Once upon a time, Ms. G was Sergeant G. of the U.S. Army. In 1991, she was a certified electrician and her assignment was power generation for the Patriot missiles. The missiles were carried on the vehicles shown below:
Please note the size of the TIRES on this vehicle.
When the 1st Gulf War broke out, Sgt. G was in Korea. Her platoon, which consisted of 28 men and herself as their sergeant, were all getting ready to head to Saudi Arabia to joint the combat effort. Sgt. G was squatted down checking on a generator, and one of the above vehicles was suspended about 6 feet off the ground, apparently ready to be loaded onto a transport plane.
For some reason, two young soldiers decided that they would change the tires on said vehicle while it was so suspended. BAD idea. VERY bad idea. TWO of those tires shown above, complete with metal rims, fell off the suspended platform and landed on Sgt. G, basically folding her in half backwards. In their efforts to get these tires off her, they ended up dropping them on her AGAIN. When they finally did get them off, the medics came, and in trying to “unfold” her, fractured her coccyx. She was taken to hospital and her platoon was sent off with her, effectively, leaderless.
After being off-duty for 14 days (yes, 14 WHOLE days), Sgt. G was sent back to work. She was completely black and blue from her neck to her knees. Additionally, she had rather severe crush injuries to her lower internal organs which necessitated several episodes of recontructive surgery at later times.
Sgt. G remained in the Army till 1994, when they basically turned her out on a medical discharge. From 1994 until I met her in 2002, she worked on trying to get her disability, which finally became permanent about 2 years ago. All her Army doctors told her she most likely would not be walking in 10 years. That was 18 years ago. But the injury has taken its toll. Ligaments and cartilage were stretched and stressed beyond recovery. Her body has become a walking barometer, and she can tell you almost to the hour when the weather and air pressure changes. Her various types of pain are virtually constant, but she has learned to keep it “in the background” most of the time.
After all this, however, her left knee is simply gone. They have given her injections of artificial cartilage, done physical therapy, etc. There is just nothing left to do. When she had the arthroscopic surgery on her right knee a year ago, she had hoped the replacement for the left one would come shortly (she’d been waiting over a year for the ‘scope). But, all the soldiers coming back from Iraq with shattered limbs took precedence, as they should. However, just because she didn’t GO to the Gulf, doesn’t mean she is not classified as a “war veteran”. So, given the huge amount of limb surgeries and replacements the V.A. has been doing over the last few years, they have finally been sending a number of them out to civillian orthopedic docs. We finally got word about 2 weeks ago that she’s going to get her knee replacement and it’s going to be done by a doctor in Colorado Springs, and they will handle everything from preop to surgery to rehab.
This is GREAT news, folks. She’s so happy! She has her initial visit with Dr. X (his name really does start with an “X”!) on Wednesday, and then we will be counting down to surgery. I think she actually feels like the house and yard are “ready” for winter, and there’s not a whole lot left to do. Note: MY version of “getting ready for winter” is to shut the storm windows. You can imagine that I have learned a lot!
We’ve moved all her sewing stuff upstairs so she can work on her quilting while she’s laid up, and I am ready to be waiting on her gladly. Knowing Ms. G, she will be way ahead of the curve on her recovery because she is so motivated and determined.
So, keep some good thoughts for us over the next month or so, and I’ll keep you posted as to what’s happening when.
Here’s to a new knee–and maybe that sex bench, after all!!