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Showing posts from June, 2009

Last night I was blindfolded...but it was fun.

I was a little nervous last night. Our church had a "golf cart rodeo". In that, the driver is blindfolded and the passenger has to give directions through the course. My passenger was my 112 year old daughter, Shaylee. It was fun. My wife did a few courses driving and a few giving directions. It was really fun. We also had a silent auction and a spaghetti dinner. The benefits were for the building fund. We raised nearly $2000. I was a little disoriented with the blindfold on, but since I was not walking, it was fine. When I took the blindfold off, I drove pretty well. All in all, it was a good night.

I need to make you aware of another blog...

There are many other stroke-related blogs out there, but one that has been really inspiring to me is stroke-of-faith.blogspot.com. I really enjoy the posts, and his site is really two-fold in its purpose. First, to make people aware of the effects of a stroke and the treatments for them, but it is also to lift and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. I really enjoy reading about the strokes, but I relish even more the facts about the Lord Jesus. You, too, I think would benefit from going to that blog.

Some good information...

I found this while uploading my video to Youtube. The stroke I had effected my cerebellum and my brain stem, among other parts. My cerebellum is basically gone, and I had 2 major strokes in my brain stem. After watching this video, it is amazing I am able to do anything. Well, it is amazing, which makes it REALLY miraculous.

I am having a new problem...

You know, I told my wife last night that for the last 6 months I have been one big ball of pain. For the last 10 days or so, my back has been hurting. Not like I pulled a muscle or worked too hard, but I feel like my actual bones hurt. So, I am going to VA again today. The good thing is that this will be the first visit to the VA for a non-stroke visit in 5 1/2 months. The bad thing is, my back is really bothering me. It does not always hurt, but I fell it is more an aggravation. I hope it is just from working too hard and not the sign of another problem. I have had all the problems I can take for awhile. My cold seems to be subsiding a little, finally. I told some people in my church that I used to get a cold, be run-down for 3 or 4 days, and then be back, somewhat, to normal. But, now I have had this cold since the 31st of May. I just cannot seem to get better. I feel some better, then at night I get all congested and cough-y. This is unusual for me...I usually get better in a few d

Okay, this is day 2 of my 2-day anniversary...

Wow, I feel pretty good for a dead guy!!! That is, basically, what the surgeons said when they saw my scans...I would never survive the surgery. On my last visit to my neurologist, I candidly said that it does not instill confidence when the surgeon says that he has never done this type of surgery before (my stroke was double sided, in other words it was not left sided or right sided, it was both.) My neurologist said that she was confident no one in DES MOINES had ever done that surgery before, and she was pretty sure no one in IOWA had done that surgery. The doctors gave my wife about a 50/50 chance of me surviving the surgery. If I survived the surgery, I had a 30/70 (about) chance of waking up, and if I woke up, I had of 0% chance of being the same.Well, 6 months later I feel as good as I have ever felt, and I do everything I used to, it just takes a little longer. I am encouraged every day, and I want to continue using  my life to bring glory to God.

Today is the first of a two-day anniversary...

At about 4:30 a.m. on December 9, I woke up rather dizzy. I don't remember much else. I remember walking (sorta) to the traiblazer, Laura taking me into the ER, and them taking a spinal tap to rule out spinal meningitis. it has been 6 months since that day. 6 months since I had the beginning stages of my stroke. 6 months since my world changed. 6 months since I became officially disabled. Of course, it has also been 6 months of driving like nothing ever happened; 6 months of preaching, teaching, riding a bike. 6 months of going to concerts, games and AWANA. 6 months of watching the Doctors scratch their heads to try to figure out a medical reason for my recovery. Overall, it has been a good 6 months. It is 6 months I would never have chosen on my own, but since I am not God, I will not try to figure it all out. All I can do is try to serve Him with all that I am and let Him decide what happens next. It is a little overwhelming at times, but I just have to do my best not to let my s

Hook up day...

Now for the moment of truth: can I complete the great camping weekend? Yesterday my daughter caught a BIG (19" or so) bass. It was the first fish she ever caught! My other daughter caught a smaller, but good bass (12" or so). Brendan got called in to work, so it was the first camping trip without him...he was there, but not much. It was sad not having him there; I told Laura that the campfire just was not the same with only Maddy (Shaylee was spending the night at a friends house). But, it was good all the same. Now, today will be the final test: to get hooked up at the campground, drain the water and the holding tanks, and back it in home. If I can do that, it will be a huge boost to my confidence, knowing that I can do most things I used to do...just some things take longer!

Camping...what a wonderful thing.

I used to look forward to camping. I love to be outdoors, by the river or lake fishing, takling bike rides, cooking out...things you can do anytime but just have a special meaning when you are camping. My oldest daughter rarely asks for breakfast burritos, but you can bet that when we go camping, she is going to ask for breakfast burritos. Laura could make them anytime, but they just seem so much better in the camper. Last night I made a fire and we had s'mores. I may have had marshmallow in my beard, and graham cracker crumbs all over me, but we had a great time. Everything smells better, tastes better and feels better when you are outside. I guess the reason this camping trip means so much to me is that I was not sure I could still hook up, pull and back up the camper since my stroke. This is one more camping trip I get to take with my family; one more time I get to get to go fishing with my kids; one more time I get to sit by the fire at night. Life sometimes is hard, but days

I hope this is the last follow up with the Dr.

I had a good visit with Dr. Benjamin today. She had a student Dr. with her, and the student was absolutely amazed that a person with a double cerebellar stroke could do so well. What is interesting is that is the first time that I have been told that the worst part of my stroke was not the cerebellum...it was the brain stem stroke. She said that by the time the swelling gets bad enough to effect the brain stem, most people die. In my case, I am amazing every neurologist with my ability to do, basically, everything. Dr. Benjamin said that, probably, nobody in Des Moines had ever operated on someone with a cerebellar stroke that went double sided. Her exact words were that these types of things (me walking, talking, driving, etc.) just don't happen. It is not that they are rare, they just don't happen. In the end, I am a walking miracle and I am amazed every day that I live and breathe. Praise the Lord.

I am still having balance issues...

The balance issues are not really big, just that I know they are there. When I stand up too quickly, I tend to lose my balance a little, not enough to fall over, but enough to know that there is an issue. I noticed when I put my shoes or socks on, I either have to sit down or run the risk of losing my balance a little. I have not fallen yet, but I have used the bed to greak a would-be fall. I don't think the balance issues are new, just areas that I have noticed only recently. Overall I walk great and drive without incident...I just notice little things now and then. The weakness, the jumpiness in the eyes, the balance issues; they are not new things, just things I have been more aware of lately.  Recently I received an email from someone who wanted me to use my blog to awaken people to stroke awareness. The website is for the youtube presentation is: http://www.youtube.com/user/TacklingStroke The AGA also has a twitter account at Twitter.come/TacklingStroke. They also have a face