My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad December Left Me Speechless… Literally.

Warning: this will be a long post. No doubt about it. I haven’t even written it yet, but I now this much is true. Long. It’s been an ordeal, and so many questions and requests for updates, writing it down seemed the best approach. I’m putting it out there this once. But it’s not a short story, and it’s not a Q & A; this is it. If the answer isn’t here, you’ll have to keep wondering. If you want to skim, just read the purple bits. You’ll miss the juicy stuff, but save a lot of time. Some of you know that things have been hardER the past few weeks; that December has been a shit storm of well, shit. It’s been hard in a PTSD kind of way, and that is just one of the diagnoses I’m processing right now.

So it’s been another tough December. December has become a month I dread. I want to just be excited for Christmas; I want to look forward to the lights, and the eat, drink, and be merry, but it’s become shaded by several years of tough things, that seem to multiply in this lights and magic month. Some of those things have been public things, perhaps impactful to some of us and not others. Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, died on December 27, 2016. I know, a celebrity. But she was a heroine I could wrap my head around. I loved her as a character, and admired her bawdy, dry, in-your-face self. I liked her authenticity. Her death felt like one last slap in the face, in a year filled with cultural losses: David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Umberto Eco, George Michael, John, Glenn, Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, Leonard Cohen, Gwen Ifill, Elie Weisel… this list is short given all the names from 2016. My names may not be yours, but Carrie Fisher felt like one last sucker punch.

The other December challenges have been personal. December 27th (there’s that date again), 2015 we had to put our beloved yellow lab, Luke, to sleep. It’s such a horrible decision, and miserable timing, but it had to be done. December 2013 I was hospitalized, and was in recovery until the end of January. December 31, 2011, My mother died, after a long, hard deterioration from Huntington’s Disease; New Year’s Eve will never be the same. We had two exchange students living with us; I didn’t know if I was coming or going. That whole December was spent at Hospice, and our family was caught up in a painful maelstrom of grief. December. Feh.

This year, December blindsided me. While a little part of me is wary of Decembers now, it still blindsided me. I guess I expected something a little less brutal, but this December really sucked. It’s not over yet, but it has sucked since day one, so my expectations are low for these final days.

The month opened with such exciting expectations. We had tickets to Israel, and we couldn’t wait to see our grandson; we were departing December 2nd. December 1st I had a terrible headache that wouldn’t go away, but I knew I was leaving to see my grandson, daughter and son-in-law, and I was too excited to let a that get in the way. I figured some Tylenol would knock it out. Then that night, I got a low grade fever, but my husband and I were convinced it was just a cold. A little voice warned me that it was more, but honestly, I didn’t want to listen. I knew I’d be playing with the Light Of My Life in 48 hours. Big trip; I just wanted to get on the plane and see them.

When we got up early the next morning, to drive to the airport, my headache was crushing (imagine the worst headache and add multiples), and I felt feverish, but off to the airport we went. I brought a thermometer, lots of tylenol, hand sanitizer, and face scarf. My temperature got up to nearly 103 en route. I shivered intensely from Seattle to Israel–– it’s a long way to shiver. I kept my face covered and used lots of hand sanitizer; I tried not to touch things. I was more worried about passing it on, than whether or not it was serious, but I don’t get fevers, so I did think it might be more than a cold. Mostly I just wanted to get there, get some sleep, and feel better.

We arrived, and my gorgeous little grandson (aka: light of my life, sparkle in my world, Yummy Guy, sheer perfection) was just what the doctor ordered, but I felt miserable. Everything ached––I could barely move my neck; I couldn’t get warm; I just wanted to stay wrapped in a blanket and lie around. But he cuddled me, and brought me toy after toy, and I thought I would rally. The 2nd day, my fever came down, but I was wrung out. I felt exhausted, and achy all over. I was pretty sure I had a sinus infection. The third day we went to the shore and had lunch, but I was dragging, and the headache came back. I didn’t sleep at all that night; intense pain in my head kept me awake. As soon as my husband woke up, I told him we needed to see a doctor.

