Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I'm a minister but...

And we wonder why non-Christians are weary, suspicious and even repulsed by Christianity. In this article in Newsweek, Jerry Falwell says of his university's debate team, "We are training debaters who can perform a salt ministry, meaning becoming the conscience of the culture." Yikes. What's even scarier is that Falwell's debate team is ranked number one in the country. Harvard's team, at 14th, doesn't even come close.

Haven't we learned that beating religion and its supposed values into people isn't the way of Jesus? This kind of press makes it increasingly difficult to stake my claim as a Christian minister and makes me feel as if I should open with a disclaimer when asked about my profession.

Him/Her: What do you do?
Me: I'm a minister but...

Traching and Scrapping

There's not much to report. Ira's doing pretty good. He's throwing up but he isn't de-satting when doing it and that's good. Reflux is a natural part of his life because of the CDH so we're all wondering if that is what it is...or if he's sick. Have I mentioned that Ira now has a urinary tract infection? Kid can't catch a break. Overall, we're pleased with the progress we're seeing.

We had a family meeting yesterday with a PICU doc and one of Ira's surgeons. We asked all kinds of questions and got their opinions on all sorts of matters. We've been hearing the word "tracheostomy" in the last couple of weeks and had questions about that. Both the PICU doc and the surgeon felt that Ira was making progress and that we should hold off on a trach but both also said it was in the back of their minds.

The PICU doc used the phrase "weeks or months" when talking of Ira's care here in the hospital. After the meeting I turned to Laura and said, "I want Ira home for his first birthday." But alas, I haven't gotten a lot of what I've wanted over the past year and so this too I will deal with when the time comes.
A reminder that our friend Stacy is making a scrapbook for Ira. She writes:

I'm compiling photos, prayers and notes from those of you praying for Ira. The photos will feature The Wristband, with all the people who've worn it and all the travels it's been on. Send me photos of you wearing the wristband. It's okay if you haven't taken Ira anywhere as exciting as a World Series game. Take a photo of him in your backyard, or at your church, or with your dog. Get creative and have fun taking your pictures. Then send them to me, along with the following information:

1. Your full name or the name of your group
2. Your relationship to the Hays family
3. Where the photo was taken
4. A written prayer or note, if you'd like to have it included with your photo.
5. Put all this into an e-mail with IRA as the subject and send to: cowtownstacy@charter.net

You can send printed photos or digital images, and I'll compile them for Joe, Laura, Sophia and Ira. If you don't have a wristband and would like to participate, click here. We will make the scrapbook available online, so that you can see its progress. If you're uncomfortable with your name and location being posted on the internet, make a note of that in your email and I'll make sure to blur that part out. Thank you for your participation in this project. I am blessed beyond words to be working on it.

Stacy Kocur, Ft. Worth, Texas

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I'm in the computer room of the PICU. The doctors are putting in yet another art line. I used this small procedure as an excuse to get out of the room. The truth is that I have no problem seeing Ira get stuck. I've seen it so many times that I'm hardly phased by it anymore and the sight of Ira's blood has no affect on me any longer either. What I do have a problem seeing - and the reason I needed to get out of the room- is Ira shaking uncontrollably.

You see, Ira's addicted to his meds. Especially his sedation medication. And so as they have tried to wean Ira off this medication its become evident that he is addicted to it much like a drug addict is addicted to heroin. Think I'm overstating the case? Ira's on the same drug therapy - methadone - that heroin addicts are put on as they attempt to detox.

The docs tried to wean Ira too quickly and minutes ago they went back on the sedation med. In other words, Ira's getting his fix.

This son of ours has seen too much, experienced too much and felt too much in his first nine months of life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cell Phones and Confessions

On Sunday evening during our church service my phone rang. It was Ira's surgeon. Ira's chest x-ray showed that air was accumulating and that his left lung was completely deflated...again. He needed a new and bigger chest tube. After a grueling hour we got a call back saying the chest tube did it's job and Ira was doing better.

On Monday morning during our church staff meeting my phone rang. It was Laura. Ira was unstable and the medical team was working hard. They were trying everything. I packed up and headed for the hospital. By the time I got there, Ira was stable.

