Perhaps the one curse of enjoying a healthy life is a failure to recognize when I’m sick. The last time I was seriously ill was in 1953 when I was six years old. The pneumonia that nearly forced me to repeat first grade kicked up again 57 years later.
From April 22-27th, I was in New Orleans with producers Chad Campbell and Geoffrey Redick. The Crescent City’s annual Jazzfest attracted so many wonderful interview opportunities to the city that week and we mined the area for much conversational gold. You’ll be hearing the results for many weeks to come. Oh hell, let me drop some names—-Dr. John, Allen Toussaint. Keely Smith, Irma Thomas, the Blind Boys of Alabama and lots more music—-plus a tour of the city’s devestation and reconstruction led by former Mayor Moon Landrieu. Twenty or more interviews and I was healthy as a horse throughout.
Then came Sunday night and a sore throat—-always my tipoff that I’ve caught a cold. My colds follow the bell-shaped curve—-the symptoms increase, misery grows—then there’s a peak, days or weeks into the action—-then falling action as symptoms, disappear, one-by-one, until I feel fine, but I still sound awful. So, I was not surprised when my symptoms increased all week long. When that escalation continued through the weekend, I realized this was something different and there was not going to be the usual peak and then falling action. This illness was headed in one direction and it was going to take me completly OUT! First thing Monday I made a doctor’s appointment and actually managed a faint cheer when I heard the words “pneumonia” and “hospital.” Excellent, my doctor had a diagnosis and a plan. Three days in the hospital and massive amounts of drugs—and now I’m healing. Many thanks to the men and women of the Pulmonary and Medical Associates of Northern Virginia for reversing my death spiral.
I have to relax and heal this week. I’m not at full strength or full voice—but you won’t notice that because the interviews we’re running in the coming week were recorded before I got sick. I won’t be able to introduce my own interviews, so Rebecca Roberts is going to do that for me. And it will be Rebecca talking with David Broder next Friday in a conversation I can’t wait to hear. You’ll recall that Rebecca and I talked during the 2008 Presidential Campaign when she was working for POTUS (XM Channel 130). Many of you know her from her work with NPR and its member stations over the past decade. It’s extremely satisfying (though not surprising) to watch Rebecca become such a skilled professional—-considering she was a junior high school student when her mother Cokie Roberts introduced us so many years ago. ALL of us on The Bob Edwards Show are big Rebecca Roberts fans. So Rebecca was our unanimous first choice when we had to answer the question, “What About Bob?”
When I return on Monday, May 17th, I’ll be another year older. And, if not wiser, maybe I’ll be a bit sharper at seeing what condition my condition is in. Today, waiting for my prescriptions to be filled, I bought a thermometer.