Some thanks, apologies and an update

After two weeks in the hospital, I’m finally on the mend

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

UTMikeColLogo copyA funny thing happened on the way home from the Octorara-Unionville High School Football game on the night before Halloween: I got really, really sick.

So sick, I ended up in a local emergency room with what ultimately turned out to be a massive gastrointestinal infection. As that institution declined to treat said GI issue, seeking a plethora of other non-related issues, I went home the next day, only to find myself getting sicker and sicker.

Ultimately, at the urging of my family doctor, I went to Riddle Memorial Hospital, where it became evident that the issue was an infection and the team there worked to battle it, with some success. Eventually, still somewhat stymied by fits and starts in progress in terms of my recovery, I was transferred to Philadelphia’s Penn Presbyterian, where the ace surgeon who rebuilt my GI tract in 2007 resided. He was able to fine tune my meds, getting just the right mix of antibiotics to kill off the infection.

The end result, I am better, but somewhat weakened, after two weeks in the hospital — if a normal stomach bug is like a summer thunderstorm, this was like a Cat-5 hurricane through my system. This week sees me back on restricted (and my wife is strictly enforcing it), part-time duty.

I write this for a few reasons. First, to thank the staff and readers of the The Times for their patience and for hanging in with me. Special kudos go to News Editor Kim Chiomento, who dug in and ran things so that few readers would notice much difference. Staff Writers Lauren Parker-Gill, Karen Cresta and Kris Firey-Poling all pitched in to help — and it is truly appreciated. I could not ask for better people to work with — not only are they good at what they do, they are wonderful people, and Kim went above and beyond to take every professional burden off me when it was most critical.

Still, apologies are owed to the many political candidates who submitted Q&As or sat for interviews for stories that did not run, due to my illness. I hope and pray it did not impact any race outcomes, (although in one case, I suspect it might have and I am likely to be haunted by the resulting policy outcomes for a number of years). That I was too sick to vote for the first time since moving to the area in the late 90s compounds my frustration. Again, I am truly sorry.

What remains clear is that, as my doctor put it, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, while using a torch on the middle — a process guaranteed to have a poor outcome in the end. While no decisions will be made in the near term, I need to make some changes professionally. At 51, it’s evident I can’t carry the kind of workload I used to be able to handle at 25.

What those changes will be and how they will impact The Times and its related publications remains to be seen. I don’t plan on making any quick decisions, but rather to analyze what works and what doesn’t both professionally and in terms of my family and my personal longevity. As I know more, I plan to share it in this space.

Although I will ultimately have a lot to say about some of things that transpired while I was down and out, that is for another day.

I’d like to thank you, the readers, for hanging with us and understanding the limitations of a small, locally owned business. The many notes, questions and expressions from readers made the entire process so much more bearable than it might have otherwise been, so thank you.

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One Comment

  1. TE Resident says:

    Thanks for the update. it sounds awful and we’re glad you’re back. Take it easy,

    When you feel up to it, I would love to hear about your opinions on what transpired while you were away.

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