Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We've had some good news! Confusing news, but overall good news.

I talked with a liaison several times today about Jer's condition, and each time it seemed to get incrementally less severe. The first person I talked to used phrases like "managed to save his legs" and "shattered heels" and "broken ankles" and "uncertain prognosis." I spent a good part of the morning with a measuring tape trying to figure out how we could rearrange all of the furniture to make the apartment totally handicapped accessible and periodically breaking down in tears when I couldn't immediately solve problems like where I would put the dishes so he could get to them and how he'd wash his hands in the sink.

The second person I talked to today told me that Jer was still in Afghanistan, and was not moved to Germany last night. They said he'd had an x-ray, and the good news was that "his legs looked fine."

"No broken bones?" I asked.
"No!" the woman on the other end replied cheerily.
"What about his ankles?" I asked. "They told me earlier they were broken. And what about his feet?"
"I don't know," she said. "Let me check."
I could hear rustling paper in the background.
"I don't have anything about his ankles, but he went in for surgery on his heel and it went well. He just got back."
"I thought they were doing that surgery when they got to Germany," I said. "And wait-- was it just one heel? Which heel? What was the surgery for?"
There was a long pause on the other end of the line. "I don't know," she said. "I'll call you back."

And so I waited. She called me back about an hour later.

"Okay, so they did the surgery on his right heel for bilateral fractures. His left leg is good."
"Good how? Good as in not injured? What about the multiple broken bones in his feet other than his heels? Can you tell me what was done in the surgery? What about his ankles?"
"I don't know," she said. "This is what I've got. He's had surgery on his right heel and his legs look good and his condition has been upgraded from Serious Injury to Not Serious."
"Not Serious? That's great! What system of classification is that? What's the definition for Serious?"
"I don't know," she said. "He never lost consciousness and he's doing great and they're going to be airlifting him to Germany sometime in the future."

I know that she's giving me this information via a giant game of Telephone. She's a non-medical liaison who's talking to another non-medical liaison who's talking to a nurse who's talking to a doctor. At the same time, I'm getting really, really tired of hearing the words "I don't know." Also it's confusing to be getting so many mixed signals. This morning his legs were half blown off. By the afternoon he has one fractured heel but is otherwise "fine." My guess is that Jer is actually somewhere in the middle of the two, but I won't really find out anything concrete until I can talk to either him again or a doctor who's seen him. I'm a little scared to celebrate the good news right now because I don't know what the next phone call will bring.

It's frustrating because I'm the kind of person who thrives on information. That's how I got through the first few months after Connor was born-- I spent any free time I had in the library looking up medical terms and conditions until I knew them backwards and forwards. Here I don't have anything to look up, and the information I'm getting is so muddled I'm not sure what's real and what's hearsay. I can't, for example, find any information at all on "Not Serious" as a classification for injuries in the military. You would think they would use a more technical term. I also have a hard time with the juxtaposition of "doing great" and "airlifted to Germany."

But at any rate, I'm thankful that things are probably (hopefully) not as bad as they first sounded. By the time he gets back here, he will probably have just a stubbed toe.

I want to thank all of you for the amazing outpouring of support you've shown for Jer, Connor and me over the past day. So many of you have asked how you can help and what you can do for us, and have sent Jeremy and me your well wishes, thoughts, and prayers. I'm trying to answer e-mails as they're sent but things are kind of getting away from me, so let me just tell all of you this:

Thank you. Thank you so much. We're doing well; we're fine financially (thank you to those who asked) we have enough to eat (thanks to those of you who offered meals) and so many shoulders have been offered for me to cry on that I don't think I could ever manage to make the rounds.

