I’m back!

Journal entry by Nancy Aarsvold

Hi, all!

This is Nancy, checking in from Scottsdale, Arizona! I wanted to write and thank you for the many ways you have supported our Fay-Aarsvold family during the past two weeks — for your thoughts and prayers, for your lyrical writing and bullet lists, and for your messages and hashtags to Fiona the defibrillator.

You have helped us to be strong when we really felt weak, to be brave when we felt mostly fear, and to remind us of the love and good in the world when it appeared a little dark. I had a pretty good case of ICU delirium after I woke up, so I especially appreciated the humor and thoughtfulness of your comments.

I got out of the hospital on Tuesday, and Steph and I have been staying in an AirBnB in Scottsdale. Steph’s niece is staying with us, and Steph’s brother and sister and spouses are nearby as well. They are taking good care of me, as you can well imagine. For my part, I am getting used to some new meds, eating some small but very healthy meals, and walking outside at least 4 times a day. I can’t go very far or very fast yet, but I am aiming for 4000 steps today.

Our plan for now is to stay here in Arizona until the end of next week and then fly home to Minnesota. We have our car here with us, so our sister-in-law from St. Paul is going to fly in and drive it home for us.

We have been in contact with my cardiologist and electrophysiologist at the U of M, as well as with Fiona the defibrillator’s device nurses. They have all been very helpful in scheduling appointments for us the first week we are home.

That is what we know for now, and it is enough. In the meantime, we are getting on with our lives, which for us means doing something meaningful and fun together and, of course, with our family and friends.



Margaret O’Leary|Mar 29, 2018

So glad to hear that you’re up to reading your own messages now! Hang in there! I’m sure it will feel really good to get home and sleep in your own bed.

Mary Beth Lake|Mar 29, 2018
So thankful for your recovery. Yes, get those 4,000 steps in carefully! Enjoy the sun and family! Love you both and see you this spring!!

Jane Summers|Mar 29, 2018
What a wild ride you guys have been on. So glad you are out of the hospital and that you’re on the receiving end of such loving TLC!! Sending love and prayers.

Mary Cisar|Mar 29, 2018
Such good news, Nancy! Good to hear your voice directly.
Hi to Steph and Fiona!

Gail Klemm|Mar 29, 2018
I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear from you, directly, Nancy! (I am your dad’s cousin, Gail Ellertson Klemm, and live in s. CA. Jen found me on Facebook a couple of years ago, and we message back and forth – which was how I learned of your recent health scare. I have kept in touch since, and send you so much love and best wishes for strength and healing.
(I know you don’t know me, but I have always thought of you as “Nancy, who teaches Norwegian at St. Olaf” with a little envy, since my Norwegian is very limited.) Consider yourself hugged!

Ann Dyellig|Mar 29, 2018
Wonderful to hear from you Nancy! Glad you are taking it easy for now. Continued healing, exercise, and rest! See you soon! Hugs and Luv, Ann

Christine Hanson|Mar 29, 2018
This is great news! Wishing you all the best. ❤️

Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak|Mar 29, 2018
Nancy, so glad that you’re well enough to write to us all yourself. “That is what we know for now, and it is enough” strikes me as a good life motto. Wishing you a smooth, steady recovery and trip home. Happy Easter!

Su Smallen|Mar 29, 2018
Hello Nancy! Thank you for writing! Remember I’m at the ready to help once you’re back in St. Paul! Enjoy the warmth of Scottsdale and then bring it here with you. Last night Coco discovered that she can run at the deer barking, and they leap and dash and it is SO fun! Especially at 2am! Who needs sleeping when you can play like this?

Melanie Ruda|Mar 29, 2018
So glad! Thanks for the thoughtful, eloquent update!

Mary Moen|Mar 29, 2018
So glad you are doing so well! You all have been in my prayers.

