The day I should have quit radio came the day after Michigan State played Wisconsin in a televised Big Ten basketball game.
My job as a sports commentator was to watch the game and talk about it the next day. I watched the game but could not remember a thing about it when our show began on 97.1 The Ticket. That’s when I knew this come back to radio was the wrong thing to do, but it took me a few weeks more to actually pull the trigger.
When I had a stroke nearly two years ago, the old Terry Foster died that day. A new guy emerged. Although I am walking and talking and working out at the gym, I am a new person.
I came back too soon although I did not realize it. I was not fully recovered. I still am not although I am doing a lot better. It was frustrating not to remember what happened in that basketball game. And it is frustrating not to be able to do what I once could.
I get tired easier and my focus is not the same. I am beginning to miss not being in the media scrum only because I wonder how I would handle big stories that break in our city. How would I write about it? How would I talk about it? What would I think about it?
Do not feel sorry for me. I am lucky. I am alive and still kicking a little bit. That daily fear of this being my last day on Earth has left my families’ eyes. I don’t talk as much but they finally believe that I am in it for the long haul again.
I nearly lost my life during this dark journey. But I have discovered the key to improved health. I weigh 185 pounds, my lightest weight since college. My last blood pressure reading was 122/74. And my doctor now encourages me to drink in moderation to lighten up my new life.
But let’s go back to the day I should have quit radio.
MSU-Wisconsin was an important game. I knew we’d talk about it the next day so I watched. I also watched a NASCAR race that day.
I tweeted about the race, but not the game. Our producer Mike Sullivan accused me of not watching the Spartans. So Mike Valenti came up with a series of questions about the game to see if I watched.
I flubbed every one because I felt pressure at the time. I choked and folded up like a cheap post card. I know they were frustrated and accused me of lying about watching the game. I was sick and in denial.
A few weeks later I grew tired of the daily headaches. I also took my blood pressure two hours after the show and it was always 180 over something ridiculous. I was killing myself again.
I had to step out of the box and chill.
That’s what I’m doing now.
My days are pretty simple. I work out at Planet Fitness in the morning with the old people. I grab lunch and relax watching television during the day, which often includes old, bad movies.
I got to teach my son Brandon how to drive and get to listen to the latest news from the University of Stanford from my daughter Celine.
I could have missed all that.
I am lucky.