Recapping an ‘event’-ful road to recovery
Five months, one heart attack and one surgery later, I’m writing my column.Five months ago, Feb. 12, I kissed my wife good-bye as I was being loaded into a helicopter with two nurses on my way to St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno. Frankly, flying over Lake Tahoe with two beautiful nurses is very cool if you’re not having a heart attack at the time. People skiing on Mount Rose were all waving at me … I think that was thoughtful of them. On Friday morning I had heart surgery. Yes, Friday the 13th, as if I wasn’t scared enough. …
The following Sunday I came home and started the recuperation process – the “HOLY TOLEDO … WHAT HAPPENED?” process. To my wife Charlene, it was the “How long do I have to deal with this whiny clown?” process. Don’t ever do this to your loved ones. It really ruins their week.
I am now doing great and increasingly thankful that I survived and am well. People have asked if I am depressed. I immediately answer that I’m only thankful that it happened this way, that it was a warning and I can change the things that caused it. So many have not been so lucky, and I am much more sensitive to the pain their families must endure.
It has been a little over five months since the “event” and not a day has gone by that I haven’t thanked God for the second chance. You noticed that I used the word “event.” When I was going through cardio rehab the nurses all referred to it as the “event.” Whenever they said “event” my inner voice screamed “It’s not an event you idiot, it was a heart attack that almost killed me!” I would then tell my inner voice to be quiet as it was probably the reason I had an “event” in the first place. An event is a county fair, a concert at Harvey’s, when my children were born – trust me, this was not an “event.”
I do really need to thank the staff at Barton Memorial Hospital. They were absolutely wonderful as was the staff at St. Mary’s. Thanks to all of you who sent flowers and cards (Note to John Singlaub of the TRPA: Your plant was beautiful, but it died. Do I need a permit to throw it away?).
Here’s a cool thing to do tomorrow. AM1490 KOWL is holding an auction to raise funds to keep South Tahoe athletic programs going for the coming season. To date, the STAT group has raised $58,000 and the auction hopes to bring in another $30-40,000 with your help. So far, they have over 160 prizes, the biggie being the $5,000 plasma screen TV donated by the Schues at Accurate Audio Video. The auction starts at 9 a.m., tomorrow morning on AM1490 KOWL. Great deals, good entertainment and a tremendous cause. And there is a chance that you will hear Hurwitz and Middlebrook together again on the air.
A huge thank you and congratulations goes to our staff here at the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Collectively, the advertising and editorial departments have won 31 awards from the Californian Newspaper Publisher’s Association and the Nevada Press Association for 2003-2004. Kudos go to Keith Rugg who puts together our Action magazine, our free tourist publication. Action won first place for entertainment reporting in papers our size in both California and Nevada, an enormous accomplishment!
Well, enough about me. I hope you’re having a great summer.
– When he’s not stopping to smell the roses, Paul Middlebrook is publisher of the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
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