Skip to main content

I had a different experience at the VA today...

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I have been talkin a lot (you don't have to agree with me so quickly) about what God has brought me through. Normally I spend the time on my blog talking about what an awesome God we serve and how shocked all the Drs seem to be when I walk into their office. God really is good, but today I had a different experience. Today as I left the VA, I did  not focus on what God brought me through; I focused on the fact that I almost died in the hospital. You know, it does something when you know how close you were to death. I may not have survived the surgery. When you hear someone say that, it means a little; but when the Dr. who performed the surgery prepares your wife for the reality that you may not survive the surgery, it means even more.

Today, I thought about the place my wife came every day for nearly a month; I thought about me lying there, not able to talk, with a ventilator breathing for me. Today, it finally dawned on me how close I came to death; I was on the precipice of death. That really almost happened to me. I attned funerals; I have performed 40+ funerals; I visit people in the hospital on almost a weekly basis; that was me in a hospital bed, and that was my wife and children in the waiting room just waiting for some word from me. I cannot imagine what whent through her mind when she heard the nurses say that I was asking for her. I cannot explain what I am feeling, but it is extreme appreciation for the Drs, for the nurses, for the hospitals, for everyone that came to visit me, for my associate Pastor that took care of things so that I would not worry, for my mom and dad and brothers that drove 600+ miles to be with me, for my family that waited patiently for me in the waiting room, but  most of all (earthly) I am thankful for my wife. For days on end she did not go home to the comfortable room, she sat by my side, in a waiting room, slept in my room, waiting for just a positive word from the Dr. about my condition. I am really grateful and I want everyone to know how grateful I am to everyone. My recovery is not about me alone, I am recovered for and because of the many visitors I had in the hospital.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's been a long time...but here I am back in Stratford

It has been nearly 6 years since I have updated this blog; my apologies. For those that had been following for some time, since I last posted: I stepped down as Senior Pastor at New Covenant church in Knoxville, I moved to Ankeny, Iowa, started a new ministry with St. Croix hospice as Chaplain. I was chaplain with St. Croix for about 4 1/2 years, then in 2020 I moved back to Stratford to pastor First Baptist church. It was a big change going from chaplain work back to the pastorate.  I must confess, when I first came (back) to Stratford I was ready to pastor again! I love preaching; I love the ministry of being a pastor, and I love interacting with people long-term. (Being a chaplain is great, but you only interact with a family for a week or so, for some a little longer, but there was a constant upheaval of people and it was exhausting at times...) But, one thing that I have noticed since my stroke is that I get my feeling hurt easily. For instance, people leave the church all the tim

A stroke survivor's memory is tricky sometimes...

Tomorrow I will preach the funeral for a dear friend of mine. He was the definition of a selfless person. I truly appreciated all that he did, but, when I was meeting with the family on Wednesday a memory came to me suddenly and I was suddenly overcome with emotion. Let me back up a little bit: After my stroke in December, 2008 my license was revoked for obvious reasons and it took me some time and practice before I was able to drive again. I finally got my license back in February, 2009. But, shortly after I got my license back the reality of the severity of my stroke became evident: my stroke had seriously impacted the PONS area of my brain stem, and therefore, a lot of my nerves were negatively impacted. One of the nerves that was damaged was the nerve that controls my eye movements; my left eye would would twitch, at times almost uncontrollably, and that made it really difficult to drive, particularly at night. That brings me to the memory that left me so emotional. Fast forwar

What my stroke has taken from me...

I was sitting in Knoxville, outside of the Knoxville Dance Academy, waiting for my girls to finish up with their dance classes when I had just a little bit of time to reflect on the last 7+ years since me stroke and all that has happened in my life. My stroke has taken my ability to play basketball as well as I used to (which was not very good...) My stroke has taken my ability to play football as well as I used to (see the above statement...) My stroke has taken much of my energy to be able continue as full time Senior pastor, My stroke has made me take medicine to control eye movements, My stroke has made me start taking medicine at night to help me sleep, My stroke has made me much more of an emotional wreck than I ever was before, My stroke has made it so I laugh, nearly uncontrollably, at the wrong moments, My stroke has made me lose the ability to answer people appropriately at time, My stroke has made me nearly choke on water or tea because of swallowing problems, My