This morning I really thought about things from my wife's perspective, in fact from everyone else's perfpective and I thought, "How selfish have I become." I have given little thought to how the other person feels toward me. I have only thought how they must affect ME. I never thought about the woman who graduated from William Penn and I was not there to congratulate her. I never thought about the kids in the band and how they must feel doing a benefit for someone most of them have never met. I never thought about my kids, how they must have felt the first few days watching me in a hospital bed not knowing what would happen to me. Most of all, I never thought of how my wife feels. She has had to do all of the driving, all of the ice-scraping, all of the bill paying, all the running to the bank, all the running to the store, all the picking up the kids from their activities. I could say, "Yeah, but she did not have a stroke." The question comes when I ask myself the question, "Would I do the same for her?" I think, in fact I know, the answer, "Yes." Is it because I feel obligated? No. It is because I love her and want her to be as at ease as possible. So, does she baby me a little? Yes. Only because she does not EVER want anything like this to happen to me again. So, for the rest of the time, I will keep my mouth shut and only do what I am allowed. IF I do more that I should, I NEED to get fussed at. I need to understand that what happened to me did not only affect me; it has affected everyone that comes in contact with me and my situation. I need to understand that the people that have been most effected by what happened to me are the ones who love me the most. If they look at me differently, then so be it. The responsibility really falls on me. It is about time I stop expecting everyone else to change their response to me. They did not have the stroke; I did. It is my responsibility then to change my response to them as well. It is time, as John McCarthur would say, for me to be gentle in my respnse to every person. They don't know what it is like to have a stroke, but it is WRONG for me to expect them to know what it is like. The things I cannot control, I won't try to; the things I can control I will and nothing more.
On December 8, 2008, my life changed forever. I had a double sided cerebellar stroke with 2 brain stem compressions. It was not until December 10, 40 hours after my stroke, that surgery was finally done to relieve the pressure. Dr. Piper, the neuro-surgeon from Iowa Methodist hospital in Des Moines, told my wife that surgery was nothing more than an attempt to save my life, but that it would not erase the deficiencies as a result of the stroke. Although she admits that she did not really understand what Dr. Piper had just said, my wife, Laura, agreed to the surgery and the care team performed a decrompessive craniotomy, to hopefully relieve the pressure and allow my brain to function somewhat normally. For those who have followed my blog for the last 14+ years, the surgery was successful, I returned to the church and I now live a relatively normal life, although I do have some pretty severe, though not always visible, defieciencies. I really thought that life could not get any worse th