When you’re traveling and you get sick, it all seems much more daunting. Is it a waste of time? Who to see? What will insurance cover? Why didn’t we buy travelers insurance! My daughter lives there, so she had suggestions for local physicians, but I new in my gut this was an ER trip. My daughter made it happen by insisting an ER would assess everything, while a local doc would just give us antibiotics. That seemed simpler, and was tempting, but I listened to my gut and my girl. Before we left, my little guy sweetly covered me in a blanket and crawled under to cuddle with me. He stroked my cheeks and kissed my forehead–– sweeter than sweet. He didn’t want to go to preschool; he wanted to stay with me. It was awful. Awful. He cried, and followed me back to my room–– where I went to hide, so my daughter could get him out the door. He grabbed my leg and wouldn’t let go. Really awful. I told him to got to “Gan” (Hebrew for preschool) and promised I would be right there when he got home. So very aweful!

My headache was crushing (have I mentioned that?); I could barely walk. Once we were at the ER I remember turning to my husband and saying: I feel like I might die. It felt possible. It was overwhelming, and I was sure things were not going to go much better in the ER. They didn’t. My daughter was there to translate, thank goodness! The nurses had a hard time getting an IV in; they had a hard time getting blood. My veins were a mess, from the start. They sent me for a CT scan, and told my husband he had to take me for the scan… across the street, in another part of the hospital. Yes, he wheeled me outside, across a busy side street, through security gates, and over to CT, with my IV attached. Our stay at this hospital in Israel was surreal from the start.

Communication was a problem from minute one. I don’t speak Hebrew, and while we were told most of the staff and all of the doctors spoke English, they didn’t. My problem, not theirs, but a problem for sure. They did a lumbar puncture (spinal tap), which hurt a lot; lots of blood work, that hurt; IVs and more IVs when veins burst, oh so owy; a painful sinus exam to get cultures; a blood gas, they always hurt. I’m not super brave, but I didn’t flinch. They sent me for a chest x-ray (painless) without explaining to my family, that they needed to bring me back. So, when the imposing Russian tech was done, she wheeled my bed out into a busy lobby, barked more words at me, and left me there. I lay there totally confused, and increasingly woozy. A kind Filipino woman finally asked me if I spoke Hebrew. When I told her I didn’t, she explained that my family was expected to wheel me back to the ER cubicle. I lay there feeling totally overwhelmed and confused. I didn’t know where i was, where my family was, or how I would get back there. Thankfully–– after lying there long enough for people to walk by, look at me, push my bed out of the way, or grumble about me being in the way–– this same kind woman, found someone to wheel me back to the ER. Thank you, thank you, thank you kind stranger, with the face and voice of an angel.

That’s when they let us know that the spinal tap had come back positive for meningitis.  Things got scarier from that point on, and moved faster. They admitted me for meningitis and an acute sinus infection; they blew more veins and started IVs in other places; they drew more blood. I felt like a pin cushion, as bruises started forming all over my arms and hands; I white knuckled it and tried not to complain. My head hurt so much, and because I’m allergic to most pain meds and nearly all antibiotics (due to an immune disorder) the doctors were afraid to give me anything. My husband was overwhelmed, my daughter was worried, and to be honest, I was numb.

It was miserable–– the needles hurt; the conversations all sounded like a foreign blur, even the ones in English; everything was confusing and yeah, scary. By the time they got me to a room, with two roommates, and got the antibiotics going, it was nearly 9pm. We were all relieved to get things settled, even if settled was overwhelming for all of us. When my husband and daughter finally left (jet lag was still an issue for me and my husband, and I hadn’t slept the night before), the IV antibiotics were flowing, and  I just wanted to sleep.

But the going sideways wasn’t done. I knew within about twenty minutes that I was having an allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics, and so I hit the nurse call light. When the nurse came, she didn’t speak any English. Neither did the next two nurses, or the doctor they paged. My hands swelled, and the itching had me drawing blood on my scalp, from violently scratching. I tried pulling at the IV; I tried medical charades. I tried not to panic, and focused on getting the message across, afraid of anaphylaxis–– something other antibiotics have caused for me. It took a scary amount of time, but they did figure it out and gave me IV Benedryl and steroids to counteract the reaction. This too was terrifying, as I couldn’t understand what they were saying, and wasn’t sure what they were giving me.