I'm starting to hate the ring of my cell phone.
According to Technorati the third most visited blog is PostSecret. Heard of it? Frank Warren distributed 3,000 self-addressed postcards throughout D.C. asking people to send back their confessions or secrets. Three thousand wasn't near enough. Now Warren receives around 400 postcards a week from all over the world.

The confessions are amazing. Some are silly and fun to read ("libraries make me have to poop") while some are dreadful and scary ("everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes I'm dead"). Below is the link to the site but be forewarned, some of the material is rated R. It's not for the faint of heart.


The questions I have are, "Is this good or bad? Helpful or harmful? Perpetuating lies or setting truth free? Alleviating guilt or prolonging it? ..."

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Real Community

Have you been to NYC? Did you think of it as fun and exciting yet cold and distanced? Those were some of my first impressions when Laura and I made regular trips to the city from grad school in New Jersey. Those same impressions came to life when Laura and I moved to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. But in Brooklyn, well, things are different. We're experiencing community like never before.

You've read about our upstairs neighbors, Yael and Bryan. Their generosity overwhelms us. Above them lives Erik. He let's us use his washer and dryer...for free! Below us live Jack and Delores, our landlords. They had every right to raise our rent this past year but didn't because of Ira's situation. They are loving and gracious and Sophia adores them.

But it doesn't stop there. A couple down the street invited us for dinner not long ago. They were saddened to hear that Ira was back in the hospital and understood that we couldn't come over. They immediately supplied us with delicious homemade banana muffins. They told another family on the street of our predicament. We have never officially met this family but they felt compelled to bring us turkey noodle soup. Yum, yum. And to top it off, another family on the block is letting our mothers use their house while they're away.

The next time your in NYC and you're thinking to yourself how cold and distanced it feels know there is a neighborhood in Brooklyn that cares for each other in very real and practical ways.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Sold Out

Charles Marsh wrote an op-ed piece in the NYTimes this weekend. He's an evangelical who mourns how quickly other evangelicals were to support the war in Iraq and worries about the political power evangelicals have in Washington D.C. In sum he says,

What will it take for evangelicals in the United States to recognize our mistaken loyalty? We have increasingly isolated ourselves from the shared faith of the global Church, and there is no denying that our Faustian bargain for access and power has undermined the credibility of our moral and evangelistic witness in the world. The Hebrew prophets might call us to repentance, but repentance is a tough demand for a people utterly convinced of their righteousness.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Go, Ira, Go!

I reported on Wednesday that Ira was stable and he remains so. His blood/gas results are good and they are slowly - oh so very slowly - turning down the settings on the ventilator. And so the roller coaster takes another turn and starts to climb once again.
It seems that my "Cool Cat" post struck a nerve in many of you. Seems I'm not the only one feeling uncool these days. Maybe many of us can identify with Bowling For Soup's chorus in their hit song, 1985:

Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
way before Nirvana
there was U2 and Blondie
and music still on MTV
her two kids in high school
they tell her that she's uncool
cuz she's still preoccupied
with 19, 19, 1985
I guess my mom was feeling sorry for Laura and me and the fact that we never see each other. The other day she called from the hospital and said, "get Sophia a babysitter for Thursday night and plan on letting me stay with Ira that night. You guys are going out." She got us tickets to the opening night of Pajama Game with Harry Connick, Jr. In spite of Connick, Jr.'s inability to act, it was a fun show and the Hernando's Hideaway scene was worth the price of admission on its own.
Thanks Erin, for hanging out with Sophia and thanks, mom, for giving us a night out.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cool Cat

I used to be cool. I was, I promise. Back in the late '80s and early '90s I had it going on.

I wore overalls with only one strap hooked. When not wearing one-strap overalls I rolled the cuffs of my pants just right. And I occasionally sported round, flip-up glasses like Dwayne Wayne from A Different World.

I new all the words to all the glamour raps and perfected all the dance moves of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. Instead of giving traditional speeches while running for student council offices I rapped my speeches.

It didn't matter that I didn't have a car in high school like most of my friends. I proudly rode around on my Honda Elite motor scooter.

And I played a lot of sports. I broke tradition at my small west Texas high school and quit playing football and focused on basketball. I also played tennis, baseball and ran track.

