Well, today is the day...it was 2 years ago today that I suffered what, by all accounts, should have a fatal (or at least debilitating) stroke. Although these 2 years have had their ups and downs, I would have to say that I am truly blessed to be alive. My son in completing his first semester of his freshman year in college, my oldest daughter has her 7th grade band concert tonight and my youngest daughter has her first guitar "recital" on Thursday. These are, really, rather menial events; but, when you are faced with the reality of never witnessing them, they become very large events. I have become quite accustomed to answering people this way: when asked how I am feeling, I answer that I feel pretty good for a dead guy! Struggles are my new reality; I have issues with which I will deal for the rest of my life. But, even with the reality of those struggles, I am truly thankful to be alive!
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