October 17, 2016 was a beautiful fall day here in Virginia, and we eagerly awaited the evening to see if we could see the twilight launch of the rocket from Wallops Space Center on the coast, over a hundred miles away. As it turns out, we could…but just barely. We retired back into the house, and the next thing I can remember is waking up face down on the bathroom floor.
And nothing worked. I could not get up. The sounds of me trying got my wife’s attention, and I remember her standing over me and asking if I was OK. But the sounds coming out of my mouth were not what my mind was trying to say…
“Are you drunk?” she asked.
“No,” I answered.
She looked at me and said “You're having a stroke, I’m calling rescue!”
“No”, I stated, “Don’t call Rescue, just help me to bed.”
But call she did, ignoring my request….and it saved my life. The next few hours (then days, then weeks) became a blur of sirens, hospitals and doctors…lots of doctors.
In an instant, my life – our lives – changed.
I realize today I was one of the lucky ones…we had a highly rated stroke hospital close to our home where they were able to administer tPA (Tissue plasminogen activator, a clot-busting agent that can only be administered within a couple hours of a stroke’s onset), and perform a double thrombectomy (a procedure that involves inserting a probe up through your main artery from the groin to the sight of the clot in the brain, then sucking out the clot).
So here I am, three years later. Three years spent learning to regain control of half of my body that was paralyzed by the stroke. Today I am still overcoming some deficits, but can walk, use my left arm and hand again, and my thinking is slowly coming back to normal. I am one of the lucky ones.
But that’s not what this post is about. At the time of my stroke I had many active Ebay Auctions underway and two active Etsy Stores…all controlled from my office. I did everything myself.
My wife suddenly found she had to process orders, find items from a mish-mash of dozens of unlabeled bins & totes, pack and ship those orders, as well as be able to access all the websites and related. In addition, I was the household bill-payer up to that point, and she had to take over the household financials as well as the business.
And THAT is what my next post will be about.
I taught business at our local Community College for over ten years, and dedicated one whole session to “Disaster Planning” …but failed to have my own plan in place. After all…it was just me….right?
No it wasn’t. My customers needed to be properly serviced. I was lucky to have a partner in life that fast-tracked her training with no guidebook save what I could communicate from a hospital bed. Had I had a formal plan in place it would have saved countless frustrating hours of her time through trial and error.
So be sure to see my next posting…then share it with those that might be affected. I will share not only what should be done to keep your business open, but some insights to avoid many pitfalls that one only learns through first-hand experience (the hard way). The title of my next post? “Disaster Planning 101”. In the meantime, as Arnold says: “I’m back”.