Monday, November 17, 2008

Another surgery update

Rob is out of surgery. Everything went well. They cleaned his leg wounds and debrised some dead tissue/skin from his legs. Before the surgery, there was talk of putting the wound vacs back on but they decided not to do it and continue with the wet to dry dressing changes for now. The plan for Wednesday is to take him back to surgery and try to close some of the skin around his right leg. That would be great if they can do this. Anytime they can close wounds it decreases the risk of infection. Unfortunately he did have to receive another 2 units of blood during surgery. The doctor said his body isn't doing a great job of clotting off the blood so it's unrealistic for him not to lose any during the surgery. I just continue to pray that the transfusions will decrease so that his liver can start working appropriately. I felt so bad for Rob today because they have him on a cooling blanket to keep his fevers down. Well, today, he was shivering like crazy. For those of you who know Rob, you know he HATES the cold!! If there was any thought he was in hell, I'm sure he nixed that idea because it's too darn cold!!! :) Anyways, he would squeeze our hands a few times but it's hard to say if that was a cognitive thing or just a reaction from the shivering. However, we've decided that he's playing possum with the doctors. He won't open his eyes or squeeze their hands when they ask him too! So, I had a little "discussion" with him. I told him that the doctors don't believe me when I tell them you're doing it for me and that his tubes won't come out until he does it for them when they ask. So, I asked him to squeeze my hand. He didn't. So, I said "Rob, remember what I said about not playing possum?" Ever so lightly, he squeezed my hand. Again, not sure if he intentionally did this but I'd like to think my little talk with him helped. :) Also, the nurse had to draw blood from his arm. Normally they can do this with the arterial line they have placed but the doctors needed a culture directly out of his vein. So, the nurse explained to him that she was going to have to poke him with a needle. By gum, he moved his arm up slightly like he was saying "Don't even think about it." AHHH, gotta love my husband. He's definitely in there, stubborn as ever. Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for all the prayers, comments, cards, mail, gifts, etc that we have received. I know there is no way I could personally write a thank you card to each of you (almost 30,000 reading......) but please know it is all deeply appreciated!!!!!


Liz said...

Glad the surgery went well. I know this has to be frustrating sometimes but keep that chin up. You both are doing fantastic!! I updated Joe when he called yesterday and he was very glad to here of his progress. Many prayers and hugs.

The Bender's said...

Hey, Rob knows who to conserve his energy for and who to respond to first...You! He's one smart husband!! And in the days to come, he will have the energy to add others to that list! We have absolutely NO doubt and all the Faith in him, you, and of course the big man upstairs!!

Love and miss,
Karen and Craig

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers, every day.

Also, there are several of us in the DC Metro area. I'm sure if you need something or need a ride we can arrange something.


JoAnne Bartek said...

Well,Dena, I have to say you are just as stubborn as Rob so we all know you will NOT give up on him EVER!! I'm sure it is so frustrating continually putting Rob through surgeries, but we all have to remember that each surgery is one step closer in the healing process. We are all behind you both (all 30,000 of us!!!)!

Aunt Jo, Uncle Steve, Brooke & Ashley

Anonymous said...

I log on every evening hoping for good news, and every day there is some encouraging sign. Still praying hard. Keep doing what you are doing to get him through. You are amazing.

Carol Dzurenko

Maggie45 said...

Dena, just seeing the posts from you, and the encouraging reports are thanks enough. In fact, I would say that most, if not all of us, feel honored to help in any way. In my case, it's prayers for you and Rob and your girls, and all of your family and friends. As a matter of fact, evening is here and I'm getting ready to say Vesper, and you all will be mentioned.

Maggie Goff
Bisbee, Az

PS, if you get a chance, take Paul up on his offer. He's a really good guy. ;)

Andrea e Isabella. said...

Dena,,, i still thinking about Rob, you and the hole family, and still in my prayers daily... thanks for the update.... God is with you Dena and i know he will make amazing thing in your lifes... Hang in, you´ll see what he has for you guys soon... and as the same you say day by day..
My name is Andrea, Isabella is my little daughter.. I just like to mention her always....

