February 24, 2011

A Week in Hell

Following the guidelines I discussed in the last post, I decided early Tuesday morning that I was in the midst of "an emergency emergency." Among other symptoms, repeatedly collapsing on the floor after taking one or two steps tends to indicate that conclusion. So I did what I will not do under less extreme circumstances, and I called 911.

I returned home from the hospital a few hours ago. I wasn't worried about the cats having enough to eat; for over a year, I've always intentionally left out enough dry food for about a week, since I've accepted this kind of occurrence as unavoidable at some point(s). And if I'm gone for longer periods, I have a couple of neighbors I can call on to look after them. The cats are fine. I'm out of danger for now, but I'm far from fine.

My atrial fibrillation had gone nuts, and I was also suffering from internal bleeding resulting from (among other things) a stomach ulcer. All that was treated (transfusions of various kinds, etc.), and I have prescriptions to carry me for a while. My heart still has an irregular rhythm, but it's what is considered "controlled" and "acceptable" (by which is meant "not terribly dangerous" ... probably).

But more than the physical problems, as dire as those were for a while, I'm undone by how extraordinarily awful the hospital experience was. And I was at a good hospital (I guess that should be in quotes, too: a "good" hospital). When I've gotten over the worst of the effects of all this and regained a bit of perspective, I may write about some of what happened. Several aspects of it were related to general themes I'm planning to write about in ways that I think might prove interesting (I find them so, at any rate).

For now, I'm going to bed, accompanied by my beloved feline companions. I may be resting most of the time for the next week. So I wanted to post something to prevent readers (the friendly ones) from worrying that the worst might have happened. Not yet. And I especially wanted to post a brief note given the wonderful generosity some of you continue to extend to me. A multitude of thanks to you.

I deeply regret not being able to write intelligently (or at all) right now about the extraordinary events transpiring across the world. Hopefully, not all my observations will be out of date a week or two hence.

My profound gratitude again to those of you who are so kind. I will rest up and return as soon as I can. I'm very glad I had mentioned the Callas Puritani performances in the last entry. I know those performances of hers so well (and many other Callas performances, too) that I can play them fully in my head whenever I wish. Especially during the first awful day in the hospital, I played the Puritani scene many times. It brought me incommunicable solace, and is yet another of the many ways in which I can never repay the magnificent gift that Callas's artistry represents to me.

See you soon, I hope and trust.