After coming out of the hospital, lots of decisions had to be made. In the end we cancelled trip after trip, most with multiple stops, just to give me time to heal. These were hard decisions but the were also the obvious ones, I had to get better.

Going back to work at my job at Vita was joyous. I just wanted some type of normalcy in my routine and work provided that. I settled in and got back into the swing of it. At the back of my mind, though, was the memory of that talk in Niagara Falls, the tongue, the dry mouth, the inability to finish. It weighed on me.

Was this part of my career over?

Was I done with public speaking?

Would I ever travel for work again?

What about all the remaining dates I had in my calendar?

I spoke, often, with my doctor lamenting the fact that my strength wasn’t coming back quickly enough and that I was tired all the time. He simply reminded me that I had fought off a major infection and that I needed to give myself time to heal and get well. I knew, instinctively, that he was right. But it was hard to do. My calendar kept setting off alerts on the days that we were scheduled to fly, no fiddling with the phone could shut those damn things off. I was constantly reminded of the places and people I had let down. They had all been lovely, and understanding, and to a one wished me well. But still …

Then.

It came.

We were getting ready for the road. I would consult for several days and speak on the last two of the days. Again a conversation about my tongue and what happened and would it happen again. Was I going to embarrass myself? Would I disappoint another audience?

We drove away from the house in silence. We both knew that what happened next would determine what happened next.

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