It really went very well. I did not know what to expect. A lot of the things I suspected were made clear; for instance, the stumbling is not in my imagination but is a result of the compromised nerves in the brain stem. The "jumpiness" in my eyes is not a perceived problem, but is a real problem based upon real nerve damage. The good news is that many of the problems can be fixed, i.e. the weakness in the arms and legs can be addressed with more physical therapy and specialized exercises. The jumpiness in the eyes and the pulsating sound in the ears are probably permanent problems that need to be accepted. They are not a bother all the time, just periodically. The problem is that they seem to occur at the worst possible times. I am in the last week of my MDiv class and am having problems with my eyes. It is really hard to work on my final paper when my eyes don't always focus right. Concentration is an issue as well. I have a harder time multi-tasking; which poses a problem when my kids are trying to talk to me while I am doing church work. I used to be able to listen to them, do my work and think about the solution simultaneously. I am finding that I have to do one at a time, rather than multiple tasks at once.
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