The Benedryl, combined with jet lag, illness and an incredibly exhausting, stressful day had me delirious for sleep. However, the room was small, and the two elderly women in my room were moaning and wailing loudly. One of them kept reaching through her curtain and grabbing my arm, calling out the name of what I believe was her dead husband. She was speaking in Russian (there are a lot of Russians in Israel); I’d met her two sons and grandson earlier. Neither of them was named Boris. It was more surreal, more scary. I eventually dosed off, but they came and wheeled me to another room at 3am, with no explanation. Later I learned that one of the women was contagious, and with my immune issues, they were worried about me sharing a room. Go figure.

IMG_1365 (1)

The lovely vent that blew on me day and night.

The new room was a nightmare. It was small and cold. Beyond the peeling paint, the torn curtains, and overall disrepair, the actual temperature was so cold. A friendly nurse brought me another blanket, after telling me how cold it was, but I couldn’t get warm. There was a large vent at the window that blew on me constantly. It was totally covered in black mold, that covered the entire vent and up the ceiling and wall. I felt like I was taking in toxic air with every breath. The room looked out on a series of vents, and then out to the street, where I could watch people coming and going. It was a very Hassidic neighborhood, and I was there over Shabbat, so it was that much more surreal at times. At night none of the staff spoke English, and they’d come in to take blood, get stats or check on me, and explaining things in Hebrew. I felt disoriented and scared each time. In the dark, it was extra confusing, and scary. One night, the nurse didn’t clamp my IV, and when I woke the IV line was filled with my blood. The nurse took it out, and hung it up. The next morning, the bloody line was still hanging there, when the day nurse came in. When she tried to insert it back into my arm, filled with clotted blood, I refused and demanded a fresh line.

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Things just felt worse daily. My family brought food and visited, but nights were awful. My headache improved, but I was still really sick. The Infectious Disease docs were amazing, and we were grateful each day when they checked in, but everything else felt confusing and scary to us. On day four I woke shaky and tearful. My son happened to text me from home, right when I started crumbling, and I was so grateful for the connection. I sent a text to 4 friends and reached out. They kept me afloat for a couple of hours. with texts and a phone call. They were anchors, reassuring, and calming me. . They helped me feel less isolated and… scared, until my husband arrived to talk through the situation.

The final thing that day involved the woman who was cleaning. She came in with a bucket of strong-smelling (ammonia) chemical water. She said nothing, and then threw the entire bucket of water across the floor. It splashed on me, and my bed; it went everywhere. She got a second bucket and did the same thing, as I sat on my bed stunned. She took a third bucket and poured it over my IV. I didn’t know it, but apparently I was supposed to have waited in the hall while she cleaned. Instead, I had to walk through about 1/2 an inch of this water, to leave the room. It was the final straw, in what was a horrible experience all around. While the doctors I dealt with were all good, compassionate,and thoughtful, and most spoke English so they could explain things to us, by day four I was medically weak and exhausted, and mentally pushed to the limits. We decided to fly home right away, and my husband booked a flight for early the next morning, and we left against medical advice. While I was relieved to be leaving that hospital, the idea of leaving our kids and grandson early, was devastating. I waited months for this trip, and spent virtually no real time with them. I wanted so badly to wish it all back to normal, but everything was completely sideways.

That was easier said than done. This story is long enough; I’ll spare you the unbelievable details of getting me home. It involved stopping at the hospital for one last IV, before the airport; an intestinal bug the morning we flew; 2.5 hours on the tarmac for ice on the wings (in Israel! This doesn’t happen, and they have no de-icing machines) and then 5 hour flight to London. There were delays in London for a snow storm, and then another 10+ hour home. The British Airways staff were incredible! They knew how serious things were, and they could not have been kinder and more supportive. We arrived home, got through customs with all of our luggage missing, and faced rush-hour traffic for our  drive to the local hospital, where they were waiting to re-admit me for continued treatment.