Yep, I was pretty cool back in the day. Now? Well, not so much. I have resigned to the fact that I'm just not cool and I'm prepping myself for the day when my kids won't want to be seen in public with me.

I'm now a year or two behind what's fashionably cool. If it were, say, 2001 or 2002 the clothes I'm wearing today would be considered cool. It was only recently that I learned that I should not buy XL shirts. That I'm truly a M or L kind of guy. And the winter sweaters I sported the last couple of years are so out of date that they're starting to smell bad.

The only words of songs I know these days are the songs we sing with Sophia. I just learned the full version of Hush Little Baby and was proud of myself.

The car we drive now is hardly fashionable. It's a station wagon for goodness sakes.

And the only sport I play these days is going to the gym and getting on a stationary bike while trying hard to imagine that I'm doing something adventurous only to find when I open my eyes that I haven't moved one inch.

Finally, I know that my days of being cool are over because I keep using the word "cool". Does anyone use that word anymore? Someone save me.

I've pondered my demise and come up with the reason for it: kids. I'm blaming the kids. Can I get an amen?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

O Suburbia, how I miss thee!

Today is the kind of day when all us New Yorkers wished we lived in Suburbia, USA. Why? Because then we could go into our garages and get into our cars without ever having to deal with the weather.

Here in the city it's raining...horizontally. That means that umbrellas are absolutely worthless. That means that you get soaked. And the mildly cold weather doesn't help things either. Today is the kind of day that everyone complains about being a New Yorker and having to deal with commuting by foot.

Tomorrow, we'll be bragging that no place is like New York and that we absolutely couldn't imagine living anywhere else but today? Not so much. Give us a car. Give us a garage. Give us suburbia!
Ira's been stable the last couple of days. The nights have been relatively uneventful which is a good thing. The swelling in his head is back but minimal compared to what it was. The surgeons have concluded that Ira does indeed have a recurrence of his hernia but won't deal with it - meaning another surgery - until Ira is better able to handle such a procedure. I can't quite describe to you how rare it is for a CDH to recur a third time. The second recurrence back in August wasn't such a shock. But this one is. This will make Ira's hospital stay even longer and his recovery even harder. My response to this? "You've got to be kidding me." They weren't kidding.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

psalm 62

The pslam chosen for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany is Psalm 62. Verse eight struck me this morning:

Trust in him at all times, O People; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Monday, January 16, 2006

more of the same

After an encouraging Friday in which we all got a little excited at Ira's progress - hence Laura's wide smile in the photo below - Ira went on to have a hard Saturday and Sunday. By "hard" I mean that he took some significant steps back. The details would bore you and I've found that I'm taking for granted that you know what I'm talking about when I say things like "his blood/gas results aren't coming back like we want them," etc. So I'll just say that Ira's fluctuating between being stable and unstable. He's making the nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists work hard.

Laura and I ache for our little boy. There is a constant pain that makes its home in the depths of our souls these days as its becoming increasingly difficult to see our son in the state he's in. We're desperately searching for that solid ground to stand on but the sadness that overwhelms us makes us wonder if we'll discover it.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Life in PICU

Life in the PICU
Originally uploaded by joechays.

Ira got another chest tube today (Saturday). He was having a hard time stabilizing so they took an x-ray and found that air was building up again. The chest tube helped immediately.

Ira started to wake up on Friday morning. I wish you could have seen Sophia's reaction when she realized that Ira was a bit more awake than usual. It was priceless. Later Friday night they decided to knock him back out again because he wasn't handling it well.

It was good for all of us to see him awake even though he was in a drunken stupor.

Friday, January 13, 2006

How's Ira?

Just a quick note to say that all is stable with Ira. There have been some "moments" this week that have scared us but all in all, things are stable and we are progressing very, very slowly.

When I picked Sophia up at daycare on Tuesday her teacher said that Sophia was "very sensitive today." No duh! Sophia is doing a bit better at night. She slept solidly on Wednesday night and we were thrilled. The two times Ira was rushed to the hospital during the week before Christmas took place in the middle of the night. Sophia woke those next mornings to find no Ira and no parents. We wonder if nighttime scares her as she considers the possibility that everyone could be gone in the morning.

