Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Latest Update on Father Groeschel

From Father Glenn:

"Stretch out your hand!" This is the command Our Lord gives to a man with a shriveled hand in today's Gospel. The gospel says, "The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored". Today, Fr. Benedict was commanded, "Father raise your eyebrow! Raise your finger!"

Nothing. No movement.

Today things were quiet. Perhaps too quiet. Father is still asleep. The chemicals put into his system the first night were necessary to keep his body still and to dull the pain. Evidently, the sedatives are doing their thing, perhaps a bit more than expected. The doctors have told us that every person reacts differently to the same doses. The way I read the present situation is that there is a certain "cautious optimism". Professionals are understandably hesitant to offer their opinions. Sometimes you get more from the nurses' expressions than from what they say. Some raise their eyebrows and shrug their shoulders as if to say, "Who knows?" Some slightly purse their lips and tilt their heads which looks like: "I'm sorry". Many of you have been through this with loved ones. "An emotional roller coaster" is how one mother of a cancer victim recently described it to me.

Yet, today we choose to thank God. Fr. Benedict has survived thus far. We're into our second week. Every day he is with us is a gift. He is in little pain. The head wound is healing. The leg was repaired masterfully with no apparent negative effects. His color is good. His blood pressure "okay", and his heart rate generally moderate. His lungs show no signs of pneumonia or infections.