Of all the seasonal postings that have appeared on this blog since I launched it, this one, written in 2005, still means the most to me:
I was stretched out on a gurney in the emergency room of Lenox Hill Hospital, where I’d been brought five years before when an undiagnosed case of work-exacerbated pneumonia had reduced me to a similar state of disrepair. By then I knew that what I feared most had come to pass: I’d been stricken with congestive heart failure. My body was full of excess fluid—lungs, legs, the whole shooting match—and had I waited much longer to seek help, I would have drowned in it. Instead, the doctors stuck a nitroglycerine patch on my shoulder, pumped me full of a fluid-expelling diuretic, and handed me a phone on which I made a half-dozen necessary calls: my brother in Missouri, my co-blogger in Chicago, my editor at The Wall Street Journal, the woman with whom I’d planned to have dinner and see Waiting for Godot the following night. To all of them I made my regrets, thinking wryly of a favorite saying: If you want to hear God laugh, make a plan….
The unnamed woman mentioned above and at the end of this posting, by the way, is now Mrs. T.
Read the whole thing here.
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The slow movement from Michael Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra, performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conducted by the composer. This is the first piece of music that I heard after going into the hospital: