I posted the below on Facebook two weeks ago, on the morning of August 3, the occasion of my life day--which is to say, the day I was rescued by my stepmother after lying unconscious in my apartment for over two days; without her intervention, and given the escalating toxicity in my blood, I likely would have been dead within the next few hours.
Since I posted on that Tuesday morning, it's occurred to me that one of the gifts of my book being out in the world is that it's freed me to share this kind of milestone. And not just milestones. During the years I spent working on my book, I rarely talked about my illness, much less those fraught 46 hours. Maybe it was a matter of shame. Or it just never came up in the course of ordinary conversation. Or I felt it was too weighty a subject to drop.
Whatever the case, it's pretty cool to be able to talk about it now, and not only for myself, as both an opportunity to honor my family, as well as to relive the miraculous nature of that rescue and, indeed, my survival. It's also for the readers who, much to my pleasant surprise, have drawn strength, or motivation, or inspiration, from my story.
Exactly 17 years ago at this time--coincidentally, a Monday morning--I was lying unconscious in my Upper West Side apartment. I had been there since suffering a massive seizure sometime Saturday morning; of this none of my friends or family had any idea.
In about three hours, my stepmother would find me on the floor in my bedroom, near death, and have me rushed to a hospital.
Later today, I'll call and thank her, as I have every year since. Thank you, I'll say, for doing what you did; as she well knows, I likely wouldn't have made it much longer. And she'll say, as she does every year, that she's just glad I'm healthy and doing well.
My family has taken to calling August 3 my life day. But please no congratulations for me. I didn't do anything. Without my stepmother and my dad, and Anna Reisman, Cary Gross, and Marta Resnikov Reisman over that early August weekend, I wouldn't be here.
So may I offer my thanks to them and to everyone else for reading this.