I know that seems like a strange title, but I really don't know how I feel today. Over the weekend I was told that I have to slow down in order to avoid certain "side-effects" of my stroke. What exactly that means, I don't know. What I am facing right now is the uncertainty of one question, that really manfiests itself in many issues: what do I eliminate? Now on the surface that is an easy question to answer: I simply eliminate anything unneccesary. Ok, what is unneccesary? Teaching Sunday night connecting point? Teaching Sunday School? Visitation? Board Meetings? Missions? Building and Grounds...I mean what do I eliminate? Trying to narrow down to one can be very hard and then I have to come to grips with the fact that it might be permanently. I hope not, but it might be. That means that once I "rearrange" my schedule, it might be permanently. That is a big thing to process. I mean, I always adjusted my schedule for a short term depending on my situation, but this might be forever. I am struggling with guilt as I eliminate something...does that mean it does not warrant my full attention? Does that mean I am "cutting it loose". I realize that some people think I am being unreasonable, but what would happen if the reader had to prioritize several very important things. Does that mean that some things are less important? I know I have to do it, but it does not make it easy. This is the first week I will be facing with a new schedule and I am just getting a little apprehensive.
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