Brian continues to hang in there, showing his strength & commitment to recovering. This morning the nurses told us that he's been sleeping well without the need for as many sedatives. We also happened to be there when they changed his breathing tube, the nurse who did it was great, but it is such an uncomfortable process. It was a small thing to watch that gave huge witness to Brian's ability to work through the situation. He was calm & relaxed with evident resistance & determination not to fight it.
He's continuing to be responsive to certain stories in his Brian Keeter way with those eyebrows & openings of the "Keeter eyes," but he's definitely tired. There's a short little book I love, Harvest, filled with stories of men facing tragedies, both as a result of their own vices or of being left to cope with devastating events, who found the Lord & their lives were transformed. One particular pastor in the book, Raul Ries, has an intense story definitely worth checking out (this is the one I told him a little about that really raised those eyebrows). I know that God is at work in a transformation of magnitudes for Brian & many of those around him as well.
The healing he is working on takes a substantial amount of energy & the "pizza in a can" the nurses give him through the feeding tube is only meant to sustain the average calorie load. Imagine the savor that first meal will have when he's finally able to eat his real first meal--I wonder what he'll want it to be, steak or Columbian home-cooking? ;)
He continues to find relaxation in quiet visits, particularly with his girlfriend & when being read to from the Bible. We're on John 11 last I checked. The monitors show a visible decrease in his heart rate & blood pressure most during these times. So feel free to pick up where we left off if you stop by!
They anticipate taking him into surgery tomorrow morning for his ankle, the surgeon was in the OR all day today so my parents are unsure if they will be able to meet with him before the procedure. Though initially they hoped for more stability before addressing the break, the orthopedic surgeon got clearance to move forward. They also continue to monitor his lungs & the drainage of fluid from his abdomen, speculating they may need to go back in an investigate the abdomen & perhaps perform a tracheotomy. We'll know more next week.
Visitors remain welcome though, again, the sessions must remain small & low-key. With these ongoing expected unexpected setbacks, we can never guarantee when he'll be able to have visitors and when not but at this point we'll leave it up to your personal discretion & schedule especially with Christmas this week, as the nurses have been feeling comfortable with the way it has been going the past few days. We know no matter when you come (& there will be so many times the next few months when your presence will be needed) that you continue praying and thinking of him & his family.
Again, we are so thankful for God's work through you all in the small (& some times HUGE miracles, church prayer lists, church leader visits; the generous contributions in so many needed ways are indescribably appreciated.
My father's helping us all remember our new mantra:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, & lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, & He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
We have so much to be thankful for as a family this Christmas!