Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2010 at 2130


Fantastic, beautiful, emotional, and incredible.

It was a great day.

Gordon Lyon

P.S. Photos to follow

Friday, January 14, 2011

Last Post - January 14, 2011

Hi Everyone,

After my last post I have been waiting and waiting to do the last post because David seems to be waiting and waiting for his legs. It was suppose to be Friday, then Monday, then Tuesday so David put off his surgery, then Wednesday but there was just too much going on so Thursday.

On Thursday they slipped David into his legs and the right leg socket was way too big so they had to make some adjustments. That takes us to today. Today the right leg fit much better but it still doesn't fit as David's legs are slimming the more he exercises. This fit make take several more days because it is very critical for him to have a comfortable fit so he can learn how to walk on them. They have to learn how to load one leg so the other leg will come through in a proper manner - there is really a great amount of thought that has to go into each step. I have absolutely not doubt that David will achieve a very natural gate if it is at all possible - if he feels it is possible, that's good enough for me. He has challenged the entire family to a 5K walk/run next Thanksgiving - you're welcome to join the challenge.

David is really excited for me to quit writing about his life and exposing his every day, so I have agreed to end this blog. I will add photos from time to time but I will be going home within a month or so and will probably not have the same access to photographs that I have right now. I'll try to talk David into more photos as he gets comfortable with the legs.

I need to tell you about an experience we had when we went to Ethen's Birthday Party. We were at an indoor amusement place for the birthday and David rolled into the bathroom. He met a little boy in there and, you know kids, they say the first thing that comes to their mind. The little boy said "You don't have any legs!" David threw his arms out to his sides with his palms up and said "I know, I've been looking everywhere and can't find them!" There was a great pause and David just told him he didn't know where he left them and the little guy had no idea what to say. I wish I would have been there with a video.

I asked David if he want to say anything as this comes to a close and he said "Thank You for all your support!" He may not be much for words, but I know his heart and his will and I can assure you that all is well.

I have no idea how to end this. So, let's all keep finding someone to serve.

Take care, and please feel free to call me or David and we'll gladly give you an update.

All My Love,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday, 01/11/11 @ 11 pm

I had to write the date different because it looked so cool. Today was a good day preparing for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a great day and it hasn't even got here yet. I can't get past the thought of him standing without the emotion flowing in.

David and I both did Yoga today and had a bunch of fun. I still can't understand what the instructor is talking about when she says that this is supposed to be a relaxed and painless way of extending our bodies. It hurt like heck, I thought my rear end was going to break when I was in a pretzel position. I had to laugh when the guy lying to the side of me whispered that he was pretty sure that the human body was not meant to be in positions like these. David was doing different versions of what we were doing but we enjoyed the time.

David walked another 4 laps today on his stubbies. 4 laps is equivalent to approximately 600 yards. He is actually doing it with relative ease. Yesterday Pete, in Prosthetics, said that David's trail back could be up to 2 years. Although he will be on his new legs tomorrow, he won't be at full height for awhile, he won't be on them continually for awhile, the stubbies will still be used on a daily basis for awhile, more surgeries may interrupt his progress for awhile, and there will be good and bad days forever. Sounds a little like he is getting back to normal, doesn't it?

Speaking about getting back to normal, David just talked to me for a moment before he rolled into bed. He said, "Dad, I think tomorrow is a good day for the blog to come to an end!" David is a very private individual and he feels that his life has been very much exposed for almost 8 months and now it is time to close this book. I told him that I would like to put an entry in when he hits different highlights and gets over the next big hurdle, but he mentioned that those who really care enough to know can give him a call on the phone. I know he is right and I have told him that I will honor his wishes. So, tomorrow will be the final entry in respect for David's request. I'm not sad, I have felt very peaceful about this whole situation for a long time now and find it very easy to smile and enjoy every day. David is going to be just fine, he is a fine young man with the same problems we face every day and a few extras to challenge his character, but I have absolutely no doubt that he will come out stronger, wiser, funnier, more compassionate, and an entirely stronger man for this entire experience.

For those of you who have followed David's Triumph, it would be fitting for you to make an entry to this blog. I know there are many who can not seem to get on the blog to make an entry so I offer you my email address to send a comment to David and I will make sure those comments get onto the final page of his blog.

