Sunday Moments

Susan with Katy and Anna
Susan with Katy and Anna

By Anna O’Connor Morin    Jan 11, 2015 9:41am

Good morning,
Susan had a good night. She’s currently in surgery. They are doing surgery to flush out some blood clots that were in her chest cavity and to test the machine’s decrease that’s been pumping for her right ventricle. We hope to know more when she’s out of surgery in the next hour about what that right ventricle is doing. More info to come soon! Love and prayers

“Sleep my child…

Susan in the Sculpture Garden 2013; Asheville NC
Susan in the Sculpture Garden 2013; Asheville NC

…and Peace attend the, All through the night.”

By Kathryn Fiske – Jan 8, 2015 11:28pm

Those were the words I thought as I left Susan’s room tonight. It was a phrase from a favorite childhood lullabye that my Mom used to sing to me, and has always made me feel comforted and loved. My wish was for Susan to feel loved and nurtured for her night with the exquisitely caring staff at Mission Hospital in the cardiac ICU.

She had a wonderfully uneventful day, with daughters Anna and Katy never far away, and a growing circle of friends coming to offer their love, moments of healing energy, and prayers and meditations. As I got “booted out” tonight (“strictly” enforcing the 7 PM end to visitors’ hours – which we stretched to 8 PM!), the nurse cautioned against having too many people come and impact Susan’s healing and recovery. Although she is quite sedated, most of us know that the energy sneaks in — and Susan needs all the calm and quiet she can possible get. Katy and Anna, of course, get some extra license to be with their mother, and Susan created a list of “sisters and brothers” for her visitors’ list that she gave to the hospital staff. Others may be permitted from time to time for short visits.

Everyone’s love and prayers and offerings are so very welcome, and I suggest that you be sure to call Katy or Anna before coming to visit. It is possible that the hospital staff will begin to limit the number and/or duration of visitors, and we wouldn’t want you to make an unnecessary trip to the hospital. There will be much time for gathering, visiting, and being in service to her recovery as our beloved Susan heals and flourishes. However, since we all also believe that prayerful, mindful energy is exponentially multiplied when “two or more are gathered in the name of Love”, if you do want to come and join us in the lobby of the hospital for a time of quiet and reflection, please do come. There will most likely be someone there between the hours of 11 and 7, the normal visiting hours for the ICU.Susan will continue to be quietly sedated for the next day or so, as her heart rests and heals. She is on a Right Ventricular Assist Device (RVAD) which is helping to circulate blood through her system while her right ventricle rests and recovers from the surgery. Saturday will be the first day they challenge her heart to take over it’s normal function. If her heart is ready for it, then they will begin to wean her off the many machines and medications that are contributing to her health and well-being. If her ventricle does not respond yet, they will continue to use the VAD, and wait another 48-72 hours to test again.

Your prayers, love, and healing thoughts in all forms continue to be a source of strength and healing for Susan, as well as for her daughters and circle of friends who sit with her through the day. If you leave a message here, it will be read to her. If you send a card to her home, we will show it to her and read the words. I have no doubt that even in her deeply quiet sleep brought on by restful medications she will hear and take in every word you send. And, what a joy for her to read them again and again as a source of renewal and love as she recovers consciously!

You are all in our hearts and we are overflowing with gratitude for your presence, wherever and however you choose to express it.

A Blinking Eye is a Hug as Big as the World…

Susanne Fleur1

By Kathryn Fiske— Jan 10, 2015 7:04am

For a short time today Susan was “roused” just a bit from her deep sedation. Although just barely floating on the surface of cognition, she was able to respond appropriately to requests of squeezing a hand, or moving her foot a bit. All very positive and just as it “should” be, considering the circumstances. It is so evident that no one thing exists independent of anything else. The connectivity of each little piece (and BIG piece) of Susan’s care is apparent in every action. One seemingly little thing sets in motion a whole collage of outcomes. We are witnessing miracles of all kinds, even when we cannot see them.

When I was able to see Susan today while she was in a less sedated state, her daughter said to her, “Kathryn is here!” and my dear friend tried valiantly to open her eyes. For me, that was the warmest hug I could have ever hoped for. As we talked to her, and to one another, it was clear that Susan was able to take in some (or all) of what was being said.

Our close friend, Kathleen, received permission from the staff to bring in her harp and play some beautiful tunes while Susan was being roused. I have no doubt that Susan knew exactly who was there playing for her, as she so openly enjoys Kathleen’s playing whenever it is possible to hear her. In a later conversation with the nurse that was in Susan’s room today, the nurse relayed that everyone on the floor thoroughly enjoyed the enchanting music.  I asked how often they have had a harp played in someone’s room (in an ICU), and she said, most definitively, “Never! This is a first!” I’ll bet it’s not the last.


By Anna O’Connor Morin— Jan 10, 2015 5:06pm

She had a good night last night. They took one balloon support pump out this morning and that is good. Every time they take one thing out it is a win. We stay the course and wait. She remains critically/stable. Thank you for checking, for prayers, and for good thoughts. Duke is now aware of her although a transport would not benefit us in any way now. We wait.

There is no such thing as a “definite” plan…

By Kathryn Fiske— Jan 10, 2015 7:04am

Susan with her Dharma Sisters at the Anh Huong retreat last year.
Susan with her Dharma Sisters at the Anh Huong retreat last year.

… especially in a hospital, and MOST especially with a patient in a hospital CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit). Susan continued to have a “good day” on Friday, a day with no change, resting with ease under the gift of sedation while her heart continues to mend. The nurses, technician, and doctors who tend to her every need on a minute-to-minute vigil are all wonderful, intensely skilled, talented and committed individuals. She is NEVER left alone in her room, not even for one moment! It is with awe and amazement I watch the dance of care on her behalf. Gratitude seems insufficient to express how we are all feeling about the level of care Susan is receiving.
Today will be another day of rest for Susan … they no longer plan to challenge her heart by lowering the assistance she is receiving from the RVAD, feeling another couple of days (or more?) are what is needed before that is done. The doctors agree that the prolonged sedation is not a long-term problem, as is doing her much good as it provides the environment her body needs for recovery.

It was a bit difficult to hear that they would not do the procedure to see if her ventricle could begin to work on its own. It is easy to cling to anything that could be interpreted as “moving forward”, and that was certainly a marker that many of us here were focusing on. Of course, we only want the proverbial “what is best for Susan”, and it is challenging to be in the “impatiently wait – patiently” mode that Anna has so eloquently expressed from time to time.

So, today there is more being together, lovingly holding the space for healing as a sacred vessel.

January 8th – again

By Anna O’Connor Morin—

Jan 8, 2015 1:28pm

She had a bleed last night that was very scary and required surgery in the ICU room. Doc said she’s the sickest person In the hospital right now…Then had a quiet restful night just what she needs. All her vitals are good and they are pleased with the way her blood thickness is this am so they are able to add some anti coagulants to prevent clots forming. We hope and pray the day continues to be restful for her. Right ventricle will be tested again in 48 hours. Patiently- impatiently waiting. My dad is driving over and more aunties are flying/driving in. Still praying.