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Aug 12

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:12 AM 

LTC Timothy Karcher was the last American commander of Sadr City, and the officer who personally signed over jurisdiction of that hellish sector to Iraq in June. As some readers know (from the links  here), shortly after the sign-over and shortly before leaving Iraq, LTC Karcher was the victim of a roadside bomb attack in which he lost both legs above the knee. In a follow-up roadside bomb attack, one of his soldiers, Sgt. Timothy David, a veteran of six tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was killed. No statements of outrage and gratitude followed, from either American or Iraqi leadership. No vows of finding or bringing in the killers followed, either. In fact, aside from a few mainly local mentions, nothing followed.

Despite the void, however, LTC Karcher's life story continues. For most of the summer, he has been hospitalized at Walter Reed, and for most of the summer his wife has been blogging about his medical progress -- his slow and painful and purposeful medical progress. Here is Mrs. Karcher's most recent entry


Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:45 PM, CDT

Tim had a fair day.  His day started with one of his doctors attempting to insert the ng tube for suctioning.  This was not successful and I'm sure painful for all parties involved.  It's a good idea but Tim is just not able to tolerate it at this time.

Tim is continuing with the TPN feedings.  His nausea continues.  A bright spot:  They gave him phenergan today and this knocked him out.  While he slept so soundly he had no nausea.  Tonight, the nausea returned but he was  getting another dose of phenergan as I left.  Tim is scheduled for an MRI this evening.  I hope this will give us a clearer picture as to what may be going on.  Then again, this may be an issue that only time will heal.

Tim's kidneys were better today with his creatine dropping again.  I pray that this continues.   No other news with cardiology.  As we say with deployments, no news is good news.

Tim had his stitches removed from his lt leg today.  His incisions look good and his limbs are taking a nice shape.  I think he will do so well with prosthetics.  I know he is anxious to get thru the medical care so he can focus on his therapies.

They attempted to see him today but he was completely knocked out.  I'm proud of him for even attempting to get out of bed when he feels so bad.  He told me that, lately, it feels like a lot of work just lifting his head off the pillow.  I can tell he just doesn't feel well.  I have been asked if I think he's getting depressed.  I think he's tired of feeling bad but I don't really think he's depressed.  It's definitely not in the makeup of his personality.  I think he will perk right up when he quits heaving.  
I checked out a portable dvd player today from the Red Cross so I will try to get him to watch some funny movies or sitcoms. I figure sitcoms may be good b/c they are short and don't require any deep thought.  They may make him laugh.  I think laughing is good for anyone.

Tim enjoyed his visits from the Green's, Dixon's and, of course, the Sutherland's.  The visits from his fellow soldiers mean the world to him.  He really likes to talk about 2-5 CAV and has an intense interest in how "the boys" are doing.  He thinks of each of the soldiers frequently and misses them dearly.  He plans on being there, in some form, to greet each of them home.  I love that he has a passion for soldiers and that continues to shine thru in the midst of everything else. 


We feel sorrow at the suffering, and pray for relief. But take solace in the fact that America still produces men of such calibre and women of such mettle. It is not just a miracle but a source of hope for the future.




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