Beware The Thin Ice...Be fierce and thrive!

What follows is the complete text of this BLOG between November 1, 2019 and November 1, 2020. It is part of a longer diary I kept over that time frame and will serve as my source material for a memoir I call Beware The Thin Ice. I've put the text into chronological order to make it easier to read.




11.03.2019 (2120)

What Happened?

On Friday 1 November 2019 Henry was involved in a serious accident on his Vespa. He was rushed to Cedars-Sinai where he was cared for my the triage team and is now in Very Serious condition. I don't want to go into a etained description of what the many injuries are but there are many broken bones and crushed organs. He has been on a respirator since Friday to help him breathe and he is heavily sedated. 

Status on Henry Foote

Henry loves all his friends and family. Now is not the time to come visit, however. He is going to need a few days or a week to regain his ability to interact with people. I am maintaining a visitor list in the lobby of the Saperstein Tower at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills and your name will need to be on that list to be allow up to his floor. If you know my mobile number feel free to call me and I will give you some guidance on when it might be possible to see him. Right now he is not awake and can't talk. If you don't have my phone number you can e-mail at the e-mail in the picture to on the top right of this site. I have my text number posted fur a time.

I hope you will follow the daily updates on the site and add a comment or message for Henry—I'll make sure he sees all of your messages. 

I'll try to update his status once or twice a day. There will be no photos of him while he's in the hospital. 

11.03 (2231)

Status To Date


Since Friday Henry has been restless and agitated due to the pain from the accident on Friday. The doctors and nurses have raised the amount of pain medicine and have sedated him so he is less restless. The nurses check on him multiple times an hour. I sit in the chair near his bed and every so often get up and talk to him and kiss his forehead.

We hoped today he could get surgery to repair his broken legs but his blood pressure remains unstable and the doctors don't want to risk what will most certainly be a four hour operation. His systems are not strong enough at this point and his legs, while serious, are the least of the problems. Hopefully tomorrow will be more successful.

The good news for today: the scan of his head indicates there is no serious injury to his brain. He is also breathing better and the nurses are reducing the respirator slowly making sure he is breathing on his own and getting enough oxygen.

Henry's sisters, Robin and Tiajuana are both in town and along with our good friends Pirco Pirco and Jean Kim and Liam Gaffney and Tim Calton and today our dear Eva Winchell have all been constant companions with me in the Lobby on the CC floor of the Saperstein Tower at Cedars and I've talked with many of you via text. 

Also there are people world-wide praying and chanting for Henry and I thank August Costa for his chant circle as well as Michael Costa for his deep love for Henry and his prayers and Kenya Belle for her beautiful tribute in Ibiza (one of our favorite places on Earth) and all the people Henry calls his prayer warriors who pray and meditate whether believers or not.

Tomorrow we hope he will be in a stable condition to take care of his legs. This is prelude to the bigger surgeries to come for him to fix the internal damage to his pelvis, hip, and organs.

We never take our friends and family for granted but this wonderful display of loving kindness and support moves me every time I see anyone show their love for Henry (is that too cringey?).

Please feel free to leave a comment below. I'll post in time some instructions for visits but I'll make sure Henry sees all your comments.

There will be updates daily...


Text me at 1+323.578.4366

11.04 (0830)

8:30 Update:

The good news...This morning at 8:00 Henry was taken into surgery for his legs, hip, foot, and pelvis. This is great and means that his system is stable enough for the four or five hours he will be in the OR. 

I'll keep this site posted as I get new information.

Get well wishes:

Art by Theo

This came via WhatsApp from the Roth family: Theo, Hank, Issac, and Karen. Henry made a cake for Theo's birthday dinner at the Hotel Beverly Hills. He will love it when I show it to him

11.04 (11:05)


Surgery  is going well.


11.04 (1600 update)

Good news: Henry is now out of surgery and in the ICU! We will be able to see him in the next hour. All reports are that he did really well and all they need to do today is take final X-Rays...


11.04 (21:37)

Evening Update

We all got to see Henry. He was not awake fully but probably could hear us. He was moving around too much so the nurse increased his pain meds. 

Later tonight they will do a scan to see if there is any internal bleeding in the head or body. 

I'm hopeful he can rest for the remaining week and the doctors can resume surgery next week. 

Updates to follow tomorrow morning PT. 


11.05 (09:59)

I'll have an update in about an hour. I saw him and he looks good.


11.05 (11:45)

Good News: Henry is resting and not awake much. The scans last night did not show any new bleeding on the brain and no other changes. 

The X-Rays, however, did reveal a small fracture to his left wrist and they put it into a temporary cast to stabilize it. He looks good and when they wake him his eyes track to whoever is talking.

