My last morning in the hospital

It’s 7:30 and I’ve been up for an hour and a half. The GQ MD team was here, but I’ve asked that they come back – I still have questions for them. Still waiting and it’s now 8:40 – where are they? I hope to be gone around 11, but need to see Dr. Golfinos first. He was in surgery and meetings all day yesterday, so I missed him.

Yesterday was a good day – made a lot of progress in healing. No more headaches, walked a lot on my own and with the PT, Antonio and Miguel. I also had a healing session with Beth Dannhauser, a friend of Sarah Koch from DIG (see note from Sarah). Beth uses a blend of healing oils to massage people in their time of healing with the thought that the medical establishment these days ignores the power of touch in the healing of patients. I was relaxed in bed, listening to soft meditative music as she gently massaged my feet and legs – added an energy that was amazing!

I ate well and the food came as planned for the first time since I’ve been here. Better late than never. And while the food is not the same standard as it was in Ruber Hospital in Madrid, it’s not too bad. Last night’s salmon was delicious as was the lentil soup.

My Facebook post was viral among my friends.

As of this writing, 254 “likes” and 156 comments. I think that’s the most reaction I’ve ever gotten to a post.

My roommate had no visitors other than medical staff yesterday, so it was a lot quieter – see my message on my board about “What is important to me.”

turban

My turban is now off. I am waiting for more answers, but what is coming up for me is that I have no feeling on the top of my head. I don’t know why that is, but hope it is temporary. And while the incision line is straight and clean, it is in good part in front of my hairline: what will this mean as I heal? Eleven years ago, many of you may recall, I had a ski accident when I went to celebrate my then friend Carol’s 50th birthday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I had a tibia plateau fracture and a metal plate was inserted. The scar is still visible. At the time, I was not happy about that, but my dear friend David Schofield gave me good perspective. David is an artist and is also someone who goes to the flea market to buy what most of us would consider to be disposable stuff. He will get excited by a 3 inch by 3 inch piece of tapestry and pay good money for that small weaving (“This is an 18th century fragment, probably took someone 10 hours just for this small piece!”) He then will repurpose the item and make beautiful collectors pieces, whether a collage of a tapestry, a vase, a bowl or other. He has given me a ship that hangs in my Fire Island home above the table that started as the hull of a clipper, one of the fastest ships ever built. The hull dates, says David from the late 19th century and he rebuilt all of the masts from antique linen. Everyone who sees the ship remark how amazing it is and how perfect it is for Fire Island.

When my leg was being repaired and healing, I complained to David that the scar would be visible afterwards. He then sent me a bowl made of pieces of broken Chinese porcelain and explained that while we in the West throw broken pottery away, in China, the most beautiful pieces of pottery, when broken, would be repaired, but the imperfections were usually highlighted by using gold or other materials. But the breaks, while repaired, were still visible. This was considered to add to the beauty of the ceramic pieces. David told me to look at my scars as a sign of living well and not to buy into the American ideal that perfection is only when no defects are apparent. Our defects are part of our beauty! I will try to remember that when I see my scar across my forehead and I hope that when you see me, you will agree that the scar adds to making me more – not less – handsome. (Antonio, who is the least objective person in my life keeps calling me “guapo” even if I don’t feel so guapo right now.)

ceramic-bowl-1

Yesterday, as I was walking around, a random woman stopped me to say “You look good and strong!” And just coincidentally, she was next to the room in the ICU where I had been. She was visiting her daughter who had taken over my room. We chatted briefly and it felt good to see how she saw me.

This morning, I did my morning round of walking and one of the many Hasidic Jews also stopped me to say I looked good. I went to speak to him just now and he promised to say a Mi Sheberakh for me, the Jewish prayer for healing of body and mind. Must be something that random people see my energy already! Dr. Shah said that my return to normal is in good part because I was already in good, strong shape – so keep that in mind for yourselves: stay strong and healthy and should anything happen to you (hopefully not!), you will come out better and faster on the other side!

My roommate is out for a long procedure today – I hope I will be gone before he returns. In the meantime, the curtain is open and the windows are flooding the room with light. A good omen for further healing.

Chinese ceramic bowl rebuilt by David Schofield after my tibia repair in 2004 – the repairs and imperfections are seen as a sign of beauty and respect.

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