I went back to my neurologist earlier this week; the neurologist that had been with me since my stroke left to take another position at the same hospital so I now have a new neurologist. Needles to say I was a little unsure about going to a new neurologist. I know, I know, I should not think that Dr. Benjamin walks on water but it is hard not to think that; without her I would be dead! But, I digress. This new neurologist told me some things that I had never heard before. First, I had always been under the impression that I cannot take any NSAID pain relievers because I am on an aspirin regimen. But, he told me that an occasional Motrin or Aleve is not bad; I should not become dependent upon them (that is, I should not take them daily, just periodically) but 1 every now and then is not going to hurt. The second thing he told me that made me go hmmmmmm was when he told me that all of my headaches (I get periodic terrible headaches in the back of my head. Those of you who have followed my blog for a long time know about them) are caused by nothing more than stress. If I eliminate stress (yea, good luck with that one) I can eliminate my headaches. When I told him that I get terribly fatigued, especially late in the day, he basically told me it is simply because I am out of shape and need to try walking on the treadmill more. One problem: I do walk on the treadmill periodically but then my blood pressure gets all whacky on me and then I get fatigued from the that and I am not able to do it anymore. It is not as if I do nothing; I do walk on the treadmill periodically and I try to stay active. Then he laid the biggy on me: there really is nothing that I used to be able to do that I should not be able to do now. My balance will be worse, obviously, but my stamina should not be changed at all. I'm sorry, what? I have seen my stamina go in the crapper, my endurance is terrible and my energy gets depleted quickly. So I am thinking "What the crap?" But, I went home and started thinking that it has been 5 years since my stroke (WOW....) and I have done pretty well for these 5 years, so I think I will just keep doing what I have done before and see how things go.
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,