Mary Ellen Erlandson|Mar 29, 2018
Welcome back Nancy. Great to hear from you. Blessings for continued healing. Have a blessed Easter in Arizona. Take care. Hugs!’

Jeanne Eberhart|Mar 29, 2018
Nancy, Jerry and I are thrilled for you. We cannot imagine how frightening and unexpected this was for both of you. We’re happy you ‘graduated,’ and that you’re taking it day by day.
Your old friends,
Jeanne and Jerry

Lynda Hirschboeck|Mar 29, 2018
Great news! Scottsdale should be a great place to be for getting out for walks. We’ll be so happy to see you when you do get back!

Judith Tande|Mar 29, 2018
Glad that you’re able to be out and moving in the beautiful AZ weather. We are so thankful that you’re gaining strength and look forward to seeing you back in MN soon.
Hugs to you both!

Claudia Gordon|Mar 29, 2018
‘…..getting on with our lives….’ That’s what spring is all about! New life springing up from the ground, birds singing, trees budding, people out walking, everyone and everything ‘getting on with our lives’. And you and Stephanie, too. You made it through a very difficult time to enjoy a new spring. Good job, ladies!

Liz Hawkinson|Mar 29, 2018
Take good care!

Lai Wong|Mar 29, 2018
We miss you! Get well soon!

Kathy Styc|Mar 29, 2018
I’m so glad to hear the great news. That seems like a pretty fast recovery after such a traumatic event! Wonderful!!! 4000 steps a day is good . I have one of those Fitbits that nags me to get up and move. Seems like I can’t relax anymore! But moving is good.
My love to you both. And thank you, Stephanie for your updates.

JoAnn Johnson|Mar 29, 2018
So happy to hear your sweet voice in your words Nancy! You are indeed surrounded by the sweetest and most expert of care and love. Hi Steph. Hi Tonya.

Terry Kenck|Mar 29, 2018
So happy to hear how well you are doing, Nancy . Love you! Happy Easter ! (A bunch of Ellertsons in church tonight and I know we are all so thankful for YOU! And… it might be fun for you to know that Aunt Kathleen is feeling so much better that she is having Easter dinner for her kids at her house!!!!) 😃❤️🐣🌷🌷🌷

Ingela Flatin|Mar 30, 2018
That is such wonderful news! ❤️💐❤️ Big hug 🤗🤗🤗

Anne Sabo|Mar 30, 2018
So wonderful to hear your voice and see you outdoors in the sun smiling! I hear smiles in your voice too. Love you, Nancy! STOR klem fra meg!! xoxo

Donna Dingle|Mar 30, 2018
So happy to hear this news! Thinking of you both. See you when you get back! The Swingles

Randi Jeeps|Mar 30, 2018
Such good news! May you continue to improve In health and increase your steps! Best regards to you both, Randi. P.s. I just got my Ancestry DNA results back and I am 59% Norwegian! Much hirer than I would have expected. Xx

Kris Davis|Mar 30, 2018
So glad to hear you are safe, well cared for, cheerful and determined …. Love to you both!

Cara Lemmage|Mar 30, 2018
So thankful that you are well, Nancy! Cheering for you and Stephanie always. The world is brighter and happier with you back on your feet. Prayers for a good week of gratitude and healing. UM YA YA!

Patricia Sween|Mar 30, 2018
Your smiling face and positive words warmed my heart. Continuing to pray for your full health to return. Come back to us safely! Love from Roger and Pat

susan Donohue|Mar 30, 2018
What a great plan! Rest well and get strong. By the time you come home, it will . be spring and you’ll be cruising the ‘hood. Much love to you both.

ANN LIMRIC|Mar 30, 2018
It just goes to show, “It Takes a Village.” So happy you are both where you are right now. Great News

Andrea Nixon|Mar 30, 2018
It is great to hear from you!! Safe travels and happy walking.

dorothy bocian|Mar 30, 2018
I’m SO glad you have the support you have!! Best wishes to you all!

