Transcript / SSoP Podcast Mini-Episode: Dave's Emergency Surgery

Transcript / SSoP Podcast Mini-Episode: Dave's Emergency Surgery

Monday, 26 July, 2021

This is a transcription of ‘SSoP Podcast Mini-Episode: What Happened to Season 3?’


David: Hello and welcome to a special update of Strong Sense of Place. Thanks for being here. Some of you may have noticed that we promised you podcasts that we did not deliver. The last podcast that came out was Hollywood in early May. And we were supposed to follow that up with Costa Rica, I think. And then suddenly they stopped.

Melissa: They did.

David: And some of you know why that is and others of you do not. I had a medical emergency in the middle of May. I had surprise surgery. Which is the worst kind of surprise.

Melissa: It’s pretty bad.

David: It wasn’t great. I am fine now. I’m still recovering a little bit. We’re working on getting back to a sort of a working schedule for us.

Melissa: Afternoon naps are very big in our house right now.

David: That is accurate. The details of my medical adventure we’re going to talk about in a separate podcast, because

Melissa: Not everybody wants a strong sense of hospital.

David: Yeah, that. And I totally get that.

Melissa: I get that, too. I didn’t want a strong sense of hospital.

David: Yeah, but if you’re interested in my medical adventure, we’re going to tell that story. But this podcast is just to say that I had cancer and I seem to be doing about as well as I can, but it has thrown us off and and it’s still off.

Melissa: But we wanted to make sure that you heard from us.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: So here we are. The really good news is that Dave is cancer free. And we found out just yesterday he does not have to have chemotherapy. So there’s a lot of relief in our household.

David: Plus, yesterday was also the day that we finally became fully vaccinated.

Melissa: That’s right.

David: Things are just looking up all over the place, which —

Melissa: We did the only reasonable thing we could do, and went to two bookstores.

David: [laughs] And had breakfast out and coffee and sat on a balcony and watched people go by. And it was a lovely, lovely day.

Melissa: It was a nice little slice of normal after a really rough eight weeks and also 14 months —

David: Almost 500 days of self isolation. Yes. Yeah.

Melissa: So what all of this means for you is that we should know more about our production schedule in a few weeks. Dave is still healing. I am being a taskmaster about him taking his time to get back to normal. We will share updates with you as soon as we can. Our very next to-do item is to figure out what kind of schedule we think we can support and then share that with all of you. And the best way to keep up with what’s happening with Strong Sense of Place is to sign up for our newsletter.

David: Yeah, and the newsletter in and of itself is great. It’ll tell you what’s going on with us. And it’s a nice email from Mel you get on Friday afternoon. It’ll get your weekend started right. Like we said, if you’re interested in hearing about what’s going on with us, take a listen to our next podcast episode called ‘A Mini Episode: Dave’s Emergency Surgery.’

Melissa: Fun title to write!

David: And we will be back with you shortly.

Melissa: Thank you so much for your patience. We will get back to making the show just as soon as we can.

David: Yeah. And we’ll talk to you soon.


This is a transcription of ‘SSoP Podcast Mini-Episode: Dave’s Emergency Surgery’

[cheerful music]

David: Hello and welcome to the ‘Dave gets emergency surgery…

Melissa: Super-weird, but got-to-do-it’ podcast/

David: Yeah, so I got cancer and that was spooky. And we’ll tell you about the the details in a second. But first, trigger warning. We’re going to talk about hospital stuff. If you’re not into that, you are fully empowered to skip this episode all together.

Melissa: Yeah. The take-away that you need to know is Dave is OK now and we’re going to get back to regular production schedule as soon as we can.

David: Right.

Melissa: If you don’t want to know the details, you can turn it off right now.

David: Just move along,

Melissa: Go back, listen to the Prague episode. Listen to The Sea, maybe Scotland.

David: Sure.

Melissa: Maybe Iran.

