Rap Sheet

Hello friends. I have always tried to be open and honest about my health journey. I have never wanted or allowed my health to define who I am. I am a child of God’s. Wonderfully created in His image. A lot of people have reached out to me since my stroke to see what was going on with my health overall. So after praying about it, I have decided to share my medical rap sheet (HaHa). Once again, none of these conditions define who I am. I share this to encourage anyone walking through a storm to stay positive and use their story to encourage others. Please do me a favor. Do not fill my comment section with home remedies or ways to fight these conditions. I have a great medical team taking care of me. Thanks. Here we go….

  • I am only the 28th person in the world to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Myasthenia Gravis at the same time. Yeah me!

*Covid Long Haulers.

*Still recovering from a stroke.

*Based on being so many medications over the years, the doctor shared my pancreas is fried. So I have been diagnosed with Diabetes. Currently taking insulin.

As you can see, I am in a real fight. But I am not walking this journey alone. God is walking right by my side. Holding me up when I cannot stand myself. I am blessed with a beautiful bride Laura West Shoemaker, who is an incredible caregiver. I have a wonderful circle of friends standing in the gap. I am blessed with a great medical team. I am thankful I have great insurance. I will continue to fight and share the story God has given me. I am far from giving up. I am excited about the wonderful plans God has for me. Living a blessed life. ~OC

World Stoke Day

Hello. Since today is World Stroke Day, I thought I would share a little of my experience since having a stroke a month ago. ~OC

*Still cannot remember the days of the week or the months of the year. Thank goodness for my cellphone.

*Still having memory issues.

*Still having difficulty putting words and sentences together.

*Still having weakness on left side and balance issues.

*Still cannot bend over without getting a tremendous headache and dizziness.

*Still very fatigued.

*Still takes me forever to text.

*What I can do:

*I am still breathing.

*I am still walking.

*I am still laughing.

*I am still trying to make a positive difference.

*I am still trying to encourage others.

  • I am still making memories.

*I am still moving forward.

*I am still standing.

*I am still living.

Conversation With God

Hello. As I walk through this crazy beautiful health journey, God has been sharing and teaching me a lot. I thought I would share some of the lessons and conversations with God.

*I will not experience healing on this side of heaven. Yes, God clearly shared that with me during one of our morning conversations. I am at such peace. There is no fear, worry or anger. Just the sweet peace of God flowing through my life. Do you have that kind of peace?

*Healing comes in many different forms. We get caught up in the miracles we can see with our eyes. Those are beautiful! But God is performing miracles daily that we cannot see with our eyes. Those healings and miracles are just as real as the ones we can see.

*Keep sharing the story God has given me. The thorn in my side is health issues. Still God is using my health issues to minister to a broken world. A broken world that needs the beautiful light of God. A world that needs encouragement.

*Be bold in sharing the true gospel. A lot of false theology being pushed in the Christian community.

*I did nothing to lose my miracle from 2019. My current health battle is not from sin in my life or an evil spirit living in me. That healing from 2019 was real and from God.

*God shared he owes us nothing. Everything He does in our lives is a beautiful gift. A gift of love, forgiveness and grace.

*God will not always answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered, but He will always walk with us through the journey. We have to learn to be okay with His plans for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Also every trial will produce lessons. We learn more in the valley than on the mountaintop.

*Then Jesus asked me a question. I did not hear the audible voice of Jesus. He asked me “Who has suffered more than me?” Jesus shared he suffered most of his life. Suffering is part of the journey. But as Christians we never want to walk that journey. But by choosing not to embrace the journey of suffering, we are missing out on some incredible lessons Jesus has for us and others.

I pray these words bring you comfort today. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay Focused. Finish Strong. ~OC

Seeds of Hope

When we plant seeds, our hope is that we will one day see a beautiful strong tree. The sprouting of new life. New birth. That seed needs nutrients to grow and experience new life. As human beings we need that same care.

As you continue to water and tend to your needs, you will hopefully begin to see fruit. New Life. Let’s look at some of the fruits we may see as we continue to grow and prosper. As we see the seeds of hope growing.

  1. Hope bears the fruit of love.
  2. Hope bears the fruit of patience.
  3. Hope bears the fruit of love.
  4. Hope bears the fruit of peace.
  5. Hope bears the fruit of joy.

Of course we will not see this fruit overnight. No, it will take patience, care and grace. But if we will put in the work, we will one day see a strong solid tree with deep roots. A tree/life able to withstand the strongest winds and storms. Where will you plant your seeds? ~OC

My Incurable Walk

I am often asked how I pray and talk with someone dealing with an incurable illness. For me if comes a little easy because I have been dealing with my own incurable diseases for over 15 years.

For some the thought of speaking to someone dealing with a incurable disease can fill us with fear. Whatever your feeling, you can trust that God hears our cries. He hears even our most desperate prayers. I am grateful for all of the prayers offered up for me during my own crazy beautiful health journey.

