I know that when you are writing a blog about all the struggles and/or triumphs of recovering froma stroke, you are supposed to write about big stuff: Dr. appointments, handicapped parking, fishing licenses, riding bikes, etc. You know, big stuff. Today was big, but for a little reason. I mowed the grass today. Now, on the surface that seems like a small thing, and it probably is. But, when you realize all that I have been through, it was a real boost to my morale to be able to mow the grass without having to stop, without being REALLY tired afterward, basically, I mowed the grass like I did before. When I think about all the obstacles that I could be facing and all the roadblocks that many people face, being able to do anything is big, but mowing the grass, because it is a relatively menial task, takes on a bigger sense to me. I really feel normal: not that mowing the grass made me normal again, because I cannot erase what happened to me, but it made me FEEL normal again, and for that I am thankful and I really had a good day.
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