Skip to main content

Day 62: That Time My Brother Didn't Die

Yesterday my sister shared an article on Facebook from the ND Department of Health about that time a couple of years back when my brother nearly died of influenza. It's sad to say, but I don't think about it much anymore, and it was such a crazy time for our family!

Check it out here:

My brother has always been really healthy. I don't think he has any allergies and he rarely gets sick. 

A couple of years ago he caught the flu, like influenza (not gastroenteritis). He wasn't getting better so his wife sent him to the doctor a couple of times. The last time, they loaded him into an ambulance and sent him to Grand Forks! 

I was shocked to get the call at work from my sister that he was in intensive care with pneumonia! But even that didn't seem too life-threatening, since I'd only known previously sick old people who'd died from pneumonia. 

What followed was several different antibiotics that didn't work, kidney failure, back issues (from coughing), major weight loss, and almost death. There were three cases like his at Altru that year and the other two both died! 

He ended up spending more than two weeks in intensive care, and several more weeks nearly isolated at home recovering. My pregnancy prevented me from visiting him in the hospital, but my sister kept me well-informed. We had so very much to be grateful for during and after that time! 

His wife and family - My brother can be stubborn and if his wife hadn't made him go to the doctor, he could have died in his bed. The doctors said as much, once he was on the road to recovery.

Altru - he had so many doctors working on and with him and when it seemed dire, they were able to pull through for him. Doctors truly do amazing work!

Our community - He is a farmer, and this happened in April. Bad news. He should have been preparing and planting his crop, and he was able to do exactly no work! He has excellent hired help and farmers have a way of pulling together to support each other. My semi-retired dad worked his butt off, as did many others, and the crops got planted. He was warned that it could take a year or more to recover, but he was miraculously able to participate in that fall's harvest. 

Prayers - we all firmly believe that the prayers of so many helped him (and the rest of us) make it through that difficult time. 

There are so many more details to the story and blessings that came from his survival. It's unfortunate that it takes something like this, or my mom's cancer a few years ago, to remind us Norwegian-Germans to feel feelings and remember how much we love each other. Since these things have happened, I think we do have a greater appreciation for each other and are a little less hard on each other in regards to our differences. 

The Lord really does work miracles through our suffering. Amazing. 


  1. I think about it every year. I share his story often. I pray no other family goes through this each year when the flu hits. I cry each time I remember how he looked in the hospital. I cry when I think of what could have been. Why does it always take something so hard to make us remember that little things really are little and love matters?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I Am A Blogger: CWBN 2017 Recap

The last weekend in March I had the great pleasure of attending a real life blogging conference! Like a real blogger!
JacquiAnna and Susanna hosted the Catholic Women's Blogging Network Twin Cities get together at a stunning Summit Avenue mansion in St. Paul. Thirty-some wonderful Catholic women from the Twin Cities, the Midwest, and even Maryland joined up to talk blogging and really just to support each other and build each other up.

My friend Monica encouraged me to go, and I signed up on a bit of a whim, figuring that if I paid for registration I'd be more inclined to go. If I didn't have a mutual friend link to one of the organizers, and if a couple of my most favoritest bloggers hadn't been speakers, I'd probably have chickened out. 
In response to my evident nerves on the way, my husband wisely mused, "Well, if you're going to walk into a group of people you don't know, this is probably the best group you could pick." Catholic. Women. Fro…

Day 304: You Have Dignity Because You Belong To God

"We let our ability to do things speak to our dignity.... You are not valuable because you do things. You are not valuable because you look good or because you have a charming personality or because you have been successful at work. You have dignity because you belong to God." ~The Reverend Brian Larkin, Homily for 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2016. 

Listen to the full homily here (choose the one for XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time).

His homily is directly related to a physician-assisted suicide measure on the ballots in Colorado next week, but is applicable to everyone. He tells a moving story about Pope John Paul II at the end of his life, and discusses how, as humans, we all have inherent dignity. Even if we are not productive (something I could use a lesson in). Even if we are suffering (which we all will at times).

I'm so glad that my church is clear about its stance on human dignity. We aren't valuable because someone wants us or because we are doing s…

Seven Random Things I Like

It's been a while, so I'm going to link up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum  for 7 Quick Takes today! I present to you seven random things I like, and for which I am grateful today.

1. Lent! Time to repent! I do like Lent, and with a weird rib-area cartilage injury and a bad cold to set the pace, it's shaping up to be a really Lenty Lent. I'm using the Blessed is She Lenten journal for my daily prayer time and am trying...t r y i n g this 5-Minute sacrifice. I did fairly well at it Wednesday, and pretty crappy Thursday. So there you go. Onward and upward.

I will embarrassingly admit that it took me until my 35th year to realize that I don't have to read all the things on the interwebs, even if they are about a topic of interest to me. The webs are awash with posts about how to Lent, and but thank goodness I resisted the urge to click on all of them and just licked on this one by Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee. Of course you know I want to share everything she w…