The Joy in Tracheotomy: Lisa Hickey’s Absence

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About Lisa Hickey

Lisa Hickey is CEO of Good Men Media Inc. and publisher of the Good Men Project. "I like to create things that capture the imagination of the general public and become part of the popular culture for years to come." Connect with her on Twitter.


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    Glad to hear you came out, more or less, okay.
    Lyme disease is not the only reason you might need a trake. Accidents far from ER are a possibility. Worth reviewing how to do one with a pocket knife.
    I used to know. Got to catch up.

  2. Corey Wright says:
    Sorry that happened to you. I when to high school with Joanna and also have Lyme. You should check out the movie above.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Corey, I didn’t know you have Lyme, I’m so sorry to hear that. Thanks for sharing the vid and also the Funny or Die one you posted about yesterday—I shared it on the blog this morning. Lots of healing to you, as well!

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Corey! I will check out the movie as soon as I get a little more bandwidth (both physically and internetently). Good look with your own course of the disease.

  3. Carl Pettit says:


    You wrote about an extremely scary experience, yet brought a ton of warmth and humor to your very personal story. The fact that you posted the trailer to the movie Spinal Tap when talking about your own real life spinal tap speaks volumes. Hopefully you will be able to work without pain very soon. I wish you a speedy recovery, and am glad that even in a time of immense crisis, you’re still building positive relationships, and holding onto a sweet sense of humor, which you showed us with The Joys in Tracheotomies

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks so much Carl. It’s funny, even before I wrote a word of the post, I knew I wanted to include a bit of the video. It was just too bizarre! They hadn’t crossed my mind for like over 30 years — until I needed my own personal Spinal Tap.

      Appreciate the kind words. Am working without pain right now — just now talking or breathing on my own. But hey, progress is progress! Every day I get a little more strength.

  4. much love, lisa. much love and resolve.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      backatcha John cave osborne. I’ve always appreciated your unflinching look at being a father of five (triplets included). All the best.

  5. Mark Ellis says:

    Lisa: A CEO yes, but with the soul of an artist, I’ve always sensed that. Please get well soon.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Mark. It’s funny — when like 13 or 14, people would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up. And I’d timidly say the word “artist”. And to a person they would reply with the exact same words” “Oh no you don’t. You’ll just end up starving in an attic somewhere.” So I got a math scholarship, and then a career in advertising. And then it was “Aha! This IS art!” It’s so great.

      Thanks for all your posts, and being brave enough to talk about some of the really controversial topics head on as well.

  6. FlyingKal says:

    I’ve had the Lyme Disease, although the severity and the speed of progression was very far from what you’ve had to endure.
    I wish you all the best, and thank a lucky star that you got to see some competent doctors.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks FlyingKal. Hope your own Lyme disease is under control. You’re write, it was the speed of progression that was breathaking (literally). Wishing you well.

  7. What an ordeal, Lisa – and you found all the good in in it. That kind of strength will get you through. Thinking of you.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Suzanne. Appreciate the kind words, the good thoughts, and all you’ve written for us in the past.

  8. John Hickey says:

    Keep fighting mom! You are such a strong person and I am so inspired from what you have had to go through. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you have a great support staff of people who care for you.

  9. Hang Pham says:

    This is the first time I heard about Lyme disease and, through your narrative, its sounded incredibly interesting (until I looked it up). A positive attitude makes the world look different doesn’t it? I truly admire your drive and bravery; and it is such a refreshing experience looking at the world through your imaginative lens. I hope you will get well soon. Well, no, you need to get well soon to continue your mission of inspiring people!

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Hang. And oh what a journey it’s been! Keep finding places for your own inspiring and creative writing!

  10. Ken Goldstein says:


    You are forever an inspiration to us all. Wanna know if you changed the world? Look at all the comments here, the lives you touched, the people who care.

    ‘Tis but a scratch. Heal well, come back strong, show us the way.

    You are blessed with believers.


