Since I have seen the stroke specialist, and she seems to think that this was a one and done type of thing, the question for me is, "where do I go from here?" Obviously I want to move on, but I never want to forget from whence God has brought me. Truthfully, I was on death's door. Dr. Benjamin thinks I had less than 2 hours before the swelling got to the point that there could be no more hope. So, again I ask, where do I go now? I am reminded of Paul's words to the church in Corinth in his second letter to them. He said, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. (II Corinthians 1:3-5) The truth is, I want to use my situation to be a blessing to those around me. If one person is encouraged in their faith because of my situation, then it was worth it. I may not want to go through it again, but I don't want to waste it, either. From this point on, this blog will change: it will change from what I am going through to encouragement for anyone that is struggling. You may not have gone through a stroke, but you may be struggling. I will post my feelings from time to time, but the focus of the blog will change from one of "reflection" to one of "helping others". I encourage the ones that have been faithful to read my blog everyday to continue reading it...it may not always give insights into what I am thinking, but I pray that it gives encouragement for your walk.
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