Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 20

Today was day 20 at the hospital, but day 25 since it happened, it feels like a lifetime ago!! I have become very at home in the ICU and will be happy but sad to leave. I have my favorite nurses, and they all laugh at me because I "Request"....they say they don't do request, but we always seem to end up with the best nurses!! They take really good care of the Soldiers here at BAMC, and especially good care of Grand!
We went outside again was actually hot enough to where we both were sweating! Grand got to talk to his Dad and sister, grabbed the phone out of his Moms hand and put it to his ear...and then he told the boys hello, and that he loved them. He was telling us what was hurting and was just one of those little steps ahead we are thankful for!! His stats and white blood cell count still up, but we are praying that tomorrow will shed some light for us on what is wrong...also surgery to remove the antibiotic beads in his legs!!

I have to say,.....I ache to worship with others, and sing...which I do a lot by myself or for Grand....every time I open the bible to scripture, it somehow ALWAYS relates to this situation, God is speaking to me daily and I have never felt so close to him!! I love Jeremiah 29:11..."For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 19

I got to the hospital right when they were getting ready to take Grand outside this morning......when we got out there, I told the nurses I wanted "alone" time with him, they smiled and gladly walked away:)..sometimes they just sit all up in our faces and talk loud, it kind of ruins the moment. Today was beautiful here in San least 73 degrees...when we go outside, Grand has to wear my big girly glasses so the sun won't bother him, I need to get him a hat!!
Later in the day, two very unexpected visitors came to see us...the Grissoms. While right now is not a good time to have visits because of his white blood cell count, and high stats, these two people really blessed us with their presence!! The Grissoms son was serving with Grand..actually is still serving in Afghanistan...he was in the vehicle in front of Grands when the IED went off...he is fine...but his parent's shared with us what happened that day. I will share at another time...I am trying to take it all in right now.
It was really nice to hear of the love those guys have for Grand, and that this family would take the time to drive from Austin to love on us, and let us have insight to that day!! The events of that day have not left my mind...images even surface of that day, and I have not yet looked at the news clips to see the damage....but I am blessed to get to look at the miracle that was left behind!!! He is fighting hard to be here..and my prayer everyday is for God to hold Grand tight, comfort him and surround him with his Holy presence, to heal him completely, and to use him in all the ways I know he has planned....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 18

Today was long but somewhat eventful! The Lt. General of Ft. Bragg came, gave Grand a medal coin of Excellence...Grand was asleep because of all the pain meds...I didn't take picture, it all happened so fast!
I finally broke down in front of him tonight. It has been a LONG day, and I was just sitting there staring at him, creepily, as nurse Anne puts it, and I lost it. I think mainly because he can't really talk to me, and I MISS TALKING TO MY BEST FRIEND!!!!

When Grand was in Afghanistan, I talked to him almost everyday. He couldn't email me or anything just call from those satellite phones. He called me every chance he had and we would talk until we couldn't talk anymore. Now I just stare at him, and when he is not all medicated, he does try to get some words out.
When I was crying, I was trying to be careful so he couldn't hear me, but he woke up anyway, looked at me and said, "It will be alright"......really, I lost it like that, he is laying there suffering and he tells me it will be alright....then I lost it even more...he had some tears too. I think it was a much needed moment!! Right before all of this I had prayed for many things, one being that Grand would be able to talk to me, I am thankful GOD heard my cry and let my best friend speak to me, even if it was four single words!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 16..17

Yesterday was one year to the day that Grand re-enlisted back into the Army....I got to see him a total of 32 days in this past year....I am thankful everyday he is still alive!!!

Today I have to admit I am not waking up in my usual, "Let's hurry up and get to the hospital" mood...I laid in bed this morning on my back trying to take in all the pain that Grand is going through right now. Starting from his head, the huge scar that lays where part is skull is removed, to the scars on his right side of his face, to his jaw, and mouth that has the incisions from jaw surgery, the thick feeding tube in his nose, and the whole in his neck where the trache is. His abdomen that has a very long incision that is not completely closed yet..the fracture to his spine right in the middle, the fracture to his hip..the IVs in both hands, and all the other places they have stuck him...the blood blisters at the tips of his fingers.....right down to his legs....if you can only imagine that.
Not that anyone would want to really feel that pain, but I wish I could, just so I could just take it, or share in it with him.