Laura had to be on antibiotics for 24 hours before she could go be with Ira. To see Ira in the state that he's in and to not be able to hold him is hard enough. And then to be told, "you can't come see your son," adds so much more pain. It was hard for Laura. She was able to see Ira again on Tuesday night and Laura is feeling much better.

We're hanging in there. Some days are better than others. The PICU experience is so much harder than the NICU experience. Maybe I'll write about that at some point. We are so thankful to have the crucial third person helping us out. Laura's mom helped out for two weeks and now my mom is helping out. It makes things so much more manageable. A big shout out to the moms!
Wanna watch a movie this weekend? Rent Millions. Then watch it with your friends and have an honest discussion about money. Then watch it at church, synagogue or whatever and have a confessional about how we view, treat and think about money. Then watch it again. And then pray that we can all become like little Damian.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ira's Scrapbook compliments of Stacy

Picture yourself in Ira's Scrapbook!

Picture toddler Ira asking Mommy: "Can we look at my Wristband book again?"

Picture grade school Ira stumbling through his nightly read-out-loud time with Daddy: "Here I am at the Willie Nelson concert. And here I am at the World Series. And here I am at the Nashville Zoo!"

Picture adult Ira sharing the book with his wife: "These are the people who faithfully prayed for me as a baby."

I'm compiling photos, prayers and notes from those of you praying for Ira. The photos will feature The Wristband, with all the people who've worn it and all the travels it's been on. Wouldn't it be cool for the Hayses to see that wristband all over the country and the world? Wouldn't it be cool for other people to see the book and know that there IS power in prayer? And that God's family is as wide as the oceans are deep?

Please help me. Send me photos of you wearing the wristband. It's okay if you haven't taken Ira anywhere as exciting as a World Series game. Take a photo of him in your backyard, or at your church, or with your dog. Get creative and have fun taking your pictures. Then send them to me, along with the following information:

1. Your full name or the name of your group
2. Your relationship to the Hays family
3. Where the photo was taken
4. A written prayer or note, if you'd like to have it included with your photo.
5. Put all this into an e-mail with IRA as the subject and send to: cowtownstacy@charter.net

You can send printed photos or digital images, and I'll compile them for Joe, Laura, Sophia and Ira.

If you don't have a wristband and would like to participate, click here.

We will make the scrapbook available online, so that you can see its progress. If you're uncomfortable with your name and location being posted on the internet, make a note of that in your email and I'll make sure to blur that part out.

Thank you for your participation in this project. I am blessed beyond words to be working on it.

Stacy Kocur,
Ft. Worth, Texas

m. m.

Wanna know what the surgical team had to say about the possibility of a reherniation? Mental masturbation. In other words, there's nothing we can do if Ira has reherniated because he's too sick and we can't move him to get a CAT scan because he's too sick so we're kinda wasting our time even talking about it. So, we move on. I'm cool with that. I like that Ira's surgeons are so frank. They tell us like it is and I have no problem with that. Hey, one less thing to think about.

So we gotta get Ira well and then we can take a more in-depth look at what is going on inside of Ira.
Laura's banned from the PICU. She's sick with a sinus infection and they advised that she stay away. It crushed Laura to hear me say that this morning over the phone. Crushed her.

in threes

Ira had a good weekend. He stayed pretty stable. We were able to finally pinpoint why Ira's white blood cell count was so high: he has pneumonia and is now being treated with antibiotics. (If you are keeping score at home, that's a RSV, collapsed lung and pneumonia that Ira's got going on.) The oxygen on the vent is at 45%. So all in all he had a good weekend.

Sunday night was not go great. He started to de-sat at 3:45 a.m. on Monday morning. My mom was with Ira and it the was the first time she ever experienced Ira getting bagged. They had to do it twice. They then took an x-ray and the x-ray shows the possibility of a re-herniation. Yep, that's right. It's possible, not confirmed yet, but possible that Ira has re-herniated yet again. We are waiting for the surgical team to take a look at the x-ray as they know Ira's insides better than anyone. This could potentially be a huge setback. We'll keep you informed.