David: The train one that’s nice. But for the rest of you who are hanging in, here’s the story. This all started on Tuesday, May the 11th. I got my first covid innoculation. And then Friday, Friday night, I wasn’t feeling well and it didn’t feel super alarming or anything, but I wasn’t sleeping and my stomach was growling and I was like, this doesn’t feel good. And at one point, I woke up in the middle of the night and I said we had planned on going running. And I was like, you’re on your own for running tomorrow, which I think gives you a sense of how in the dark we were because there was no sense of urgency.

Melissa: You didn’t have a fever. You looked normal. You were behaving normally as I recall it. You were like, oh, my stomach feels kind of grumbly. Maybe I’m a little constipated. But we were not in emergency mode at all. And because you just had your vaccination, we were like, well, maybe this is just a little side effect of the vaccine.

David: Yeah, I assumed it was. And in retrospect, not at all. I’ve told the story to other people and they’re like, yeah, maybe the vaccine caused your cancer. And I’m like that. No, that’s not a thing that happens.I slept the next day, which was not unusual for me. Like, you know, when I get a flu or a cold, I just sack out and just sleep until it’s over, Melbourne got me some drugs for constipation and I took those. I think I ate a little something.

Melissa: We were trying to get you to eat, you know, mushy, white, bland food.

David: That night. I threw up a couple of times and that was like, this doesn’t feel good. But I continued to rely on my strategy of sleeping and I just slept Sunday.

Melissa: And again, like we kept checking your temperature and you didn’t have a fever. So it didn’t seem like anything serious. It just seemed like normal, out of the blue stomach ache.

David: Yeah. And I slept Monday and I slept Tuesday…

Melissa: And by Monday, I was starting to get a little concerned.

David: So on Wednesday. Mel’s like, I think we should go see a doctor.

Melissa: I want to interject here because that makes us sound like we waited too long. You were eating.You were sometimes watching TV or playing video games and sleeping. So it just seemed like stomach bug or something.

David: So we went to our general practitioner who was new to us. The clinic that we go to had recently replaced our doctor with another doctor. Turns out that guy’s a saint,

Melissa: He’s a lovely human.

David: But we didn’t know that at the time. The first thing that happened is he walked into the room and he apologized for being late. He was, I think maybe five minutes late. It didn’t feel like he was late at all. And when I tried to say, no, no, no, that’s fine, he said, I insist on apologizing. I told him I hadn’t really eaten anything in four days. And he was like, OK. And he started running some tests on me,

Melissa: Things like listening to Dave’s abdomen with a stethoscope. Kind of palpitating your torso, just trying to feel like what was going on in there. And I remember when he listened to your lower abdomen was when he got a very serious look on his face and he said, I don’t hear anything when I listen to, you know, basically your colon, there should be noises there. You need to go to the emergency room.

David: And he said ‘without delay,’ which was the phrase that struck in my head. But he also didn’t give us anything to worry about as much.

Melissa: Like in hindsight, he was trying to prevent us from completely freaking out.

David: Yeah, I think that’s what he did, which I thought was very kind. And we’ve talked to him since and it was clear that he was concerned. But he did not pass that along in any way.

Melissa: Except to hurry your butts to the emergency room immediately.

David: So we did that. They told us where the nearest hospital was and we went off to the hospital and he gave us a document to explain to the staff there what he thought was going on and the tests he thought we needed.

Melissa: Something worth mentioning is that the clinic we go to is called Canadian Medical, and the doctors and nurses and staff speak English in addition to Czeck and often Russian, too. When we get handed off to the emergency room, that is a fully Czech hospital. So now we’re in a little bit of freefall with language, keeping our fingers crossed that with our crappy Czech and their little bit of English, we’re going to be able to manage through this situation. And I was trying to keep it together and take care of Dave because you’re still not feeling super great at this point. No fever still.

David: Right. But yeah, I haven’t eaten more than a couple of bites of rice in four days. Just got sent to the emergency room. I remember feeling a little nauseous on the we’ve taken over over there. And why can’t they stop rocking this car. So we get to the emergency room. They run a bunch of tests on me. There’s a CT scan, there’s a sonogram, there’s an x-ray.

