Fully Recovered and Ready to Go!

I want to thank everyone who has sent me wishes for a speedy recovery. Your encouragement and well wishes were extremely appreciated and essential to getting me back to health, both physical and mental. I am back, and completely recovered. Being forced to stay chained to a penicillin pump for nearly 9 weeks in a hospital, has not been exactly a thrilling experience. The boredom was interrupted by some dips, but in general, the time went quickly without too much incident. This hospital stay has been an extremely valuable experience. I think one of the most important lesson was truly accepting the situation that I had. Endocarditis is a serious heart illness, and it needed serious treatment. No shortcuts. The treatment of 9 weeks of pumping penicillin 24 hours a day to kill the infection was not something I had ever experienced. I had never needed a hospital stay. Never had any serious illness or even broke a finger. When I came to the hospital the first day, we couldn’t believe what the doctor said. “You will have to stay here for 6 weeks. There is no way you are going to TBLI Asia in 10 days. Forget it.” The initial shock transformed to fear, loneliness, disbelief, unacceptability, unhappiness, to eventually acceptance. It is as it is, or was.
The support by friends and family had been a great inspiration. That old adage that you know who your friends are when you need help. The numbers and degree of offers of help was overwhelming. I remember saying to Rieki, “ Wow. We have a lot of friends”. Knowing that and the level of support that we received was extremely comforting during the time that Rieki and Carolyn were suddenly given the responsibility to organize and run TBLI Asia. I particularly want to thank Giulio who was there to fill in for me in Bangkok, and couldn’t do enough to help. Finally, I would like to thank all the attendees who worked to make the event a great success in my absence.
I am really enjoying being home and am looking forward to picking up my life and working on all the projects and inspiration I have. This period of recovery has been very beneficial to my physical well being. The time for self reflection, spiritual spring cleaning and seeing the vast loving support network that we have made all the difference. Thank you. I am looking forward to greeting you all, in the near future, and following the vision “The World will benefit when economy supports well-being“.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.“
–Eleanor Roosevelt

Brooklyn Bridge Angel of the Month

This month’s angel of the month are all the caregivers at St. Lucas Andreas Hospital, Amsterdam Medical Center, Onze Lieve Vrouwgasthuis Hospital and all the ambulance personnel that took care of me. Never having had a hospital stay, I had no idea what to expect. The hospital stay was quite a revelation. I was shocked at the number of people involved with making one individual better. I never met so many people who were totally dedicated to their profession and enjoyed what they were doing. Nothing was too much or too complicated. Not only did the nursing staff provide the physical care needed, but they provided the emotional support, too.
Michael Moore’s new film Sicko is absolutely no reflection of the Dutch heath care system.

I particularly want to thank Suzanne, Breg, Betsy, Tecla, Piet, Rina, Joyce, Annemiek, Riz, Ellen and Moniek. Your support made an unpleasant situation much more bearable. Thank you and congratulations to you and all the rest of the staff on being the Angel of the month. You all made a lasting impression and I am eternally grateful.