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Friday, August 15, 2008

an exercise in patience

Trying to get this page to open on my laptop has been quite an exercise, but a blog post is needed.

I've responded to everyone's comment on the last post so I won't go over that material twice. They are still working on the internet out here. Anyone with enough motivation could stand to make some money if they could figure out how to make this work, look-up USComz. Anyway, since the last posting I've been staying busy and safe as usual, but now I get to add injured to the list. It didn't happen on a mission or anything, it's just age catching up to me. I've always had bad knees and it seems that they are getting worse. I was working on a trailer this past Saturday and just went to stand up to lend a hand. I was standing and turning at the same time and when I put weight on my right knee it popped and it seems I have a partially torn meniscus now. For those not familiar it is a tendon in the knee and apparently is fairly painful when pulled. There is nothing that can be done for it out here because it requires surgery to fix. Normally this is the kind of injury that would get a person sent home but our company is short handed and can't afford to loose anyone else at this point, even an injured person can do some work.

Yesterday I went in for a follow-up and they tried to drain the fluid off of the knee cap. I say tried because in order for it to be successful the patient needs to remain motionless. I did not. I've never had a needle that large in my knee before and it was a very unpleasant sensation. I'm on an anti-inflammatory and a fairly large pain killer to help deal with it but I won't be able to get it fixed until we return to the states. They also gave me a cortisone shot which didn't hurt nearly as bad as when they tried to drain it, and that seems to be helping a great deal. I can walk on the leg, but not well. I was on crutches for a few days but they say it will heal better if I try to walk on it as much as I can. For now I'm off of the road while it heels. I'm working in the base tire shop which is run by our company.

I'm not the only one with knee injuries right now so I've been getting some good advice on how to handle it and I'm confident that I'll be able to make a full recovery once I am home in El Paso, in the meantime I have to live with it. Luckily we are nearing the end of our tour, the countdown has begun. With any luck I'll pickup my E4, specialist rank, in October and that will feel good. I was close to getting it for September but I didn't have much time to study.

I'm working days for now, so as with the last entry that means I need to wrap this up so I can get some sleep. I'm trying to check my e-mail at jesse.c.pahman@us.army.mil as much as I can, but that site is also hard to load. I'll be home soon, and I look forward to sharing the experiences I've collected along this tour. I hope that you don't find I have changed too much, but I know that I have. Know that at some point I may snap for no good reason at all and that whoever or whatever it was I snapped at, it probably wasn't provoked. It happened once on R&R and I've seen a good deal more since then. I'm learning some Arabic as well and I will share what I know when we all get to meet again in person.

Until then, take care and know that despite how it may sound I am doing very well.

PFC. Pahman, Jesse C.
United States Army
Camp Taji, Iraq

5 comments:

Diana said...

I love you Jes! I'm so glad you were able to get this to load and update everyone. Talk to you soon! See you when you get home!

Mom Jones said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your knee, Jesse. I typed up a lot of meniscus repairs in my years of working with the docs; and yes, they were said to be very painful. With surgery people did very well ~ and with physical therapy, some folk even circumvented surgery entirely! We'll be praying here for a speedy recovery for you. We are proud of all you have done for your family and in service to your country. Much love to you, son!

Honez said...

Sad to hear about your Knee Bro. Wish they would send you home to get that fixed, though it sounds like there will not be problems putting that off for now.

When I hear you talking of the reason they can not send you home for RRandR (Extra R for Repair), I couldn't help to think of the Family Guy when Stewie and Brian tried to get sent home and their results. I am sure that you have seen the show.

Best of luck to you over there, hope you heal soon.

mom said...

Jesse: I put my comment on the
second copy of your blog, so hope
you see it. I also forgot to tell
you that when I tell folks that you
are US Army in Iraq, almost all tell
me to tell you thank you for all you
are doing over there. Love ya, mom H

Aunt Bree said...

Yikes a torn meniscus- sorry to hear about that. Glad that you are getting care even while you are stationed over there, hopefully you'll recover quickly there and once you get home. Stay safe and know we are still praying for you everyday! Love ya brother!