    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Ken! Healing well I know how to do. And it probably was a good way yo get back o the 20,000 foot vision. Thanks for all your great support, advice, columns and the times you’ve been a sounding board for business issues. All very much appreciated.

  11. Lisa, sorry to hear that a little tick left its gift of Lyme disease, I’m happy to hear you have transformed your calamity into a win as the brilliant CEO does.

    Please take all the rest you need. All this time to be not only your recovery, but a vacation.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Owen! Yes, it’s turning into quite the vacation indeed!

      Luckily, work for me is simply what I love, so I am back to working when I can but just checking in with my body frequently and the second it needs rest, I rest.

  12. Wow, that’s no joke. I hope you have a speedy recovery! As someone who grew up in the country, I get a western blot every time I go to the doctor for a checkup. I think EVERYONE who is out in rural areas be they mountains or searching for a lost ball in the tall grass at a golf course should make it part of their regular checkup.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Collin. Appreciate all your support of GMP and your great posts.

      Totally agree about testing, it should be a matter of course. In my case, what made it so difficult to diagnose was that not only were there now outwards signs, but it didn’t show up in a routine blood work up the first time I went into ER. So they had pretty much ruled it out until the spinal tap. Really kind of flukey. But almost no one has seen a case as severe as this. As one doctor pointed out, however “If you are going to get something really really bad, at least be glad when it can be cured with antibiotics.”

  13. wellokaythen says:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Boy, any excuse to lie around all day….

  14. Lisa Please take so much care! You write as beautifully as ever! We are sending you lots of love and best wishes form Down under in Australia. And you HAVE changed the world and give many a voice where some do not!!!

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Thanks Jayneen. I have to say that when we first started these conversations, we knew many would be very difficult — that was our goal. But we didn’t realize how difficult. How do you talk about sexual abuse — especially against males — when it is so rarely talked about. It’s one of the things we’ve done that I’m most proud of. Good luck with your book, which is a gorgeous and engaging way to get the conversation about abuse started, and let’s continue to connect.

  15. John Anderson says:

    Sorry to hear about the lyme disease and wanted to wish you well.

  16. Lisa, can I get a mailing address for you? Max and I have something to send you! Hope every day is an improvement. Hugs, L.

  17. Christie Hartman says:

    Well said, Lisa. We’re pulling for you!

  18. Lisa, I only know that it took me a long time to be able to clarify my thoughts on my son’s life (including seeing him intubated.) That you can write about it so soon, amazes me, and yet it doesn’t. I am in awe of your strength and hope you feel better every day. Please write us an update when you can.

  19. Lisa, What a journey you are on. I’m convinced that people who are doing big things in the world are faced with big challenges. Your journey reminds me of one I went through a couple of years ago when a “pulled muscle” in my left leg turned out to actually be a massive blood clot that required emergency surgery, a small filter being placed in my Vena Cava to keep any future clots from killing me, blood thinners for life, and some very interesting lessons about how to help men (and the women who love them) deal with life in a stressed-out world, while staying alive and well. Journey on, my sister.

  20. Andrew Cotto says:

    Hi Lisa!

    I’m glad you’re doing OK. I really admire your perspective on things (not to mention the wonderful writing). Need some reading material? If so, send me an address and I’ll ship you my books.



  21. Matthew Salesses says:

    Get well soon, Lisa!

  22. Hi L….well you know like i say……its been hard not having you around and always wondered since whenever i open up my gmail account the 1st person i meet online is you ALWAYS as such i have been worried but well at least now we have you back.From Kenya Africa with lots of love the girls women and i wish you a quick recovery..Hugs n kisses and so glad that we have you back…we will keep you in our prayers!Mo


  1. [...] recently fought a battle with Lyme disease. It left me temporarily unable to breathe, to walk, to swallow or to lift my arms. My vocal chords [...]

  2. [...] was in the hospital waiting for my tracheotomy to happen. I was already on a breathing machine, “a vent” they called it — a breathing tube [...]

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