First, this from my incredible husband, who sent it to friends and family about what happened exactly two weeks ago today:
Dear Friends and Family,
This is Priscilla’s husband writing you to let you know that she is back home and recuperating from a medical crisis that necessitated a trip to the emergency room on Monday. On Sunday night, she went to bed feeling light-headed and awoke a few hours later feeling dizzy and intensely nauseous. Her symptoms worsened throughout the night and by morning she felt like the room was literally spinning around her. She was unable to walk or see and was becoming dangerously dehydrated from vomiting. I called for an ambulance and we were taken to the emergency room at Columbia Presbyterian where, after an hour of forging our way through the intake procedure, we were told that due to the volume of patients it would be another 4 hours before a doctor would even be able to look at her. I managed to get Priscilla into a wheel-chair, out the door, and into a waiting car to take us to the Lenox Hill emergency room, where she was immediately admitted, taken to a bed, and seen by nurses and doctors. Over the next 11 hours, she received medications for the intense nausea and the unrelenting severe vertigo, as well as 2.5 liters of saline for dehydration. After the results of a CAT scan enabled him to rule out even more serious conditions, the doctor concluded that Priscilla was suffering from one of two conditions affecting the inner ear: labyrinthitis or benign positional vertigo. These conditions typically arise during a viral illness like a cold or flu which Priscilla had recently had. Although we were able, thanks to the effectiveness of the medications, to come home late Monday night, Priscilla is still unable to walk independently, is very tired from the anti-vertigo medications, and is unable to have her eyes open for long. The doctors expect her to feel much better in a week to ten days, but she is looking at a full recovery period of about 6 weeks (possibly longer). Although she’s very sedated and in bed most of the time and it’s very difficult for her to focus and read, I know that she would love to receive emails from you. She can read some messages on her iPhone and other messages I can read to her.
Priscilla has been incredibly brave and strong throughout this ordeal and I am as always overcome with admiration for her. As you can imagine, in spite of her own suffering and inability to open her eyes, everyone she encountered, from the doctors (Dr. Tran, Dr. Weisberg), nurses (Liz, Joseph, and Eddie), CAT scan technicians (Bob and Mike), patient transport specialist (Kurt), and other health care professionals, to the old couple that briefly shared our hospital room, was touched by her warm heart and joyful spirit. I am so so grateful that she is going to be okay.
Please keep Priscilla in your thoughts and prayers,
and now this, from me, Priscilla, one week ago:
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
I’ve been so humbled and moved and frankly overwhelmed in the best possible way with the outpouring of well wishes, empathetic notes, helpful advice, kind words, fond thoughts, and compassionate wisdom from you all. I am so blessed and lucky to have you all on my side!!!
Today I was able to walk unassisted (albeit very unsteadily) and read and write a little! More important, I was able to watch a good Giants game with Benj, help Rafaella with her homework, and send James off to a Harlem Globetrotters birthday party secure in the faith that his Mom is going to be OK. My dear Chris has been a rock and a beacon.
And to you, my friends, readers, fellow travelers, I want to say that I have been touched to my core by the miraculous scope of your generosity. I will keep on saying thank you for as long as I have a voice.
forever and sincerely,
Priscilla (and now to lie down again!)
and finally me, today, October 15th, 2012
Today I remain a little unsteady on my feet and sometimes have rushing sensations in my head, but I am off all medications and I took my first real walk since the incident.
One of the most poignant moments of my recent health scare/saga: My sweet baby Benj, now 13 and two inches taller than I, gently but firmly took my arm to help me walk around the apartment and whispered: “I learned how to do this by walking Grams down the aisle at your wedding, Mommy.”
As William Blake once wrote, “gratitude is heaven itself.” Thank you all for helping me to both walk on solid ground and for lifting me to a heavenly realm with your outpouring of good wishes, practical help, advice, empathy, and caring for me and our family.