I'm at the hospital this morning hoping to hear from the doctors what we might do next. Ira's too unstable for a CAT scan so it's unclear what will be done.
I've had the same dream over the last three nights. In my dream I'm in Ira's hospital room. He immediately wakes up from his sedation. I cry at seeing his huge blue eyes while the medical staff is nervous that his being awake will thrown him into arrest. It doesn't. Instead, Ira starts smiling and kicking wildly. I immediately pick him up. It's at that point that Laura comes into the dream. She too is in the room and I hand over Ira to her. We are more than ecstatic.

Today marks the 17th day that Ira's been sedated.
Today marks the 17th day that we have not held him.
Today marks the 17th day that we have not seen those huge blue eyes of his.
It's interesting that my three nights of dreams coincide with Sophia's three nights of acting out her feelings about this trauma in our lives.

Sophia's always been an incredible sleeper. She's always slept soundly without any problems. Three nights ago she woke up in the middle of the night crying out for Laura. Even after Laura went in to comfort Sophia, Sophia cried for another two hours. In the midst of conversing with Laura she said things like, "I don't want to be a big girl," and "I don't want to be too far away from you, mommy," and out of nowhere and without any prompting, "I love Ira."

This has happened over the last three nights. She is really sensing this trauma. Please pray for her.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

the wristband

Was I the only one who thought Pete Carroll, the head coach of the USC Trojans, was wearing an Ira Lester Hays wristband? Anyone?

Apparently not. A friend from high school wrote and said, "I am watching the Rose Bowl and just noticed a green bracelet on Pete Carroll's wrist."

I don't think I'm so narrow-minded or focused to think it's "all about me" but that wristband is a very specific green and it's hard to miss. Anyway...
Ira had a good 24 hours from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening. We all were feeling pretty good on Wednesday. Wednesday night, however, was pretty hard. They had to work to keep him stable. Laura's mom stayed the night so I'm sure didn't get any sleep.
Tuesday Laura and I celebrated our 8th anniversary. (Thank you, Laura, for the sweet post you wrote.) That day wasn't the most romantic day in our married life. I woke to an empty bed only to remember that Laura was at the hospital with our son. I called her first thing that morning and wished her a Happy Anniversary.

There was a different feeling as I uttered those words than when I have in the past. The subtext of that phrase this year was "I'm so very thankful not to be experiencing this hell alone. I'm glad you are by my side." A deeper exploration of that subtext then reveals that we, as a couple, couldn't have made it through 2005 without the truth of God With Us. Thanks, Laura, for eight years of togetherness.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

8 years

I remember our ceremony like it was yesterday. I wanted the song "God Has Smiled on Me" blasting out of the speakers when I came down the isle. I can remember thinking to myself that I had absolutely no doubts about marrying this Joe guy. I knew in my head there would be good times and bad times ahead. But my heart had no idea. Even still, there is no one else I would rather travel with on this journey called life.

Joe, thank you for loving me; for showing me your love through your faithfulness to me; for loving our family and keeping us your first priority. Thank you for your example of faith through the storm of 2005. I love you more today than I did yesterday and less than I will tomorrow. Happy Anniversary.

A Closing and Opening Prayer

I asked Casey to conclude our January 1 worship service with a prayer. This is what she prayed:

Holy father, on this day of 2006, we stop to reflect on the past year both in the world community and in our own. Lord we pray that we will be ever mindful of what is going on far outside these walls. That we will continue to be a church that is aware and willing to be involved in bringing justice to those left behind.

Holy father, we pray for hope. Lord we remember today the victims of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake in Kashmir, the mudslides in Columbia and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We ask that you be with them as they recover from these tragedies and as they mourn the loss of their loved ones and their way of life. We pray that they are not forgotten by the world community, but that we continue to remember them and tend to their needs, even a year later.

Holy father, we pray for peace. We pray for peace in Africa, as many countries are town apart by civil war and disease and poverty. We pray that people in power will speak up for those who are merely innocent bystanders in these evils. We pray especially, Lord, for the children of Africa, as many of them have been left orphans. We pray that they are protected from exploitation, that they are allowed to be children. We pray for peace in Iraq. We pray for the young men and women fighting this war to be safe and home with their families soon. We pray for cool heads to prevail and for negotiations to be driven by hope rather than by greed and prejudice.

