Terry Hansen: I'm Leaving The Show For My Family, Health
Even though the story I'm about to share with you is about my experience and my decision, I think it is a situation that any parent or partnership of parents can find themselves in.
And as you hear it, I certainly don't want to hold myself up as any kind of model for how to respond to this situation.
Late last year, one morning in the last half hour of the show. You wouldn't have noticed it.
I experienced some swelling in my right arm, I stress not the heart attack arm, but quite sudden.
With some hasty cut and paste pre-recording and linking from Bianca and Bob, I was promptly up to the emergency ward at the PA, just as a precaution.
While being examined, I answered all the health questions the way I have previously on air; Put on 20 kg in the last few years. A big few years for work and a tough time for our family.
It rang just about every alarm bell for a middle aged man and before you knew it, the senior doctor was down to talk to me. He was convinced that my arm was just swelling from a sprain, but:
He spoke about the 3 pillars of a parents self worth: Work, Family and Yourself. And I told him that I had made a conscious decision to focus on the first two.
And that as a result, my work and my family were both in a great place now.
He told me that in the process, I had compromised my health to a point that any serious challenge to it could result in ongoing health problems.
In reality, and increasing over the last 3 or 4 years, once the job is done each day, I have suffered from constant and debilitating fatigue.
I sleep bank most days to try to have the energy to engage with my family at the end of their day before an early night.
Anyone who works shift work knows what that can be like. It takes away the highs and lows of your day and leaves you feeling like each day is just a to do list.
You might wonder when you hear about the great projects I have enjoyed with the DADBODS. I refer to myself as their most enduring before photo.
But most of these projects have been an attempt to get my old self back. Not my 20 y o glory days. Just feeling as well as I did 5 years ago.
Likewise we have done some awesome things in the last 18 months since Bianca's arrival. But at the end of each project, this overwhelming fatigue remains.
My family have been adamant that they want me well first and foremost. And had seen me like this for too long.
My daughter told me that she would not take up her place in Melbourne if it meant that I had to keep working so hard.
My wife, who is a brilliant and supportive woman, told me that she doesn't think I can get myself right while doing such a big job.
Therefore, a little while ago, I approached 97.3FM management and asked to be released from my contract and leave radio.
They were immediately supportive offering reduced hours and anything that might help me stay if I wanted to.
But I can't half do anything. And it would not be fair to Bianca and Bob and the new energy that has come into this show.
They also wanted to be certain that leaving would not leave me in a bad and potentially depressive place. It won't.
My mind and creativity has been as good if not better than they've ever been. I'm proud of myself.
I just need to do less, better. Sleep past 3.20 in the morning. And get myself right again.
For my wife, especially, for my kids, to share in their awesome future and to feel like me again.
And so I will be leaving the show quite soon. You'll hear more about that in coming weeks.
This won't be the most brilliant financial or career decision I'll ever make. And I thank my family for their support in this. And we're better placed than many.
But I would urge each parent partnership or single parent with their best friend to talk to each other about giving value to their ongoing wellbeing as much as future goals.
This is a great job. 973fm Brisbane audience is the best audience in Australia - because of your willingness to share your loves, frustrations, dreams and passion, to build the sort of lives for ourselves and our families that other cities can no longer squeeze out of their hustle and bustle.
So I'm going to enjoy it for a little while longer while we look for someone new for Bianca to torment.
Please be as welcoming and generous and forgiving to them as you have been to me for almost 15 years.
Let's go out laughing! That's what Tez Sez!