Melissa: I wasn’t allowed to go into the exam room with you because of covid restrictions. So I had no idea what was going on. They took Dave away and I’m just sitting in this hallway with my mask on my face, staring at a blank wall with fluorescent lights, waiting to see what’s going to happen, hearing the words ‘go to the emergency room without delay’ playing over and…

David: Over and over. Yeah. Yeah. So eventually my tests are over and I go back to the sitting next to me. So this doctor appears and he calls us into a room

Melissa: And it was obvious that he was very stressed.

David: But it was not clear to me that he was stressed because of us or if he was just stressed because he’s working in an emergency room. And the room itself was loud. There were other people in the room on the other side. There’s like this kind of buzz of activity. And he says, you have a tumor, that it’s wrapped itself around your large intestine. And you will be having surgery immediately and you will be here for a week or two. And right then is when the floor kind of dropped out and it was the single worst moment of my life because I’m thinking that through a couple of things, I’m thinking I can’t believe that a team of doctors is going to drop what they’re doing to open me up. I’m thinking that the odds that I survive the next 12 hours has significantly dipped. There was almost zero chance that I was not going to see tomorrow before I came into the emergency room. And now I’m like, oh, OK. I’m also kind of grappling with two weeks in the hospital, like I’ve never stayed in a hospital before.

Melissa: You even really been to the emergency room before.

David: No. No. All of that shoots through my head in about a second, and then I’m looking at Mel and I realize that she has had exactly the same thought. How do I support Mel through this?

Melissa: When I was standing next to you and the doctor was explaining that you were going to have surgery, and then there was this very nice anesthesiologist who we were about to get handed off to for her to ask some questions. And I was taking in what he was saying and simultaneously thinking they let me come in here. This is bad. Because they had previously excluded me from everything and I feel like they just got to the point where this husband and wife needs to be together because shit’s about to go down. The fact that they let me come in was like, oh, this is this is bad. Yeah, we’ve moved beyond just asking questions and poking your belly.

David: Melissa: I think they put me on a gurney in that room.

Yeah, they put you on a gurney in this very brusque,’ what I think kids who grew up in the 80s would think of as an Eastern European nurse started doing stuff to you. And previously she had been very short-tempered with me. And now she was like just putting her hands on me and gently moving me out of the way if she needed to do something. And yeah, it just kind of took on a whole different tone. At that point she did a bunch of stuff to you. The anesthesiologist asked us questions and it was insane because she was like, how tall are you in centimeters?

David: Yeah, I don’t know.

Melissa: So I’m like on my phone trying to convert Dave’s height from inches to centimeters.

David: About three people ask me in the next forty five minutes what my height was in centimeters and what my weight was in kilograms. And I’m like, I don’t don’t know, I’m sorry. I don’t know.

Melissa: So then they took the gurney out. You are lying on the gurney and this older man who’s like an orderly, just started pushing you down the hall and no one told me what was happening. So I just followed him. And I thought, I’m just going to keep going until somebody kicks me out. So we’re walking with him. He has no English

David: Or patience.

Melissa: Bless his heart, he was he was saying things in Czech and I kept saying ‘Nerozumim,’ which means ‘I don’t understand.’ And ‘Mluvim trochu česky’… ‘I only speak a little Czech’ and he just repeated it louder. Over and over. So I just kept following. And what happened was he took you into another CT scan and another X-ray and then we got to what for me was probably the worst moment of the day.

David: Yeah, because they pulled me into the the pre-op room, which was a nice little room.

Melissa: The man told me I couldn’t go in and then he left. So I went in.

David: And we’re sitting there and then two nurses showed up and they showed you out.

Melissa: Yeah. She said, have you had your vaccinations? And I said, no. And she said, you have to leave.

David: And then. We parted, not knowing if that was the last time we were going to see each other, what was going to happen. At some point I talked to a doctor that day, a surgeon, I think, and I said, should I be worried? And he said a variation of there is no surgery without some danger. We’re confident, yeah, we know what we’re doing. We’ve done this before.

