Monday, May 27, 2013

A Return to the Journey of 2011... Dave's Tests...Both Present and Past.........

  Part 1

While we waited for the doctor to arrive the wound care nurse went in search of the product she intended to use instead of wound flushing. I don't recall specifically what it was, only that it was something specific to her bag of tricks that the doctor didn't understand. That is why he was coming to see her solution for himself.

Once she had returned and the doctor had called to say he would be there shortly, the nurse decided it was time to begin Dave's instruction on how to care for my wounds. I still think the nurse was expecting my husband to not be able to handle the situation because he had no type of medical training but she didn't let on. If he was willing to try, she was willing to give him the chance.

I remember Dave was all business as soon as he knew the task was at hand. As the nurse began to put on her gloves, Dave asked her where he might find bigger ones and then easily donned those she indicated.

He had a focus about him I rarely see. He studied each movement the nurse made as she began laying out the supplies she expected to use. Next thing I knew he was peeling off the large dressing protecting the two large wounds that dominated the middle of my abdomen.

The nurse talked Dave through each step of caring for each wound. She described in detail each wound and its complexities, as well as warning signs to watch for.

One wound was right in the middle where my belly button should have been. It was about the size of a plum laid out sideways and it was deep. The second one was down farther, right at the end of the incision but above my pubic bone. It was smaller, but it was deep and it had caverns that went underneath what looked like healthy skin.

In actuality the second was far worse than the first.  It had the potential to go south quickly and for such complications to go unnoticed so she explained to Dave how to find the hidden caverns and how to check for the development of new ones, as well as what to do if that should occur.

Dave worked his way through this process with determination and confidence. There was a surety in his movements that surprised even me. I found myself wondering where he had gotten it. Then it dawned on me.

Dave was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He has always claimed not to be a veteran of that conflict but I never believed him. He has always had the classic signs of someone with PTSD but he insisted he was stationed elsewhere.

As he worked, I asked him, "When you were in the Air Force were you flying support  for the war, 

Without even looking up the man confirmed my suspicions and I asked him the second part of my question, "Did you end up helping them treat the patients or anything like that?"

"Uh huh," he responded, still not being specific so I point blank asked why this mess that was my abdomen didn't seem to phase him at all.

"This is nothing compared to what I saw then,"  he responded without any change to his voice but the magnitude of what he said was not lost on me or the nurse.

I finally had an explanation for those PTSD symptoms I've witnessed over the years. God bless this gentle man who gives me all he can.

To be continued.....

The Verdict


  1. Dave really is a wonderful man. You were in good hands as soon as he was brought in to help. Who could take better care of you than someone who loves you.

    1. I never had a doubt he would come through for me but I was surprised at how easily he did it. Me, my head was swirling and my stomach flipping but not Dave. I will never forget what he did for me during this but then he didn't want me in a nursing home either so he was very motivated to see the nurse approved his treatment.

  2. In sickness and in health....sounds like you have a good man there, MiKael.

    1. Yes, that's for sure. Both of us take our vows very seriously and as much as I've tried not to take my frustrations out on him, it has happened and he just takes it knowing that it's pain talking and not what I really mean.

  3. Wow! That's amazing that he kept that information to himself all those years. A very appropriate and moving post for Memorial Day. As usual, very well written too. At least you and nurse knew you were in good hands after he let the cat out of the bag.

    1. The timing was totally an accident. I wrote this post for yesterday but couldn't get blogger and my phone to co operate. Only because the computer got back up today did this end of on Memorial Day. It wasn't until you pointed it out that I realized the connection. You just never know when life will take care of things like that.

      Last night I got him to tell me what exactly it was that he did in regards to the war. He and his friend unloaded body bags and those are used for "parts" as well as complete remains. He still didn't go into detail but the impact was there in his body language. Seems to me veterans with such service should have been considered for the impact it had on them. Dave is a strong guy but he has paid for this every day since it happened but no one cares but his family. Sad commentary....

  4. wow - what a guy Dave is. I feel so much for the vets and the pain they carry. That is a huge burden to carry for so many years. Thanks to Dave for his service and for helping you when you needed it.

  5. Bless Dave for his service to the country and you in your time of need. I'm sure the medic's and even those who weren't medics but still serving have seen things way past what any of us may consider gruesome or even disturbing.

    You are lucky to have him on your side, but I am sure you already know this.

  6. What a wonderful man you have, a soldier and a hero to his country and to you,felt a little tear threaten reading that. Also interested to know the wound protocol this nurse used , there are some great products our there and wound care was kind of my thing whan I did home care, I would love to know