I would like to share with you my journey of the last three weeks. Three weeks ago, I got a big surprise which has dominated my life along with my family’s lives. The success of my adventure and the good side of it all it is just becoming very clear. I need to share it.
As many of you know, I have been planning to go to Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, NM, in July, as a leader for a group of young adults. Philmont is a wonderful place. My two trips as a youth are the highlights (literally, at over 10,000 feet) of my own Scouting experience in 1970 and again in 1972 and a trek as an adult in 2007 with my own son is an exceptional memory.
A lot of preparation is required for one of these trips. Needless to say, an overweight 58 year old has more preparation required than any sixteen- year-old, but I had made a great deal of progress over the past year.
One part of the preparation was a series of four hikes and backpacking trips, the last of which was May 31 and June 1 in Southeast Arkansans. The weather wasn’t very good – rain and very high humidity but my performance on the trip was even worse. I was somewhat light-headed, not very sure afoot and generally did not feel good, all of which caused me to reach out to my doctor on Monday morning.
He had me in before noon for blood work and an EKG. The EKG was abnormal and he sent me out for a Stress EKG on Wednesday June 3. The Stress EKG was again abnormal and I was sent to a cardiologist, who scheduled a heart cath for the following Tuesday. We had discussed the possibility of a stent or two, but there ended up being too much blockage for that type of treatment, so a bypass was scheduled for the following day, Wednesday, the 10th. I did not go home from the hospital. I spent the day in anticipation along with preoperative testing and meeting my cardiac surgeon. The preoperative testing revealed I also needed a carotid artery cleanout. I was told I could expect very good results – but it still was pretty scary.
I remember meeting my anesthesiologist early Wednesday morning, but that was it for Wednesday. The next stop was five days in the cardiac ICU, where I received incredible care from great nurses, daily visits from my cardiologist and my surgeon and the beginnings of cardiac rehab. The pain was much lower than I anticipated, except for a three-day case of hiccups. (The nurses spelled it “hiccoughs,” but that doesn’t look right to me.
My doctors have told me that we have had very good results and that I am in better shape in m,any ways than I have been in years. They even told that although Philmont is clearly off the calendar for 2014, it is not out of the question in the future. (I believe; however, that I am done with backpacking.)
So there we have it: my unplanned two weeks off the grid in June has come to an end. My planned two weeks off the grid in July won’t be happening. I am in much better condition now than when this saga began – in terms of energy, strength and stamina, albeit with some rehab yet to begin. I have some things in my personal play book that I need to play closer attention to. I also have a lot to be thankful for: the whole Philmont thing for bringing this all to light, great nurses and doctors, wonderful family, friends and business associates and, especially, my wife, Kathryn, who has been with me every step of this journey.
Before this all happened, I had been thinking a lot about being ready for the unexpected and what that means for your business’s continuity and sellability. You can expect to hear more about that as the next year progresses.
In the mean time, life goes on. Mergers & acquisitions continue to be on many lawn and landscape business owners’ minds, particularly in light of the blockbuster deals of 2013 and 2014 and the increased attention they have brought the industry. If you would like to discuss what all this means for your particular business, please give us a call at 888-229-5740 or an email at [email protected]