That evening, we ran some errands in Rockville and upon our return to the base, we were turned away at the gate with no word of explanation. Ambulances and firetrucks headed out the gates while news vans parked on the sidewalks outside. We conjured up some more errands and called Seth's nurse case manager to see if he knew anything about the situation. He didn't but said he would find out. We wondered if we would have to get a hotel for the evening. Thankfully, the case manager called back shortly to say it was OK to return. We later learned that a construction worker at the hospital found some radioactive material in a dumpster. Eleven people were evaluated; one person was decontaminated.
So in spite of floods and radioactive waste, we are settling into the routine pretty well. The in-processing continues, but we are down to needing only seven or eight more signatures.
Things of note this week by the numbers:
- Seth got socket number three.
- One of his two butt wounds is completely healed.
- He is walking on one cane (though he's still only walking at PT).
Yesterday as Seth and I were headed to the hospital, we met up with the mom of another soldier who came into Ward 57 around the same time Seth did. She and I always exchanged updates on our boys and other pleasantries but had never had a real in-depth conversation. However, whenever I saw her, she always had a smile and something hopeful and positive to say. When she told me she was leaving in the morning (her son's wife and daughter are here with him), we hugged and then sobbed into each other's shoulder. At that moment, it became very apparent how important hopeful words and smiles can be.