First: Am I dreaming?

In an effort to help me deal with recent events I’ve decided to document this journey I’ve been forced to go on.

I guess I’ll start with the post I put up on facebook this morning.

Now to give a little timeline of events

July 2020

8th – I was working an Object Avoidance course and had come back to the school to begin debriefing my students. It was around noon. I lay down on the couch to rest for a few minutes. We had started at 5am that morning and I was a little tired.

When I sat up the room started spinning in a way I’d never experienced before. Everything would rotate about 90 degrees then skip back and just repeat. This went on for several minutes before I went to the bathroom thinking I needed to throw up. I dry heaved for a few mins and nothing changed. I knew something was wrong. I made it back to my phone and called my wife Sequoia. I told her I thought I had a migraine and she had to come get me. I tried to walk to the car and my legs buckled underneath me. My legs wouldn’t work. I could move them but I couldn’t place them where I wanted them to go. I collapsed and tried to crawl and experienced the same thing with my arms. We went home for a couple hours then my boss’s wife Cheri who’s a doctor came to check me out. She recommended I go to the hospital. I went, they did a bunch of tests on me, one of them being a CT scan, which came back clear, and I went home.

9-13th – I only got out of bed to use to bathroom and even that was a struggle. I couldn’t stand up without everything spinning and I would throw up immediately afterwards.  Cheri recommended I get an MRI.

 14th – Went to SLC to get an MRI  and it was confirmed that I had suffered quite a large stroke.

 15th – Went to Boise to get a CTA . That evening Cheri received a call informing her they had discovered a large tumor in my neck. It’s called a Paraganglioma which is apparently extremely rare and only effects two in a million people.

17th – I met with a Neurologist who read all my scans and gave me some kind of road map. He told me that the stroke and the tumor were unrelated, and that the stroke may have actually saved my life. If it didn’t happen the tumor would have remained undetected, continued to grow, and potentially would have just choked me off in a few years. He then proceeded to tell me he thinks the stroke may have been caused by a hole in my heart and that I would need to get an Echocardiogram to confirm.

So thats where I’m at now. Kind of lot to deal with over the space of 10 days. My Echo is scheduled for this coming Monday so fingers crossed we get a little more solid answers.

Sequoia has been going 100mph (as she always does) researching the kind of surgeries I need, and who the best people are to perform them.

Overall I’m doing ok. I am confident that I will make it through this fire and be a much stronger person as a result. Our characters become defined by how we react to situations which seem insurmountable and this is one of those.

Someday this will all be behind me and it will be a good story to tell. I will not curl up in a corner and feel sorry for myself. I will not play the victim. I will face this head on and I will make it through.

I’m going to update this with a new post every Monday. Please keep me in your thoughts.