LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Rick Pitino was on the television screen last Wednesday morning, telling ESPN something.

For once, I didn’t care. At the foot of my bed in an Orlando hospital, a neurologist was telling me I’d suffered a stroke.

Actually, he was telling me I’d suffered a second stroke. Second? I didn’t even know I’d had a first. Searching my memory, my best guess is that it was a couple of years ago. I noticed barely perceptible symptoms, but must have just worked through it.

Not this time.

I’m extraordinarily lucky. This stroke was a mild one. The only effects I can notice are a small droop in the left corner of my mouth and some weakness in my left hand. Typing this is a slower exercise than it was a week ago.

But I’m so fortunate that things weren’t worse. I can walk and speak fine, and basically do everything I could do before. I just need to do a few things differently than I did before.

I’ll have more to say about this when I get back into the swing of things. Some people to thank and a few other thoughts, when I’m better able to get them down.

Even as I write that, I shake my head thinking of my friend Carrey Dewey, who blogged thousands of words even after being paralyzed by ALS.

But for now, I just wanted to explain my absence. I’d have given anything, for example, to be at Kentucky-Florida. I’m pretty sure I haven’t missed a UK game in the Swamp since I became a columnist a dozen or so years ago. The one game I miss, they win. Good for them.

At any rate, I’m back in Louisville and all is well. I’ll see you again here soon.

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