You probably received, as I did, an e-mail purporting to be from Ursula, describing being attacked in Madrid, losing her money, bank cards, purse, and cell phone, and asking you to send money via Western Union. This is a scam. Ursula’s e-mail account was hacked by cybercriminals, who also blocked her access to her contact list, thus preventing her from warning the people on her contact list that it was a fraud. Ursula is fine--just somewhat frantic. She has a new e-mail address, which I’ll distribute to our Peace Corps group via e-mail.
I’ve had two other friends in the last couple of years who were hacked with a nearly identical message. It was painful and embarrassing for them, and awfully inconvenient to lose their contact lists.
You probably also received Marvin’s messages about a valve in his heart failing, its replacement with an artificial valve, his rapid recovery, and his palpable joy as he has been reminded what a blessing life is. I’ll enter them below just to make them “part of the record.” It’s wonderful to still have you with us, Marvin.
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DEAR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND BOTH:
One and a half weeks ago (Nov. 18), I arrived home to Hawaii from a trip to Las Vegas with my brother Norman. It was a good trip and I was feeling healthy. I was happy. LIFE WAS GOOD.
I decide to go to bed early that evening. But then, two hours later – wow!!!!. I can’t breathe; I got fluid in the lungs; I am passing out; there are fire trucks, ambulances, all the neighbors are outside, emergency ward; hospital!!!! The next time I am aware of what is going on I am in a Intensive Care Room – I have no idea what hospital. I am sooo thirsty; I have tubes all over the place; no one is smiling; I can’t move; I can’t do anything – this is not a happy place!!!! I learned that one of my heart valves (the mitral valves) had exploded (excuse my use of medical terms) and needed to be replaced with an artificial valve - I did not have a heart attack. I had been in very serious condition.
The doctors, nurses, and all the medical practitioners were good and they had all done a great job. However, I do get mad at all the technicians that had to come into the room every hour to draw my bodily fluids and to see if I am breathing. But I definitely do have a new respect for them. Previously, by biggest pride in life was that I had never stayed in hospital except to get circumcised in 1953.
I have never felt so helpless or so dependent in my life. By my side, during the entire episode was my Masako – she decided everything, did everything, communicated to those who needed to know, she was everything. Without appearing to be overly dramatic (hell, it is dramatic), I have never felt so luved in my entire life. And then two days later, my daughter Marcie and son Mark are here from Salt Lake and Denver to help look after me. Other than when we were ”making the numbers at the crap table” with my kids, I have never felt so close with them. On Thanksgiving day, I got to watch “the undefeated” Green Bay Packers play Detroit – “it was bonding to the max.” And the support and the luv from the family and friends were awesome (please keep it all coming).
With all that good stuff happening to me, I got released from the hospital and went home on Thursday – Thanksgiving day JUST 6 DAYS AFTER IT BEGAN!!!!
I have no pain, I am walking Each day I am getting stronger. I do not drink. My spirits are good. Daughter is teaching me the new media technology for the e-book and smart phone (yes, I can do Text Messaging) – I am feeling mentally sharp. And, yes, the GREEN BAY PACKERS ARE UNDEFEATED!! LIFE IS GOOD.
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Can you believe it but it has been two weeks now since I experience the ruptured heart valve. Thursday and Friday, we visited the cardiac surgeon, my primary care physician and the rehab director. They are all pleased and surprised with the progress I have made (i.e. no pain, no infection, good energy, walking every day, breathing well). Just weak from the trauma and operation. Bottom line is that we are on the way back.
A good way to spent your rehab in order to keep mentally sharp is to have your daughter instruct you in the ways of IPHONE4 AND KINDLE FIRE. I am happy to report that I am now ready to receive “WORD TEXT MESSAGES” from you. My cell phone is 808-430-5447 (land line is the same 808-235-1043)
Thank you much for all your love and support. Please keep in touch.