Melissa: And now our stories diverge for a while, yeah.

David: Yeah, my end of that story is so I’m sitting there with the two nurses and they intubated me, which felt like I had lost somehow. That felt like I was no longer in control of my body, I guess, because I wasn’t — and it was super significant for me because for the past 14 months or so, I had been thinking about covid and taking a lot of steps to avoid covid. We’d been doing that together. And the visual that stuck in my head was I didn’t want to go to the hospital and be intubated and put on a respirator. And here I was being intubated, and it was just like, OK, all right, OK. And they put me in a hospital gown and they put me on a gurney and they rolled me into the into the surgery room, and that’s such a weird experience. I don’t know if you’ve ever had it, but you go into that room on your back. And for me, I still don’t know what that room really looks like. I know it was loud. There were lights. I knew there were a lot of people in there, but I don’t have a grip of what that room was like. They moved me over to the table and they lifted me up and put me on a table. The anesthesiologist said, OK, we’re going to put you under now. And I was out. Do you want to tell your version of that story?

Melissa: Yes, so the nurses kicked me out and I went out into the hallway and I felt like a robot that was broken. Like I just stood there. I really. I really didn’t know what to do. And there was no one to talk to. I don’t know if they spoke English, I don’t know what I would have said to them, but it just felt really isolating and weird. I felt very disconnected from the world. I made my way back outside and — we will put a photo on the website — outside of the emergency room is the strangest sculpture I have ever seen and why it’s outside of an emergency room, I have no idea.

David: It is disturbing to look at.

Melissa: It’s a very weirdly futuristic.

Melissa: I realize I’m not describing anything, I don’t know how to describe that, I’m just going to put the picture there.

David: It’s a metallic man and he’s looking down at a person,

Melissa: Woman, woman. They’re both nude.

David: Yeah, they have sharp edges to them, metallic bits. And it’s very

Melissa: It’s very unsettling. And it is directly in front of the emergency room doors. And that’s where there’s an array of like eight benches and some trees. So you can sit down outside of the emergency room. All of which is quite nice except for the statue. So I went out there and I sat down on a bench. I just started sobbing, full on snot, tears, noises. There was no one around. I just let it loose. And then a nurse came walking out and it looked like she was like going home for the day, like she had her bag and a little sweater. And she just walked over to me and stood in front of me and put her hand on my head and pressed it against her chest and started stroking my hair. Which was just the nicest thing. It was really very sweet. She was asking me what was wrong and she didn’t speak English, so I got out the translator on my phone and she took it from me and she typed into it: The experts are working now and everything is going to be OK.

Melissa: And so many people have said, you know, that must have been terrible with the language barrier and how scary and the discrepancy in language did make things more challenging. But everyone was so kind and so competent and they took such good care of you that I don’t know. The language thing, I think was not as much of an issue as it might have seemed like if you thought about it beforehand. So when I sat there, she left and I cried some more and then I was like, I should probably, I don’t know, tell somebody I’m just sitting here. So I texted my parents and our very dear friend Ellen, who lives here in Prague, and then Ellen basically rode to the rescue. I had two people come to meet me at the hospital

David: Ellen and our friend Cheryl —

Melissa: They came and rescued me basically. And I learned a lot of things about how to take care of someone who’s in crisis. So I will share that. They walked up with a blanket in their hands and wrapped around my shoulders and handed me an apple, which was fantastic. They didn’t ask me if I was hungry. They were just like here. So keep that in mind if you ever need to take care of somebody. I didn’t want to leave because I wanted to know what was happening with the surgery. Everyone is gone. It’s getting dark. It started to get a little cold. And they told me that I could call at 10 PM. Yeah.

Melissa: And it was around 6:00 when this whole thing started. So 9:45, I’m still sitting in front of the hospital. I called, and the sweet boy who answered said in broken English, I’m terrible at English. And I asked, you know, do you have news on David Humphreys? And he said, no, call back in an hour. Uh, so I was kind of freaking out. Ellen and I decided that would be a good time to come home and maybe eat something and call again. So that’s what we did. I called, I think, three more times with still no news. And then we were sitting at our dining table here in our flat and my phone lit up and it was a text message from Dave saying, I’m out of surgery. Yeah.

