Phone: 907-376-4668

First Baptist Church of Wasilla

Health Updates

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February 11, 2017

Even through the pain and fog of a persistent, 4-day migraine, Dana and I were able to attend most of the State Evangelism Conference hosted by the Alaska Baptist Convention. Hearing Jimmy Stewart’s testimony of his triumph over a tragic fire/explosion was indeed encouraging. (his testimony should be available on line fairly soon) The other speakers and break-out sessions were also uplifting and challenging. I still struggled somewhat with the noise and the crowd, but rejoiced that I was able to attend. Praise – I’m preaching from the pulpit instead of sitting down!


January 12, 2017

One year ago today I slipped on the ice in my back yard, fell, hit my head on the edge of the deck, and things have not been the same since. My family and I definitely see the hand of God at work as He continues to heal and teach us many things. It has been a long, difficult process of doctor visits, tests, evaluation, and therapy as my body slowly heals and reprograms itself. Challenges include persistent headaches, dizziness, fog, distorted vision, memory loss, sensitivity to light and loud noise, anxiety attacks, fatigue, and overall depression of mind and body. The doctors and therapists have been able to identify and treat many of these symptoms, and say that they see significant progress. I continue with a regiment of a combined cognitive (thinking process) and vestibular (balance, vision) therapy, although a little less frequent now. The specialists seem pleased with my progress, but acknowledge that the process is slow, takes much time and patience, and that I still have a ways to go. But praise be to God I am still going, and living, and functioning fairly well. God is teaching my family so much regarding patience, His timing, His sovereignty, His goodness, humility, being served as well as serving, perseverance, pacing for the long haul, importance of time spent with Him, and so many other things. We have also gained a greater appreciation for our loving Church family, who have been so gracious, patient, encouraging, and willing to help out and fill in the gaps of ministry. 2016 brought near-death experiences for both Dana and myself, yet here we are! The enemy tried to take us out, but God still has work for us to do. We look forward to serving Him faithfully through whatever this new year brings.


December 9th, 2016

Pastor began a neuropsychological evaluation process to identify cognitive function and determine potential additional treatment.


December 4th, 2016

A busy, full week plagued with headaches finally caught up with Pastor. He showed up for church, but finally had to go home before service began, with a debilitating migraine. Thank you to Jaime, Denny, Kristi, and others who filled in that day.


November 27th, 2016

Following a fairly productive and functioning week, Stephen actually drove the family home after morning worship. Daniel says that dad did a good job driving, “and we didn’t die!” he adds.


November 19th, 2016

With several breaks and the use of noise-canceling headphones, Pastor was able to lead at the train show. The noise and crowds were a real stretch. Praise the Lord for a guest speaker the following day.


Therapy continues to grow more and more challenging as improvements are made in certain areas. “Good” days are slowly out-numbering “bad” days, on some weeks, and workload is increasing.


November 4th, 2016

Pastor Stephen drove from the house to the church, all by himself! (well, actually with Dana riding shotgun) A little hair-raising and heart-thumping, but progress none the less.


October 2016

Pastor Stephen still continues weekly therapy, with the therapists seeing slow, but steady improvement. Challenges still continue to be regularly recurring headaches, depth perception, memory loss, and over-all fatigue from work, therapy, and other mental stimulation. Also, as Stephen improves and feels better, he is becoming more active, and has had a couple close calls and near falls. Praise the Lord for protection.


MRI: results from the 6-month follow-up MRI showed no change to the spots that were being monitored.


Fall Festival: by pacing himself, and stepping out midway to decompress for a few minutes, (lights, noise, and crowds are still a challenge) Pastor was able to participate in the Fall Festival.


September 26-30, 2016

Pastor and Dana took a trip to Fairbanks to attend the Alaska Baptist Convention annual meeting. The crowds and noise at the convention meetings proved to be a challenge, as did going out to eat. However, Stephen did take a short stretch in the driver’s seat both on the way up and back. That was a white-knuckle experience out on the highway, even with little traffic.


as of September 10th, 2016

Pastor took a week of vacation time to decompress and rest. "Home Therapy" included riding the lawn mower, cleaning the shed, playing with the dog, and other prescribed activities.


At the suggestion of his therapists, Pastor Stephen "survived" a trip to the State Fair. The over stimulation of crowds, noise, bumper cars, and lights intentionally aggravated his symptoms, which was then balanced with rest.


Enjoying the fair.


Pastor Stephen on the bumper cars.

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Pastor Stephen is apparently improving, because he is more easily handling certain activities at therapy. They then ramp up the difficulty level in order to challenge him.


PT - vestibular working on balance.

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PT - Vestibular - step on dots while focusing on card and moving head up and down.

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OT Nicole working on tracking the tennis ball.


OT's Sarah & Nicole working on depth perception.


PT Morgan working with Pastor on a Bosu for balance.


Vestibular - had to count the number of holes on the yellow circle while sitting on an exercise ball.


PT - watch the T - don't take your eyes off it.

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Vestibular Therapy Standing on a Bosu while working a perplexus ball.

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He is still not driving yet (at least not on the main roads).


Prayer requests: challenges with depth perception, memory loss, and scheduling adequate rest.


Pastor Stephen

as of August 28th, 2016

Pastor Stephen is continuing to heal after his traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a fall in January. He does physical therapy twice a week. One is Vestibular Rehabilitation therapy and the other is Cognative Rehabilitation therapy. His therapists believe that he is improving. Pastor Stephen has been preaching for the last 7 weeks, and is doing great. He tires easily, has frequent headaches, and has to make sure that he gets plenty of rest. He is still not driving, but has 2 awesome Chauffeurs in Ms Dana and Mr Daniel. Please pray for strength, peace and continued healing.


His Vestibular Rehabilition Therapy is an exercise-based program, designed by his physical therapist specifically for him. It helps to improve his balance and reduce dizziness & vision problems that were caused by his brain injury.


His Cognitive Rehabilition Therapy, again is designed specifically for him by his therapist. It helps with his memory recall problems that were caused by the brain injury.



Ms Dana

as of August 28th, 2016

Ms Dana has been on an insulin pump since May. She and her Doctor are continually working to find the right balance for her to normalize her blood sugar levels. Please pray for strength, peace, healing and normal blood sugars.


Her insulin pump helps her manage her diabetes. It works by matching her insulin to her lifestyle, rather than getting an insulin injection and matching her life to how the insulin is working.


Pastor Stephen at Vestibular Therapy.

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Driving the mower


Updates will be posted as they become available.

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