Plebe with double pneumonia

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by farmgirl1776, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. farmgirl1776

    farmgirl1776 Member

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    So my son got The Plebe Hack and went to the doctor. He said the doctor "gave him some pills". I asked what they were on the July 24 phone call. He didn't know.

    Fast forward to today and I received a letter dated July 27 from my son saying he has double pneumonia.

    He was proud that he won the telephone pole race while having double pneumonia, but he said he had been questioning his decision to come to USNA. "I don't want to quit anymore now that I know I have pneumonia. It makes me happy to know I kept up."

    While I'm happy he is handling it, I am angry he was doing regiment runs and interval training with double pneumonia. This is serious! Why did this happen?!?

    How do I get an update and trust that USNA is taking care of my son?
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Prior to being officially diagnosed with double pneumonia, your DS would likely have been on the sick list for Plebe Hack. That and serious conditions are dealt with as directed by Brigade Medical, with "chits" for SIQ (sick in quarters), no running, no exercise, no chopping, etc., and are very carefully tracked and followed up. Much depends on what your DS told his detailers and when. Plebes are encouraged to report injury and illness, so they can be properly cared for, but there is that counter-current of cultural "suck it up, don't ask for a wimp chit" atmosphere. "I'm good" is probably said hundreds of times a day around the Yard. You have a boiling cauldron of late teenage, highly competitive, think they are invincible young people in a high-pressure introduction to military life.

    That's just a bit of context for you.

    If your son signed the medical release forms on I-Day, info can be released to you. Some do not approve the medical, academic, performance or conduct releases, which can be a shock to parents. When I was on staff as a BattO, I had difficult phone discussions with parents who wanted to know certain things, and I would be looking at MIDS (Mid Info Data System), and there would be a line of "no" checked.

    His PS Company Officer would be a place to start, if you want to pursue. Were you given any contact numbers in the PTR or other info? Data on every plebe's status is tracked daily. If they can tell you something, they will.

    For a compassionate ear, the Navy chaplains are fully integrated into PS.
    https://www.usna.edu/Chapel/ContactChaps.php
    They have their ways of finding out things, and without breaking confidentiality, can soothe concerns.

    I respect how difficult this must be - the DS whose every illness you have known since his first day in your life, and then to hear "double pneumonia" from the spectator stands. You may choose to take a deep breath, trust his condition is well-managed now, and sit tight for the next phone call.

    I hope you hear positive news he's on the upswing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  3. farmgirl1776

    farmgirl1776 Member

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    Thank you so much. I don't have the CO information, so I followed your suggestion and called the Chaplain. They said they'd check on him and call us tomorrow.

    When he had The Plebe Hack, he was SIQ. I don't understand how he was released back without being recovered? I'm really trying to understand how that happened. All this time, he said he's had fever and chills, which according to him, "Chills actually feels good during the runs."

    He won't advocate for himself and be "that kid" who has chits..... He will push until he collapses. (He said he turned off his brain in order to keep going and wanted to die during a run.)

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm trying to not be anxious, but all the news stories about the VA keep flooding my brain. In his letter, he said he got four days (for bi-lateral pneumonia?) of SIQ, and I'm just hoping that they check him thoroughly before putting him back out there again. He won't protest-- he'll just suck it up and do it.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Deep breaths! Glad you spoke to a Chaps. They are the best.
     
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  5. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Farmgirl: CaptMJ gives great insight and advice. To me, your DS sounds like exactly the type of person to be there. I was smiling as I read the quotes you provided.

    I am not an Academy grad but this attitude is prevalent throughout the military. Good leaders will be on the lookout for those who are struggling and there will always be medical personnel around for support.

    I agree with CaptMJ: Chaplains are the best and are quite adept at navigating through the chain-of-command to check on the welfare of personnel when necessary.
     
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  6. farmgirl1776

    farmgirl1776 Member

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    More update: one chaplain called and said he was removed from her watch list. So I hope that is good news. She said she'll track him down. He's probably already back at it....

    His letter said pneumonia has given him confidence-- imagine how easy plebe summer will be without running during fever, chills, and unable to breathe!

    Thanks for the support. I don't consider myself a helicopter parent, but I just know my kid--he'll ignore his symptoms and push hard. I appreciate the words of encouragement.
     
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  7. SCMids

    SCMids Member

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    Last year, my Firstie completed the Seal Screener and ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4 hours, both within two weeks of each other. He lost 10 pounds during the 26 hours of the screener. He then promptly got pneumonia.

    Here's why I tell you this. The Navy doc chewed him out, complimented him on being able to do both, and gave him antibiotics which cured him. That was between him and the Navy. We as parents are out of that equation. I simply told him that it sounded like the Navy doc was right on all accounts.

    We can't complain to the principal anymore.
     
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  8. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    You missed the point Mom. He told you all this to let you know EVEN SICK HE WON THE RACE!! He was worried but now all the sudden he is looking GREAT! I understand your protectiveness coming out, that has been our job for soo long, but he wasn't looking for intervention HE was braggin! and it sounds like he deserved to. But he sure can't do that on the yard.
    Be Proud Mom Your son Just confirmed in his mind HE HAS WHAT IT TAKES!
     
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  9. farmgirl1776

    farmgirl1776 Member

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    LOL forum junkie. Point taken.

    He'll be one of those old geezers telling fishing stories to the class of 2070, "Run a 5k?!? Heck, back when I was a plebe, I did THE ENTIRE Plebe Summer with bi-lateral pneumonia without a chit....Kids these days! Get off my lawn!"
     