I have enjoyed many tender and funny moments with this keypad as I've tried to portray the emotions of each day so you can feel what is being felt by so many parents and soldiers here and at Bethesda and Walter Reed. David had another friend hit today and that young man is now a double amputee but, I'm told, he is still at Leatherneck in Afghanistan and is alert and already joking about his prosthetics. His friend John, who is so critical, is hanging in there - not out of the woods but still fighting the fight. The nurse who lost her legs and arms because of being exposed to Spinal Meningitis is catching the feeling of these great wounded warriors and has a smile on her face and is finding the realization that everything is going to be OK. She talks of how impressed she is with every one of these men.

When I am finally back at work, as an Independent Insurance Agent in case you need insurance, I plan to make a monthly donation for the remainder of my life to one of two or three organizations; The Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation, The Semper Fi Fund, or the Wounded Warrior Project. There are many other great organizations like the Yellow Ribbon Fund, The Good Guys, the Nice Guys, the Veterans, the Red Cross, the YMCA - just so many organizations that do so much for these young men and women. I sincerely think we, and this growing group of wounded heroes, owe a great debt of thanks to those Men and Women who served in earlier conflicts such as Vietnam - many of these men and women were treated like dirt when they returned from a war they did not create and they have fought long and hard to make sure that the current returning soldiers find an entirely different support system that gives them hope, encouragement, and a bright outlook on their futures.

I've learned a great deal from this experience and believe I have much more to learn. One lesson that I value greatly is that no matter what happens in our life, we are very very blessed by a loving and caring Heavenly Father that is very much aware of our struggles. I think one of the greatest things that I've learned is that, whether today is a fantastic day or today is a really crappy day, we need to recognize the fact that Heavenly Father has given us every day and is right there waiting to help and lift us if we just take the time to ask.

David still does some of the things that I, as a father, wish he wouldn't do, but I love him with all my heart and will always love him. I'm sure I still do stuff that he wishes I would do either. If my love can become more unconditional, I have succeeded indeed. I know I should have been focused on this goal all along, but this experience has given me a much greater understanding of what my life's goal should be - to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Charitable and forgiving are the two traits that come to mind first.

Thank You! Thank You for every prayer, for every thought, for every letter and card, for every call, and for your love and friendship - you are wonderful.

Good Night,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011 @ 1838

Hope You Had A Great Weekend - We Did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday was a great day, we were heading up to Yuba City to be with Ethen for his birthday party. On the way we were asked to come by David's EOD shop at Camp Pendleton. When we arrived the entire squad was at attention and The Good Guys, which is a service organization, brought David up front and presented him with a very nice award. It was great for a father, me, to stand back and see the tributes being paid to my son. Once the award was over they took pictures and everyone crowded around David. He is really well thought of and I can really see why. He is really a strong powerful influence in that group and I am very proud of the man he has become.

We drove the 7 1/2 hours and both of our rear ends were just about done. We had a nice meal with Ethen and Heather and then David and Ethen went to their hotel to have some great Father/Son time together. All-in-all, it was a fantastic weekend and Ethen is really a great miniature version of his daddy. I was a bit brain dead and didn't take my camera but I'm told that some pictures will be emailed so they can be included on the blog.

Well, tomorrow was suppose to be the day that they break up all the scar tissue and HO in David's right arm but the procedure "Manipulation" has been re-scheduled for the 19th. Tomorrow and Wednesday are VERY IMPORTANT to David as he will be standing at "close" to his full height. He is now ready for the C-Legs. After the Manipulation on his arm, his arm will be much closer to a limp rag than an arm of strength and he needs that strength to support himself as he gets up on the new legs.

Today the new liner for his right leg came in and they put in on him and then cast him for his new leg. So, on Wednesday he will have new graphite sockets that should fit great. We are anticipating that David's leg volume will possibly change several more times as he continues to work through the physical strain to walk, but that's all part of the process. When he receives his legs, they will fine tune them and then have him work a little each day using the parallel bars so that he can achieve the correct way of walking with them. After spending time each day with the new legs, he will then go back to Physical Therapy and walk and walk and walk as much as possible with his stubbies to maintain and gain more physical strength. I'm thinking I had better take some tissues on Wednesday, just typing the thought is getting to me. I'm really going to have a hard time going back home and not physically seeing his progress.

