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I guess I should back up...

My wife first suspected I was having the stroke on December 9th pretty early. At first she didn't know what to think because I was just stumbling around. I don't remember much of that morning, but my wife says that I was hitting my head against the wall trying to get to the bathroom and such. That was when she called the local hospital 911 because it was only 4 a.m. and she did not want to wait until 8 a.m. when all the Dr. offices opened. She wound up calling the nurse at Mercy 911 and she said that I should go to the local emergency room to get treatment ASAP.

I can only guess that I was having symptoms of the stoke 3 or 4 weeks before my actual stroke because I wa having sudden intense headaches. Looking back, I can see that was a sign of a stroke, but I attributed it to using a new bathroom cleaner. Now the Drs. think I had a "perfect storm" sort of speak that all came together. I had borderline high blood pressure, I was taking over the counter cold midication that raised my blood pressure, I was taking herbal remedies which only raised my already high bl00d pressure, and I had a massage the morning of the 8th of December. None of those things are dangerous independently, but together they think it was what caused my stroke.

The Drs. are also trying to figure out what would casue a 38 year old man in pretty good shape (I was going to the Rec. Center everyday and had lowere my Cholesterol by 68 points in a year) to have a stroke. They think it may be a genetic problem that casued weakness in the muscle that surrounds the blood vessel that allowed blood to leak into the brain. That, combined with all the aforementioned things, may have caused the stroke. They are not certain, but that is what the think.

The rest of the next 2 weeks are just a blur to me. My wife says that I was actually at 2 hospitals in Des Moines, but I can only remember waking up at CCU in Iowa Methodist. My wife says that abotu 30 - 50 people from my church were there on during my surgery and for the first few days. I don't remember them, but I will take her word for it. She also said that my brain swelling was so severe before the surgery that my kids had to come in and spend a few minutes to tell me goodbye if I didn't make it through the surgery. My associate Pastor, Ethan Book, was in my room or at the hospital constantly throughout my hospital stay. He was tremendous to me and my wife during this difficult time for me.

I also had visitors from the first church I pastored in Stratford, Iowa. I don't remember what they said, I just remember them being there.

Laura (my wife) said that my surgery lasted 4 or 41/2 hours. They Drs. had to repair the muscle and the vein and then suction out the bleedign and then they put a shunt in to relieve the pressure that was building in my head. Dr. piper said to my wife to expect 6 months of intense therapy. But I have fooled the Drs. and today is my 5 week anniversary of my surgery. I have been bck to work for about a week and Laura has been back to work for a week too. God is good.

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