Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walter Reed

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.

Dan's Family


  1. Thank you for being so faithful to post updates! I read every one, and think about you all often... Words can't express the gratitude I have for the sacrifice by Dan and all of the others who have paid such a high price for our freedom.

    If Dan ever gets to come skiing in Montana, let me know :) I think the guys in the sit-skis at my ski hill are having way more fun than I am!

  2. thanks for the update!! Hope everything works out for saturday! -Jo

  3. Im so proud of you, Dan. Keep up the great work!!

  4. I too appreciate these updates and know that the guys from Dan's platoon do as well. Rob called the other day to ask if I saw that Dan had gone out to dinner. He thought that was awesome:) Your progress is amazing! I can't wait to hear what comes next.

  5. You have been blessed to see the other side of what war can do. Blessed is a word I use lightly but its true. To see how these guys are still fighting for freedom but in a different way and to show us a window into their lives. Gives us an understanding we may have not had before and a appreciation for what they have done. Godbless them and their families and you guys for helping us see the other side. My prayer is that it will inspire people to get up and move to support these families who have loved ones like Dan still fighting for freedom. Live life to the extreem Dan and keep pressing on.

  6. One of the guys brought it to my attention you were injured. Thnaks for the update. Dan, stay strong. You continue to inspire and amaze me. To your family, thank you for the updates!
    All of our best!
    Stay strong, prove the naysayers wrong!

  7. Still praying for Daniel and your family. I'm so glad to hear all the positive things you have said about the way our heroes are treated.

    Leslie you are doing an amazing job too. Tell your Mom and Daniel I said hello.

  8. Dan & family, I read all the updates, too, and am so happy to hear of every victory you are achieving... and it does seem like there is something new every day! I am so happy you are in such a good and supportive environment, and I know that you will soon be reaching whole new levels of greatness, more than you ever even thought possible. Thinking of you all & sending you lots of good thoughts!

    Lauren Coia Friedman & family

  9. I know you all are busy busy busy...but I wanted to let you know that we're still thinking/praying for you every day. Looking forward to your next update Dan!


  10. The bad guys didn't win with this one - thanks for handing them another fail Dan.

  11. When I have a "bad day" - relative term, I read this blog- not because I feel sorry for Dan, but inspired to watch his progress. I had the honour of riding my bike with Challenged Athletes this year and rode with a Vietnam vet who was a double amputee, and an amazing inspiration to me - I look forward to the day that Dan can ride / run / swim with the rest of us again... I have a feeling it won't be long!
    Thanks for the posts and updates and passing on to Dan that his recovery means so much to so many