Receiving the Purple Heart for wounds received in action 12 NOV 04, from Brigadier General Mundt ADCS 1st ID. The dark spot close to her right eye is a piece of shrapnel which we mistakenly thought was dried blood. It has since been removed, and healed over.
Sunday, December 12, 2004 8:04 PM CST
Tammy is adapting well to life without intraveneous pain meds. She is still getting some oral pain medication, and has some occasional small pains which cause her some stress and tire her out. The physical therapy and ocupational therapy teams have upped their game a bit, and she is getting a real work out every day, even though she is still in her bed. On the upside, without the epidural and arm pain blocker Tammy has more sensation in her residual limbs, and her right arm. She is getting a lot of rest, which helps her heal, and looks even stronger and more vivacious each day.
She is showing no further signs of infection, and all of her numbers, (white blood cells, body temps, etc), are very boring. The infectious disease docs believe they will stop tracking her altogether in a few days, as she appears to be all closed up and doing fine. The skin graft closure operation on her arm this coming Wednesday will signal an end to this phase of Tammy's recovery. After that, hopefully, she will have a lot of healing to do, and many months of physical therapy, but no more surgeries.
An introduction to Army mail for any who may be unfamiliar: Regular US postal service mail seems to be taking about 11 days on average to reach us here. If you would like to pay extra, (like $14), for "Express mail", your package will receive an extra two week, all inclusive spa treatment from the mail delivery types once it arrives here at Walter Reed. Both of the express mail packages we have received have taken over 21 days to be delivered to the room, (though they arrived here at Walter Reed the day after they were sent). Aparently this holds true for FedEx packages as well. I believe you will get the fastest delivery with standard USPS postage, but check the address listed below on this website for the current room and ward, as the hospital staff may need to move her again as her condition improves.
My wife is very apreciative of all the gifts we have received. While she may have some needs in the future, all of our current needs and wants have been met by the Army, and our many friends old and new. She is concerned, however, about some of our wounded comrades who do have outstanding needs, and the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen who will be hurt in ongoing operations. Of the many people who have helped us; three charitable organizations have expended large amounts of money and frequent flyer miles on Tammy's behalf. The website links are listed below for: Soldier's Angels, The Fisher House Foundation, and For the Fallen. These organizations have:
- provided kevlar blankets with which soldiers have lined their vehicles in order to protect against grenades and IEDs, and hopefully prevent as many injuries as possible
- provided airline tickets to wounded Soldiers' loved ones
- provided voice activated computers and other equipment to disabled warriors
- provided grants for accesible housing
- brainstormed, co-ordinated and planned extensively to meet the special needs of specific patients which would be impossible for our government to anticipate and meet, and which would otherwise "slip through the cracks".
In lieu of any Christmas gifts, Tammy would apreciate donations to these organizations to replenish their funds, and further their good work. Thank you, one and all.
CaringBridge.org - tammyduckworth