I’ve never been so happy to see a hospital in my life, as I was when we arrived at our local hospital. It was more IVs, more blood draws, more people, more details to tell–– but everything was so clean, professional, and familiar. I’d been awake for about 40 hours, and was spent. After days of not flinching, I completely fell apart when the admitting doctor asked me to detail everything that had happened in Israel. Completely. Fell. Apart. I could not stop crying. I was shaking violently all over, and couldn’t stop. All that pent up anxiety just spilled all over, and I was a wreck. I was so grateful when they gave me IV Benedryl (after yet another allergic reaction), and was taken to a quiet, isolation room. Since none of the cultures were back, and I had GI symptoms, I was treated as a contagion risk for the full four days I was in the US hospital–– this meant full paper gowns, masks, and gloves for anyone who entered my room, beyond the curtain at the door, or anyone who had to touch me. It was a mind-boggling contrast to the lack of precautions and supply limits overseas. There are advantages to both places, with bad food in both (better in Israel), but it was a relief to be in home.


An Israel breakfast, complete with fresh Israeli salad, greek yogurt, and cream of rice



and my first US breakfast, distinctly not Kosher! That’s all pork!

(Hospital humor, once I was home… I sent to my kids late at night. I couldn’t make it smaller)

Where are things now: I have two partially collapsed lungs, that still have a ways to go, and lots of follow-up appointments. My balance is not great, and I’m slow to respond, overall. Last Friday, in one final cosmic twist, I began struggling with speech and some processing–– couldn’t find words, couldn’t think of what I wanted to say, slow processing, and not entirely making sense. Back to the ER we went, where they blew more veins, threw around scary words like stroke, encephalitis, and readmission. They ordered more blood work, and a new MRI, in that scary closed MRI–– if you haven’t had one, imagine being in a small casket, awake… for 45 minutes, trying not to open your eyes and see how small the space is… while a loud machine hammers away. The MRI showed no infection. The doctors explained that there is still swelling around the brain, and that is probably impacting my speech/processing right now. It translates to stuttering; hesitating with words and sentences, and some other struggles. For 2 very scary days, I could not write. Every other word came out twisted around on the page. I was writing my brother birthday letter, and it was like some garbled alphabet soup. I was fixing every 2-3 words. Scary. Scary! The language is upsetting. It’s embarrassing and hard to explain to people. It’s a great opportunity for my husband to say “honey, you probably don’t remember; you weren’t making much sense,” whenever we disagree about anything from the past few weeks. For the record, I do remember things. The speech is the most challenging right now. It makes it hard for me to want to see people or talk… hmm, something I do a lot of, normally–> Universe—> Twisted.

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I’m spending LOTS of time in my house, binge watching things… because books are harder right now. That’s improving, but has been frustrating. December 28th I had a PT appointment, less than a mile from my house. I figured I could finally drive myself somewhere. No; big mistake! I was nearly in a head-on collision–– and by nearly, I mean blaring horns, swerving to avoid hitting, and me tearful and shaken. I did not stop at the bank afterwards; I went straight home and went back to resting. It’s a bit like being drunk, and horribly sober all at the same time… all day.


My final major bruise… wraps around my arm. Blown vein from 8 days ago.

I’ve been accepting help (something I’m notoriously bad at): meals, friends with movies, rides to appointments, hiring someone to wrap my gifts and do some shopping, and letting friends do the entire Christmas dinner. Friends have made this amazing. They have been there in ways I can’t fully thank them for. It’s dizzying who shows up, and who doesn’t; who calls, or offers to help, or isn’t around at all. Friends become family sometimes.

Way too many people wanted updates. They all have the best of intentions; we know that. However, while I get it, we could barely deal. Extra, extra! Sick people don’t feel like writing updates, and their spouses have no interest at all. We were in survival mode, not fill people in mode. Man, we’re still treading water. It’s getting much easier, but it’s deep water. So please don’t take it personally when I don’t answer texts, or I cut and paste from text to text, or I post an update on Facebook–– which seems super impersonal, or attention-grabbing, but is really just survival. Survival.