David: So, yeah. So I remember coming to. It was loud and cacophonous and there were lights, people talking over each other, I had tubes in me. For I feel like a good couple of seconds, I thought I was dreaming. That this is not not a thing that was happening. And I remember kind of reaching down and touching the tubes that were coming out of me. And everybody in the room was like, not OK with that and not. Nope, give me your hand. Put it over here. And it was about then that I realized that, oh, this is real, I’m awake right now. Wow, OK. And yeah, they transferred me onto another gurney and they pushed me back to the ICU. I remember asking for my phone and I texted you, and I think all I said was, I’m out.

Melissa: And then things started to get marginally better from there. Every minute after that, things got a little bit better.

David: It was a very uncomfortable night. For one, I didn’t know how to work the bed. So it was just in his flat plain for a long time. The alarms kept going off and the equipment nurses would come in. They injected me with pain medication. There was a lot of just stuff. And the next morning I woke up, there was an incision from my solar plexus to the top of my pelvis. And I had to portholes in me for taking stuff in and out of my stomach. Yikes. I’d later found out that surgery was five hours long and and they were concerned about that. And they took out something like two-thirds of my large intestine and somehow so did back up. So that it’s

Melissa: It’s nuts! Everything’s all put back together and tucked in there and everything’s working. That’s bananas.

David: On Friday, they moved me from ICU to surgery. ICU for me was what I think of when I think of a hospital scene. Surgery was mostly like that. I had a room to myself which I was very grateful for. These nurses would come by. Some of them spoke English, but not all of them. There was a nurse that very much made me feel like I was her rabbit. She would come by and feed me and they had me walk so she would get me out of bed and make sure all my tubes were where they were supposed to be. And then she’d walk me down the hall once and maybe twice and then put me back into bed. She brought food, make sure I was eating my food. There was some sort of like a Google translation stuff that for the most part, it was like pointing and she would say things in Czech. And I would somehow understand what she was trying to get me to do.

David: Sometime Saturday night, I think it was, I kind of stopped and had a conversation with myself. I kind of thought, OK, well. I feel like I’m out of the woods. I don’t feel like I’m going to die any time soon. Not today. But I also really need to recover. The thing that’s going to help me do that most is my own attitude and my own how I think about the situation that I’m in. And so I started trying to actively do that. That started with me listening to a playlist I’d made. I listened to just a bunch of music that I really love. And was moving a little bit in my bed and that kind of thing. And at one point I was mouthing the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road, and I opened my eyes and a nurse was standing over me. But that’s kind of for me where things started to turn around. I got to get myself out of here and it worked. Mel came to visit every day. That got to be the sort of the tent post of the day for me. Sleeping, eating and waiting for Mel to show up. And then she was with me for a couple hours. She was only supposed to be there for a half an hour.

Melissa: But sometimes I forget I was there, and I ended up staying for a few hours. And one time the nurse came in and handed me a little note, which I still have on my desk, that said because she had used Google Translate that said, you will help us with your husband’s hygiene and then take him for a walk. And I got to, like, put some lotion on your back and help you brush your teeth for a walk up and down the hall, that was also the day that Dave’s hospital gown barely covered his privates.

David: Those were pretty much all the days.

Melissa: The hospital gowns were like tied on his back like a halter top because they didn’t wrap all the way around and they were just long enough to cover, like a super ultra micro mini skirt.

David: Yeah, the first, I don’t know, four or five days in the hospital, my ego took a beating. Oh, my goodness.

Melissa: But then when you got moved to the general ward, you got to put pajamas on.

David: Yeah. Oh my goodness. Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt anything as luxurious as being able to put pajamas on after you haven’t been able to. But that was fantastic. So good. And then finally, about a week later — the doctors would come in and visit twice a day, one of the doctors came in in the morning and I said, I would like to leave. I would like to go home. I’m feeling good enough to go home now. And he left and he came back about, I don’t know, about an hour and a half later and said, OK, we’re releasing you today.

