Home > Character Essays, Earth > The Week I Didn’t Die

The Week I Didn’t Die

(Courtesy, Jack Brauer, Mountain Photographer)

Without getting into a lot of rather gory detail, it’s been a tough week.  Almost died.  Recovered.  Came home.  Now I’m typing these words.

In a nutshell- last Wednesday, an undiscovered ulcer went suddenly and completely awry at the same time, coincidentally, a little case of pneumonia set in.  You haven’t lived until you‘ve tried to breath with pneumonia in your lungs and a bunch of staples in your abdominal muscles.  There were machines doing stuff I never imagined possible in strangely, seemingly disconnected places like nasal cavities and stomachs.

Who says antibiotics don’t work?  I’d like to thank three specific kinds of antibiotics very, very much.  You know who you are.

Spent seven days at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.  I am not the most gracious hospital guest in the universe.  My immediate goal on these sorts of occasions, is to get out and fast, which was not possible this time.   But they put up with me, saved me, fixed me, put me back together again.  Every single one of them has a heart of gold, as far as I’m concerned.

So, a week later, I walked into the faintly crisp, cool autumn air and took what seemed impossible a few days ago- a deep breath.  And I felt newly alive and grateful for it.  What an amazing gift; to be given a new life right in the middle of my favorite season- which just happens to completely represent what is now the autumn of my life.

See, that was the part in the old Sinatra song where I started getting bummed out about those damned seasons of our lives.  But, no damn it!  It is a beautiful season.  It’s pumpkins, and fresh, cold mornings.  It’s scary ghosts and little kids in ridiculous little costumes.  It’s apple cider and scare crows and romance and straw and the Wizard of Oz.  It’s not the harbinger of a fast on-rushing winter.  It’s the precursor to snow and Christmas and laughter and hot chocolate and fire places and the stinging feel of fresh cold air against the tiny little patches of skin you’ve accidently left exposed.

So thank you Commander of Fate; Oh Great, Holy Handler of the Cosmic Tumblers.  Whoever puts together these strange combinations of challenges seemingly designed to break us- but don’t.  Thank you for the joy and the utter gift of a second shot this late in life.

Thanks also to painkillers.  Winkin’ at ya.

  1. Caroline Meyer
    October 11, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Stick around, kiddo, we need a good guy around here like you, OK? xoxox

  2. Jack Speer
    October 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Seven days in hospital does not appear to have diminished your spirit. Welcome back Robert!

  3. October 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Great to hear that you came out on the plus side of a cosmic tumble.

  4. October 11, 2012 at 7:37 am

    So happy to hear the story has a wonderful ending. Smell the coffee every day, my friend. It is indeed a sweet smell.

  5. Channing
    October 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Been missing your posts but everyone slips away from time to time. I’m glad you stayed with us. You are indeed a special person!

  6. Howard Arenstein
    October 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Now let’s bring the Nats back to life! Great you are still around, Robert.

  7. Richard Davies
    October 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Hey Robert God bless you and so glad you are OK now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts wisdom and gentle good humor. Best of luck and love to your sir!

  8. Tom Bailey
    October 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Glad to know that you didn’t exit stage right! I would have missed your voice… Taryn sends her love and wishes you well.

    • Caroline Meyer
      October 11, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Robert!  How scary, honey!  What the hell caused all this?  How long is your recovery?  Jeez, I wish I was there to help take care of you.  When you get better, you should come relax at the beach, the hotels are really, really cheap right now!!!  Stay in touch!  I will always remember you as my very first kiss!


  9. Pam
    October 11, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    I just read your blog, and am hoping you are back to your old self. I see your sense of humor remains completely intact. I think every one of us Newsbabes has gone through health scares, so when you feel better, we should fete your revival!

  10. October 11, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Hey you lived through working in commercial radio and survived, so this incident should be a piece of cake! Stay thirsty, my friend! 🙂

  11. Jim Hawk
    October 12, 2012 at 12:10 am

    And, the Nats heading into Game 5 must help the healing process a little – Jason Werth does it when he has to ! Glad you’re on the mend…now get out and enjoy that fall color…

  12. Carol Anne
    October 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    We need your wisdom to absorb this Nats loss. In the grand tradeoffs in life..we’ll take you being healthy any day.

  13. October 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Wow, Robert! You really got a handle on life!

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