I’m tearful when I talk about it, but everyone has questions. So I’m writing it down, getting it out. It’s taken a while to process enough, to do that. And this PTSD thing is real. I still cry easily, and get stuck in a moment. Things overwhelm me. I agreed to go to the movies on Christmas day (Star Wars and all) and I felt like I might melt down right in the midst of all those people, out in their festive pjs. Too much. I’m tired and frustrated with the situation and myself (and yes, I get that I can’t change things), and I also get that I can’t rush this. If the doctors say it will be about 3 months for a full recovery, I need to slow down and accept that. I can’t do crowded theaters, drives into town (yet), or socialize in big groups. I can’t talk a lot, it hurts my head. Silence is my best friend right now. Baby steps. The Universe has some lessons for me. The Universe is a fucking riot… but she’s met her match.

That’s it; don’t ask me any more… this is the one and only, very, very long update of this hellish month. You don’t have to be down in the dumps with me (I’m climbing back up and out). Share your merry and bright moments from Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever you do or don’t celebrate in December. Or, just tell me this was too long. And hit Like. We all need a good like now and then. Now AND then would be good! Either way, I’m glad for the company.

If your not a comment reader, read this. I responded to a friend regarding the writing of this post, and realized it’s worth highlighting, as it’s something I think about often–– what to share, and what not to. This could be a blog post itself! I told her: It is not a nightmare to retell. It’s cathartic, as someone said to me. One of my docs reads the blog, and while I was in the hospital, he urged me to “write it down, get it out!” It’s always a quandary in my mind: is it self-serving or too much, to put things out there, or is it connecting through words and experience. I believe it’s the second, but struggle with the decision, each time I hit post. It’s also self-preservation. Each time I get an email, or text, or phone call (few people actually call anymore, but there are a few rebels left!) asking how I am, it’s draining and hard to share. The speech thing is exhausting, but the processing and explaining really does hurt my brain right now. So, here it is… a personal account of this experience. Not a nightmare, but a beginning of healing. Thanks for being there, and sending love.

PS) the next post is almost done, and I promise, it’s a very happy post… lots of gratitude!

*     *     *

GIPYPlease share your thoughts in the comments. I want to hear what you have to say.

KAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
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78 Responses to My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad December Left Me Speechless… Literally.

  1. @vapor_sage says:

    There is no way to know what you may have been spared if you had heeded your intuition. The brief time with you Grandson including the little bit of grief caused by your condition certainly must have made its mark. Surely must feel lucky to even have made it home at all.
    Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. Listening to our intuition is something we could all do more of, for sure! I’d argue that there was more than a little grief caused by the meningitis, for sure… and oh, leaving my little sparkle guy so soon; painful! But yes, in the big picture, I do feel lucky. I’m lucky to have you stop by Tales From the Motherland! Thanks for making the time to read and share your thoughts. Check back for good things, in the week ahead. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. Sending you all my best juju and holding you close in my heart. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2018! You deserve it! XO

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of love and hugs to you and your family, Dawn, and healing wishes for a complete recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. April says:

    I get it sista. You know I do. Hugs and love for a truly peace-ful and healthy 2018. All our love. April and all the Glatts

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Victoria says:

    Oh my dear❤️ Healing blessings to you, Dawn. You are amazingly articulate in this post, which kept me on edge with you, and this was definitely not too long. You are a talented writer who paints a compelling picture. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You’re in my heart and prayers. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Victoria; coming from you, my very articulate and eloquent writing friend, I’m extra honored. Had I been asked to read this aloud, or speak it, it would come out very differently right now! 😉 All the best in 2018! xo


  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh, Dawn, I am so very sorry to hear this. Meningitis is a scary illness, and to have to be hospitalized overseas with it, when you don’t understand the language and the conditions are not up to standard, must have made it all the more horrifying. I hope you have a smooth recovery and will get a chance to return to Israel to see your family once you are in good health again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. I hope the worst is behind you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Valery says:

    Holy crap, Dawn. Baby steps sound real good. ♥️ Thanks for the update, awesome that you included Festivus. And since you asked for sharing, here’s mine: I got fed up with pleading for my family to let me host Christmas for them in our new home. So I had an open house on the 25th and invited our new neighbors. Awesome day, met some great people. New tradition.
    Wishing you strength, healing and peace – and may it come speedily, you so deserve it! 143

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you stepped up and took charge dear one! You shouldn’t have to plead with your family… seems like a no brainer to me: new house, you host! Glad it all turned out wonderfully!

