Dan had a good trial overnight pass at our apartment at Grosvenor Place last Saturday night, Halloween night. We enjoyed a lovely dinner with good friends at a local Italian restaurant after Dan had scoped out the apartment in his wheelchair. After dinner, we returned to the apartment, where he slept overnight in a regular double bed. We had to get him back to Walter Reed the next morning by 10 a.m., and all went well. He likes the apartment and its beautiful surroundings. He looks forward to being able to explore the many nearby trails and be out in nature again.
This week has been spent getting ready for Dan moving to outpatient status. This means making sure the apartment is safe for him to live in, and Oren, our trusty OT expert, visited to ensure all is in order before Dan moves in. We are confident we’ll all make this important transition just as smoothly as each previous change. Many people surround us with love, support, and offers to help with every little thing.
Many friends and Team guys continue to visit Dan, and all are impressed with how buff he’s looking after several days of PT and OT workouts and huge portions of delicious food from the Walter Reed cafeteria.
Two members of Dan’s platoon serving in Afghanistan arrived Nov. 3 at Bethesda NNMC following injuries, and Dan was able to greet them as they arrived, also meeting their family members. He was very anxious to get up to date on recent happenings, as well as to lend his support as a fellow patient. The camaraderie and mutual respect shown as they encountered each other was heartwarming and touching. We are happy to report the guys are doing very well, and we’re glad their family members can be with them as they recuperate.
We also enjoyed meeting President Obama Friday afternoon as he visited the wounded troops at Walter Reed. He is an energetic, charismatic man with a very engaging presence and smile. All the preparation for his visit was quite interesting! As he was leaving, he noticed the heavy copy of War and Peace on Dan’s bedside table, lifted it to look at it and laughed at my joke that lifting the book and putting it down again is another form of PT for Dan.
That night, another milestone occurred: Dan was discharged from Ward 57 and is now officially an outpatient! He’s living at our Grosvenor Place apartment now and looks forward to more independence and freedom of movement, mainly MORE PT and OT! Leslie and I are gearing up to meet all his needs, especially figuring out how to keep him well fed! As he keeps reminding us, excellent nutrition is key to the body’s healing and well-being. He has definite ideas on just the right things to eat and drink.
The fact that Dan has progressed this far this quickly is truly a testament to the power of prayer, the tremendous support from USSOCOM Care Coalition and NSW Group One, visits/cards/phone calls from admirals, wives and family/friends, thoughtful and caring fund-raising efforts, and the ability for Leslie to be here to care for his medical needs and shuttle him back and forth to his rehab and medical appointments. We are so grateful to everyone for your continuing support and love and look forward to being able to enjoy the upcoming holidays as a reunited family with the most awesome friends imaginable. God bless all of you!