There are some problems that a stroke survivor faces that some people (even doctors) do not seem to be able to grasp. I have been to physical therapists, neurologists, speech therapists and psychologists and none of them (at least on the surface of what they say) seem to really get the fact that there are real problems that we face on a daily basis (some days are worse than others) that are not physical. Some people reading my blog will understand exactly what I am saying: there is a "spacey" feeling that cannot really be quantified. That is, it is hard to put into words and almost impossible to describe but it is a real problem. Sometimes when I wake up I just have a "far away" feeling that cannot really be explained, but when that feeling is there it is hard to concentrate, it is hard to find the right words to communicate clearly and it is hard to get my thoughts together. Are there physical problems? Sometimes (when that "spacey" feeling is at its worst, my leg also seems weaker and I seem to struggle with my balance more). But, the problem is not always physical but it is just a feeling. If I sound as if I am griping, ok, I probably am; but, I just want to communicate to people that just because a stroke survivor looks great, there might be problems that no one else can see.
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,