May 7, 1999

Hello Everyone,

tough day here.
i'm going to ramble more than before
so don't expect complete sentences
rather streamofconsciousness
easier somehow
no editing

dentist teeth cleaning in the morning.

had good talk with friend who is in a hospice
organization and she told me of
a local fellow who survived the same
infection that Leif had/has.

got bagel and juice and headed over
the hill to see Dad.
he is normally quite taciturn and
today was no exception.
but without me saying a word
he started to get dressed
even this act got him short of breath.
got in car. i wrote "shall we visit
Leif for a little while?"
yes. just a short time.
to hospital, asked if he wanted
wheel chair... yes.
we had to wait til the ICU was ready for us.
in once but still not ready.
then i rolled Dad in to the foot
of Leif's bed. there was some sort
of blanket over him that was new - later
found out it was a cooling blanket - for fever control.
Dad looked at the scene - saw that indeed
the one in the bed was Leif, his youngest son.
he picked up something on a nearby table to look at it.
i pointed out the fancy bed but this just
irritated him because he didn't know exactly
what was I pointing to.
then he said, "let's go".
the nurse had something to tell me but there was
no time - had to get Dad clear.
Amy had been there earlier but I was in the dark
on Leif's status - i feared that something had changed.

took Dad to bank and then to a lunch place.
I was torn whether to simply take him home
and return to be with Leif and see what his status was.
tried calling but could not get information.
through lunch Dad was very silent.
he had a beer and a hot fudge sundae... comfort foods.
good for when you see your child in trouble.
i had some lunch but hurried through.

took Dad home and returned to hospital.
the nurse was changing Leif's dressing on the surgical wound.
he said it would be okay for me to stay.
so i saw reality directly and it helped me accept
the situation more. a grisly sight actually.
but that IS what is happening. an 8 by 3 inch rectangle
of skin removed down to the muscle just above the elbow.
i actually got to help hold Leif's arm up
while the nurse wrapped it with gauze.
glad to have something to DO. helps the mind
not go crazy.

Amy came and we shared stories of the day.
she left to be with Amanda and share Amy's father's
birthday. i sat with Leif for a while observing
the ICU activity and the excellent care Leif is getting.
Leif is stable and the issue is still the lungs
and the oxygen levels. a fever has developed which
is being watched closely.
i am amazed at all the things that need doing
to maintain Leif's body processes. my admiration
for the ICU nurses and respiratory therapists.
(I forward on to everyone a letter from Susan)

i left to go sit with Dad a little and watch
some hockey. then i returned to Santa Cruz
to a prayer circle where we chanted a healing mantra
for about 45 minutes not only for Leif but for
the bombing victims, refugees, shooting victims,
all peoples that need some help. good fellowship and
friends focused energies.

i returned home and called a man named Bob Stahl
(who i have added to our list). he was infected with the
same strain of bacteria that Leif has/had in 1996
and survived the experience. it was very good
to speak with him - another view of the reality of
the current situation - it is good to face it directly.

i am gathering energies from many corners
and do feel that this will be a growth experience for me
and hopefully for all involved. when this
situation is resolved one way or another
i will not return to "normal" and neither will
Amy or Leif... this is a life changing event.

i am grateful for the forum here to express myself
it is good to get it all out.

so that was my tough day.
full of emotion up and down.
especially when Dad was seeing Leif
his one comment later in the car was
"he is getting a good rest"
and indeed he is. he is being taken care
of completely in his time of greatest need.

end of this ramble,

P.S. in rolling Dad around through double doors it was a little tricky to maneuver the wheelchair. He quickly learned to put his foot out and kick the door to help and I was thinking that he was echoing the movements of the hockey players that he is immersed in lately on TV - checking the other guy roughly into the boards kicking pucks and skating around. this image brought a smile to my face as i was wheeling him into the ICU.