Yesterday Dr. A, Grands Orthopedic Surgeon came in and brought him a beautiful quilt his Mother in-law and friends made for Grand. It was red, white, and blue patches, with scriptures written all over them....scriptures I have found a lot of comfort in during this time....they also embroidered his name, date, and a cross on it....what a blessing to us....he is taking GREAT care of Grand.
Dr. A, was the one who informed us of his high white blood cell count....he said, everyone should be worried...and he was meaning the team of Doctor's that are working on Grand...he wants everyone to take this seriously....
So please continue to pray for wisdom and guidance so we can get to the bottom of what is causing the infections....I think of all the outward things I mentioned above that cause him pain, but I am sure there is so much more pain on the inside!! Not to mention the emotional pain he is feeling.
My friends back home prayed that God would give each of them a pain that Grand was feeling for that day, and let him have rest....a few of them felt his pain that day!! I have to remember that God is holding Grand safe in his arms right now....and he is providing him comfort!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 15

Grand went in to surgery and came out just fine....they got what was causing his infection, but he has got to go back in on Monday for another procedure. I came back to my room because our nurse, Anne said that it is creepy when we sit there and stare at him while he is sleeping:)) She is one of my favorites!! I am going to go back around 8 to help the nurses gives me something to do, and I enjoy the friendships I am making!!

One thing about BAMC (the hospital) is, we are not the only one's here in this is all around us everyday. I don't see as many amputee's, but there are a lot...most of them go to Walter Reed. Most of the Men and Woman injured here are burn victims...some burned with amputee' just don't know how many Soldiers are injured until you see it yourself. They don't make it a headline news usually unless someone dies. In our case Legrand survived, and his buddies didn't make it..... When I think about the night they were flying him from Germany, and they didn't tell me what was going on or where he was..I was upset because they didn't go to Walter Reed, or Bethesda which was his destination. I fully see now why the weather was so bad there that we could be here!!! God ALWAYS knows what is best for us...I see that everyday!!

I struggle thinking about the two with Grand who didn't make it must have felt to get that knock on the door late that night....I got a phone I will never forget. I have to tell you, for a few days leading up to this, I had been REALLY emotional...crying everyday...that morning I called my friend Tisha and I couldn't even breathe I was crying so hard...I didn't know what was wrong with me, but I knew something was wrong because I hadn't heard from Grand in days, and I had just had a dream about him the night before....
That evening I was sitting there reading when I got the call....the man on the other end asked if I was Mrs. Strickland..."Yes"...Is this Legrand Strickland's wife, "Yes".....and then I knew....the questions kept coming, and I kept asking, "What is it...what is wrong..."...but more questions to make sure they had the right person.
I will never forget that night....but I am thankful it was a call and not a knock...I can't imagine what those families went through that night, but I have a small glimpse of what it must have felt like. My heart still breaks for them, and I soon will have to tell much for him to take in, but he will find peace!!!
This is a journey.....sometimes journey's are good for us....sometimes they are not, but whatever this is, so far we have been blessed!

Love you all!

Monday, February 22, 2010 all I have to say for today!! This day started out with taking care of business, and not getting to the hospital until 10am. I am still used to staying the night and leaving around that time to come "take a nap" which I never did, but now I am sleeping, and sleep actually feels kind of good! We (my Mother In-Law) arrived to find we had a new nurse (Mike) and a student doing clinicals (we will call her A) first I wasn't happy because all of our usual nurses were there but we had a new one I would have to drill over and give them the run down of what and what not to do....At this point I have been told by every nurse Grand has had that I am going to end up being a nurse, we will see:) Mike had goals, and I loved his goals for the day.....GET GRAND OUTSIDE!! I instantly liked Mike, but A seemed very careful around me, I found her character to be kind and gentle, but she stared at me A LOT throughout the day, I was to busy with Grand to even mind. Mike's goals were not met, unfortunately, Grand had to have a CT done and it showed he had fluid in both legs and on his brain. Then he had a MRI to get a better look at everything...still waiting results on that.
Later in the day when their 12 hour shift was over, I was talking to A, and asking her about herself, I told her I really liked her because she was gentle with Grand...she told me the reason why........A's husband is on the 4th floor, burn unit, double amputee, and had been there 6 months, he is in the Military and was injured in Afghanistan....and they are stationed in NC. My jaw dropped open, and I felt like ABBA sent me something special...someone to walk with me in person through this journey!!!! I asked her if she is a believer, and she didn't seem sure about it.....I have to say, I am excited to show her the Father I know, she needs faith, hope, and healing!! I ask that you pray for A, and her family too!! They have a 5 year old daughter and they are now living here!!

