Mariah Returns to Washington

September 12, 2008

As has been often noted, Mariah’s emotional pain has been pretty intense even as her physical progress has been outstanding. Whether due to the trauma of the stroke, the unceasing demands of months of hard work, the various medications, something else, or a combination of all these, Mariah reached a point last week where she couldn’t continue to reliably participate in her rehabilitation therapies.

So a decision was made last Wednesday to return her to Walter Reed in Washington, DC. At WR her psyche and spirit are getting the care and attention they need which will in turn enable her to return focus to her physical reemergence. This wasn’t a problem with the McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond. That’s a center of excellence for physical rehab, and Mariah’s body has benefitted hugely from that focus. It’s just that her most pressing needs at the moment are centered in her heart and her head. And Walter Reed has the specialists who can help in those mysterious and vital places

The medical experts and commanders in the Army and the VA are to be praised for their wisdom, insight, and ability to double-team the perplexing array of physical and psychological demons that are harassing Mariah.

I spent a few hours with her this afternoon and evening. She’s as talkative, ironic and funny as ever. At one point, I started to say “Thank God for..” something and she wrinkled her nose. I stopped and said, “Oh, sorry. Thank secular humanism for..” at which she laughed. She refused to agree to eat dinner, but consumed her entire meal with gusto – poached salmon, wild rice, green beans, and fresh fruit. She looks fabulous, even in the hospital-issue green PJs.

Her nurse, Vanesssa, is lavishing care and affection on her. Vanessa’s foot rubs elicited broad smiles and little grunts of pleasure. When she returns on Monday, she’ll do Mariah’s fingernails and toenails. (Mariah requested OPI Confuscius Say Coral (?!?!) but will settle for Equadorable Coral. Where does a feller get that stuff? Surely not at Home Depot.)

She’s also seeing two of her old therapists here. They asked to be assigned to her case, and they were both astonished at her progress.

I haven’t taken any pics yet because I’m not familiar in the ward and I don’t want to make a move prematurely. Mariah’s vulnerable and a little fragile, so visitors are restricted to family members for now. If you want to send a card or note, it should be addressed to:

Captain Mariah Kochavi
Ward 54
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20307

Please continue to pray, send positive vibes, think good thoughts, and make burnt offerings (or at least light a candle) on her behalf. She needs your support and her strength more than ever right now.

– Mark

P.S. Aunt Judy, Mariah sends Happy Birthday greetings. 🙂


7 Responses to “Mariah Returns to Washington”

  1. Cousin Wayne said

    Hi Mariah,

    Thanks for the information about your transfer. I think about you often.

    Cousin Wayne

  2. Melanie Brennan said

    Hang in there Mariah. I’m thinking about you and rooting for you!

  3. Sarah Miller said

    Yay!!! I can’t wait to come see you!!

  4. RyanO said

    It’s great to see you improving Mariah and also good to see you back in the DC area. I think of you often and I continue to pray for you. Keep fightin!

    P.S. Mariah’s family-when is the best time (days, hours) to visit Mariah at WRAMC? Thank you.

  5. Leah said

    While I wish Mariah was already in a better mental place I’m glad she’s with the best people and hope to come visit soon…

  6. Pena said

    Oh snap? You’re back @WRAMC?
    I’ve been keeping track of your progress.
    Im a fan of yours Hunny Bunny! Get better.

    p.s. (are you visitable?)

  7. Mini said

    Hey Mariah,

    It’s me! I’m not good at good-byes and don’t really believe in them anyway! I will be down south to see you soon! I have your socks (the tallest that I could get!) and you had better keep them pulled up high 🙂 I also have our list. I’m working another couple of things for you, so don’t let me down. Did you tell your Dad about the list and the things you have to do for me? You should leave out Germany (that’s a little secret between us girls:) See you soon!



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