Melissa: That was a big day.

__David:__As soon as I knew I was leaving, I packed up all my stuff and sat on the edge of my bed waiting for Mel to get there. It was about an hour, but yeah, that was nice. Came home, said hello to Smudge, had a nice sleep, and have been doing that pretty much ever since.

Melissa: So we are reaching the eight week mark today, which is kind of the magic number of being able to increase your diet and exercise a little bit more and start building our way back to some semblance of normal. Although maybe keeping the afternoon naps because they’re pretty awesome.

David: So when I was a kid, when I was younger, I had this dream; it was a nightmare. It was so strong that it stayed with me for a long time. I was in a country where I didn’t speak the language and I did something and I had to go to the hospital and I was in the hospital and nobody spoke English.

Melissa: I knew about this dream before we had this experience, like this was a thing with you. And before we moved to Prague, we talked about that you’d had this dream. And this is like your worst nightmare.

David: And it came true. And it wasn’t that bad. I mean, having the surgery was a little rough, but actually being in a hospital in a foreign land was OK. People were nice. The staff did their best to take care of me. There were some people there who spoke some English and that was enough. There were hours when there wasn’t anybody who spoke English and their shifts happened. But it was all right. And you know, of course, I had my phone, too. So that helped both with translation and staying in touch with everybody.

Melissa: And we got really lucky that all of this happened when the worst of the covid restrictions had been loosened. If it happened a week earlier, I would not have been able to get into the hospital at all.

David: Yeah, so we got very lucky with the timing.

Melissa: YAY! Small silver lining.

David: Yeah, I heard from a number of our listeners and I just wanted to say thank you so much. It was such a joy to to hear from you and and to get your support.

Melissa: And I’m so grateful to because I felt also very supported through this whole experience. And just a little love note from the world. Just reminding us that we are connected because it is really isolating to be scared. And that felt really nice.

David: So thank you for for taking the time to to write a note. So I mentioned before that our GP, the guy we just met, who apologized for being late and then sent us to the hospital, is a saint. And I wanted you to tell the story about basically where I canonized him

Melissa: When we went to the emergency room, the doctor said he wanted to know what was going on with us, and he gave me his personal cell phone number and his email address and said if I had any questions at all, I should get in touch with him. If we had any translation issues, if I needed to talk because I was upset, I could make an appointment and come see him like he wanted to be involved in this whole experience. So when Dave was released from the hospital, we had all these prescriptions. We had to get filled. And I went to our pharmacy and the girl at the pharmacy, she said, you need a prescription for that. And I called the doctor and he said, no, you don’t need a prescription for that. That’s an over-the-counter drug. So he said, I’m going to text you exactly what to say to the pharmacist. And if you have any trouble, call me and I will talk to her. So I go back to the pharmacy and I tell her what he said on the text and she’s still No. So I called him and handed her the phone and he talked to her and got it all straightened out and she handed me what I needed and walked out. And when I got outside, I was like, I didn’t pay for anything. Which was the other big headline from this experience. When I went with another batch of prescriptions, I took my wallet out and the guy was like, you don’t have to pay. You have insurance. You literally just hand them the prescription. They hand you the stuff and you walk out. That is amazing.

David: I wanted to talk about that too. The the finances of this whole thing. Mel and I pay about $100 a month each for health insurance here.

Melissa: So that is the Czech government health insurance.

David: Two hundred and twenty bucks a month and we paid $620 bucks to be part of the clinic.

Melissa: Yes. To be part of Canadian Medical.

David: It’s almost $4000 a year for the two of us. And that covers everything. That covers my emergency surgery, that covers the week in the hospital, that covers the drugs that I needed, that covers vision and dental, and I feel like if you were from anywhere else, that’s not the United States, That’s like, OK, sure, that’s how it works. But if you’re from the United States like we are, that sounds like a miracle. How does that happen?

