May 4, 1999

Hello Everyone,

Group email is a good way to keep everyone informed.

I will ramble on here a little sharing what I can of what I know to be happening.

Today was a very hard day. In the morning the dressing on Leif's arm was changed and he was shifted on his bed to redistribute the weight of his body and to help circulation. This activity caused a disruption of the balance in his blood pressure and oxygen saturation of the tissues. It took the staff of the ICU a while to restore it all and stabilize him. Amy was with him alone at this point and it was rather disturbing for her.

They had to move the oxygen level back up to 100% as having it at 80% was not enough to maintain the level needed in the blood. The lungs are not up to it yet.

I took my father to a medical checkup around 10:30 to evaluate various things with his doctor. As we were going Dad himself brought up the idea of visiting Leif. I asked his doctor if it would be okay and he thought it would be fine. I let Dad know that Leif was heavily sedated and would not be able to respond to him. This did not settle very well with Dad and he got afraid somehow and decided that he would rather just go home. This was okay with me as doing almost anything new with him is a real strain. But I did want to offer that to him as Leif is his youngest child and is in big trouble.

We also got Dad's glasses adjusted and when the young woman came to help I let her know that Dad was hard of hearing and that he had fallen and needed his glasses adjusted and that this would be a challenge for her. She did a beautiful sensitive caring job of it and I saw that Dad was touched by her loving attention. Such a simple thing done so well can have such an effect. I thanked her and said that she had beautifully met the challenge.

Elin came down from Martinez to be with Amy. While she was there the doctor spoke with all of us and gave us an update. The infection has been controlled in the area of the arm and the wound there is looking okay requiring no further surgery at this time. The resultant sepsis and lung distress, however, are still very much present and are severely endangering Leif's life.

those of you with web access you can look at these links:

A very caring and perceptive social worker came to talk with Amy, Elin and I about all the issues that come up with a crisis like this.

This evening I went to hear Amanda perform with her third grade classes in a spring singing show. She really enjoys performing and was glad to have me there. I went with Amy's parents. Very cute children and the parents were there to support and admire and share. I went to another student event recently and the phrase "The Parental Pride is Palpable" applied there as well.

I visited Dad again around 8:30 before I split for home and had to wake him so we could watch some more of the hockey game. On waking his first words were asking about Leif and wondering exactly what his condition was caused by and saying that tomorrow he would like to go see him. But just for a short time. So we will do that and I hope it goes as well as can be expected.

Hope goes up and down. And emotions parallel that movement.

Everyone responds to a crisis like this differently. It highlights our fragilities and strengths and weaknesses and puts us in a different perspective. It has really focused my energies. All the "issues" of life and "problems" and "frivilous entertainments" seem to fade into trivialities when such a thing as this is happening. It still seems a dream.

I feel everyone's support for Leif and am very grateful. The combined synergistic energies of prayer and thoughts and hopes and love and wellwishing are certain to be felt by Leif. Regardless of outcome I hope it will bring peace.

bedtime for this puppy,