These are some of the notes from the Disability exam: 12/12/08 MRI of the brain and skull reported craniectomy changes of the posterior fossa; extensive areas of infarction of the cerebellar hemispheres in the PICA distribution as well as the pons and middle cerebellar penduncles. 4/23/09 VA neurology note: noted to have mild nystagmus on lateral gaze and mild 6th cranial nerve palsy with slight left facial droop. 1/6/11 DIAGNOSES: Stroke, affecting the bilateral cerebellum and pons, due to dissected vertebral artery, with the residuals of: fatiguing, mild dysphagia, mild aphasia, left hemiparesis with mild weakness and fatiguing and lack of endurance of left extremities, episodic tremors, episodic dizziness, headache from occipital muscle tension headaches, intermittent tinnitus. Although there is no evidence of damage to cranial nerve VI nor VII per se; the veteran has had damage to the pons, the area where the cranial nerves originate, the dizziness and tinnitus are consistent with inappropriate processing of signal coming from the labyrinth and cochlea along CN VIII to the areas of the brain damaged in the strokes.
It has been nearly 6 years since I have updated this blog; my apologies. For those that had been following for some time, since I last posted: I stepped down as Senior Pastor at New Covenant church in Knoxville, I moved to Ankeny, Iowa, started a new ministry with St. Croix hospice as Chaplain. I was chaplain with St. Croix for about 4 1/2 years, then in 2020 I moved back to Stratford to pastor First Baptist church. It was a big change going from chaplain work back to the pastorate. I must confess, when I first came (back) to Stratford I was ready to pastor again! I love preaching; I love the ministry of being a pastor, and I love interacting with people long-term. (Being a chaplain is great, but you only interact with a family for a week or so, for some a little longer, but there was a constant upheaval of people and it was exhausting at times...) But, one thing that I have noticed since my stroke is that I get my feeling hurt easily. For instance, people leave the church all the tim