When I get more details I'll post another update in a few hours or sooner. As always if you have questions please ask either in the comments or text me directly.


11.05 (2049)

Good day overall.

Henry was taken off Propofol and is being prepared to breathe on his own; tonight they will feed him for the first time through a feeding tube. I only hope it's confit de canard with potatoes fried in duck fat along with a good red—but I doubt it.

At 2030hrs they will take him in for another CT scan of his arm to access the damage (his wrist is broken) and that should be the end of the procedures tonight.

I don't encourage visiting right now and so I've made a visitors list with family and a few close friends who are supporting Henry and me during this time. Too many visitors is stressing him out and frankly getting in the way of the medical professionals. Henry has hundreds of friends all over the world and I am sensitive to your need to see him but I ask for some patience and I'll make sure folks know when he is ready. Please feel free to text me or leave a comment and I'll address your concerns and answer your questions. Please do not call the hospital and ask for his status: they won't give it to you. 

Thank you to everybody for your loving kindness and support. 

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.06 (morning)

He had a good evening and has had two additional CT scans on his left are and hip. He was off the respirator (he's back on it now) and they fed him via a tube.

The next step is to perform an MRI of his head to determine if there are any problems there. He can move his right arm and turn his head and some movement in his legs but they are strapped down to keep them straight.

I'll have more information after we know they can perform the MRI.


11.06 (1726)

Evening Update and Request

Henry is resting. The doctor put him back on full ventilator so he can have a rest breathing (he was getting tired). As soon as tomorrow the orthopedic surgeons will have a go on his legs, pelvis, and hip and try to secure everything internally. I'll speak with them later today. 

That's about all I have for now. I'm sitting with him now and giving love. 

BTW, please don't call the hospital for updates as they won't give you any information. Some folks have called and lied that they were his sister, or even brother (he has no brother). Its unfair to the hospital staff to have to deal with strangers calling constantly. 


11.07 (10:59)

Morning Update

Status: He had a restless night and the doctor increased the pain med so he would be more comfortable. They are going to perform another CT scan to see if there are any blood clots.

I'll update this site in a little while once I have more information. I know Henry appreciates your love and support as do I.

Please don't just show up and expect to visit. We aren't allowing visitors outside of family at this time. He's not awake and the activity is stressful. I'll let you know here when visiting is possible and helpful.

with love,


11.07 (1745)

Final Update for Today

Henry had several CT scans. He's resting comfortably now but not awake.

Tomorrow is bone surgery on his pelvis, hip, as well as right and left leg to put pins and plates in place. It will be an operation of about 4-6 hours if all goes well.

I will do more updates tomorrow. 

As always please comment; I read them to him even if he can't hear me (though I think he does). Also please remember there is a restricted visitors list and you should never call the ICU to ask for his condition as it pulls the nurses away from his care. You can find my number on this website or comment. Also, no flowers or fruit baskets please as they are not allowed on ICU. 

Love to all

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.07 (1840)

Grateful thanks to Henry's and my beloved friends Kenya Belle, August Costa, Michael Costa, Eva Winchell, Pirco Pirco, Jean Kim, Liam Gaffney, Tim Calton, and his wonderful sisters, Robin, Tiajuana, Tanya, Demitria, his mother BI and his many nephews and nieces and a special thanks to Quinton who helped me today and loving thanks to Karen Roth who knows us and loves us (and to Theo for his room). 

Prayers, Chants, and Crystals are all welcome...This old man thanks you with tears of gratitude. In my eyes you all are so precious.


11.08 (07:40)

Henry is going into surgery now for his broken legs, pelvis, and hip. It will take about 5 maybe 6 hours. 


11.08 (12:22)

All posts to Henry are welcome. I will read them to him when he is able to comprehend...Please don't post other folk's e-mail or phone number on this blog. The site gets thousands of visitors and I certainly don't want family and friends spammed with calls. My number can be found in some posts and that's OK. I want you to text me if that makes you feel comforted. I know everything you do is out of love for Henry and I assure you everything is being done for his benefit. 

I encourage you to post here first!


11.08 (1453)

He's in the ICU. Robin and I saw him and the doctor explained that they fixed his pelvis with a platinum mesh. The legs will have to wait for another surgery perhaps next week. He has a fever after surgery and they are giving him meds for that and weaning him off the pain meds so we can wake him. I'll have a better update later. But this is big step forward. 


11.09 (10:15)

Saturday Morning Update

Henry rested last night and this morning his doctor and trauma surgeon Dr Yassar Hashim, decided to reduce and eventually take him off Fentanyl altogether. This will allow the medical staff to test his ability to interact with their requests. With his pelvis fixed and healing he will be in a little less pain. 

The white hairs of his beard are growing in and he would hate for anyone to see his grey hair!

