I had my 2nd of 3 Comp & Pen appointments yesterday; this one was an appointment for my general health. There were 11 areas that he needed to assess...and he actually did ask the questions (Shocker!!!). I was afforded the opportunity to explain a little more fully my daily struggles. I was able to state that the problems I have are intermittent, not continuous. For instance, the headaches I suffer are not constant, but they come and go depending on how tired I am, how stressed I am, etc. But, they are definitely stroke related because they are actual tightening of muscles that were involved in my decompressive craniotomy. I was also able to tell the Dr. that I don't have tremors all the time, but they are relatively spotty in nature; for instance, when I hold a cup of coffee in my left had, it shakes quite a bit, or when I yawn my left arm tremors and when I go to tie my shoe on my left side, my left foot shakes. But, they are not constant. He explained that, much like a seizure, the tremors are caused by a misfire of a nerve or a fault reception of a signal given by a nerve. The bottom line is this: I felt infinitely more at ease after that appointment because he actually seemed to be concerned with my deficits, even if they are sporadic and not given me a blanket "you don't have those deficits all the time, so you must be ok..." I hope this makes sense, but I really do feel more at ease. Now we will just see what the Decision Review Officer thinks; he is the one who will make the actual determination of my disability. Please pray that everything goes well.
A few years ago I was presented with the opportunity to come back to Stratford, Iowa, to First Baptist church, as their pastor; for those of you who have followed this blog for some time, FBC in Stratford was my first pastorate. Let's just say I prayed about it as I was jumping at the opportunity. The church has a parsonage, so I could live there and not have to worry about a houe payment; and I needed to slow down, and this was a part time position (which, as a side note, allowed for me to get a greater disability from the VA than when I was working full time with St. Croix Hospice...) We love Stratford, and absolutely love the church; the people are wonderful and accepted us, again, with open arms. This was, for me, the perfect position: I get to pastor a church I LOVE, I get to do life with people I LOVE, and I have already had the opportunity to do weddings and baptism services for kids (adults now) that I have known their entire lives. IT IS GREAT. The longer I have been here,