Saturday, November 19, 2005


     It's very early in the morning, but I think I'll share something I've hesitated to share since it happened.  In short, this afternoon as Kari's legs were being stretched, she actually felt her muscles stretching, and all evening has had feeling returning to her rear end, parts of her legs, and especially to her feet.  Though the feelings are still quite spotty, what's come back isn't just feeling pressure either.  She can feel temperature and specific touch.  I can scratch her feet lightly, even through socks, and she can tell where--and, well, it tickles.
     Of course, I hesitated to share this because I didn't want to get up any false hopes.  It might go away tomorrow.  More important, feeling returning doesn't mean that any more movement or function will return to her legs.  It's a necessary condition, but NOT sufficient.  Yet everyone else here is happy, including nurses and doctors.  Some are ecstatic, flashing thumbs up everywhere and saying over and over, "This is a good thing, girl!  A good thing!"  So I figured we ought to join them.  You don't want to let your guard against false hope keep you away from hoping and being thankful, and sometimes it does.  It's too complex to get into here, but outside of really obvious instances, I sometimes think the distinction between false and real hope isn't ever very clear anyway.      
     Also, I thought how this shows how we can both hope and still be pulled down by the gritty realities of things.  "This is really scary," Kari said.  "It's so weird to feel my feet again."  Though she was so happy and we called Aaron as soon as we could, the reality is that regaining feeling has made her much, much, much, much more uncomfortable physically.  Her legs and feet hurt a lot, burning and aching as I described in the last post.  She's become hyper-sensitive to the touch, and the new feelings set off spasms much more easily.  It's almost impossible to feel her whole lower body, especially her legs, is ever positioned right, and it's doubly, triply frustrating to feel them and not be able to move them.  "I just have to move them; they hurt so much," she has said over and over.  Yet, of course, she can't move them.  Tonight the pain and frustration has made it hard to get to sleep again, and her fear level is spiking, because she and everyone knows what pain and lack of sleep did to her for six weeks.  It's now past 2:00 a.m. and she's kept tossing and turning and moaning.  So out here we are at it again: rejoicing and being truly thankful on the one hand, yet feeling reigned in by the minute by minute realities of pain and frustration and fear.  Sometimes I've thought that if we were really thankful we could just rise above those other things easily, but that doesn't seem right and certainly not real.  Better than talking about false hope might be distinguishing between easy and hard hope, or even cheap and costly hope, somewhat like when Dietrich Boenhoeffer (sp?) distinguished between cheap and costly grace in "The Cost of Discipleship."  The first, he said, was the real enemy of the church.  As always, we covet your prayers.
--Richard R. Guzman           


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update.
Understand your tenativeness in reporting the progress for fear it could be taken away...
But I say rejoice when you can rejoice and weap when you must weap.
THIS is a rejoicing moment!!!

Anonymous said...

I am soo happy for you that you can finally feel your feet again after so long. It is just more proff that God is taking care of you. God will help you through the pain and everything will get better because he is in control. <3

Cyndi Fusek said...

As always- we love you and are praying for you!!! We really wish we could be there with you on Thanksgiving, but it really isn't possible with our jobs. Hang in there- you never know what God has in store!!!.
40 days and 40 nights? hhmmm... I think I've heard that time frame before.

I love you!

jan barrett said...

Dear Kari, Aaron and Richard,
We were so glad to hear that Kari has regained some feeling in her lower extremities. We will pray for continued healing and minute bits of progress daily. We also pray for tolerance for pain that is coming with that progress.
In the tiny church that I attend in the UP, Michigan, we added you all to our joys and concerns time this morning. We also lift up Linda's family in the death of her dad. In Germfask, Michigan, there were about 20 of us holding you-all in our hearts on this Thanksgiving Sunday.
We gathered together to ask the Lord's blessing on all of our loved ones and you are among them.
May God bring you comfort, Love, Mom Barrett, and Gary

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron, and Cyndi,

Cyndi said...
40 days and 40 nights? hhmmm... I think I've heard that time frame before.

I love you!
Yes, we have all heard that. It brings me back some years to when you were in Africa, and had that fever, and how all of us prayed for you. And, for that matter, continue to pray for you, John, and all your family. And, I also say thank you for all you so unselfishly gave our church and homeless shelter in St. Charles.

I was only 7 feet behind you when you gave your testimony about that fever in Africa. I don't need a tape of it. Spirit and Truth, that is what counts...

Yes, much joy for the current reports. Still, the word "pain" is mentioned many times. It is now time to redouble our efforts. During Christ's short time in this world, there was a time He moved forward, and a time when He consolidated.

I ask all who read this to continue your prayer efforts. Difficulties face Kari right now. Far more than difficulties. But, as Christ said, "The harvest is plenty, but the workers are few..." We as the workers need to move further forward in our prayer efforts in this critical time.


Charlie +

Anonymous said...

A note to Jan Barrett and anyone else who may have been confused,

It is my father, not Linda's, who passed away two weeks ago today. We just returned from his memorial service in Kentucky. It was a rich family time of celebrating his life of faithfulness to God.

I feel very privileged because I'll soon have more rich family time with Aaron and Kari as Bryan and I fly out Thanksgiving Day through the Saturday after.

The chief blessing I'm always most thankful for is family, and of course, this Thanksgiving it's one family member in particular I'm thankful for, the one we almost lost. Yet, it's very hard to know she's in pain. I ask for continued prayer for Kari for pain relief, even as we are SO thankful for the regained sensation.

When I remarked to my friend Jack Kelly that sensation doesn't mean use of movement, he reminded me that it IS wonderful to have sensation. We pray that the sensation will be of pleasure and not of pain.

Alice Guzman (Aaron's Mom)

Anonymous said...

I am excited to hear about this healing and returning of feeling. More Lord!


jan barrett said...

Dear Alice,
Please forgive my confusion. Ia poplogize if I added any hurt to your grief. The many words on this blog got mixed up in my mind. May you find peace in the time you share with Aaron and Kari. I am grateful for the times you welcomed our Larkin into your home.

Diane Brodeen said...

Hi, Kari & Aaron--Happy Thanksgiving! There is so much to be thankful for today. Continuing to pray daily for your comfort & healing, peace & rest, patience, joy, and hope. God bless your day today.
---Diane B. in Riverside