I'll have another update in a few hours. Meanwhile here is a photo from his great friend/sister Kenya Belle from Ibiza...

A crystal alter in Ibiza—Kenya Belle


11.09 (10:29)

Prayers and Chants; Crystals and Meditations...

I receive lots of texts and e-mails everyday from Henry's friends who are part of a Chant Circle (thousands of them) or a Prayer Circle in a Church; their are friends who are meditating healing and loving kindness for him and there is at least one and perhaps many more healing crystals set up for Henry all over the world.

I'm not surprised by this response. I told his doctor that everyone who meets Henry comes to believe that they are his best friend. I don't mind this because it's why I fell in love with him 30 years ago. In our travels and his associations we've met hundreds of people we consider friends and I welcome everyone to continue whatever they feel the Cosmos needs to heal him. 

His family is being updated regularly outside this website and they are actively involved with me to make sure he recovers. His employer, The Dorchester Group and the Hotel Beverly Hills are simply the best and I am grateful for their support.

Please feel free to write to him here and I will read your comments and poems to him.

Thank you again for your loving and kind support.



Afternoon Update:14:45

I saw with my own eyes Henry respond to my questions today. Dr. Hashim saw this as well and the team decided to put him back on Fentanyl in order to help him with the pain he experiences when we need to see him respond. So for another day he will be on a Fentanyl drip.

He's agitated when awake and it was explained to me this is from the extraordinary amount of brain activity: pain and the restraint. It's a lot for him to process and I can't even begin to understand what he's going through. I don't know if when I touch his head it just adds more confusion to his experience or not. Sometimes it seems to calm him but when I asked him if he wanted me to hold his hand he shook his head, no. 

It's OK. I'm used to being told no...


11.09 (2046)

End of Day Status

Good day overall. Henry responded to my questions. But his pain and confusion is so great they put him back on pain killers. 

Tomorrow is another day...


11.10 (09:05)

Morning Update

Henry had a restless morning and is agitated. There is a lot of stimulation in his brain with the pain and aftermath of the accident. I've left him alone and will go back in an hour or so to see if he's calmed down. 

Meanwhile our friend Carole sends these photographs from Paris and quartier Saint-Ambroise of the church of Saint Ambroise. She lighted candles for Henry and sends her love...

I'll post in a little while.


11.11 (10:30)

Good Progress

Henry is alert and interacting with the staff and me. I talked with him several times and he could nod and shrug and shake his head to questions. I am greatly relieved.

Today he will have the breathing apparatus removed after making sure he can breathe on his own. Tomorrow we hope they will be able to do surgery on his legs and hip.

I'll have additional information and updates later this afternoon. 


11.11 (11:58)

Henry is set for surgery on his legs and hip tomorrow if he can breathe on his own. Once the breathing apparatus comes out today (if) then they will schedule.


11.11 (2012)

Evening Update

Henry can't talk of course because he has breathing tubes down his throat but I talked with him for about 45 minutes and he reacted to me with surprised eyes, nodding and shaking head, and a shrug of the shoulders.

 I am so happy he's back and it appears he will soon be on the road to recovery.

Tomorrow he has surgery and hopefully the tubes will come out and after a fews hours he will be able to talk.

Our friend Maureen told me every morning she lefts her arms to the world and says, "Please" and every night she bows her head and puts her hands together and says, "Thank you." This is the attitude I've had for the last 10 days and will be the attitude for the rest of my life.

Tomorrow is another day, not promised but hoped for...

—Ph/H (Philip)


Morning Update—10:14 PST

Henry will not have surgery today after all. The doctor decided that there was too much congestion in the lungs. It is being rescheduled for Thursday.

Further updates will come this afternoon.



Update 15:08

He's resting and drifting in and out right now. I put my ear buds in his ears and I'm playing some Brian Eno ambient for him (Music for Installations—which  plays in my flat everyday)

His temperature is coming down as is he's blood pressure. 


11.13 (11:03)

Morning Update

Henry is awake and alert. He's resting today and getting weened off the respirator for surgery tomorrow. 



Afternoon Update: 15:30

Henry has slept all afternoon and continues to sleep. I'm sitting with him in his room reading a book. When he wants something he stares at me until I look up. 

Surgery is still on for tomorrow. 

I'll update if there is any change. 


11.14 (1408)

Waiting for the surgeons to be ready. 


11.14 (1832)

Henry went into surgery about two hours ago. So far all is well. 


11.14 (1900)

Henry is out of surgery. Everything went well. Next surgery will be next week. 


11.15 (09:25)

Henry's surgery on his left leg and wrist went well yesterday. He'll go back to surgery next week on Tuesday for his right leg and hip. He's very alert and we are now waiting for the breathing tube to be removed from his throat which will help his morale. 

