As I See It...
By James E. Lee
(From Newsletter No. 57)


Looking Back Down
the Road One Last Time

When I wrote "Lessons Learned from my Hospital Experience" in No. 55, I ran out of space. Here is the rest of the story.

When I woke up in the intensive care recovery unit at 7:00 AM on Friday, March 5th, somehow I knew my world had changed forever. My head, arms and legs were restrained, a tube came out of my nose, and three tubes were coming out of my mouth. Three more tubes came out of my chest, and all I could do was grunt. My first thought was that my gall bladder surgery had not been the walk in the park my surgeon had expected. I would not be going home on Saturday.

Today, eight months later, I am 75% of where I ultimately want to be. I have fallen in love with my treadmill, exercise, and have become a devotee of the book, Younger Next Year. My life is forever changed, and I do whatever it takes to not have a similar experience again in my lifetime.

If you woke up this morning and all was right with your world, STOP, hug your wife, hug or call your children, smell the flowers, because it can all change in a split second, just like a car accident that happens out of nowhere.

My experience was felt throughout my family, especially by our four children. I am grateful to Jason, Taylor and Adam for the continued phone calls, texts and inspiration. Jason and my daughter-in-law Taylor were in Beijing, China, that week. Adam, teaches and lives in Portland, Oregon.

My step-daughter Kristen had rushed to the hospital during the surgery and was there for much of the night. She and her husband, Christopher, came to visit almost every night after school. Kristen also put out a special edition of my bi-weekly email newsletter to let my client base know what had happened. In addition, she organized all of my business papers, bills, etc, so I could keep the ball rolling while in recovery.

Last but not least there is my stepson, Joel, working in sports management, who had recently been transferred to West Point from Bowling Green, Ohio. His wife, Allison, was back in Ohio, working, and trying to sell their house.

I believe that a person has nine seminal experiences in their life, precipitated by an event that leads to major change each time. This was one of those moments for Joel. He decided he wanted to be closer to home. He has since left West Point and the Big Apple and was accepted into an entrepreneurial MBA program at Bowling Green State University back in Ohio. He will pursue a career in college athletics in the Chicago area when he graduates next August.

They all provided the support that I needed to work my way back. My goal is to be at 100% by June 23, 2011, when we will all be together for the first time since that walk in the park this past March.


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