Nathan L.

It's been an interesting summer at the Steele households.

Most readers of the Baker City Herald are probably aware that I

underwent double-bypass heart surgery on June 27. That's just the tip

of the iceberg.

I actually suffered a heart attack on June 21, and after spending the

night at St. Elizabeth hospital was flown by Life Flight to St.

Alphonsus hospital in Boise. I was originally going to undergo a

quadruple bypass surgery, but complications during the week

necessitated going ahead with the double bypass instead.

Then, during a 12-hour stint in the operating room I nearly didn't make

it a couple of times. (At least that is what I was told a couple weeks

later after I got home. I was told that the family at the hospital was

told to call the rest of the family because it didn't look promising.)

There must have been a guardian angel hanging around Boise that evening because I'm here to talk about what happened.

I was in the hospital until July 10. Then, after about another month of physical therapy and treatment, I received the OK from doctors to work in the office up to two hours a day.

One of the good things that has come about following the surgery is that I have lost 90 pounds, and I plan to keep losing. (This despite an earlier story that said I basically lived on hamburgers and fries on game nights. Actually, I haven't had a french fry in over eight years. And, I probably have a hamburger, or steak or roast, maybe twice a month.)

Of course working just two hours a day with the sports beat means I can't cover weekday games because that would use all of the time and not allow time to write the story. Also, although it has now been almost three months since surgery, I haven't been cleared to cover anything in person yet. I am able to listen to the Baker football games on the radio and get other information about as many of the local teams as I can by telephone.

Anyway, readers are seeing my byline on some stories for that reason. However, I'm still on a limited schedule, and probably will be through at least the end of fall sports.

Strike two

As I said the surgery and recovery, although the most important happening, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Strike two occurred shortly after I returned home - I was, and am, staying with my parents - when I got a call from my landlord that the water heater had broke in my apartment and flooded the place.

I lost a good portion of my sports memorabilia collection to water damage. And, so that workers could begin repairs my family, and a few friends, had to move furniture and other belongings almost overnight.

At first we were told that one bedroom in the apartment didn't need to be emptied. Then, once the work started, we were told otherwise, causing another instant move.

I have to hand it to my family. They could challenge Mayflower movers to complete a job any quicker.

Strike three, you're out

The final strike came earlier this month when due to unforeseen circumstances I no longer reside at that apartment.

That situation caused a third move, putting everything that was still in the apartment into storage.

That's where it is going to stay until spring, when I can begin looking for a new place to move to. Until then I'll be staying in my old room at my parents' place and continue to work on getting back on my feet.

It will be a slow process. I'm not planning on doing anything that may cause a relapse. And, I won't do anything extra until I've been cleared by doctors and family.

I definitely don't plan to go through a summer like this again.

Gerry Steele is Baker City Herald sports editor.