This blog is a reprint of my internet journal from 2001 to 2002 in which I documented my "vagabond" solo journey in a Chevy Conversion Van tracing my roots. I not only traced their paths and found their homes and final resting places, but I did extensive genealogical research in court houses, libraries, historical societies, genealogical societies, cemeteries, and talked to the local people. I traveled with a laptop to upload my notes and photos, and use e-mail. It was a fantastic journey which lasted two years. I had no other home except my van to sleep in...just a bed and video player. My household goods were put into storage for two years. My mail was delivered to me at general delivery when I phoned "MailBox, etc." and told them where to send it. At night I stayed in campgrounds, motels, friends' backyards, friends' homes, and those of the few living relations I've tracked down. As I traveled I collected so much genealogy information, that I had to get rid of items that I had originally thought essential to my travels (like a microwave oven). Between ancestral sites, I visited any tourist sites I could find and got to know alot about the USA. This was a trip of a lifetime and I'm still sorting through all the wonderful memories, photos and invaluable genealogical data I found. I will post to this blog as I can - one or a few days at a time of that journey from 2001 to 2002

Sunday, August 29, 2010

13 May - 14 May 2001 Walter Reed Hospital

14 May 2001 Monday           Walter Reed, Washington DC
I called Tricare Insurance again this morning and again was bounced back and forth between the Ft Bragg people and the Region people. Finally I realized that they only wanted me to go to a civilian doctor, despite my request to go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Finally I called Walter Reed Internal Medicine Clinic, directly, and got an appt at 10 am.  (cut that red tape!!)  So I had to hustle to get there in time. Another challenge – driving into the hospital. But I found that the biggest challenge was finding a place to park. I was too tall for their parking garage and had to drive all over the hospital area to find what I think was the last open spot.

I was seen by the Doctor by about 10:15am. He sent me for X-rays of the Cervical Spine in the ER . After an hour wait there I got in to be X-rayed and then found that it is difficult to get the “odontoid” portion on x-ray. So I got my fill of radiation to last quite a while. Then on to Physical Therapy where they were able to see me at 1pm. A Lieutenant worked up my history and checked range of motion. Then she got a doctor and he started bouncing my head around like a basketball. Finally he did something quick, and I let out a bloody scream as a giant “Click” (with some pain) happened in my neck. It was embarrassing to scream in he physical therapy room, with all the soldiers with real injuries enduring their torture.   The doctor said “That’s what I was looking for – your C6 facet was out of place.” So I asked him not to do that again, but was really glad he didn’t tell me what he was going to do ahead of time, or I would have walked out. He is a physiogenist – or something like that. It helped. Then, laying down, they hooked my head up in a Cervical Traction machine and I spent 20 minutes getting my neck stretched. Not too bad. After that I got the muscle relaxer pills at the pharmacy and was done.

I found my friend, Sue in her Anesthesia office and we talked for a long time. I took over her position as Chief of Perioperative Nursing at Ft Bragg. Now she is preparing to go to Landstuhl, Germany to be Asst Chief Nurse of the Hospital.  After a quick run up to Ward 75 to see the ward that Bev runs, I walked back to my van and made my way home. Bev and I went to dinner at the Outback Steak House as I hadn’t eaten all day. I put a hot pad to my neck, took a Flexoril tablet and was fast asleep by 9pm

Tomorrow I'm going to the NATIONAL ARCHIVES !!!!!

13 May 2001 Sunday   Day of Rest at Silver Springs, MD

.. Day of recuperation. We stayed at the house and Bev fixed up a wonderful Salmon BarBQ along with asparagus and Couscous. We sat on the back deck and enjoyed the beautiful Mother’s Day weather. I spent several hours trying to learn how to work on the GPS the hand held navigation aid for my car. That is after I spent an hour finding my batteries for it in the van! I still need to learn about putting in “waypoints”. But that will come...
     I decided to call Tricare Military Insurance and see if I could get an appointment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC to see about the neck pain I've had from the bump I got on my head a month and a half ago .  Back in NC I walked into the TV above the back and front seats in the van and jammed my neck.  I can't turn my head now, and so that makes it hard to back up the van!   I couldn’t get anywhere with Tricare.

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