Thoughts about the stroke

I have thought long and hard about whether I’d write about this or put it to video.  Video would probably be easier, but I need the practice typing.  Typing is a chore these days.  But, my right hand is making great strides and I want to keep challenging it.

Here’s the thing — because I had a stroke (six weeks ago now), I have been reading and attempting to educate myself.  What I’ve noticed is that most of the material written about strokes is presented from the perspective of people viewing the stroke victim.  Very little is written from the stroke victim’s perspective.  And I think I know why.

Strokes are amazingly deceptive.  The victim may not know what is wrong with them.  I kept insisting that I was fine.  Just need to sleep it off, etc.  But, I could not see me.  It took my daughter recognizing the signs (slurred speech, failing limbs, unnatural tiredness) and seeing that something was wrong, to make the call and get me to a hospital.

I think about my mother.  Granted, her strokes weren’t caused by blood pressure issues.  Hers were heart-related.  But even after losing her left side to paralysis and laying slumped over on a couch all day, she still argued with the paramedics that she did not want to be taken to the hospital (where she wound up in the ICU for several days).

And I get it.  I argued with everyone — doctors, nurses, my daughter, anyone who would listen — that I was fine and did not have a stroke.  It’s deceptive. It takes someone to intervene.

The tiredness was what most marked my early symptoms.  Yes, my right hand suddenly began typing nonsense.  It was tingling and eventually non-responsive.  But all I could think about was laying down.  It was sudden, like something broke.  I was very, very tired.  Unnaturally.

But, I thought I was going to be fine.  Just sleep.

Fortunately, my daughter intervened. She called 911.  The ambulance came.  And they hauled me off.

So, why do I tell you this?  In the hope that you’ll learn from my mistakes. I hope that I have.  But, it’s important that those who know you well recognize when something goes wrong. Time is of the essence.

I’m very fortunate.  Many things could have gone horribly wrong.  But, they didn’t.  Everyday I get something back.  My occupational therapist said good-bye for the last time yesterday.  My nurse and physical therapist said it would only be another week or so before they would discharge me.

And I’m fine.  I mean it.  I’m better.

I’m realizing that other people don’t see it like I do.  I recognize my own deficiencies. I process differently. It’s slower. How I search for words is different.  And I think people notice it.  But, my physical therapist said yesterday that, unless he was looking at a medical report, he wouldn’t believe I had a stroke just six weeks ago.

But, I know it.  I can feel it.  I am aware of it.  And I don’t want to do it again.

God is good.  Not because He has lifted me up, but because He is.  I am grateful for every little thing.  Balance, walking, talking, my right hand doing stuff … everything.  Fearfully and wonderfully made, said David.  And I believe him.

Bit by bit, I’m learning to accept my new process.  And it will get quicker with time.  Keep working.  Keep exercising.  Keep believing.

But, most of all, I’m just grateful.

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16 thoughts on “Thoughts about the stroke”

  1. Excellent from the standpoint of a person who has experienced stroke. Warning heard and heeded. Thank you.

  2. Very blessed to know that you are getting better.
    Praise the Lord! Thankful that your daughter knew something was wrong also and got help.
    While it would be a blessing to go home, it is still needful for you to be here with us.
    For that many are thankful.
    Praise the Lord!
    God is good.

  3. Pastor Jim, God has a myriad of ways to manifest His eternal glory in the lives of His saints, not all of which are totally enjoyable or pleasurable from our limited, feeble, sinful perspective but that show forth His glory nonetheless! Ever do we run the risk of complacency until a life event shakes things up a bit and brings fresh and growing perspective, and cause us to ever more rely on Him, Who is our Great Physician and Healer, and also to drive home the reality that only one thing separates us from the rest of the world, hell, and the lake of fire– His matchless sovereign grace! Hallelujah!! Glad you’re doing better brother! Love you!

  4. Thanks for posting this Jim. I’ve been praying for you & wondering how your recovery is coming. I’m thankful that you’re making a full recovery & taking better care of yourself now. I know I’m being selfish, but I want you to keep teaching. I’ve learned a lot from listening to your teaching & want to know so much more so I’m glad that your ordained days aren’t done & neither is your ministry. We are so richly blessed to be children of God.

  5. You are a big inspiration to me Jim. In a Christianity gone wild world, I find such comfort and strength in your Biblical teaching. Thank you brother! I am sorry to hear about your stroke. I pray God use this weakness to do even more great things through you. I really hope to come down to Tennessee sometime and visit your church. I really look up to you and listen to your messages all the time. I love your Romans messages, they are amazing (they all are). I just wanted to say thank you and I hope you keep feeling better. Thank you for feeding people with a strong Biblical message. The world needs you around as long as possible, get better.
    Andy

  6. Pastor Jim:

    I am grateful that the Lord is healing you. He alone is the Great Physician. Your message is very important for many of us, who deny there is something wrong at times with our bodies. I have learned more from your teaching than any other pastor. In the Book of Matthew, your teaching has opened my being to new understanding. Thank you for your diligence in making sure that each chapter is understood and is cross referenced from the other books. The Scriptures are a giant tapestry with threads that run to and fro.

    God Bless and Shalom,

    Mary

  7. Oh my goodness Pastor Jim, I’m so sorry to hear that you had a stroke. I’ve been locked into your eschatology series and have neglected to reacquaint myself with other messages/postings on your site until this morning. I’m overjoyed to hear of your progress, stay strong sir, and I look forward to your teachings, and your wit again real soon. You are in my prayers. God bless.

  8. God is good. I can relate as high blood pressure runs in my family and I went from feeling pretty good about my readings in one check up to almost falling over seeing the numbers one year later. I did not believe the readings at first and like every other stubborn person tried three months of diet change before admitting that I needed the medication. Eating out is not our friend but oh it tastes so good.

    Good to see you up and around Pastor all the best as you continue to heal. Our prayers are with you.

  9. Pastor Jim – I live in California, and have become “acquainted” with you through your numerous and greatly appreciated video lessons. I just learned that you had suffered a stroke. I’m ever so grateful that you survived the event. Our God is indeed a good God. You look and sound well. Take your medications as prescribed. Thank you for caring enough to post a video warning others regarding the dangers of HBP. I will be praying for your full recovery. God Bless.

  10. I’m so glad to hear that you are getting better. We cannot afford to lose you. It’s hard to find good preachers these days. I’ve visited several churches in my area and still cannot find one that I like. The difference between a preacher that has the Spirit helping them (you do) and one who does not (my home town preachers, so far) is amazing. Once you have seen/heard it you just cannot accept a substitute. You know how the Spirit is, he won’t tolerate bad doctrine or the lukewarm for the people he is in (at least not for long, anyways).

    The Spirit keeps me going but your mp3’s and videos are enormously helpful. I consider them a blessing.

    Anyway, I am just really glad that you are doing better.
    P.S.
    I never imagined I would like slavery this much. I didn’t enjoy it at all under my former master. But this, well it is something wildly better.

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