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!


FbL said...

Great news! I'm so glad to hear you're progressing so well.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad things are improving! Good luck as you continue healing.

Wilko said...

Great. It never happens as fast as we want but steady progress is what it's about.