We successfully made the big move on Tuesday. So far, we love it at Walter Reed. Dan gets plenty of sleep at night, wakes up in the morning and heads to the gym for a few hours. Then he eats lunch, and heads back to the gym for an afternoon workout. His sole mission there is to work out, and he's definitely not wasting any time. His PTs and OTs there are designing a wide variety of exercises for him to do. Every day we watch him get better and better at his endurance and strength. He's even doing push-ups! They have every kind of therapy for these guys that you can think of: wheelchair basketball, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, skiing - you name it, they'll make it happen. It's all in place to give the wounded guys as normal and fulfilling a life as possible - Dan will be a busy guy.
While Dan is still an inpatient, his doctors are recognizing his increasing ability to be outside of the hospital. They're writing him an overnight pass to come home to our apartment Saturday night! We're anticipating that he can be transitioned to outpatient status very soon. After being inside the hospital walls for 7 weeks, you can imagine how excited he will be for this.
Unfortunately, Dan's progress will be somewhat limited as far as getting up on prosthetics until December when they will re-evaluate his pelvic injury. He can't bear any weight until the pelvis is fully healed. But you can expect him to work as hard as he can on every other aspect of rehab possible until that time comes. He'll start on really short legs (we fondly call them nubbies/stubbies) until he gets the walking thing down. Then he'll advance from there - basic prosthetics and walking, to running, to obtaining the most advanced prosthetics available. And then who knows where he'll take it from there!
A word about what it's like at Walter Reed: everywhere you go in that hospital, you will see young guys with missing legs and missing arms, with brain injuries, and with other traumas that the wars have left them with. It's especially powerful to see them all in the gym, working as hard as they can to overcome their new challenges. You would be so inspired just to see how they greet one another in the hallways, with a deep understanding and level of respect, and a cheerful smile and nod all at the same time. Everyone in that hospital goes out of their way to acknowledge these guys and help them throughout their day. It's so cool.
Dan's smiling more than ever now, and we're counting our blessings more and more each day. We've met so many awesome people through this, and again, everyone's support has meant so much.