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.
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