Anonymous said...

We appreciate hearing the updates on Rob. I normally check your updates from my blackberry and it's hard to post updates from there, but know we are thinking and praying for Rob and you. We pray for Rob at every meal and throughout the day. He's even on our prayer list at Church. Our Pastor has been great about praying specifically for Rob during church.

Beau tells me stories of Rob in Guatemala so I know he's one tough person. Beau told me a story recently about how they climbed the tallest volcano in Central America and Rob did it with bronchitis. We continue to think of and pray for the both of you and your families.

Beth and Beau

caring aussie said...

Again, thank you for the updates and your inexhaustable strength, you are both amazing. Thinking of you all everyday.

Long-time RN said...

Good to read yet another surgery went well. Even though I've been a nurse for years, I'm continually amazed at how involved the healing process is for our wounded warriors, and how incredibly brave and strong their family members are dealing with everything involved in this process. Prayers for you and Rob, and prayers for all Rob's caregivers as well.

Jill Fischer said...

Tell Barb I have been praying for her son and the family. I first heard last week about what had happened. Glad to hear things are continuing to go well. Barb and I used to work together at IWCC.

Jill Fischer

Lodmell House said...

We are hear daily checking in. Praying as hard as we can.

Jodi Lilly said...

Sounds like Rob has a mind of his own, huh?! I love the stories you are sharing. I am continuing to pray for him. Stay strong!

Jodi (Seifert) Lilly
formerly of Stromsburg

Anonymous said...

Sounds like another day down and lots more to go. Everyday is a step though no matter how small. Sooner or latter all of those steps will take you to the end. I contiue to think about you everyday and really aprciate all of the updates. Keep up the positive thoughts and the tough fite.

Philip Davis

Joyce Winfield said...


We never tire of reading your words "everything went well" when you update us on Rob's latest surgery. And we never tire of responding "thank God!" It's just amazing to reflect on every day of Rob's recovery. Think about how far he has come! And you have been there every step of the way. And you will be there for every step to come. So many people are taking care of Rob. Be sure to take care of yourself, Dena.

Much love,
Aunt Joyce and Uncle Doug

Scott said...

We were glad to read that the surgery went well. We are sure your "possum" is just healing and conserving his energy. Just keep talking to him.
Continued prayers!
Scott and Kelsey Hayes

Anonymous said...

I am continually amazed at how much strength you have. Your blog is so educational for those of us that are not military. God Bless you and Rob and your beautiful children.


Anonymous said...


Just wanted you to know we check this web site everyday for updates just like the other thousands. Again, thank you for your words. I will again say, you are amazing and Rob is probably the toughest man I know. Keep those positive vibes going.
Always in our thoughts and prayers

Colleen and Sergai

Aunt Nancy said...

Sounds like another great day forward! We will just continue to pray that each day is another day of FORWARD FOCUSED HEALING!
Sweet dreams Dena..Bev and Barb!
Love, Aunt Nancy

Jackie Fjell said...

Hi Dena and Rob--It's good to hear more encouraging news. We're also glad to hear Bev's brothers & sisters-in-law will recover from their injuries. Yes, GOD IS GOOD!!! I love reading your updates and your way with words! I'm praying so hard that Rob's liver will start working like it should and get rid of some of those drugs. I'm guessing that when that finally happens he will be hard to keep up with! You are obviously some of the best medicine there is for him! Hang in there girl, you're doing a fantastic job! God is giving both of you everything you need and there are literally thousands of us on the prayer gang, so you can't lose! We anxiously await the next update! Love & prayers...Jackie & Joe

Dena's Dad said...

Dena, as you know, I too read your updates and every comment that all these wonderful and caring people write. I'm so touched by their kindness for Rob,you and our families.I'm very proud of Rob and all our military men and women who serve our country. Thank you. God be with you.See you all Thanksgiving.