  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Glad you can chuckle about it. You are a mom, you will worry! That is okay. He is being watched closely. His Detailers are worried about him too, they just show it with a lot of yelling and push ups. In all seriousness, they are watching him closely. Learning to push themselves is an important item right now. Learning when it's ok to be tough, but not doing something stupid (like harming himself by pushing thru) is what he is learning to develop with a warrior mentality. It's a key characteristic for an Officer. In 3 short years your DS will be the one watching over new Plebes and knowing when a young Mid is trying to push thru the hack that has moved beyond the hack.
     
  11. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    He'll be one of those old geezers telling fishing stories to the class of 2070, "Run a 5k?!? Heck, back when I was a plebe, I did THE ENTIRE Plebe Summer with bi-lateral pneumonia without a chit....Kids these days! Get off my lawn!"[/QUOTE]

    Xactly! now you've got it. What a Hoot! I'm all excited now and I don't even know the kid :groupwave:
     
  12. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    USMCGrunt and others touched on the military culture. I think we "work sick" more than other occupations. Yes, I know that's not particularly healthy, but when you're deployed, and others are counting on you, you just deal. Most of us have to practically be ordered to get something taken care of or leave work to get some bed rest.

    When living in quarters on Worden Field at USNA, I had a horrible fall after my morning "inner" run on the old tiles in the master bath. I was probably a little dehydrated and bent over to untie a shoe and stood up too fast. Cracked the side of the tub with the back of my head. Woke up in the ER, face down, as the doc was putting 14 stitches in my scalp. Clumps of bloody shaved hair littered the deck. My DH told me I was mumbling away, insisting he call the DepDant to tell him I would be a bit late coming in and that I would miss 0830 BattO meeting, but I would get there by 4th period Ethics class I taught, and to call my senior Company Officer to do something - absolutely insisting I was headed into work as soon as I could get home and into uniform. I was, of course, suffering from a mild concussion, and was sent home to be quiet and not go to sleep. Then the pain and nausea kicked in. My Midn Batt Staff rang the doorbell at 2000 to ask how I was, and to deliver some medicinal Ben and Jerry's. It took about three days before I could move my head without being queasy. The Brigade Medical Officer dropped by and ordered me not to go over to my office, per the Dant. Point is, all the active and veteran posters on here could tell similar stories about themselves.
     
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  13. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO Member

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    Some good advice here....its natural to worry about your kid, but time to back off and let him grow. There is a fine line between sucking up for the team and avoiding a reputation as a slacker, and pushing yourself to the point that you hurt yourself. As Capt MJ says, we all have stories. In aviation, the Flight Surgeon was often viewed as someone to be avoided at all costs, and it has taken me years to recognize that its good to volunteer information to a doctor. You can rest assured that the Navy has your kid's best interest in mind, and the Detailers are watching out to make sure none of their Midshipmen push themselves to hard. To answer your questions about how this could be allowed to happen, in all likelihood it was your son who pushed himself through this ..not the Detailer. Don't take the issues with VA medical system as an indictment of Navy medicine. The Navy recognizes that the care and medical treatment of its people is critical to the Mission of the Navy, and my recollection is that USNA medical was professional and highly competent, IF YOU ASK FOR HELP.
     
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  14. farmgirl1776

    farmgirl1776 Member

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    UPDATE....

    Well, I saw my Waldo in the PEP photos that were uploaded today by the alumni association. He mugged for the camera so ridiculous that the only thing worse would've been to hold up rabbit ears on himself.

    Apparently he's alive.:sofa:

    Alright, I've taken a chill pill with a glass if wine. Thanks, all, for talking me through it. You guys truly helped me. I tried my real life friends, and it's just not the same. They say they know what I'm going through since their own kid left for college, but USNA is just not even close to the same thing.....
     
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  15. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    You will be shocked to discover how these SA Forum friends become real friends in live 3-D when you meet them by accident or on purpose on the Yard, during the upcoming events and the years to come.
     
  16. northstarfx

    northstarfx New Member

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    Our son got pneumonia his plebe year too. Well, it started as mono at the end of Plebe Summer, which compromised his immune system the entire year and finally ended with severe pneumonia during finals. He went to brigade medical for 5 consecutive weeks and was misdiagnosed; it wasn't until he lost 25 pounds and could hardly walk (let alone run) when they finally tested him. He was seen by a Navy Seal doc who was notorious back in 2014 for rarely treating even the sickest kids…"suck it up and come back and see me in a week if you don't improve with Mucinex and Advil." Our son wasn't sure if the Academy was for him during that time -- and strongly considered dropping several times -- but he persevered and is now a rising 2/C Mid. He is doing very well on all fronts and has routinely stated that he cannot imaging being anywhere else. The rewards of a USNA education and leadership experience are second to none!

    The physical and emotional struggles your son is feeling now are quite common, but as others have stated he is simply paying his dues and if he continues to persevere he will be greatly rewarded. Hang in there, mom, it will get better…eventually! Promise.
     
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  17. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    You have voiced it exactly. This feeling we try to get new Parents to understand. It's just not the same. Think it is easier to understand when you have "Civilian" college kids and then get a Mid. You just experienced first hand, what I always try to explain to new parents. "You didn't lose a son, you gained an whole big family"! Welcome!
     
  18. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I want to meet the Murf!
     
  19. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I try to explain why I am still on this forum, when my mid is now a firstie, and my other 2 Candidates did not get appointments and moved on. I tell him, these people who I don't even know have become friends, I have even been at it long enough that I can anticipate how some are going to react. (Like MurftheSurf likes to have fun!) That folks on the forum are smart, savvy and have a great sense of humor.

    And yeah I guess I have to admit, it somehow gratifies my ego to be able to answer a question. Even though it is Kinda like a high quality game show....who can hit the buzzer and ring in with the answer fastest, cause most everyone knows ALOT!.
     
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