Grateful for Modern Medicine
September 9, 2019
I AM FINE. Please don’t worry. But let’s just say, I don’t look like this anymore. I had a very bad accident, as too many of you have now heard and are asking about, hence the need for this social media post. On Friday (shortly after this joyous photo was taken!), I landed on asphalt with all weight on my eye socket and mouth, a blunt force hit that gashed open my left eye, knocked loose my front tooth and gouged through my inner and outer lip. I was and am incredibly lucky. An ambulance was going the other way on that very street and the two guardian angel friends I was with were able to flag him down. The first thing I remember is reaching up to my face and being alarmed when my entire hand was immediately drenched in blood and my tooth somehow stuck inside my lip, perpendicular to where it should be; the paramedic’s alarmed face indicated the severity of the injuries. My brother came immediately to the scene and followed Magen David Adom to the emergency room. I begged for a plastic surgeon, but alas, it was Shabbat in the holyland, so I made the surgeon promise it would be the best stitches he’d ever administered (incoherent pleas which Natan translated into Hebrew). The gouges in my lip and extraordinary swelling inside and out mean no solid food for weeks, so I’m happily on the hummus, tahini, guacamole, smoothie and soup bandwagon full time. After being released from the hospital, I spent the next day at my best friend’s parents’ dental clinic (ahh the good fortune!) to temporarily put the front tooth that had snapped out back where it belongs and immobilize all of my wobbly front teeth. When the swelling finally goes down, I’ll see an oral surgeon for an extraction and fake tooth implant, in all likelihood, so bring on top doctor recommendations.
Thank you to my friends for making sure I received immediate medical care, my brother for letting me squeeze his hand through the hellish overnight hospital ordeal, my sister for feeding me smoothies and hummus as soon as I got home to her teary arms, my 3-year-old nephew for watching over my drugged self on the couch and making me drawings and reminding his momma to feed me so I get strong again, my best friend of a decade and her doctor family for clearing their schedules to treat my mangled self, my bestie with whom I was supposed to be enjoying a fun wedding weekend in Tel Aviv for getting me all the delicious baby foods at all the hours, the dear groom for even having the headspace to worry about me on his day, my mom and uncle and cousins for all the family love a world away, and all the other friends who have somehow found out and sent blessings and love. I’m still in Israel and in very good hands with my second family, albeit many tests yet to be carried out and doctors yet to be seen — when I come home to the United States soon. My most sincere apologies to all I had and will have to cancel on in the coming weeks (in New York City and Chicago and Seattle and Jersey and London and Miami and my beloved Puerto Rico), but I must listen to medical professionals and a body that is absolutely knackered from the trauma and in dire need of rest to heal. I’ll soon be horizontal on my mother’s couch in Marin, so send me healing energies or an Amazon or Audible book, so I can attempt to read or more likely (with the current state of my face) listen to thought-provoking content. Also, I can’t speak well at all, so please don’t try to call and forgive me not returning your voicemails, as much as I appreciate the gestures and love you dearly. I’m also always accepting of organic mushy foods or nutrient-filled drinks or vegan ice cream! And yes, for those wondering, I did inexplicably (and against all medical advice…) make it to the wedding ceremony a couple days later with lots of drugs and ice and makeup and cousin-it hair and an eye patch. Because love conquers all. Because of the amazing group who gathered to celebrate from all around the globe. Because I wasn’t coming all this way for nothing. Even though that outing set me back a smidge, it was well worth it in the greater scheme of life and an incredible, infectious, invigorating evening that lifted mind, body and soul!
Modern medicine is miraculous, as is the human body. I am in awe of mine; it is strong, it is working overtime, and it is already healing, but this will be a long road to recovery with many ups and downs, like the new burst blood vessels in my already wrecked eye today and lip knitting together to further impede speech, though swelling continues to respond well to regular ice packs. Recently, I’ve been expressing deep gratitude for my physical health — and that could not be more true than right now.