It’s only a stroke, I will be back sooner than you might want

Kevin has done a great job holding down the fort here on jkOnTheRun while I have been goofing off in some hospital.  He gave you the basics about my absence but it’s time to give you the real scoop as to where I have been.  First up I want to give a huge THANKS to all of you who sent your well wishes, they have made me push to get back on the keyboard again which is totally therapeutic.  🙂

Last Sunday night I was sitting in my study when I got very dizzy all at once.  I sat in the chair for a couple of minutes to see if it would pass and it did not.  I also noticed that the left side of my mouth was asleep, you know how it feels if you sleep on your arm and it’s tingly when you wake up?  Like that.  The two symptoms occurring at the same time made me fear I had/ was having a stroke given my history of cardiac affairs.  My wife was not at home so I lay down for a few minutes to see if I felt better.  When she arrived at home I called her in and told her I think I had a stroke and I needed to get to the hospital.

That’s where I have been since then and I have experienced a battery of tests including MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and a lot of blood work.  The testing so far has confirmed that I experienced a mini-stroke in the back of my brain, but there is no detectable loss of function of any type as a result which is awesome!  This stroke was likely caused by a heavy spike in blood pressure.  My white cell count also indicated a massive infection so I may have brought something unintentional back from Vegas, maybe this could have been the reason the BP spiked up.  Who knows?  The three doctors who have been treating me feel I will probably be released tomorrow, which will be great as I hate hospitals.  I haven’t had a decent sleep since I got here, I need to go home to rest up.

I hope that I will get to go home tomorrow, that will depend on another MRI I am scheduled to get in the morning so hopefully that test will back up what has already been determined.  I am very ready to get home and to talk about all of the big things going on by some people called Apple.  Be back soon!

Marc Orchant funeral information

It just gets harder and harder.  We have the information to share about the memorial service for Marc Orchant.  It will be Wednesday, December 12th at 11 am and here is the location of the service:

Congregation Albert
3800 Louisiana Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM

Both Kevin and I will be flying in to attend the service and if you are attending please say hello.  We all need each other during this trying time.

Travel day for jkOnTheRun

Jk_icon_100pixKevin and I are traveling today to Albuquerque so we can attend the service for Marc Orchant tomorrow morning.  It’s a sad trek but the upside is we will get to see each other for a couple of days unexpectedly.  We meet up in Dallas and then fly in together to Albuquerque this afternoon.  Posting will be light but hopefully we’ll get some time to put some things up, especially with some new Tablet PCs being announced and released.

Fellow podcaster Matt Miller has come up with an interesting way to help the Orchant family and has created an Amazon affiliate account so if you’re doing online holiday shopping check out Matt’s explanation of how this works.  He’s donating all proceeds from sales to this account to the Orchant family in their time of need.  Oliver Starr has also instituted a PayPal Donation button for those who would rather help the Orchants in that manner.  Good for both of you guys to step up to help out.

Marc Orchant- the greatest man I have known

Marc Orchant- 1957 – 2007

I first came in contact with Marc Orchant about four years ago.  I had followed his writings on his blog, Marc’s Outlook on Productivity and realized he was a very bright guy that I would probably like to know.  It was a Saturday morning and I checked my email as I usually do and in popped one from Marc.  He introduced himself and said he really liked my writing on jkOnTheRun which at that time had only been in existence for a few months.  He went straight to the reason for reaching out to me as only Marc could and said he wanted the two of us to "do something together".  His insight into people was unfailing and he knew we would be good friends and should work together.  We exchanged a few emails and then jumped on the phone to properly get introduced to one another.  I quickly realized what Marc had already figured out, we were so alike in our passions and our desires that we became fast friends.  I am so thankful that Marc reached out to me that day.

Thus began our friendship which I consider one of the best I have ever had.  We have been speaking frequently ever since and jumped at the chance for everything we could work on together.  When I decided almost three years ago to do a Tablet PC podcast Marc was the first person I thought of for a co-host and when I asked him about it he was excited in that way that only Marc could get because we would finally be able to work together.  That began a near three year ride podcasting together but in recent months it became difficult due to scheduling conflicts to record the show as often as we wished.  This was particularly sad because Marc often told me that our recording sessions were the highlights of his week and I felt the same way too.  In the last two weeks we had come to the realization that we couldn’t do the show justice and were going to do a final show to let the listeners know we were going to end the podcast.  This saddened us both but it was the right thing to do.  Now it is very sad that we didn’t get that last show done, I even tried to find him on Skype the morning of his heart attack. 

