Sunday, December 1, 2013

Giving thanks after a health scare

It was a historic weekend for area high school football, with two Lake County teams advancing to a state championship game.

My own vantage point for it was a bit unusual and not exactly what I had in mind - a hospital bed.

I spent most of my Thanksgiving weekend at Parma Community General Hospital after an emergency appendectomy. I'll leave well enough alone with details other than to say it was a pretty serious situation.

What did strike me beyond that, though, from a professional standpoint was how what I do for a living never fails to be interwoven into my life, even during a time like this.

When the surgeon came to speak with me Thursday night, amid small talk he asked and I told him what my job was. As it turned out, his son attends St. Edward. So here I was, laying in an emergency room, talking X's and O's about Mentor-St. Edward and comparing and contrasting Mitch Trubisky and Conner Krizancic as quarterbacks. My wife and the rest of my family got a laugh out of that small-world scenario.

Then the next night, my seventh-floor recovery room at the hospital overlooked Byers Field, which hosted the Glenville-Medina Highland Division II state semifinal broadcast on SportsTime Ohio. From my angle, I could actually see the end zones across the street. So when touchdowns were scored, I could stare over and see the celebration live.

Thanks to the STO broadcast, I was also able to keep up with how Kirtland was doing, and it was cool to hear about a soccer player, Brad Hauptman, delivering the decisive field goal in a 10-7 win over Bishop Ready.

I'll be back to work Monday and will hopefully be able to contribute in some way to our football coverage this week. Regardless of what comes next, though, I will return to normalcy very thankful.

It's always an honor in this job to chronicle area teams and athletes vying for state championships, and it's a responsibility I never take lightly regardless of sport.

Believe me, it means more now.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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