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.
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