To The Editor:
After three weeks in the hospital after being diagnosed with Gullain-Barre syndrome, and another week at home (my longest vacation ever) I’m not quite back in the game but I am sitting on the bench. My recovery has probably not been textbook. The efforts of Akhil, my acupuncturist, and Danielle, my physical therapist, have allowed for some incredible results. Her evaluation of my improvement between day three and day five was, “Holy fecal material!” I asked her if that was a new medical term that I was not aware of. In short, my improvement progresses on a daily basis. But this letter is not about me, this letter is about the incredible support this community has given Amy and me over the past month.
The night before I was to be discharged the 40 mph winds that blew thru knocked down a 36-inch diameter 80-foot white pine right down our driveway. By the time Amy brought me home at noon the next day, Alan and Forest Neill had it removed as well as any evidence of anything ever happening. They knew I would be out there Sunday morning with my chainsaw in my wheelchair. Charlie Goodman -- the only things missing on my wheelchair ramp to the house are runway lights and a T-bar. Sal Spinosa became my personal chauffeur to give Amy some relief. Tom Mehuron delivered all the stuff to make my life at home easier -- I’ll leave it at that.
The food: Oh my gosh, I don’t know where to start. Mike and Amy, Pat and Scott -- pizzas smuggled into my hospital room. It was also good to have a friend on the inside! The food you all dropped off at the office and the house -- Kim and Jim, Kathy, Diana and Mark, Adam and Lorien, Willie and Kim, Liz, Lara. If I missed anyone, it’s probably because my staff devoured it and didn’t tell me. But, hey, they deserved it too. If not for all they did while I was gone, then for what they have to put up with now that I’m back.
I would also like to thank all the offers to help Amy and me during my hospital stay as well as the days ahead. So many volunteering to do, in your own words, anything we needed. Your offers are taken to heart, and just because I’m home and starting to walk, don’t think you’re off the hook yet. I have written evidence.
Lastly, the cards -- cards from friends, clients and patients. (some of my patients spell better than my clients!). After the first week, I would not let Amy drop them off because I think it was getting my roommate depressed because there were so many. I didn’t need occupational therapy. The best hand therapy I had was opening Get Well cards, sometimes more than one from some of you.
I truly believe your thoughts and prayers not only helped me through an incredibly uncertain time, but has also allowed me to improve at a pace that can only be described as remarkable.
I look forward to the days, weeks and months ahead to give me the opportunity to thank everyone of you personally, whether at the office or just in passing. Unfortunately, even as our social distancing begins to relax a bit, the potential for the COID vaccine potentially aggravating this syndrome is relatively unknown. Therefore, no COVID vaccination for me, which in turn means minimal exposure at the clinic. This too will pass.
But again, this letter is not about me, it is an expression of gratitude to my friends and clients and an appreciation of what it means to be a part of this community. I thank you all. I am truly humbled.