It's Monday evening (I think).
Andy arrived at Walter Reed Army Medical in Washington DC on Sunday afternoon around 4:30 and I was holding his hand by 5:30 pm. He's receiving round-the-clock care in the surgical ICU. I only have a few minutes on the computer so I'm just going to give you the super-light version. Basically, there are three areas of concern, which I have dubbed the three F's so I could keep track of it all....
fever--his fever has been on a roller coaster since he arrived here, which may be an indication of infection.
fragment--there's still a fragment in his spinal column, which they are still attempting to determine the best course of action on.
flem--which I realize doesn't actually start with an f but I needed a system for remembering...there's some drainage into his chest which is difficult for him to expell given that he a) doesn't have muscle control below his armpits and b) can't really cough due to the the immobilization unit the prevents about 98% of his head movement.
I list these three areas so that you can pray specifically.
Pray for Andy's emotional healing as well as his physical strength. There's so much to handle...and he's heavily medicated and doesn't have the full use of his mind, which he finds extremely frustrating!
Do not underestimate the power of your prayers.
The sniper's round was--in the words of one of the doctors here--a big a$$ bullet. It severed a portion of his spinal cord and there is still a small fragment of that round in his spinal column. It's not likely at this point that they will attempt to remove that frag. He may be facing another surgery--the goal of which would be to stabilize his spine, by fusing at least three of them together.
Andy has quite a few buddies that are also here in the hospital with a variety of injuries. It's a mazing to me the depth at which the connection runs between this band of brothers. It's almost sanctified...he gets emotional when they show up. It does them all good I think. He asked me to take pictures of everyone who comes to vist. He wants to post them on his myspace. ((Crazy boy.))
My other brother is scheduled to be here in a few hours, for which I am very grateful. I know how deeply good it will be for Andy to have his original brother here too...
I will be coming home with newly developed and perhaps even slightly sculpted muscles in my own arms from all the stretching Andy and I have been doing. He's deeply concerned about keeping the strength and use of his arms and hands and he tries constatly to stretch his upper body out to keep the blood flowing. I've learned to work his arms around and given that he was already quite muscular, that's no small feat. :) He keeps telling me it's not good enough unless it hurts...and I have a difficult time "hurting" him. We've already seen significant improvement in the upper body abilities, especially in his arms...just since yesterday. Glory to God.
Pray for the speech people...they need to get moving and Andy's ready to tell them so in no uncertain terms. He's in dire need of ice cream and the speech team is holding that accomplishment up.
Pray that neuro can find the right kind of immobilization unit for him...it's a long story...
More as I can...