Thought for the month What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out come sighs, laughter, and dreams. — Nikos Kazantzakis, poet and novelist (1883-1957)
Hello <<First Name>>,
What a strange machine man is, indeed. Here is the story of what happened to this machine (me).
On February 4th I was scheduled to give a lecture which I had named "Retirement, What If..." at Northside Hospital here in Atlanta. My "what if" has happened. I was riding a bicycle for the first time in 35 years on January 25th and my cousin was riding a bike to my left. For whatever reason I turned my front wheel to the left, hitting his back tire, and I went flying over his bike and onto the ground. I felt okay - just a little shaken - but within two days my left knee swelled and I had so much pain in my thighs and legs that I couldn't get out of bed. I also had developed an infection of the skin on my left leg. I had so much pain that I was hospitalized for nine days at St. Joseph's Hospital and since then I have been in rehab at the Jewish home.
Never before had I experienced such pain. I was on high-dose narcotics while in the hospital and now am on a lesser dose, but still I need help getting out of bed and I need help standing to use a walker. When I walk with a walker, it is only for a few minutes and then I have to stop. What is the lesson? With the severe pain I had a definite loss of appetite, but now that the pain is somewhat less I am eating normally. I now know short term hunger. That helps me stay committed to my work for the Atlanta Hunger Relief Fund.
There were more lessons with this incident. In the past, even if I had mild pain, I was still able to see patients and to function. Now, I also know what it is like to be totally unable to function, though four days ago I was to use the walker to finally go to the restroom and use the toilet, which was a true victory. Whatever plans I had made for February just went down the tube. I had wanted to start doing my income tax, but I have no ability to look at numbers and concentrate, even now, a month after the accident.
This experience has reminded me again that I'm so blessed having loved ones such as my wife Arlene, and my son Jed, and so many friends and acquaintances who are praying for me and wishing me well. I am hoping that I shall overcome this side trip in my journey of living. For those who have donated to and are following my work with the AHRF, I have not done anything during this time of illness, but I shall ultimately get back to the work I have to do. I appreciate your help and support for that work.
I have waited to send this to you until I was feeling a little better and today I felt I was ready to share my story. I wish everyone good health and I'm okay being selfish by wishing myself a speedy recovery!
P.S. Today I was told I'd be in rehab a minimum of 3 more weeks.