Today he sat with a different Occupational Therapist and she was working the joints, tendons, and muscles of his right arm and hand quite vigorously. David was wearing his hat and would just put his head down so his whole face was hidden as she would get to the area that really caused the pain. She said, "just let me know when I'm hurting you too much and I'll stop!"
David then told her, "It's the same every day, I know it's coming so I just grip my teeth and bear it!" I can attest to the fact that he does just that. I had some arthritis or a stiff joint in one of my fingers when I came out here and I watched as the therapist would crank on his fingers to loosen them up so I started cranking on mine - it works, it is still sore but I have more movement in it now and it doesn't hurt all the time. When we were kids we were told that if we cracked our knuckles we would get arthritis when we were older and now I'm learning that when we get older and get arthritis, we need to crack our knuckles to keep them movable. Boy Oh Boy does my mom have some explaining to do - only kidding mom.

Every day is a new adventure and I'll fill you in on tomorrow's adventure once it is over.

Have a great night.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday, January 06, 2011 @ 2204

Whomever posted the comment on the last post, Thank You!

I get a little caught up in the every day things that I don't think about making another blog entry until late at night. I'm sorry if I seem to keep you hanging in the air waiting for an update.

I didn't realize it was Monday when I made the last entry. I'll try to catch you up on an eventful period. On Tuesday it was a bit of a routine day except for the fact that we were required to take our swimming trunks to Occupational Therapy. Four of the wounded warriors, Lynn from OT, and I got in the pool and did a bunch of exercises with different floating devices. I have to say that some of the stuff was easier for the men with no legs because it is a relatively shallow pool and the bottom was very rough on my feet. Since I was a young boy, I have tried to turn on my back in the water and just float (I'm successful in the Great Salt Lake) but I just sink. David, on the other hand, just turns on his back and lays there like a Sea Otter - absolutely effortless. The workout was very good for all of us. One of the soldiers had to wear sun glasses in the pool because his eyes were damaged when he was hit in Afghanistan.

We then had lunch but I won't bore you with the ingredients of my lunch. We then went early to PT and tip-toed around the Yoga participants lying on the floor. David likes to go early and just do some serious stretching before walking. We were making our second loop around the hall and David hit the floor. He was walking very fast and just slipped. He didn't tell his therapist at the time, but he felt his shoulder dislocate and then pop back into place. He just laid there on the floor and counted ceiling tiles for a few moments until he determined that he really hadn't hurt anything too much more than his pride. His therapist was very cute with him, she just shrugged her shoulders and said "you're going to fall from time to time, there is not getting around it" and she instructed him how to get himself back up. He rolled on to his stomach and just did a push-up and stuck his rear end in the air and continued to walk his hands backward until his legs were completely under him - he made it look quite easy.

That day ended with a smoothie. Wednesday was much the same as any other day. David did get the schedule for his upcoming operations. Next Tuesday, the 11th, he will be given the shoulder block and then they will manipulate his right arm in an effort to give him more range of motion. We have no idea how hard that is going to be but it sounds like it's going to be extremely painful. Then on the 24th he will have the two holes in his right ear-drum repaired. Some day I really am going to figure out exactly how many operations he has had - I know we're in the 30's,

David did a couple more laps around the hall and pulled his Physical Therapist. He said it was a very hard but good exercise because, without the dragging weight it is very easy to bring the leg forward in an arched fashion and when he is towing someone he is forced to pull his leg straight through. The hard part is when the towee takes the rubber bands off from his leg he has the tendency to forget that he not towing someone and he throws his leg forward and kicks something. He is literally wet with perspiration after he tows his therapist around.

That brings us to today. Today was a bit low key because David had an appointment in Prosthetics to get his full legs with knees. We've learned not to build our excitement too much because things don't always go as planned. He spent his Occupational Therapy time turning a miniature baseball bat on a wood lathe. He hasn't hit me with it just yet but I'm sure he has been tempted a few times.