Carol said...

Hey Dena that soundns good. Keep talking to him that way it sounds like he is a little stubborn but that is good. I look forward in reading your updates. I can't wait for the day to shake his hand and thank him from the botton of my heart of what he and all of the others do to fight for our freedom. Love Carol

Anonymous said...

Dena & Rob,
So glad to hear another surgery went well. Just wanted to let you know that both churches in town are praying for you also. Add that to the other 30,000 +++, that is pretty amazing! Hang in there!
Also, I wanted to add, how thankful I am that your uncles and aunts are going to be OK.

Sue Porter

Anonymous said...

You've got one strong and determined soldier for a husband. Rob, keeping on fighting, I con't to pray for your recovery. Dena, thanks for the updates and being so faithful everyday with the blog. I so appreciate it. Hugs to all you courageous women, (Barb, Dena, and Bev) who are encouraging Rob. I know he hears you and it must give him great inner peace to know you are beside him, keeping the faith, and loving him.
God Bless,
Cathy Bell

Anonymous said...

so glad your aunts and uncle are OK. I wish Rob would just wake up and give you an unequivocal sign, but it sounds like he is trying very hard to heal. I'm so glad you can spend the time with him. I am in Seoul now so if you ever need a shoulder to cry on in the middle of the night you can call me :) My email is (I can email you the Skype number here)

cary said...

That's really good news! So glad to hear the surgery went well.

You will continue to be in our prayers. Rob is such a strong character - never having met him, I can imagine how he's reacting through your writing.

Thank you for sharing this journey.

pam h. said...

Dena, Glad to see that yesterday was a step in the right direction. Grandma told me Sunday that Eva saw you on TV and said Ma Ma!! That has to make to feel good. Little kids are strong little buggers. Alot of times they handle these situations better than adults, and it is them that will get both of you through this. If Rob isn't awake by Thanksgiving, the sound of Julia and Eva will surely perk him right up, and for that we will continue to pray. Keep your head up. Love, Pam, Ryan, Nolan, Mason, Logan and Keyan

Julie. Soldiers Angels said...

I'm so glad the surgery went well..a little more progress on the journey to a full recovery. He's a strong warrior using his all to battle his way back to you Dena. I have faith he is doing it in the time that is right for him to allow maximum healing. It sounds like he is hearing you and registering what you say. Keep talking to him and have faith he hears as I know you will. How he moved his arm when the nurse was going to take blood, to me was a really good sign. These are all encouraging little indicators he is healing and awakening slowly but surely. You do such an amazing job Dena. We are all praying for Rob, You and the family. Lots of powerful prayer coming your way!!

julie morelli

dkinner7 said...

Rob and your entire family continues to be in my prayers. Our church is also praying for Rob and your updates help me to communicate specific things to pray for. Continue to stay strong in the Lord and know He is holding you and Rob in his hands. Please pass on to Rob how thankful we are for his service to us and his country.

Dayna Kinner

Murf said...

Had prayer this morning with eight other men (including your great uncle Wilmer). We looked at Romans 8:25 which talks of hope, perseverence, and eagerly waiting. Our God is good and knows what is best for Rob.. and we are eagerly waiting with you.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Rob for your selfless service to our country. God bless you and your family every day. Without brave giving people like yourself, we would not be able to enjoy the freedom we have today.

God bless you!

A poem for you:


I know not if the Lord will grant
The things I long for most,
Or if the hope most dear to me
Must be forever lost;
Or if He deems it best fulfilled
Only at bitter cost.

Perhaps the way He may appoint
Is one I would not choose,
Where I cannot employ the powers,
I most desire to use;
The thing He takes from me may be
The hardest thing to lose.

He may deny my eager hands
The work they long to do,
Or take from them some loved employ
Which each day dearer grew,
And give them, in its place a task
Hard and unwelcome too.

The toils that come to me may seem
The hardest ones to bear;
The griefs and losses that He sends
Their saddest forms may wear;
And when I long the most for rest
May come the heaviest care.

