Okay, here goes...I suffered a severe stroke on December 8, 2008. I had headaches on and off for 2 months or so before my stroke (which looking back should have been a giveaway) and that night I went to bed really early with flu-like symptoms. December 8 was my dad's birthday so I called to talk to him about 8:00 p.m...that is really all I remember about that night. My wife told me she had me take my contacts out at 9:00 or so, but I do not remember that.
About 4:00 the next morning I woke up to the room spinning; I was nauseous and generally did not feel right. After much deliberation, it was determined that I should go to the ER. The hospital did a CT scan on me, but it did not show any swelling; the conclusion was that I must have spinal meningitis. A spinal tap was performed, and the determination was made that I did not have meningitis. After a few hours, I was transferred from our local community hospital to a VA medical center. After 24 hours, or so (because I do not remember anything), a neurologist was consulted about my condition. When she examined me, she looked in my eyes and saw that they were very "jumpy". The only words my wife remembers is her saying "Oh, no". Another CT was performed and an MRI was ordered. The neurologist told my wife that she did not need to see the result of the MRI to know what was happening...I was stroking and needed emergency surgery. In her words, I was within a few hours of being DEAD.
Dr Piper at Des Moines Methodist Hospital performed the surgery. His initial report to my family was that I would very likely not survive the surgery, and if I did, the surgery would not reverse the impact of the stroke, only save my life. The most recent MRI shows that 75 - 90% of my cerebellum is gone, dead or not functioning. Only about 10% of my cerebellum is still functioning. The MRI also shows 2 or 3 strokes in my brain stem from the swelling. The fact is that there is no medical reason for my recovery...I am going to run a 10K run in August, I drive, I ride my bike...in short, I have absolutely no deficiencies from my stroke. EVERY Dr. is absolutely flabbergasted; not necessarily that I survived, but that I have no deficiencies. (By the way, I would also like to say that my family expected me to be inpatient Rehab for 6 months to 1 year and outpatient Rehab for who knows how long...I was in rehab for 3 DAYS)
I wish only to say this...some say that God does not perform modern day miracles. My neurologist said this, "If you are not a walking miracle, I don't know what one is."