Preparing To Move On

December 6, 2008

Mariah’s discharge from McGuire in Richmond, VA, is scheduled for next Thursday, the 11th of December. She’ll move back to Washington, DC, and continue her therapies at Walter Reed Army. She’ll be inpatient at Walter Reed for a few days to be sure she’s ok after the transition. Then she and her brother Clay will live together at the Mologne House, the army’s “hotel” on the Walter Reed grounds. Clay has already relocated from Raleigh, NC, to DC to be her full-time care giver. God bless you, Clay. You are an amazing young man and brother.

I don’t know if it’s the pressure of the impending move, or the need to be ready to live in the real world outside of the hospital bubble, or what. But Mariah’s progress in the last few weeks has been remarkable. Important things she couldn’t do last month are routine for her now. To be sure, there are some gaps. For example, she can’t handle all the details of bathing by herself. If that’s still the case when she moves into the Mologne House, she and Clay will have to arrange for some female assistance two or three times a week. I’m betting that being back home among friends and family will help solve some of those problems.

Lest anyone think there’s a lull in the action while we await the BIG MOVE..

This afternoon, we cheered Army as they lost to Navy in the annual football game. (Mariah was in charge of a platoon of vendors and food inspectors at the Army-Navy game last year.  Veterinarians are responsible for food inspection in the army. Go figure.) Yesterday, she made a batch of veggie lasagna from scratch which we enjoyed for dinner tonight. Last evening while I was gathering up our stuff to make an excursion into the city for a Coen brothers’ film and a Thai dinner, she wheeled herself to the nurse’s station and signed us out, printing her name and the time quite legibly on the sign-out sheet. Next Monday afternoon, she’ll kayak in the therapy pool, and Wednesday we travel to a horse farm in the country for a day of riding. When’s a guy supposed to get his Christmas shopping done?!?!

Here’s the good stuff. (Those of you who know Mariah understand that she has the capacity to make difficult things appear easy. What you see in the videos is not easy for her. Every step is a struggle that requires intense concentration, courage and great care. She still describes her physical work as “terrible”, and she feels unready to re-enter the real world. But she also says, “Let’s do this.”)

Walking With Susan  (McGuire VAMC, 12/4/08)

Climbing Stairs (McGuire VAMC, 12/4/08)

Walking With Alan (McGuire VAMC, 12/6/08)

– Mark


4 Responses to “Preparing To Move On”

  1. Leah said

    Mariah looks so good. I can’t wait to see her in DC. Here’s to an uneventful relocation.


  2. Chagit said

    Mariah, you have come such a long way. I’m excited about your upcoming relocation and new freedom that you have worked so hard to get. I wish you the best and know that the best is still coming. My love and thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. Molly said

    Mariah, I was at the A/N game this year again and was thinking of you because we got to hang out there in Baltimore last year. And then I was so excited to see that you were watching the game as posted on your webpage. It’s going to be great for you to move back up to DC! I’m so proud of how much you have accomplished and know that your spirit will carry you back to 100%.
    Love you,

  4. Grandma said

    I’m very impressed with the amazing progress you have made. Proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. Like your outfits, too.
    We missed you, talked about and kept you in our prayers on Thanksgiving. Maybe next year we can all be together.
    Keep plugging away and you shall overcome. Love you lots. Grandma

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