Health obstacles interfere with Legislative session

The last two weeks have been wholly different from any other so far at the State Capitol. As many of you already know, I was admitted to Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver on March 18 with nausea and severe chills. In order to dispel any rumors or speculation, I’d like to provide a brief update on my condition and status.

The previous weekend, I made some unfortunate food-related choices and became quite ill with what I believe was food poisoning. When I was admitted to the hospital Monday night, I believed that my symptoms were related to what I had eaten during the weekend. The wonderfully attentive nurses and doctors, however, were concerned that I might have a more serious blood infection and decided to keep me for further observation Tuesday.

By Wednesday, everything was looking up, and I was feeling much better and eager to be released. Unfortunately, my recovery was short-lived, and I checked myself back in early Thursday morning. At that point, my doctor ordered a CAT scan and confirmed that I had a perforated colon. After several days without a definitive diagnosis, it was a relief to finally know what was wrong.

Friday brought more waiting and, finally, the determination that surgery would be necessary. As it turns out, my perforated colon was caused by an obstructed adhesion because of scar tissue on my lower intestine from an appendectomy 25 years ago. With this ordeal now behind me, I’m very pleased to tell you that the surgery was successful, and I am expected to make a full recovery.

Thursday was my first day back at the Capitol since being admitted to Porter Adventist, and I am eager to get back to work for the people of Colorado.

I have immense gratitude for the nurses and surgeons at Porter Adventist Hospital for their persistent and compassionate care. From the EMTs on Tuesday to the nurses aiding me in my recovery, I felt secure every step of the way in the hands of this world-class facility. I also was touched by the support of my colleagues in the Capitol. Hearing from all of you, the great people of House District 59, made me all the more excited to heal and get back to work. Thank you, all.

While I was away, I was disappointed to miss my second bill-signing with Gov. John Hickenlooper, but I am still proud to have had the opportunity to work on House Bill 1198 to strengthen the relationship between state and tribal governments. I also was pleased to work with state Rep. Don Coram, R-Montrose, and Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, on this bill.

I also was disappointed to have missed Colorado Agriculture Day. I understand how important agriculture is to many constituents in House District 59, and the Agriculture Day luncheon is known as one of the best events of the year. I’m told that the food was excellent.

This week, we are tackling the budget. Colorado is unique in that we have a balanced budget, which prioritizes fiscal responsibility. This year, we will be focusing on funding for education and economic development – the areas that will continue to move Colorado’s economy forward and encourage a Colorado workforce for a 21st-century economy.

Finally, I would like to extend my condolences to the family of prisons chief Tom Clements. All of us in the Capitol had immense respect for his character and intelligence. He was an exceptional man and will be missed.

I am continually honored to be your representative for the 59th district.

Mike McLachlan represents House District 59 in Colorado’s General Assembly. The district encompasses La Plata, Archuleta, San Juan, Ouray and Hinsdale counties and part of Gunnison County. Call McLachlan at (303) 866-2914 or email