lex's readers is relatively small, the same people tend to post repeatedly, and one gets to almost know them over time. My "handle" is MajHarvey, and since I've been an active reader for nearly 5 years, most of his followers are pretty much aware of my views and the fact that I'm pursuing the chaplaincy. Hence, I figured that it was almost expected that I would have some sort of response to the challenges to my faith. The gauntlet was being thrown down, as it were.

Take a look for yourself and see how it went - if you're so inclined, feel free to jump into the fray and post your own response to the issue(s) being discussed.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

School Update

Awhile back I posted about my struggles with Greek, and all the work I had to do to stay on track to graduate this June. After much thought and prayer, and upon the recommendation of my advisor, I've decided to drop my Greek classes - as well as a few others - and take a reduced course load this quarter, the better to focus on my recovery & rehabilitation.

Although I was not able to get a refund for the classes I had already signed up for, the registrar worked out an acceptable solution - I'll take an "incomplete" for the courses I had to withdraw from during the Winter and Spring quarters, then will audit them again when they come around next year. I'll do the homework then, and the professor will simply enter a change of grade once they grade my assignments. This way, not only do I not have to pay for another course ($1300 per class), but this arrangement also ensures that an "F" grade does not show up on my transcript - which would've been the case if I'd simply dropped the courses.

What this means in practical terms is that my graduation timeline has been pushed back - instead of graduating this June and finishing my remaining classes in December, I'll now be finishing everything and graduating in June 2010. Naturally, I was a little perturbed at this initially, but I've come to realize that this is the best (and most realistic) course of action. It simply was untenable for me to "make up" ten hours of credit while simultaneously taking another twelve hours of classes this quarter - all while trying to fit in therapy sessions 3x/week.

I feel a great sense of peace in this decision, and know that God has a plan for all of this - I just need to keep in mind that I'm operating according to His timeline, not my own.