Marc touched so many people that the great outpouring of concern about his health episode didn’t surprise me.  He was a person that you couldn’t help but respect and like because of the way he always conducted himself.  He was passionate about the things he spoke and wrote about but it went much further than that.  Marc genuinely cared about the people who were behind the things he was passionate about and that came through in the way he conducted himself.  It wasn’t just that a given technology was something he thought was great, it was how he really liked the people behind it that made the difference between what Marc did and what others do in the blogosphere.  He genuinely liked people and loved to interface with them every chance he got.  I can safely say that anyone who came in contact with Marc instantly picked up on that.  Marc didn’t just like to converse with others about his passions, he wanted to hear their take on it too.  He derived a great enjoyment of hearing what others had to say and he actually listened to them.  If you ever had a conversation with Marc I am certain that you felt he was aptly listening to what you had to say, because he was.  He didn’t only want to hear things that agreed with his point of view either.  He loved differing viewpoints and discussing them with you because as he told me more than once, that’s how he learned.  He was passionate about learning.

Marc and I had hundreds of hours of conversations and of course we had differing opinions about some of the things we discussed.  He would passionately and intelligently give his POV about the topic at hand and then aptly listen to mine.  I remember once laying out my differing POV about some topic we were discussing and at the end he told me "well pal, you didn’t convince me but I’m less sure than I was when we started this conversation".  That was high praise indeed and a total Marcism.

Marc was always able to look at an upcoming technology and tell if it was going to have an effect on our lives.  Take a look at this video shot at Microsoft where Marc explains what a blog is when people were just starting to hear about them:

Tech world aside Marc was a devoted family man and spent hours conversing with me about the accomplishments that Sue, Jason and Becca were making.  He was so very proud of them all and rightly so.  They were the fuel that drove him each day and he loved them so much it was a joy to behold.  Marc was the most grounded individual I’ve ever met and his devotion and love for his family were the basis for that.  It drove everything he did each day and it was always a wonder to listen to him talk about his family.  He understood how lucky he was to have the great home life that he did but I am sure that the great man he was played a big role in that life.

The software company for which Marc worked when I met him had given him the most apt job title I have ever seen- Chief Storyteller.  This fit Marc to a T and he relished the role of sharing the company’s story to others.  He carried that on to every venture he embarked on after that too, and he was very excited that a new gig he was to undertake early next year would have him sporting that same Chief Storyteller title.  It was a chance for Marc to get immersed in one of his major passions and it’s a shame he didn’t get the chance to do it.  Chief Storyteller, that was Marc all right.

Marc touched me deeply as few other people have done so.  He was a nice guy, something that sounds trite but he really was and in such a way that it touched everyone with whom he came in contact.  He and I had a great friendship and he will be sorely missed.  I consider Marc to be one of the finest people to walk this earth and I know I am a better man for having his friendship.  I hurt where my heart and soul meet.

UPDATE:  I just fired up Skype and find it only fitting to see this:


I hope you are up there listening to us buddy.

Farewell to a dear friend- Marc Orchant

Ces_202007_20035This is one of the hardest things I have had to write.  Dear friend Marc Orchant passed away today having never recovered from the heart attack he suffered a week ago.  Marc has touched me so deeply and will always be in my memory, and I am sure that many, many people feel the same way.  Marc’s funeral will likely be held in the middle of this week for those wishing to attend and details will be made available shortly.  Another of Marc’s good friends Oliver Starr received the sad news from Marc’s family and has posted the details, and I’ve reproduced them for Marc’s friends to see:

It is with great sadness that I report thatMarc Orchant, Husband to Sue, Father to Rebecca and Jason, and friendto so many, passed away just a short time ago. I was notified by Marc’sbrother Craig.

His family and closest friends were at hisside and his favorite music was playing. Craig said that Marc’s passingwas as peaceful and easy as anyone could have hoped and he left thisworld surrounded by love from so many people that he couldn’t possiblyhave failed to know how many people cared for, appreciated andrespected him.

Anyone that knew Marc also knew how much heloved music; especially the Grateful Dead. The excerpt below is fromone of the songs that helped the family say goodbye to Marc and helpedMarc move on to the next world. I talked to Marc almost every singleday for the past couple of years. I’m sure that I’m not alone when Isay that I am going to miss him so, so much.

