Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dog Days of August

Now that Seth is under the care of the rehab team, physical therapy begins in earnest--and so it was today. Seth worked very hard even though he didn't feel like it--his last surgery was only three days ago--and his butt wound hurt. I was a proud mom--and posts like this embarrass Seth a lot.

In physical therapy at the same time were two other guys--both with their left legs missing and Taylor spatial frames on their right legs. According to our rehab doctor, this is a very common configuration of injuries because most guys are right-handed, so they lead with their left foot and the left hand as it holds the rifle. So the IED takes the left leg and often left hand and injures the right leg--usually breaking it right where the top of the boot is.

The physical therapist told us that Seth's pelvic external fixator will come off in 12 to 20 weeks--a long time but a bit better than six months, which was the original estimate we were given. Here it is in all its glory. (Thanks to Sew Much Comfort for the adaptive shorts.)

Fluff and Mumbo Jumbo
One of the many touching things that has happened because of Seth's injuries is that people--known and unknown to us--have shared their stories of loss, tragedy and grief--and overcoming them. A friend of mine lost her brother to suicide 18 years ago. After it happened, she wanted to have a T-shirt made that told everyone about her fantastic brother and that he had died. I have sometimes wished for such a T-shirt about Seth as I have walked through the crowds in downtown Silver Spring.

Another friend lost her son when he was only two years old. She wrote, "I was told that many feel during those tragic times that they are living in a dream world while reality swirls around them. For me, it was opposite, I was living reality, stone cold, in-your-face reality and all that swirled around me was a dreamlike state. Going to the bank, shopping for groceries--many of the people I came in contact knew nothing of what I was experiencing. We don't wear signs warning people, 'Treat me gently, I am in the midst of a life-altering set of circumstances.' They were the dream world, they knew not of my reality. Everyone has their own perception of reality and all we can do is treat each other kindly, with love and respect, never knowing when we may be the one to life another soul to a higher place."

This is why when the cafeteria cashier says, "God bless you, Gorgeous" or the guy behind the counter offers to grab my to-go box because I forgot it, saying, "Let me get it. You've got enough to worry about," or the guy who brings Seth's meals greets him with "Hey, Hero," I easily cry.

I sometimes look forward to when I don't cry so easily, but then again, I hope I never cease to be touched by the kindness of friends and strangers.


  1. Sylvia - and Seth,
    I know that most of what is shared here is very personal. Thank you for being so willing to share your hearts. I hope it helps with your healing. It helps me tremendously as I think about you each day and am able to feel close to you through your words. I think often about what your "reality" must be like and pray that you can find joy in the midst of all the chaos!

    Much Love,

  2. You write it all so beautifully, Sylvia! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Such a touching post! It helps us remember how temporary and fragile life is as we know it today. Keep up the healing and support--what a process! Our prayers are with you,
    Michelle C