Michael Schulze|Mar 30, 2018
Hang in there kid oh.

Debra Taylor|Mar 30, 2018
I’m glad you can soak in the sunshine & fresh air to help you regain your strength & health. Take care.

Nancy Montgomery|Mar 30, 2018
Sending good vibes to you! So happy to hear that you are doing so well, Nancy! Sounds like Stephanie is taking very good care of you!!! There is nothing like having those who love you at your side, encouraging you along the way. Hope to see you on the Twin Cities.

Sigrun Skjesol|Mar 31, 2018
Great Nancy! Nice to see you are so well! Ta dei 4000 stega og bli sterk. Helsing frå påskefjellet i Norge- Sigrun

Phyllis Zumach|Mar 31, 2018
With you out of the hospital, eating little healthy meals, and walking 4000 steps a day, our hearts are doing little flip flops of joy. (No, Fiona, it’s not of concern) So glad you’ll be home soon. In the meantime, 2 1/2 inches of wet snow last night …. so enjoy the Arizona sunshine while you’re there.
Love and Hugs,
Phyllis and Allen

Lynn Davidson|Apr 2, 2018
Hip, Hip, Hooray! So glad you’re feeling better today! Take it easy and let others care for you. Soak up the sunshine. It is very healing. Take care looking forward to our next gathering. Thanks, Lynn

Sveinung Skjesol|Apr 3, 2018
Girl, that’s one good read.
Vi har hatt en veldig fin påskeferie på Høvringen med hele storfamilien i løpet av påska. Klemmer! Klem Stephanie fra meg. Er det Kit som skal kjøre bilen (RV?) hjem?

Signs of spring in Minnesota

Spring is just around the corner in Minnesota, so we have been able to enjoy some walks and bike trips in St. Paul and Minneapolis. If you haven’t tried the Nice Ride bikes yet, we recommend it. On Saturday, we rode from the Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul to St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis to have dinner on the patio at the Aster Cafe and attend an album release event for Rachel Kilgour, who performed with Sara Pajunen, Chris Koza, and Liz Draper. So convenient to get bikes from the station near our home and then return them to the station near St. Anthony Main. No worries and no fuss, plus little expense and good exercise!

I hope the sun and warmth of spring helps to get me going on my cardiac rehab program again, after a bit of a plateau after Christmas. Here is one of my favorite spring poems by the Nobel-prize winning Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Below each line is my own, very literal translation, intended to convey some of the meaning of the poem but not its poetic rhythm and beauty.

Jeg velger meg april!
I choose April

Jeg velger meg april
I choose April
I den det gamle faller,
In it the old falls,
i den det ny får feste;
in it the new gains a foothold;
det volder litt rabalder,-
it causes a bit of a ruckus,-
dog fred er ei det beste,
yet peace is not the best,
men at man noe vil.
but that one wills something.

Jeg velger meg april,
I choose April,
fordi den stormer, feier,
because it storms, sweeps,
fordi den smiler, smelter,
because it smiles, melts,
fordi den evner eier,
because it has abilities,
fordi den krefter velter,-
because it overturns powers,-
i den blir somren til!
in it summer is created!

– Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Update from Nancy & Steph

CaringBridge journal entry by Stephanie Fay — 10/18/2016

Week by week, Nancy has continued her amazing recovery. The proof is in the pictures! We just finished walking 5.2 miles from our house to Longfellow Grill via Summit Avenue. We are ecstatic to be sitting outside for supper in mid October!!!

Last week Nancy had an appointment with the electrophysiology cardiologist (the doc who placed her defibrillator before she left the hospital in August), and he discovered her kidney numbers were back to normal and her heart MRI could be scheduled. So she will have that tomorrow afternoon already. Please hold her extra tight in your thoughts and prayers for both a calm and easy test as well as a NORMAL result. We are not sure if we will get results tomorrow or not.

Thanks to all for your continued support. We are grateful for each day, each other and all of you!

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