      Wishing us both a better 2018 and some peace and chill. Love you friend, 143.


  9. franceshowardsnyder1 says:

    Wow! Dawn. So sorry to hear about this. I hope you continue to heal. Put me down on the list of potential helpers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got you down for coffee, and no potential there… it’s gonna happen this year! Thanks Frances, I appreciate the kind offer. Things are improving, and with last chick flying out tomorrow, I’ll be just chilling again. Thanks though; I’ll have you on the list, if needed. Happy 2018!


  10. Julie says:

    Oh, my baby! I’m so so sorry for every shitty thing you’ve been through. I’m sending you healing thoughts and prayers for a thorough, lasting and full recovery.

    Much love to you- Julie❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🌵🌵🌵❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


  11. jgroeber says:

    Sending you love and virtual hugs and the vision of one of my (not so) little ones holding your hand and stroking your forehead with soft, cool child hands. Just picturing it feels good, no?
    I’m so sorry December sucked so rottenly. Horrible, horrible, all of it, except maybe your little precious guy and the family and friends who’ve risen up with love and care and kindness to help you reach January. So if there’s a moral to misery (and I’m not quite sure there is) it’s love conquers all. Wishing you better health in 2018, my dear one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, that vision does indeed help; though it’s hard to decide which had would be best. I think I’ll rotate them. 😉 Thanks Jen; just knowing you makes me feel better. If it means anything, just today (for realsy), I was fantasizing about how you and me could meet up with Memphis Jen, and hang out. Memphis sounds sweet! Or the BBQ sauce does for sure! Miss you both. Happy 2018 dear one. xox


  12. Sandi says:

    Thankful for the update!!! Sending healing love friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. June Somers says:

    Hi Dawn. Beautifully written as usual. I’m so sorry for what you are going through and wish you a speedy recovery. I had a similar experience in Bermuda after a moped accident. It makes you really appreciate our medical system. Take care of yourself. Hugs.


    • Hey Junie! Thanks so much for taking the time to read my work and share your kind thoughts. It’ means a lot. ❤ When was your moped accident? Such a scary thing! I've heard it's a common accident in Bermuda; but yes, so awful when you're free from home! Thanks for sharing, and all the best in 2018! xox


  14. Heidi Sloss says:

    What a BIG awful bummer, for all of you. I’m in shock from reading this post. I figured something was up when you posted that photo online, but then didn’t see any explanation or update. So thank you for taking the time to write and share. I had a minor (think miniiscule) version of this when I feel 4 weeks ago and fractured my foot (same one that I have had 3 ankle breaks and 3 surgeries on) while we were in Melbourne. Had to come come early and have been cocooning at home, binge watching movies and reading. But my medical misadventure is not life threatening, just disappointing and somewhat painful. I’m doing lots of self-reflection, but not sure how helpful that is. I’ve read some wonderful books. Let me know when you are up for reading again and I’m happy to share fiction and/or nonfiction titles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heidi, I’m so sorry you’ve fractured your foot again; I know you’ve been through so much with it! What a shame they couldn’t get you a scooter, or something, so you could continue such a big trip! Not sure which photo, but I was pretty out of it for a while! I appreciate the support and concern. Here’s to a kinder, gentler 2018 for all of us! I’ll touch base if I need some books… but I’m having a hard time keeping up with the ones I have to read for book group! 😉


  15. nantubre says:

    Oh crap, and I thought I had a bad month! My heart hurts for you. I wish I had some way to ease your pain, physical and PTSD wise. From personal experience I know that pain. It ain’t a walk in the park and can sometimes have a worse effect than physical pain. Thank God you had some healing love from your grandchild! Those babies -wonderful, aren’t they? They embody the true meaning of love.
    Take courage in the new year and the (with out a doubt) endless prayers offered for your healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. susanissima says:

    Blessings. I imagine it must’ve been an incredible challenge writing this nightmare down, Dawn, but thank your for taking the time to keep us informed. XO


