Wednesday, October 10, 2012

first second birthday

You know, Monday was the one-year anniversary of my brother getting blown up. It's been a long year of miracles and setbacks. The doctors said he'd never wake up from the coma and (after a long period of hallucinations and semi-consciousness) he did. They said he'd never regain control of his bladder bowels and he (mostly) has. They said he'd never walk and (after the amputation of his left leg) he did.

He's still in the hospital. They're still monitoring and treating his nerve pain. They're still testing his reflexes, vision, and cognitive function. They're still helping him learn to walk again, in the hopes that he'll be able to run again. He's still testing his limits, still hitting brick walls, still sorting through the shards of the possibilities before him. He'll be in the hospital for a long time.

He's started his own blog. He's buying a car and looking at colleges. He's climbing rock walls. He's sending me mocking text messages.

Last year, he celebrated his twentieth birthday in the hospital, still in a state of fuzzy semi-consciousness. This year, he'll be able to come home for Thanksgiving and birthday festivities. And this year, i'll get to travel down there to be with him.

On Monday, the first anniversary of his life, both of my sisters wrote Facebook notes about their feelings. My mom traveled to be with him in the hospital barracks. I stayed in bed and tried to sleep off this flu. I thought of Adam periodically throughout the day, though. It was all sort of anti-climactic. Because that's what you never see in inspirational movies about wounded Marines overcoming great odds: the time. It takes a hell of a lot of time to recover from something like this. A year later and he's still in the hospital, and now they're talking about more surgeries and procedures to help relieve the nerve pain. He's been upgraded to a more permanent prosthetic socket, but he's still working on finding a leg he can run on. He's put a down payment on a car, but he hasn't yet been totally cleared to drive. And he hasn't received his discharge from the Marines yet. He's still technically in active service. Granted, at the rate he's going, it's possible that he'll complete his term of service in the hospital barracks, but i have to assume that he's owed an honorable discharge.

He's met the President. Twice. He's received medals. He's been taken on guided tours of the White House and Pentagon. He's been promoted.

And he's still in the damn hospital.

Here's hoping that his second second birthday will take place after his full and complete discharge from everything.

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