We went to Prosthetics as planned and, yep, plans needed to change a bit. The did some very close looking at David's leg alignment and decided to order him a different kind of liner for his right leg and then recast him next Monday. I think this will be the fourth time he has been cast and I'm guessing it won't be his last. Pete was really great with David. He actually apologized to David for not being more attentive to the fit on the right leg and spent about 2 hours making sure that he had the leg feeling much better in the current socket. So, as things set right now, David should be on his full legs next Tuesday or Wednesday. Keep your fingers crossed.

We haven't heard any more about John. His wife now has her family around her for support and it's great that they are taking the time together. We're hoping that no news is good news but I've learned that is not always the case.

David and I will be traveling to see Ethen this weekend and David is very much looking forward to the visit. They are really something together - it's an absolute joy to watch them cuddle.

Can't think of much else to say but that I miss my loved ones and hope you all know just how deeply I love you.

Have a peaceful night.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011 @ 2037

I hope this blog entry finds all of you healthy and looking forward to a great new year.

I know it's not all going to be easy. David's friend, John, in Bethesda is having a very difficult time. Unfortunately, as I sit here and try to formulate my thoughts and my words, I think of what John is going through, what his wife and his children must be feeling, what his parents must be feeling, and what then entire EOD community must be thinking and the tears just come right back to the surface. John has lost both legs, one leg very close to the hip and the fungus is really giving him a hard time. I'm not sure just how great my facts are at the present time but I've heard that he has been given Hepatitis B through a blood transfusion - that is complicating every other problem that came as part of the blast.

I'm sitting here listening to David playing war games on the X-box and I keep hearing a man screaming, "we've got a man down" or "man down" and I think of how many times these young men have heard those exact words. I feel devastated when my wife is hurting and yet these guys are yelling "man down" because their friend has just stepped on a bomb and lost body parts or has just been shot. Then I go to Costco to get some more grapes and some cheese for the next morning's omelet. Some days counting your blessings isn't as easy as it is on other days.

David worked very hard today. He walked on his stubbies and towed his Physical Therapist around the entire hallway while she sat on a rolling stool. Pete, from prosthetics, came and grabbed David's legs and attached a new little gizmo that acts as a shock absorber and also allows for a little bit of turning motion. The gizmo added weight but David really didn't notice the weight as much as he enjoyed the additional comfort that it gave him. The HO is still very much a problem and continues to present itself in different areas. I told David that he should just have to enter himself into the operating room and have them put him under and then take some rubber mallets and just smack him all over the place to break up the HO - I was really shocked when he didn't show absolute excitement for the idea.

After we had lunch - Subway, a 6" toasted cold cut combo on wheat with swiss cheese, olives, lettuce, yellow peppers, and mustard - I knew you wanted to know what lunch consisted of. As I was saying, after lunch we went to David's Orthopedic appointment. He is just not gaining any additional flexion in his right arm so they are going to manipulate it while his arm has a nerve block. Now, tell me how you think this sounds: they will put a nerve block in the shoulder so he feels nothing, he will be lying there on the table with his Ipod playing in his ears while they FORCE the arm go straight and they FORCE the arm to bend more. What that really means is that they will be essentially breaking his arm for him. Maybe the bones won't break or maybe they will but the tendons will be forced both ways, any HO that has intruded on the area will be broken and any scar tissue that has hindered the flexion will be broken up. So, keep your fingers crossed.

John and his wife really needs all of our prayers. They are both fighting a very hard battle right now and I personally know how powerful the prayers of friends and loved ones can be.

Have a great sleep and I'll write again soon.

Good Night,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Day 2011

Happy New Year
I'm hoping and praying that 2011 is a great year for all of us. Seth, call me at 801-694-2874. David is out with fellow wounded warriors and I am assuming they are laughing and telling all kinds of great stories to each other. The amazing part about 2010 is that, considering all that has happened, 30 or so operations, close to 100 units of blood, 2 months in the Intensive Care Unit, and many other challenges for David, 5 or 6 hospital visits and 1 surgery for my wife, Lynnette, several hospital visits and 1 surgery for my son Stephen, my son Michael in the hospital right this second after having emergency surgery and a whole bunch of other challenges, I believe I have been incredibly blessed - I am just so thankful for the safety and health of each member of my family. I have gained such a great appreciation for each and every one of them.
I will be very mad at any one of you reading this blog that gets hurt while celebrating the new year. Have fun but be safe and know how much I appreciate all of you.

Here's to a great 2011.

All My Love,