    • It’s cathartic, as someone said. One of my docs reads the blog, and while I was in the hospital, he urged me to “write it down, get it out!” It’s always a quandary in my mind: is it self-serving or too much, to put things out there, or connecting through words and experience. I believe it’s the second, but struggle with the decision, each time I hit post. It’s also self-preservation. Each time I get an email, or text, or phone call (few people actually call anymore, but there’s a few rebels left!) asking how I am, it’s draining and hard to share. The speech thing is exhausting, but the processing and explaining really does hurt my brain right now. So, here it is… a personal account of this experience. Not a nightmare, but a beginning of healing. Thanks for being there, and sending love. I need a little of that caliente, sol, you are enjoying! Have a wonderful time, and bring some golden rays home with you. Happy New Year!


  17. Laila says:

    Take care of your self, be kind to your self and remember “this too shall past”… ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤


  18. Glad you’re on the upside of this saga, but man, do you tell a great story, blood, guts, tears, and all. All great fodder for your novel. Sending you healing thoughts and lots of love. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Oh Dawn, I am so sorry for what you’ve been through. Meningitis in and of itself is a very scary illness, and then to be in a substandard hospital situation with language barriers, drug reactions and bizarre cleaning practices. I’m sending you lots of healing energy and envisioning a speedy and full recovery.

    Love you,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Your energy is just what I need Cathy! Finally seeing a Rolfer and amazed… as I knew I would be. It’s on hold for now, as I haven’t been able to do much yet, but all that healing energy is something special! Hope to see you in 2018, but remember, our guest room is open too! Would love to have you guys visit. xox


  20. Samara says:

    You’ve endured what can only be described as complete trauma. That you still have your sense of humor and gratitude is a miracle.

    You’re very special. I understand our connection even more now.
    love, Samara

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samara, thanks so much for the loving energy. I appreciated you reaching out, even if I have not been great at responding. It’s a lot of energy I don’t have to send back right now, but you’ve been in my thoughts. So glad you’re taking care of yourself and moving up and forward. Hope 2018 brings you love and healing too. xox

      Liked by 1 person

  21. ieatchoclt says:

    Omg dawn! This blog is amazingly long😊 I love you so much and am grateful to have spent such quality time with you I’m grateful you’re home because your tales of their hospital sounds like a scary movie set Much love and compassion and appreciation your my sister and are getting better I love love you! K

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  22. momshieb says:

    Oh, man, I am so sorry!!! What a horrible experience for you all! Sending you wishes for a healthy, improving, stronger 2018. Maybe you should make plans to hibernate through next December?


    • I’m thinking that next December will be spent… hmm, not really sure where. This bad juju seems to find me wherever I am, in December! I’m going to plan for good things and power through! Thanks for the warm wishes, and I hope you too have a happy and healthy 2018!


  23. historyweaver says:

    Dawn, best wishes for you recovery. Be patient with yourself and it’s fine you set limits on visits from friends or what you feel you can write. Your brain needs to heal.
    The minute you started writing about your headache and still planned to go really scared me. Years ago, my first born was tested for for the disease as he had a stiff neck. (There had been a infant with it in Hilo a couple of days ago) He tested fine, but the spinal tap was frightening. We lost a young family member 20 years ago to meningitis. They thought she had the flu. Her loss was rapid and shocking.
    I think just as shocking is your hospital in Israel. So filthy. I can’t imagine your terror being there, but I admired your ability to defend yourself when you knew something wasn’t right (like your drug reactions). I hope you can go to see your grandson, though I’m sure you’ll go with more caution. I got a blood clot in my leg last January. It has been life-changing for travel. I always get travel insurance, but when I knew I was faced with 13 hours of air travel to Norway, I added extraction to the insurance. Emergencies lcan come up any time. I didn’t want to get caught.
    Peace to you. December isn’t my favorite month either for my own reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janet, thanks for sharing! I’m so sorry about the loss of your family member, at such a young age too; how awful! It’s a scary illness for sure!! I should stress here, the Israeli hospital was not “filthy,” it is just very different standards than here… due to a very different economy. The hospital was not the clean we are used to, but it was not filthy. They have fewer resources and it is eye opening for those of us who have lived here, to see how other countries deal with things. I’m grateful for the care I got, but we knew I’d do better at home. It was a hard and risky decision, on some levels, but we have no regrets…. other than leaving my babies! All the best in 2018; December is nearly over. 😉


  24. Dale says:

    I won’t even pretend to have the smallest idea of the hell you have been through, are going through – though it is lessening and will go through – in less and less pain (hopefully).