But this one thing I know, this much
The eye of faith can see;
The path in which He leads my steps
Is just the best for me;
The one which I might choose to walk
Might not the happiest be.

Add if He takes away the joys
Whose value seems so high,
And the dear hopes I cherish now
Withered before me lie,
I know the hopes that He will give
Can never fade or die.

I know the task that He appoints
Will not too irksome prove,
For when the labor is for Him
The strength comes from above;
And the tired fingers will not fail
When guided by His love.

The toils and griefs He sends may be
But blessings in disguise;
His grace can make the sweetest joys
From bitterest sorrows rise;
We see more clearly oft through tears
Than we can with undimmed eyes.

So I go on not knowing what
May in my future be;
I leave it all with my dear Lord,
Accepting patiently
Whatever He sends of joy or grief,
Sure’t is the best for me.

Anonymous said...

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brain to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.


Anonymous said...

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brain to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for patience God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted.
I received everything I needed.


Anonymous said...


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/18/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Love from MN said...

Prayers continue for Rob's healing and we give thanks for your aunts and uncles being ok from their accident. Dena, thanks again for the updates on Rob's condition. You have one determined soldier/husband, keep the faith. Slow and steady for recovery along with patience and perservence. You can do anything you put to your mind to. I'm sure he loves hearing your voices(Dena, mom and dad)and also seeing the photos and hearing about Julia and Eva.

Our prayers continue for Rob and we'll include his men in Afghanistan....our thanks to them for their hard work and care of Rob after the injury.

Love Aunt Julie(Schott)Davidson

Betty said...

Just want you to know the Schuyler NE prayer group continues to keep you in prayer and we rejoice with you when we hear each step forward. Tho they may seem small---I was gone for about a week and when I "caught up" there definitely is improvement. Dena, you do a fantastic job of journaling for us---Thank You.

God's blessings


Teresa said...

Dena, a friend of your mother's told me about your web site and I've checked it everyday since you started sharing. I have a son in the Marines, who by the grace of God came home from all three deployments to Iraq with no physical wounds. He's still getting over the nightmares and back flashes and relearning that you don't drive down the center of the road, and speed through intersections. I have two favorite quotes that I have plastered all over that I'd like to share with you. The first is by Winston Churchill: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportuntiy. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." The other is by the builder of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglun, when referring to the huge undertaking of carving the faces out of stone and was told he couldn't do it, the challenge was too big, he said, "Don't say 'I can't' on this work - the 'I can'ts' are unknown in the world's work and unremembered in history." Your husband has more difficulties than most of us will ever face in our lives, and more circumstances where he'll think "I can't do this". But Mr. Churchill worked to accomplish his goal Britain in WWII and Mr. Borglun got his monument built, and I pray that Rob will say "I Can", and recover and hug his wife and daughters. One last quote by Mr. Churchill, "Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb." I pray for you and Rob in your climb.

Peggy said...

Dena, it is so good to read all the good things that are happening with Rob. Know that Rob. you and the girls are in my thoughts and prayers all of the time. Love you, Peggy Gindville

Lily and Addie make four said...

Our family is in Portland, Oregon, we are friends of friends of friends. Rob is in our prayers, as is your entire family. From one mother to another, I'm hurting for and praying with you.
Much love, the Herman Family

Ina said...

Dear Dena,
I am glad Rob is getting better. I hope he'll respond to you more soon.
Lots of love, Ina

Heidi said...

I've been thinking about you every day trying to imagine and understand even a tiny bit what you and your family are going through. Your strength comes through so crystal clear in your blog and I admire and thank you for sharing with us what is happening day to day. Also for some reason today I am remembering when my sister took us to Rock N Roll Runza and it put a smile on my face. So a smile is sent your way along with continued thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I love your positive thoughts about Rob's hand sqeezing. It's those positive ideas and lots of prayers that will get you through this tough time. Keep it're doing a great job.