by tristero

I understand from Digby that many of my friends here have been wondering why I haven't posted anything since the election. To make a very long, very awful, story short, I had a serious health emergency but am now much better than I was, and should recover fully.

To add a little more detail, I have a long history of abdominal troubles. On November 6, I was at a meeting of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington when I developed a very serious small bowel obstruction. It was a situation that required surgery within a few hours or I could easily have died. The operation was long and complicated; I then spent 11 days on a ventilator in an Intensive Care unit and, when released from the hospital, learned I had developed anemia. A few weeks of iron pills cleared that up and since then, I've been slowly, slowly recovering.

I still lose entire days when my stomach decides to act up, but I'm back to my old level of energy. All that permanently remains is a truly spectacular scar which should scotch any ambitions I might have had to be a swimsuit model. I also lost some thirty pounds. However, I can't recommend a long stay in the ICU as a weight-loss program. While my experience wasn't as dreadful as the worst ones described in this article - and no one tried to get me out of bed when I was on the ventilator! - I did have some amazingly vivid hallucinations. One of my favorites was an elaborate international jihad I organized against Sean Combs' music empire. I also spent at least one wonderful night collating and organizing the symbolism in Agatha Christie's novels with the help of a nurse's aide. Perhaps most bizarre of all, I had this persistent delusion that an African-American with an unusual name was elected president. High levels of painkiller will do that to you, sometimes.

I have several things I want to blog about regarding what is coming up for me, and, of course, about political/cultural issues. But I'll keep this post short.

I would like to thank the wonderful staff at George Washington University Hospital for their dedicated professionalism and compassion. I was extremely lucky to have such a great team of people available; they saved my life. I'd also like to thank my exceptional long-term care and surgery team at New York Presbyterian Weill/Cornell Hospital for their ongoing management of my condition. Mere words, even music, cannot convey how grateful my family and I for their combined efforts on behalf of my health.