There is one thing that I'd like help with-- please continue to send your well wishes and prayers for Jeremy so that he knows you are supporting and thinking about him. For those of you who have asked about sending him cards or letters: I don't have an address or any contact information for him yet, but I've set up a PO box and you can send letters for him there care of me and I'll save them for him until I either have an address or he's home. I'm also saving all the e-mails people are sending and printing them off for him to read, so he'll know just how many people out there care about him and are wishing him a speedy recovery. You can send get-well cards to:

Jeremy McGuffey care of Jessica McGuffey

PMB X108
10715 Valley Ave E
Puyallup, WA 98372

What will happen over the next few weeks? I don't know. But at least I know we'll have friends and family standing with us when we find out.



Anonymous said...

I hope that a stubbed toe really is his only injury. We'll keep up the prayers and good thoughts for you, Jeremy and Connor here in Pittsburgh. Thinking of you guys.

(Also, I found this article, and I'm wondering if this involved Jeremy?

-Julia O'C

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that you are the poster family for how to live...take it all in, and move forward. You continuously impress everyone who meets you. I am sending all my well wishes on to you Connor and Jeremy. Maybe when the insanity settles, we can sit together and have some tea.

Nicole Compton

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear that things are looking up! Every time my son has been in the hospital, I feel like getting answers and knowing which questions to ask is sometimes overwhelming and often hard. I can't imagine having to do this half a world away with liaisons playing telephone tag!

-Christina S.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about you guys all day, no joke. I'm praying that his injuries are not serious. I'll be keeping you all in my prayers. We love you guys!
Thanks for your address, I was meaning to ask you for it.

Bronx Cataldo's said...

Hey Jess, Hope its just crutches and home to you and Connor for some R&R.Damm girl you are superwoman.Wow I got flash backs I was in the dentist's office when they confirmed that it was a stroke that Finnian had and they had set up more appointments for me. I told the girl to do a very good job because I didn't know when I would have time to come back again.
718 areacode is New York because I have a 718 telephone number.
Love and Hugs from the Cats in the Bronx

JJ said...

Hey Jess - I'm sad to say I haven't been that great of a friend, and I've kept up with your life sporadically at best. =( I hope you can forgive me! I've never met your husband, but Wade and I are sending him all the support and well wishes we have for a speedy recovery. Again, I know you've heard this a million times, but anything we can do we're at your service! Miss you!

Carrie said...

Jess, OMG! I am really hoping Jer is going to be okay. If he gets to Germany, does this mean they will send him home soon?

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! I'm visiting from Lin's. I'm praying that Jer will be ok.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just heard about your husband's injury. I certainly hope it's not as bad as you originally thought it was. I suspect you need him a lot. Hopefully he will call you himself when he gets to Germany - or before.

Anonymous said...

We are thinking and praying for you, Jeremy & Connor.

Lots of Love! Gig 'em!
Megan Wallek-Aulbaugh

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

Prayers and good wishes to you and your family for a speedy recovery and some first hand information.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing such inspiration. Mike R.

Casey said...

Just stopped by from Lin's place (Duck and Wheel With String) to send good healing vibes your way. I'm so glad to have read that you got some uplifting (and not as scary as the initial news) news.

Greymare said...

I'm glad you got some better news!

Secondary Roads said...

Lin sent me. Your entire family will be in our prayers.
-- Chuck

Helene said...

Visiting from Lin's.

Thoughts and prayers coming your way. You may not know some of us but we're all in this together. My favorite saying is A Stranger is a Friend You Haven't Met Yet.


Pricilla said...

Do you have family in Western Montana? We are good friends with McGuffeys here...

Merry said...

I will keep your family in my prayers. Take care.

Terry Hernandez said...

So sorry to hear about Jeremy's injuries . . . . I will keep him and the others injured in my prayers. Prayers going up for you, Connor, and the rest of Jeremy's family. I am glad to hear the news on Jeremy has gotten better! Praying for complete healing for him and for peace for those loved ones waiting here in the states.

Anonymous said...

A stubbed toe is SO much better than shattered ankles. Maybe they'll manage to throw in a hang-nail? Don't you just *love* communication.

Sorry it's so frustrating, but very happy to hear that things are more positive than first relayed.

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