I have come to see GOD in EVERY step of this journey so far....In the Doctors who prayed over Grand until he arrived here, from the continuous love and support of family, friends, and the Doctors and Nurses who hug me daily and root, and pray for my husband....EVERYDAY God appears to me, even when I have my bad days....and today seemed bad until I met A, and was reminded yet again that God is ALWAYS with us.....

Please pray for Grand tomorrow.....I couldn't bring myself to tell him he was having surgery ....The Dr's. and nurses wore him out today, but we had some special moments...they put a plug in his trachea, so he could talk some, and he said some words, and he even made a funny face when I asked him if he knew who I was:)) of course I was messing with him, and it was nice to see him look at me like he thought I was ridiculous!! He lifted his arm shaking and all to make sure he put his hand on the back of my head and held it there for as long as he could.....I am kind of sad we have to go back into surgery right when he was coming around, but I know he needs it.....I sound kind of silly asking you to keep praying, when I know you already are, but you can pray specifics...that would be nice!!! Pray that they infection, and fluid will be taken care of with this surgery...his blood pressure and heart rate will go down, and that he will not be in a lot of pain!!

Thanks for letting me share, and hopefully I will have way more to share tomorrow....
Love you all!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


WWW- stands for, Wounded Warrior's Wife....that is basically what I am here!! Grand is a wounded warrior and I am his wife!! Or we go by, OEF...and all of these other names!! I needed to blog, I am trying to journal, but don't have time or energy to write. I am in my hotel room that is located across from the hospital on post. I stayed in Grands room all night and then came back, showered, ate breakfast (yes I am eating now) and am now doing laundry! I can't sleep yet until the clothes are done, and even when they are, I don't know if sleep will come to me! I would like to say I would rather be at the hospital, but Grands nurse says he needs to rest!!! I agree, so I will leave him alone for a few hours, and then I will head back up so he can go back outside and enjoy the weather for a very short but wonderful 30 min.

I have so much to say, and so much to share....some of it will have to wait, but I need to thank so many people for EVERYTHING!!
Most importantly- Thank you all for your prayers!!! I know that our Father hears everyone of them. There are people who said they do not pray, but they are now....if you only knew how much that means to me, but think about how much that means to GOD....that is called FAITH, and I LOVE IT!!!
Thank you all who sent cards....there is a long windowsill in Grands room, and it is holding 50 of the cards we received "can't fit anymore" but we have received at least 200 cards..the nurses said that they have never had a patient with this much love!
Thank you for the gifts, goodies, packages.....that is so kind to think of us in so many different ways, from magazines, survival kits, neck pillows, people bringing us dinner at the hospital!!
Thank you Grace Harbor......for taking care of my family while I am gone....I cannot tell you how much that relieves so much stress, you all didn't sign up for a week, you signed ON for as long as your needed and that means so much to us!!
Thank you Memorial Drive....your videos grabbed my heart seeing your beautiful faces...I almost asked if people could send pictures so I can show Grand, but to hear your voices was so special...he really reacted to the video, what a great idea....and thank you also for calling during worship and singing to do not even know how much that meant to me!!!
Thank you ZARROW family...thank you for all your doing, and have you all!!
Thank you Outdoor Cap.... Your generosity and love towards Grand and our family speaks volumes of the kind of company you are and the people you have working there...we love you!!

Okay this could take a year, so I will continue on the next blog.....there are many more people to my parent's and friends...but to be continued.......

I will close with saying....Never ONCE have I blamed God for this, and I know Grand won't either...This may shock you to hear, but I do not hate the people who did this to him....I feel pity, pity that they do not who our GOD is, and the love they would have if they didn't worship there own God, or let Satan take over their lives!! I feel JOY that God spared Grands life for a reason, and JOY that Satan didn't and WON'T defeat Grand!!! Grand is going to go through a process of loss, the loss of friends, and the loss of his legs, if you don't know him, this is going to bring him down for a minute, but he will make the best of it!! Grand loves working out, he worked out everyday, even over there...he wore his tennis shoes out on the rough terrain...I was just about to mail him a new pair....that loss is devastating, but life will go on, and he will live life in him!!!

Love you all.....