To allow for people that may need to traveland take time of work, services are most likely going to be held thiscoming Wednesday afternoon at the Temple where the Orchants aremembers. I will provide more specific details as soon as they have beenprovided to me. Marc’s family expressed once again their gratitude forthe outpouring of love and support that the technology community hasshown in this very difficult time. Your warmth, concern and friendshipwill not be forgotten.

River gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
all the way back home
It’s a far gone lullaby
sung many years ago
Mama, Mama, many worlds I’ve come
since I first left home

Goin home, goin home
by the waterside I will rest my bones
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
to rock my soul

Marc Orchant status update

From Oliver Starr:

UPDATE: 8:18AM Pacific Time, December 9th, 2007

From Sue Orchant:

If the outpouring of love, support andcaring could heal Marc, he would be with us telling stories right now.Today we are going to make Marc more comfortable. Friends came by allday yesterday with continued prayers and love. Today just our familywill be with him. I know you are all still there for him and us. Thankyou for all you have done.

Heartfelt Love,

Sue and Family

Marc Orchant status update

I spoke briefly this evening with Sue Orchant, Marc’s wife, and at length with Ed Bott who just left the hospital after a visit with Marc and Sue.  Marc’s physical body seems to be healing with good vitals and today he has been moving his head and opening his eyes and looking around the room.  This is very positive although he has not regained consciousness and everyone is concerned about that, understandably.  Marc’s entire family is there comforting him and each other and a lot of friends are visiting too.  Everyone is in a "wait and see" mode for Marc to wake up and get truly on the road to recovery.  There is still no indication if Marc has sustained neurological damage due to the heart attack and if so how much, which is the primary concern at this point.  Let’s all remember Marc and Sue and the rest of the Orchant family in our prayers and send get wells as much as we can.  I consider Marc one of my greatest friends and love him like a brother so I am pulling for him as hard as I can but I need your help, too.

Marc Orchant status update

People the world over are anxiously awaiting every update on Marc Orchant’s condition and this is the latest posted by Michael Sampson in a comment here.

Thursday December 6, 3.45pm Pacific
I called the hospital for an update, and spoke with Ed, Marc’s brotherfrom the East Coast. He said that it is still very touch and go. Therehas been some physiological improvement, some organs have stabilized,but Marc has still not yet regained consciousness. As such, they stillhave no update on brain functioning, or how long he was without oxygen.He has opened his eyes a few times today and tracked light. Ed and allthe family who are there are hopeful that every hour bringsimprovement. Someone is with him all the time, and they are lookingforward to him opening his eyes and saying, "so what’s happening?".

Marc’s iPhone is in his pocket, playing the music that he loves constantly.

The family is grateful for the worldwide support network.

We’re all pulling for you buddy and our hearts go out to Marc’s family in this trying time.

Brief Marc Orchant status update

As you have no doubt heard by now good friend Marc Orchant had a heart attack last Sunday morning.  A lot of people are contacting me asking for updates on Marc’s status so I wanted to share what I know about his condition.  Marc has not regained consciousness since his attack and is still in the cardiac care unit at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque.  His condition is largely unchanged but he has his family with him and we are all hoping and praying that he wakes up.  His condition is critical but stable and during tragedies such as this you cling to anything you can so his stability is a very good thing.  You can send flowers and cards for Marc to the following address:

Presbyterian Hospital
Cardiac Care Unit Bed #3
1100 Central Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

Oliver Starr is in contact with Marc’s family and has started an update page where he will post any new information as it comes in.  It’s great to see that the huge outpouring of sentiment from the technical community is helping his family cope with this tragedy.  Oliver has posted this uplifting message from Marc’s wife Sue for the community:

A Message from Sue Orchant

Hi everyone. I want you all to know that your amazing, incrediblyoverwhelming, heartfelt response of love, concern, and good wishes forMarc is helping myself, Rebecca, Jason and our family get through thisdifficult time.

Please keep sending those prayers and positive energy Marc’s way. Heknows as well as I that you are all there for him. I’ll have to tellhim that he’ll need to change his name to George Bailey (It’s aWonderful Life). It’s a beautiful thing to see.

In this past day we have seen some baby steps of improvement. He hassome response to stimuli and his oxygen levels and heart rate haveimproved. I am guardedly optimistic. He still has not regainedconsciousness but we will take things minute by minute.

It’s hard to put into words but I know you are all here with me andI appreciate you all. I will update you as soon as I know more.

Thank You.

Sue and the Orchant Family


Get well buddy, we miss you.