When we pray with someone going through the worst storms, it can bring hope to that person. I am always strengthened by the prayers of others. And I am always blessed and strengthened by the prayers of others.

So if you are walking through an incurable storm, I encourage you to pray for others and allow others to pray for you. Allow your incurable walk to help you grow into the person God created you to be. Blessings. ~OC

Hello Old Friends

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s and in March 2009, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. There is no cure for either of these diseases. Actually less than 30 people in the world have been diagnosed with both.

In November 2019, I experienced an incredible healing regarding these two illnesses. For over a year, I did not deal with symptoms of Parkinson’s or Myasthenia Gravis. Then In 2021, Covid wrecked my body. After Covid I began showing signs of Parkinson’s and Myasthenia Gravis. My medical team shared Covid caused these diseases to return. Thank you Covid.

I will not allow these new challenges to steal my hope or joy. I truly believe God is going to use these new challenge to help me share His love with more people. These old friends will not beat me. Staying Focused. Finishing Strong. ~OC

Dear Stroke

Dear Stroke,

You tried taking me out a few weeks ago. You thought you had me down for the count. But once again God had other plans for me. So God 1 Stroke 0.

I have some things I want to share with you stroke. I want to to know you do not define me. I am not Todd the stroke patient. No, I am The Blessed Overcomer who just happened to have a stroke. You get no victory. God gets all the praise.

Yes, my left side is still weak and I still do not know the days of the week. But I truly believe I will experience complete healing and restoration in those areas. Dear Stroke, you will never win. God and I will not let you. I will push through therapy and continue to make improvements. I plan on ditching the cane one day.

Each and every day I get out of bed and face the challenges of the day and take back everything you tried to steal. The battle is not over. You might be powerful and strong, but you’ve got nothing on the power of God for those–like me and those who pray for me–who believe. ~OC

Angels Among Us

In an earlier post, I shared about the four angels God assigned me. Here is a little update.

On September 15, 2022, I suffered a stroke. I spent some time in the hospital after having the stroke. Every night as I rested in my hospital room, there were four angels surrounding my room. Those angels were protecting me as I dealt with this new medical experience. I was completely filled with peace. There was no fear, as I dealt with the unknown of having a stroke. Those angels gave me strength in the middle of the night. I thought back to that early morning walk in August, when God prepared me for a new journey. I never thought that new journey would include a stroke, but I am excited to see how God uses this new adventure. I will stay focused and finish strong. ~OC

A Walk With God

For the last 20 years, God has been waking me up every morning at 1:00am to talk. Mostly it’s me listening to God downloading some amazing words into my heart. On Saturday August 20, 2022, I experienced something very different.

That morning, God woke me up at 1:00am as usual, but this morning would be different. As God woke me up that morning, he called me to go for a walk. I wanted to go the gym because August in South Florida is warm. Even at 1am. The gym I belong to is open 24 hours a day. But on this Saturday morning the gym was closed. So I started walking. That’s when the adventure began.

As I was a few miles into my walk, all the sudden I saw four huge angels. They were at least 9 feet tall. Two were standing in front of me and two were standing behind me. These angels were dressed for battle. I thought to myself, I must be having a hallucination. But God quickly shared I was not having any hallucinations. These angels were real and God had assigned this four angels to me at birth. I was totally at peace.

God shared I was going to walk through a new journey. One that I had never walked through before. God shared these angels would carry me when I could no longer walk. These angels would protect me and my inner circle during this journey. God shared my circle would continue to get smaller as I walked through this new journey.

As I continued to walk that morning, God filled with with extra strength. I ended up walking 20 miles that morning. God shared he was allowing me to have this one last long walk. This was a gift from Him. ~OC

Skydiving

In September of 2007, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I thought to myself I needed to mark this moment. So what should I do? I had always wanted to go skydiving. Why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I got that question a lot. But I always thought it would be a great experience. So, after my Parkinson’s diagnosis, I decided I was going to jump out of a perfectly good plane. On a cool November morning, I filled out some paperwork, watched a video and prepared myself to jump out of a perfectly fine airplane. I was doing fine until I got on the plane and started getting further away from land. I started thinking is this really a good idea? Could I really jump out of a plane? I thought to myself I survived cancer, major surgery, a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s and countless hospital visits. Should I really be jumping out of a plane? I knew this was only fear trying to keep me from this incredible experience. I knew I would regret it if I tapped out and stayed on the plane. No, I was not going to allow fear to keep me from this opportunity. So at 14,000 feet up in the air, strapped to my instructor I decided to jump out. Before we jumped out, the instructor asked if I wanted to just jump out or did I want to do some flips on the way down? If I was going to do this, I was going to do some flips on the way down. What a fantastic view and experience. I loved every minute of this adventure. We landed safely and my wife had a big smile on her face. I think there was some relief mixed in with that smile. Embrace the adventures! ~OC

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