Christian Action League
July 11, 2019
My Dear Friends,
I have had a somewhat harrowing experience, which started on July 4th.
I was invited to be a keynote speaker for “Lord Heal Our Land,” a marvelous patriotic and Christian event, held in the very center of the town of Yadkinville on Independence Day. It was hosted by the good people of Faith and Freedom Newspaper. I was honored to participate.
The two and half hour drive to Yadkinville was uneventful and shortly after arriving I gave my speech flawlessly, so I am told. Afterward, I mingled among the crowd urging people to sign-up for our weekly e-newsletter, The CAL Insider. I also stayed to listen to some of the other speakers. The pastors who spoke were powerful. I remember telling one of them it was good to see that there were still some real preachers left in the country.
When I felt my work was completed, I started making my way back to my car to begin the drive home. It was at that moment that I began to experience serious confusion about where I had parked. I was sure of where I had parked the car – absolutely certain. I was so certain that I thought someone had likely stolen it. Actually, I had parked two blocks in another direction in front of the Courthouse – something I can’t remember doing.
Three policemen picked up on my disorientation, one of which said my speech was slurred at the time. The police called paramedics, and after the paramedics’ examination they became concerned I could be having a stroke. At that point, I was rushed to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Never once did I detect that anything was wrong with me. In retrospect and according to witnesses who observed my actions, I was unquestionably in an altered state of mind.
One thing I can remember from the experience, however, was standing alone on the sidewalk and the world sluggishly turning. What I saw was Yadkinville completely abandoned. There were no cars, and no people anywhere. There were no noises of the city, no traffic moving, and everything was grey with a tinge of color. Then suddenly, just before I crossed the street, reality flashed back, causing me to realize that I was about to step into the flow of moving traffic. Although the experience was terribly disconcerting, I remember a voice in my head reassuring me several times, saying: “Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.”
Baptist Hospital performed a barrage of tests during the day and through the night. Multiple doctors conferred with one another over my case. At certain times, I remember finding it difficult to explain the way I was feeling. I couldn’t find the words. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get the words out. It was that I couldn’t pull them up in my head.
I remember thinking while having an MRI. “Oh no, I could be having a stroke and could get stuck inside this head of mine, imprisoned in this body, and unable to speak.” It was at that moment the Lord spoke to me and said, “I am in your head. I am in your mind and no matter what happens you will never be alone. I will be there.” It makes me weep to talk about that moment.
Nevertheless, by the next day my mind and struggles with speech started to clear.
The diagnosis is complicated. One doctor believes that I had a Transient Ischemic Attack, commonly known as a TIA. A TIA, as I understand it, is a mini-stroke, but there is no permanent damage from it. Another doctor, and my own doctor who has seen me since the incident, is convinced I suffered a bout with Transient Global Amnesia. A TGA can be caused by a small seizure in the temporal lobe. Another doctor thinks that because the event was outside and it was a very hot day, I simply got overheated.
However, one diagnosis was conclusive. I am diabetic and have high blood pressure issues. I have never had these problems before in my life. The good news is that doctors believe these issues can be effectively addressed by watching my diet and shedding some pounds.
I am improving with each day. Still, I feel dreadfully washed-out. I tire quiet easily. My energy to do things doesn’t last very long.
I am deeply humbled by the hundreds of expressions of concern for my health and the innumerable prayers lifted to God for me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, many, many times over!!!
Added to these expressions of appreciation, I cannot forget those astute policemen who detained me because they sensed I wasn’t well. And of course, there were the paramedics, the doctors and nurses at Baptist Hospital, whose medical attention prevented my situation from worsening, and may have even saved my life. It’s so easy to take the people in these occupations for granted. Like those who came to my aid, everyday so many of them selflessly serve the public, and we are indebted to them in countless ways.
I trust that you will continue praying for me during my recuperation. I hope to be back to work as soon as my strength returns. But for now, my family and closest of friends are adamant that I put down my work for awhile, and rest.
Rev. Mark Creech, Executive Director
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.