May 5, 1999

Hello Everyone,

I remember Amma (my mother's mother) giving a greeting in that way as she came into the living room at Sigga's in Bottineau probably in the late 60's. Why do I remember such things?

A lot of relatives now have email addresses and I hope these daily updates on Leif's condition are meaningful.

Nothing dramatic has changed with Leif. He is still supported by all the machines and critical care staff. The main focus seems to be on maintaining the oxygen levels of his blood and encouraging his lungs to eventually take over from the ventilator. I do not know when they will try to wean him from the machine.

My cousin Susan Lizakowski is an ICU nurse and perhaps she can share some thoughts here about her work. As I sat with Leif today and watched the goings on I was thinking that the intensive care unit is an "embodiment of hope". All this effort and attention and expense is being given with the sincere expectation and hope that the patient will recover. My own hope goes up and down as I said yesterday but these caring nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists have a real hope that is constant.

One of the doctors said today that all they can do is support and maintain and watch and monitor and keep the faith until the body can take over again. He said that most of the healing is within the body. There is no heroic intervention that can be done.

I have put out the word for prayer to a wide circle of family and friends. This morning I woke in a dream state imagining that Leif was surrounded and accompanied by a large chorus singing for him. Surely this is a symbol for all the kind healing thoughts directed his way.

Dad did not choose to go see Leif today. Afraid. He said we can go on Friday. Today I brought him some printouts on necrotizing fasciitis, ARDS and sepsis for Dad to read. He gave it good attention and summarized that "it's a bad thing".

I am gathering all my energies and seeking support whereever I can get it. Tonight on the way from the hospital to Dad's board and care home I stopped by the cemetery and took a walk to Mom's grave and sat next to it and had a good cry and asked for her help and prayers as well.

I seem to be more open these past few days to kindnesses and beauties that I may not have noticed before. There are some lovely roses in front of Dad's house. And I saw the clerks in the drug store treating each other very nicely today. The sweet attention of the optician touched me and my Dad yesterday. This new perspective on what is truly important in life has opened something up. I think this is good.

thank you for listening to this rambling I appreciate all your support.