    Lotsa love to you as you recover. Take the time, binge-watch, renew, review… xoxo

    Oh and here’s to a much happier 2018!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. “is it connecting through words and experience” Yes. This. Thank you for taking what’s no doubt huge effort to share your story and trials. Thank goodness you went to an ER – meningitis is nothing to be trifled with, as you know all to well. (If you’ve ever read Proof of Heaven, this is what took Dr. Eben Alexander though death’s door and back). You’ve been through hell, and I’m glad to hear you’re healing. So glad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Susan, and I’m so glad that blogging has connected us. I so appreciate your thoughtful support and kind words. All the best in 2018; we could both use a change of tides! xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Susan, so strange but I wrote a response to you yesterday and somehow it vanished… brain fog, no doubt! I am so glad that the blogosphere brought us together, living only miles apart! 😉 I feel very fortunate that my husband was there, and that I got the care I needed, when I did. My hope is to always write to connect… I sometimes miss that mark, but it’s why I write. I’m glad you get that and I so appreciate your support for all of this journey! All the best in 2018. Watch for a message from me, in the next day or two. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  26. noahezra says:

    Dawn, thank you for giving of your strength in sharing this account. I am sorry that you’re having trouble speaking and functioning. I can definitely relate to the fear and frustration you must be feeling. I am glad you are not pushing your recovery and are letting people take care of you. Take comfort in knowing that December is almost over. Sending love and healing thoughts. Sarah


  27. Sending you all the healing vibes I can muster! Please try to be kind and loving to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Florence Glatt says:

    Thinking good thoughts of continued healing for you in 2018. May you have good health, happiness and loads of good times in the upcoming year. Just wishing you lots of GOOD stuff in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Brian Pipes says:

    Dawn: I just watched JAWS and then I read this. I’d rather be Quinn than endure what you went through. Horrific! I really do hope things get back to normal for you and quickly. be well ole friend.


  30. Hey! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t want to “ask” after you posted something about wanting privacy. Oh, so understandable. BUT! Do not pay someone to wrap presents (water under the bridge) or other important or trivial things. I’m more than willing to do anything for someone I like very, very much. I’m just a click away. Message me at will.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. diwrites says:

    Oh, Dawn. What to say, what to say. You are the real Wonder Woman. Thank you for sharing this your dark night of the soul with us. What a story. What an experience. Looks like life is tough (women know that) but you are tougher. You can add me to the list of those who will respond to a call for assistance. It’s what I do in my life. Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful offer of support, and the kind words. I am feeling very uplifted by all the wonderful feedback. I would argue that I really didn’t do anything Wonder Woman-like… just got sick. But I appreciate the nod. Happy New Year!


  32. Pingback: 50 Happy Things 2018: Bloggers Unite to Flood the Internet With Gratitude | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

  33. be kind to yourself and take it slow, lady. Sending prayers and good mojo your way for a peaceful and HEALTHY 2018. Goodness…


    • Thanks so much Audra. I’m taking it sloooow. No choice. And when I don’t follow that advice, it kicks me to the curb. So there’s that. I tried to reach you re: the annual 50 Happy Grateful list, but couldn’t find your email. Check it out, and maybe I can get you to join us! Happy New Year! xo


  34. Psychobabble says:

    How horrific! Absolutely terrifying. I’m so sorry all that happened to you. I hope writing it all down has helped. Holy crap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Writing it does help (as I just shared on your blog!). A really good therapist just told me that one of the best ways to work thru’ trauma, is to repeat it and repeat it (um, good luck finding folks who want to hear it that many times) until the impact softens, and you eventually can really let it go. Hmm, that makes sense, but is challenging. Writing it all out, does help, but there’s a lot more work to be done… when I’m feeling better! Holy crap indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Pingback: Meningitis Purge | TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

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