I have always had problems with my blood pressure but recently (for about the last month and a half or so) it seems to be all over the place. My neurologist tries to keep it a little above normal because I only have one vertebral artery leading to my brain (for those of you who have not been following my blog for awhile my stroke was caused by a torn vertebral artery in my chest). Normally it stays 130 - 135 over 80 - 85. Beginning in early November I started have elevated readings; but, they were not consistent. One day it would be really high, then it would be pretty low (for me) and then it would be normal. My neurologist asked me to start taking my BP every day (I had been taking it just Monday and Thursday). I take it at the same time every day (right about 6:15 a.m.) so I know I am not doing anything that might cause a rise. Here is a small sampling: 11/7: 146/98, 11/8: 135/92, 11/9: 124/92, 11/10: 134/90, 11/11: 122/86, 11/12: 145/98, 11/13: 129/89. Then it came down pretty regularly for awhile only to start up again. 11/17: 135/97, 11/18: 149/99, 11/19: 125/78, 11/20: 123/82, 11/21: 126/80, 11/22: 130/76, 11/23: 128/82. I don't know what causes the rise and fall of the BP but my neurologist seems a little concerned. Anybody have any thoughts about it? Maybe this is normal; I don't know. I don't want to be like "the boy who cried wolf", but I also don't want to overlook a potential problem.
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,