You may have noticed the absence of beloved Portland Trail Blazers PA announcer Mark Mason these last few weeks. His streak of 20 years without missing a game ended last month, when a blood clot in his leg caused a serious medical emergency. We are glad to report, via his post on the Mark and Dave Facebook page, that he is on the road to recovery. Though, as Mark details, he still has a long way to go. The following update is pulled from said post. You can click this link to wish him well on Facebook.
Where were we? Let's see, when last I spoke with you we had a great show, many fun calls about the news of the day, told you about Dave's public memorial just unveiled, we also searched for authentic green peppercorns for my incredible whiskey-peppercorn sauce recipe, and more. I remember leaving that day on such a high, we had so much fun. I made plans with a good friend to see a movie that night (my Tuesday regimen), but not before my daily 2-mile walk. The walk was, as usual, perfect. Except for the last two minutes. I felt a numbness in my right leg that spread to my hip, and ultimately incapacitated my leg. My wife, Louise, a nurse, recognized this was a serious event and within 35 minutes we were in an ER. Skip ahead 15 hours and I'm lying in the ICU wondering "What just happened to me?"
Since then I feel like I have been in suspended animation. Without being too graphic, my healing is predicated on how much damage was done to the leg as it was being deprived of blood and how it responds to different forms of treatment. My right foot has no feeling at the moment. It's a long road back. I've had good days and bad days. Confusing days and scary days. Doctors and nurses are encouraging me, and it's all I can use to push forward. Walking longer than across my house is impossible. Just too painful. That's why you saw me in a wheelchair at Dave's memorial. My wife has been a godsend, acting as more than part-time home-health nurse and full-time caregiver. A side note...I'll never have more respect for disabled persons and their caregivers than I do now. What an eye-opener. And I still have much to learn.
My days are all about healing. I eat as much protein as humanly possible -- even down supplements. Helps muscle heal. I've been home for a month but haven't had the strength to go upstairs yet. I have a bed downstairs where I sleep, but it's not a bed made for a 7-foot tall guy -- keeps me motivated.
For almost the last year I've had a weight loss goal of 245lbs. (I was (265-270). I always thought that was a good range for my BMI and Type-2 diabetes management. I struggled to get even close, the stresses of daily life - you know how it goes, even with my daily walks. Well, in three weeks, guess what? 245. Right on the money. My blood sugars are pristine, I don't snore at night -- hallelujah. But I would not recommend the Mark Mason diet program to anyone.
I miss being with you every day, and as I gain strength the feeling becomes more prevalent. I check news feeds every hour now seeing things I wish we could talk about or have fun with (we still haven't finished the green peppercorn thread). I hope the day will come sooner rather than later. The fact that I can write this today is a test of my energy level, so I must be getting better. And the Blazers, OMG, when I came out of emergency surgery on Wednesday, April 6th one of the first things I said to the surgeon was "I guess I am not doing the game tonite?" He sadly shook his head and said "No. No way." You see, he is a HUGE Mark & Dave fan and HUGE Blazers fan, so he understood what all this meant to me. The 20 year streak of not missing a game now over...the loss of Dave...and now being plucked from the show. Work began immediately to make me whole again. Frankly, I could not have asked for a better man and surgical team for that moment of necessity. Such compassion and love for what they do.
So, friends, after five weeks this is what I can tell you. I wish it were more, but I will have to save it for another post or, better yet, on the air at 3:05 in the near future.
Thank you for all your messages, texts, calls, posts, tweets, the many different forms of communication are all appreciated and keep me positive.
Here's a pic my wife took of me this afternoon trying to sit on the deck. I dressed up for the glamour shot. I lasted all of 5 minutes, but it was a glorious five minutes. Maybe tomorrow I can last for 6, the next day 7...you get the idea.
Bless you all, talk to you soon.
We at Blazer’s Edge appreciate everything Mark does and continues to do for the Trail Blazers and the Portland community. We would also like to take this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery.
You can do it, Mark. Hang in there.