Sunday, May 15, 2022

The recovery path after an accident.

A long delayed reflection from me.

Admittedly, it has been quite a while since my last blog entry.  I encountered an accident while out doing my rather long-distance walks in May last year, and a car hit me causing a head injury to my skull.  I was sent to the hospital and the doctors decided that after a medical examination of my injury, that two parts of my skull had to be removed for the injury to heal properly.  This left two parts of my skull that needed to be replaced, and it was decided that the two plates would be made in Switzerland, and through a cranioplasty operation, the parts of my head which had parts removed would be replaced by the metal plates.  That surgery had to be delayed till early January this year, and I am now about four months post cranioplasty surgery.  The recovery from the surgery has had its up and down moments, but I am still not quite out of the woods and am still in my medical leave.  

While I am grateful that the surgery went well without a hitch, I have experienced a few physical difficulties in living as normally as I would like.  Parts of the injury had damaged my hearing on my left ear, and I am constantly feeling a diminished hearing on that side of my head.  I had an ENT doctor look at my hearing and he recommended that I purchase and use a hearing aid on that ear.  I followed the instructions, and am now in active use of my hearing aid, that allows the volume of sound to be heightened, giving me a better sense of confidence on that side of my ears.  I found the placement of the hearing aid to be rather troublesome, but I also realise that being used to such aids takes time.  I am slowly getting used to it, and often, I take along with me the box which the hearing aid came with, to allow me to remove and house the aid in a safe place when I feel that the hearing aid can be done without.  I haven’t really used the housing box all that often, but carrying it around gives me a sense of confidence.

I keep telling myself that I need to get used to using the hearing aid when seeing people, as this will come in handy when I minister to the faithful as a confessor priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I certainly wouldn’t want to hear the wrong things when guiding the people in their spiritual lives, and it would be a tragedy if I think they are saying things that they really are not saying.  My getting used to wearing and working with the hearing aid attached to my ear is something that I need to do now, so that when my priestly duties returns, I will feel more confident and able to aid them as their priest.

I have also realised that having diminished hearing does impact negatively how loudly I speak to a group of people.  Some kind people have pointed out that without the hearing aid, I tend to talk in a very loud way, and part of the reason is because it allows me to hear myself speaking.  Wearing and using the hearing aid helps me to overcome this fear of not being heard, and this is one good reason for me to get used to wearing the aid in my everyday life now.

While I am recovering at my mother’s home while on Medical Leave, I celebrate daily Mass at home in the study, and it gives mum the ability to be at Mass every day.  Mum isn’t physically able to walk alone to the parish for daily Mass, so this is a good arrangement for her.  I’ve noticed that without the hearing aid in place in the left ear, I sometimes tend to reduce my volume at Mass to almost being a mumble.  If I get used to this, I may end up mumbling as a Celebrant at the Mass in Church when I get back to normal duties in the Parish.  I am thankful that I have an inner zeal to celebrate a daily Mass at home, and there have hardly been days when I decided to stay in my bed and not get up early at 6am to get ready for the Eucharist which normally starts at about 6:45am.  I have the Holy Spirit to thank for this zeal for the Mass.

I am also very thankful for the service of the Universalis app on the iPad because it allows me access to the daily Morning Office prayers, and those of the Terce, Sext and Evening Prayer as well.  I would be very lost without Universalis, and it has kept me on track to being regular in my daily Divine Office prayers.  

One thing that I keep forgetting to do is to be thankful for the work that the Hearing Aid has been helping me to do.  Instead, what I feel I have done is to feel sorry for myself that I am now living life with a diminished level of hearing in one of my ears.  It’s a sign of being ungrateful, which is something that can be quite sad.  If using the aid makes me aware of the need to rely on the technology to elevate my hearing, it will also help me to become a more useful and better priest to my parishioners.  I believe that the Holy Spirit has opened me up to this truth which I have been keeping away from.  

Many of my blog readers have reached out to me and asked why I hadn’t written my reflections for such a long time, but part of the reason was because I was nursing a regret deep inside of me for having been in that accident in May of last year.  Wrongly, I felt that staying away from the blog would help me to come to a state of life where I no longer am living in a negative state of mind.  I hope this blog entry will change things for me.

I have also been told repeatedly by friends and parishioners that they have been praying for my recovery incessantly.  For this I am deeply grateful, and I too, have been praying for them very regularly, as well as offering up Masses for them.  

My spiritual readings have taught me many things, and one of the things that I recall is that the Word of God is alive and active.  My being sustained all these months by the love and truth of God bears witness to how alive the Word of God is.  The strange thing is that even though one of my ears has diminished hearing, both my eyes are opened to the love, truth and value that God’s Word has in and through Scripture.  

One of the books that have opened my eyes is the late Cardinal Basil Hume’s book The Mystery of the Cross.  It has helped me tide through the dark moments in my medical leave, and I believe it will help me in my catechesis of adults and teenagers in the parish.  If you, my reader, have not come across the late Cardinal Hume’s book, I would advice you to get a copy of it for yourself.  Good spiritual guides in life are hard to come by and many don’t look for them in their lives.  A good spiritual book is just as effective, especially one which is written in a short and succinct style.  

May God keep your eyes and ears opened to the truth of his love and mercy.  And let us keep praying for one another.  God bless!

Fr Luke



  1. Blessed Easter Fr Luke, the Lord is Risen He is Risen Indeed❣🙏

  2. Thank you frLuke for persevering and staying faithful to your daily meeting with the Lord. Will definitely get a copy of Cardinal Basil Hume’s book The Mystery of the Cross.

  3. Father Luke Alan and I Celest continue to pray for your recovery, for your everyday tasks, for whatever the Lord plans for you. We can only imagine what you are going through and be inspired by your strength and ways to cope. Take care and God bless !

  4. Dear Father Luke,
    Thank you for being a living witness - and a very human and authentic one - to what it means to live carrying the cross with Christ in all circumstances. God bless you abundantly for your faithfulness and sustain you in His hope and His love. Thank you for being upfront and human and accessible. May our Lady accompany you every step of your healing journey.

  5. Always a joy to read your posts, Fr.! Much love to you from NZ. You're a treasured beacon of light.

  6. So glad to see you back writing your blog, Fr Luke! We have been checking in every week to see if there are any new posts. Your reflection on the use of the hearing aid has made me realize that prayers are just like the aid. I shouldn't neglect to use it when its at my disposal.

  7. Welcome back, Fr. Luke!! We’ve really missed you, sharing God’s wisdom! Peter and Lily

  8. Thank you Fr Luke for your blog. I myself have to use hearing aid, and I dislike it as it is cumbersome to use it, especially together with the mask. From your sharing and experience, I am now thankful to have hearing aid. To be more attentive at mass and the homily. To listen with clarity with my loved ones. Prayers are with you too.

  9. Fr Fong~lt is SO good to see this blog from you. l use to check every day and nothing was there but l have kept praying for your recovery EVERY day. l am glad that you are with your Mum right now. God bless you and continue to heal through the grace of God and the prayers from all of us! Pls keep blogging!!