We now turn our focus to our own community. Holy father, we remember the wonderful events of this first year of Christ's Church for Brooklyn. We praise you for our newest additions, Jasper Adam Brooks and Ira Lester Hays. We thank you for their presence in our lives, for their sweet smiles and their wonderful futures. We praise you for the marriages in our community this year. For Bryan and Liz, and Tom and Regina. We pray that you strengthen their marriages and be with them as they build relationships based on faith. We pray for those of us in this group who have lost loved ones this year. We pray that your hand be over their families and that they be comforted. We pray blessings over Jen and Brent as they anticipate the birth of their child. We pray this pregnancy will be easy and the baby will be healthy.

Holy father, we pray that you be with us in the coming year. That you will continue to be present here. That this will always be a place where questions can be asked and matters can be discussed freely and without hesitation. We pray that we will continue as individuals and as a church to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. Amen.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Arrested - Ira and Me

I stepped out of Ira's room this morning because Ira needed an x-ray. I came back fifteen minutes later to find Ira's room full of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. One doctor was doing chest compressions on Ira. There are absolutely no words to describe what I felt at that moment. I have never been more scared in my life. After six minutes of chest compressions Ira bounced back.

Ira's nurse reported that Ira tolerated the x-ray but just a few minutes later - at 9:04 a.m. - he started to de-sat and his heartrate suddenly dropped from 150 to 30. They flipped him over and started CPR. He's been stable ever since. The doctor was not worried about brain damage due to lack of oxygen but ordered that Ira be kept cold. Apparently high temperatures help facilitate damage after going into arrest. Ira's temp for most of the day was around 94 degrees. Laura's with Ira tonight.

I'm still in shock. I feel like I'm kinda dazed tonight. Furthermore, I'm tired of reporting depressing news on this blog so until I have something good to say, I probably won't write much more.

A Quick Update

I didn't comment much on Baby Diana of the NICU but I referenced her a couple of times. In my August 21 post I said that Ira and Lily weren't the oldest ones in the NICU. Diana was older. She was born in January of 2005. I also referred to Diana in my August 5 post. Diana was due to go home but had a lung collapse.

Laura and I were shocked to see Diana's mom this past week making the usual trek up to the NICU. We soon realized that Diana was still in the NICU.

She was to turn one this January and the priest told us of the big party they were going to throw her in the NICU. Diana didn't make it to her first birthday. She died on New Year's Eve.
The intensivists decided - with the prodding of our surgeon - to take Ira off the paralyzing medicine. Our surgeon likened the affect of the paralyzing medicine to a cast for a broken bone. The cast is helpful but it weakens and atrophies the muscles in which it covers. The paralyzing medicine is helpful to a degree but it also shuts down Ira's muscles which could work in Ira's favor - or it could make him work harder. They weren't sure about the outcome of taking Ira off the medicine but they went for it at 3 PM yesterday. He did well until the nursing shift change at 7:30ish. For the next four hours they worked on getting Ira stable. It was intense to say the least.

The vent was maxed out so when Ira started to de-sat they had to bag him. Bagging him got him back up but he would soon de-sat again. This happened over and over and over again. They added meds but not the paralyzing med. Stopped other meds. It seemed that everyone had their turn at bagging Ira as it's a tiring task. They took x-rays to make sure everything was in place. Finally, the nurse suggested that we turn Ira over to the prone position. At midnight, six people worked on getting Ira turned over from his back to his belly. From that moment on, he satted at 100. Amazing, huh?

This morning the vent is at 50% oxygen. Those four hours last night were grueling and I was one big ball of stress but this morning I'm quite relieved to see Ira stable.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How's Ira?

Not good.

Good would indicate that Ira is making progress in being weaned off the ventilator. Good would mean they could wheel the oscillator out of the corner of the room because they're sure it's not needed. Good would mean that Ira's list of drugs would slowly diminish.

At this point, Ira's not as stable as the medical staff wants him to be. Stable would indicate that Ira is able to tolerate certain set levels on the ventilator and that his meds are what they need to be. Stable would indicate that his saturation level and other stats are on target.

Saturday was another hard day. Ira de-satted a couple of times and it took the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists quite some time to get Ira back to where he needed to be. He's currently on 100% oxygen and they continue to fool with his meds. We aren't shooting for progress at the moment. We're just hoping for stabilization.