This time four years ago everyone was wondering how damaged I’d be after the explosion. They were relieved that I was alive but concerned about what sort of lasting issues I would have to live with.
My parents and little sister were at Walter Reed the first week when I was still pretty much out of it. I have memories of that time but it still feels like remember a night of strange dreams. The pieces just don’t add up correctly.
I took the entire IED blast to my face and it did some pretty serious damage that was all very visible. The one thing nobody knew about yet was how I would turn out mentally. My jaw was wired shut and I was pretty much comatose because of all the drugs being pumped into my body. At least that’s what I thought.
Growing up anyone who knows me will tell you that I spent a lot of time chasing girls. Having four sisters has it’s advantages after all. I just needed to pay attention to them to learn what girls liked. It worked well. Now that I look back though,, I spent entirely too much time and definitely way too much money doing it. Funny how something that seemed like such a great idea at the time can seem ridiculous a few years later.
I tell you that, to tell you this. The first time my parents knew I was going to be ok was when a nurse of mine apparently caught by attention during one of the millions of times my vitals had to be checked. Romantic right?
Now I don’t remember a bit of this. I just heard the stories.
Since my jaw was wired shut I had been given a clip board and pen to interact with people around me. During one visit by a certain Lt. who shall remain nameless, I scooped up my clipboard, wrote a note, and handed it to her while she talked to me.
When she read my note, she laughed, shook her head, and basically went on with her day more or less unaffected.
When my parents got the clipboard they discovered that I had taken the opportunity to ask this nurse of mine out on a date.
Now imagine that situation. Here’s this wounded guy, stitches, bandages, and staples covering his face with a trach poking out of his neck, and his jaws wired shut. Who wouldn’t react that way? It makes me wonder how many times those cute, or at least cute sounding, nurses get hit on by all these busted up military guys. Someone should collect the stories and make a book.
My parents were quite relieved when this happened. It was the first sign that I was still the same Mike that left a few months earlier. They seemed surprised but it would have taken a lot more than an IED to keep me from chasing girls.
Fortunately though, I met the last one I’d ever have to chase just a few months later and I would never look back.
How do I know I made the right choice? There’s lots of reasons actually, but the big one is the fact that she’s taking me to Dallas soon to watch the Colorado Avalanche beat up on the Stars!!! It’s going to be amazing!!!
Thank you all for reading, commenting, and sharing these stories! Before I go I want to mention that if you leave a comment here for the first time it has to be approved by me before it will show up. If I’ve approved one of your comments in the past any new comments you leave will just appear. Sorry for any confusion, you can blame the spammers.
God bless you all and have a wonderful Sunday!