Melissa: Yes. I mean, from what I understand from people who we know that have had major surgeries while your partner is being taken into the surgical room, you are talking to someone from the financial department of the hospital about how you’re going to, you know, manage this with insurance and how are you going to pay for the deductible and all that stuff. We walked into the hospital and walked out of the hospital and didn’t have to touch our wallets. Yeah, that is amazing.

David: There is no cash desk at the hospital.

Melissa: It’s very confusing at first.

David: It was. It was the first time we walked out of an E.R., which was a couple of years ago, I looked for where you go to pay and there isn’t any and you just walk out. Honestly, if you live in the United States, I hope you get to have that experience some time. It feels so supportive to be in a society where they just take care of it. It’s just done. And I don’t understand how a country that’s effectively the size of South Carolina can take care of all of its citizens and benevolent strangers, and the United States can’t. What’s going on? but it’s amazing to me.

David: So what’s going on now? I have an oncologist also paid for.

Melissa: There’s a fun sentence. Yeah.

David: Yeah, I’ve been to visit her and she ran a bunch of tests and she has said that I do not require chemotherapy, which was great. I’m going to meet with her and again in about a month and we’re going to talk about how to monitor this situation. But currently I’m cancer free and everything’s about as good as it can be.

Melissa: Which is pretty amazing for eight weeks. I mean, it feels both like it’s been going on forever and very short. To have everything in your life kind of turned upside down and then start to come back together in eight weeks is pretty amazing. Yeah.

David: So to bring this back around to the podcast. Yeah, that was really distracting as far as producing podcast goes.

Melissa: Yeah. I feel like we should explain a little bit about how our podcast production works so people can understand why things kind of ground to a halt when you were out of the picture. So the way we divide work is we both read the books. We both make notes for what we want to say in the show. Dave is solely responsible for all of the technical aspects of recording. He sets up our recording booth. He does the actual recording, he does the editing, putting in the music and sound effects, posting it online. I have no idea how to do any of that stuff. I walk up, the booth is set up. He puts me in my chair. He adjusts my microphone and he hands me my headphones. I just show up to talk. And then my piece is writing the website. We collaborate on sourcing photos and I write all of the newsletters. I do most of the social media. That part I’ve been keeping going as well as I can.

David: Yeah, although you’ve been distracted.

Melissa: I have been a little distracted, but that’s why the podcast kind of came to a halt, because without Dave, we don’t have a technician and an editor to produce the actual podcast.

David: Yeah, the problem that we’re facing now, too, is we had gotten our production of the podcast down to a two-week cycle, which includes reading and research and writing and recording and editing and driving in the music and all that other stuff. Now, it’s unclear but I can’t do two weeks of work like I used to be able to do two weeks of work. And I don’t know when I’ll be able to do that.

Melissa: I mean, let’s be honest, babe. You can’t do like a day of work right now.

David: Yeah. So we’re trying to figure out how to boot this thing up again. You get the cycle going and what does that cycle mean?

Melissa: And season three clearly is going to look a little bit different than seasons one and two. But we are fully committed to getting the show back on the rails. We really miss doing it. It really gives meaning to our days and it’s been hard to have that gone.

David: Yeah.

Melissa: And the reason for it to be gone super sucks. It’s not like we went on an awesome eight week vacation or something. So bottom line, as soon as we know how we’re going to do it and what that schedule looks like, we will share it with you for sure. And until then, we’re going to do our best to keep the website and social media going.

David: If you want to keep up with how we are progressing, the easiest way for you to do that is to sign up for the newsletter. The weekly newsletter comes out on Friday that will keep you up to date with what’s going on and how we’re thinking about it and when things are going to happen and such. And we will probably do another short podcast when we figure out what we think we’re going to do with the schedule. Yes. Once again, I want to thank you so much for your support during these last eight weeks

Melissa: And all through the pandemic as well.

David: It’s just been a pleasure getting to know everybody and hear from you. Thanks for your patience. And we will get back to you when we have a plan. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.


Top image courtesy of Everett Collection/Shutterstock.

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