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BCOH_Father_Gerry_Blazczak

Appreciation from a Priest in the Time of the Pandemic

My trouble staying asleep was taking a heavier and heavier toll on me..

In early March, before any of us could fully understand what was coming, I had a routine visit with Dr. Morreale. I complained- once again- that my trouble staying asleep was taking a heavier and heavier toll on me. Night after night, I dreaded going to bed, knowing from experience that within a few hours, no matter how tired and worn out I was, I would be awake. And unable to fall back to sleep. And from that point on, I knew, I would became more and more anxious and stressed.

I would become more and more anxious..

I would detail in my mind, or I would get up and make lists of all that had to be done the next day. I would become more and more anxious, knowing that without the sleep my body and mind needed, I would be less and less able to contend with the ordinary demands

Struggling to be alert..

And so it was, day after day. Struggling to be alert, attentive, responsible and responsive. Feeling always fatigued and often overwhelmed by what I knew was easily within the range of my abilities.

Sleep studies..

For some reason, though he had previously suggested that I allow him to do sleep studies, when he made the recommendation that day, I agreed. I suppose I had just reached the end of my rope.

I have been able to get the sleep that I need..

That very day, Dr. Morreale and his staff fitted me for and fabricated an appliance which, with no exaggeration, has changed my life. The device is comfortable to wear, and from the first night I wore it, I have been able to get the sleep that I need. When awake after a healthy and continuous night’s sleep, I am rested, confident, relaxed and ready mentally and physically what whatever I need to face that day.

I would not have had the physical, mental or spiritual resources I need to respond to this Pandemic..

Which brings me to the title of this brief reflection. It is now commonplace to observe how the Pandemic has changed the lives of all of us. No one has to spell that out. But in my own case, I simply cannot imagine how I could have gone through these past weeks were I still struggling with sleep disorder and its heavy consequences. The needs of my University at this time, plus the intensified needs and expectations of the people who turn to me as a priest would have been unbearable. I would not have had the physical, mental or spiritual resources I need to respond to this Pandemic were I still suffering as severely as I was with my sleep disorder. Why did I wait so long? Who knows, but how grateful I am that at the dawn of this pandemic, Dr. Morreale was able to diagnose and treat my problem with his and his staff’s customary competence, expertise and personal care.

Our time: 4:29am EDT
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