Yesterday Seth experienced what a couple of amputees have told him about--when you fall, you put out the leg that's not there to catch yourself. We were going to the NEX Shoppette on base, and Seth decided to do some "off-roading" down a hill. His wheelchair caught on a root, sent him tumbling and, sure enough, he put out the leg that isn't there to catch himself. Thankfully, he is no worse for wear, but he said it is a weird sensation.
Seth reminded me of a cute story from our visit with President Obama. A black family--mom, dad and 4- or 5-year-old son--stood next to us as we waited to shake the President's hand. When President Obama approached the family, the mom said about her son, "Oh, you've got to shake his hand. He goes around the house all the time saying, 'I'm Pres. Obama! I'm the President! I'm going to be the next Barack Obama!'" The little boy got all embarrassed and turned to his mom and shouted, "I do not! I do not do that!" President Obama told the boy it was OK either way--and the rest of us had a good chuckle.
Seth's beautiful butt is getting even more beautiful--the last wound has finally closed over and healed.
Stories Untold Until Now
There are a couple of stories I just haven't been able to find a way to write about, but I thought it was time to try.
When Seth was in Kandahar, my sister called the LDS Church offices to see if there was someone in Kandahar who could give Seth a blessing. Their Military Relations office got in touch with the branch president there. Branch President White and Brother Pearson went to the hospital several times on Saturday and again on Sunday to find Seth and give him a blessing. At first they were not allowed near him because he was just out of surgery. On a later visit, they were able to place their hands on his head and give him a blessing. Seth remembers nothing about that week while he was sedated--except for receiving this blessing.
In the ICU, just a few days into all of this, a nurse came in and with some urgency in his voice said, "Does anybody here have power of attorney?" I said, "Yes, why?" He said, "The vascular surgeons need to talk to you." What could the vascular surgeons want so urgently but permission to amputate Seth's right leg? It was the closest I came to fainting through this whole ordeal. The nurse disappeared, and I didn't hear another thing about it. Later, when I asked what that had been about, I learned that the doctors just wanted permission to do an angiogram. There was a lot of concern about Seth's right leg from the vascular team that first week, but after that, we never saw them again.
When Seth was first coming out of sedation, he had lots of really horrible and scary hallucinations. At one point, he begged me to get him "out of here" because he thought the doctors were trying to kill him. I was impressed by how quickly he learned to trust us--he would say, "I'm seeing such and such. Is that real?" or "I thought this happened? Did it?" and we told him what was real and what wasn't. During a quiet moment, he said to me, "Is that Jesus?" I asked him where and he pointed to the corner of the room. I said, "I sure hope so." Later, when I asked him if he remembered this, he said, "No, but I'm glad I had one good hallucination among all the other garbage I was seeing."