The last few days have been a whirlwind for us. Chuck had his skin grafting done on Friday and it went well (his right leg and left arm were grafted). His pain management is getting better and he now has a nerve block in his left shoulder. His shoulder has been a major source of discomfort for him, in addition to the severe nerve damage in his left arm. The block seems to be helping. He also has a PCA... the wonder drug button that he can push every 6 minutes to get a dose of pain meds (Chuck calls it his "happy button"). He also has a button for the meds that go into his nerve block. We had to tape the buttons to his hand at first, then one of his nurses taped them to a pillow that he rests his arm on. It's much easier for him, except when he moves too much and can't find the buttons.
I won't go into the details of our last few days b/c I would be writing forever. Let's just say Alice and I got quite angry on Friday when the people on his ward gave us the brush-off when we asked for updates about his surgery. We spent 11 hours at the hospital on Friday, waiting for him to get back from surgery. I had to get pissy w/a few people and go to the Recovery Room to find out what was going on. Needless to say, I got my answers and managed to calm down.... but I will not allow that to happen again. We plan to talk to the head nurse on Chuck's ward tomorrow b/c we have some gripes. It's the "little" things that drive me nuts. Like stuff that a non-medical person would know. I tell ya, Alice and I have been playing nurse and today we could have had our own spa! We gave Chuck a bath - head to toe (w/o touching his wounds). It took us three hours... no kidding! We then came back to our room and took a three hour nap!
On Saturday Chuck was able to talk to the man that saved his life - CPT Jason Spencer. It was very emotional (for me), but I managed not to lose it. It was the first time Chuck has been able to talk to Jason directly since he was injured. Chuck also got to talk to LT Meeks and 1SG Williams... two other very important people to Chuck. He talked to them about 20 minutes, and in those 20 minutes you would of thought he was back in Iraq just chewing the fat w/ his men. It really helped bring his spirits back up. The men in his company mean so much to him. Fortunately, they are all okay. I keep in contact w/ our Rear D Commander to check on Chuck's men for him. Please continue to keep them all in your prayers.
I decided to rent a PO box for people to send cards. Receiving mail here at the Mologne House, or through Walter Reed is very unpredictable. So, please feel free to mail stuff to Chuck at the following address:
CPT Charles W. Ziegenfuss (or Carren Ziegenfuss or Alice Ziegenfuss)
PO Box 59051
Washington, DC 20012
Thank you all, again, for everything. Chuck and I were talking about the blog again the other night. He said he was surprised that I managed to figure out his password, and he is happy that I keep you all updated. He is also very appreciative that you all continue to read and comment. He can not wait to get back to it. He even offered to "share" his blog w/ me so we can both post. That could be a scary thing! BOTH of us posting at the same time. Heaven only knows what you all may learn about us then! :)
Alice and I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Soldier's Angels and the Wounded Warriors Program. Without their unending help and support, this experience would be much more difficult. Thank you all! Also, thanks to those who have donated blood. Chuck still has to get blood every now and then, and there are many other people out there who could us your blood! So if you haven't done it yet, I think tomorrow is a great day to help save a life!
Take care, God Bless, and I will post again soon.
P.S. LTC Hall, Chuck got your message about getting back to work... I'm not sure you want to know what his response was! Just don't be surprised if you get a "nasty" picture in the mail! :)