Once again, the staff here at Cedars is the best! He has great ICU doctors and nurses.

Updates as needed today...


11.15 (12:37)

The breathing tube was removed this morning. Henry is doing much better and is managing the pain. He still can't talk but he can whisper. His voice will come back soon.

He asks that you comment here as he's not ready to have visitors.

Thank you for your loving support of Henry...

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.15 (1300)

Henry is in very good spirits and can whisper/talk now that the breathing tube is gone. 


11.16 Quick Morning Update—09:50

Henry is resting and anxious to take control of things. But he's alert and has a sense of humor...He just said he wanted to see if he could walk and we had to show him what his legs look like. I had to laugh at his spunky attitude!


11.17 Morning Update—9:10

Henry is resting. He's a little listless today from the fever he had all day yesterday but it's down to 100 this morning. Later we will do some breathing exercises to strengthen his lungs.

All is well. 


11.17 Update—12:30

It's past noon and he's sleeping easily. He's had the doctors visit and they are still ready to perform the pulmonary procedure tomorrow sometime which will hopefully reduce the fever by eliminating the infection.

Thank you to everyone for you continued loving support of Henry. As I've mentioned before he would prefer no visitors for the time being.

—Ph/H (Philip)



Henry is doing much better. Doctor Bluen just told us the MRCA is cleared from his blood and they will mostly knock any Staph infection out with the pulmonary procedure today (though he will continue on his antibiotics for some time to come.

He's also taking charge of his care and I'm happy to see this because it means to me that he is back to managing his life. He's resting today to prepare for the surgery today and tomorrow; his temperature is down to 100-101.

I am greatly encouraged...

Today I'll read some of the many comments and messages he's received over the last 15 days. Thank you for commenting and caring for Henry. Please keep him top of mind until he fully recovers.

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.18 Afternoon Update—14:15

The nursing staff and doctors spent most of today preparing him for the VAT surgery this afternoon. It should take about two hours I imagine. He's scheduled for 16:30 PST.

The professional medical staff at Cedars is far superior to any group of nurses and doctors I've experienced. They are giving him the best care possible. 

He asked today that I read some short stories to him and I picked the James Baldwin collection "Going to Meet the Man" which is a great set of stories.


11.19 Morning Update before Surgery—09:15

The surgery yesterday was very successful and his temperature is down to 99 this morning. 

At 11 today he will go into surgery for his right knee and hip.

His spirits are good!


11.19 Surgery Update—14:55

Henry is coming out of surgery. They fixed the hip but the right knee was still too swollen for surgery. Hopefully on Thursday the swelling will be down. 

Doctor said he is doing fine.


11.20 Update—2019.11.20—08:50

Surgery went well on his right hip. Tomorrow is surgery on his left foot and maybe his right leg. Henry's spirit is very good and he's positive about his future. I don't see him depressed or worried and for that I am grateful—I doubt I would be as positive or strong.


11.21 Short Update—09:40

He will go in for surgery on his left foot this afternoon probably around 14hr00. 

He resting in a new room and they are taking steps to relieve his delirium which comes and goes. This is the residue of ICU Delirium caused by medications, lack of daylight and night signals, as well as sleep deprivation caused by the many tests and wakeups in during the night and day. I always tell him what time it is and in the new room he has a window where he can see daylight and the night sky. The next big thing is to get him eating and drinking by mouth. The breathing tubes were down his throat for 14 days which causes issues with swallowing. 

I'll update after the surgery...


11.22 Update—11.22

Henry's surgery was successful. I won't go into details but it is certainly life changing for him and us. He is very positive and very strong...he smiles and engages with his medical team.

Today was speech therapy and swallow exercises. He's still in a great deal of discomfort to say the least.

Later updates as needed.


11.22 Evening Uodate—16:18

Tonight he will eat the first food and drink in 21 days! He will have to swallow and it's very difficult. The food will be chopped like hash so he can eat it. 



Text or call +1 323 578 4366

23 November—10:00

Henry ate a little last evening and had some sips of Boost this morning. He had a difficult night due to the pain and today the doctors are increasing pain medication.

I'm hoping he gets a little more solid food today. No word on the next surgery on his right leg which is the cause of much of his pain.

This morning a nice young lady came by and played the violin for him and he enjoyed it. He also greatly enjoyed a video from his BFF Kenya in Ibiza...he smiled the whole time and watched it twice. He likes videos and you can send short ones to me and I'll show them to him.


11.23 Make a Video—15:45

Henry got to talk with his mom yesterday and it did both of them a lot of good to reassure each other of their love; today his great friend Kenya Winchell sent him a video greeting and expressed her love and support for him. His eyes were focused completely on her image and his smile was electric. 

I encourage you to make a short video to wish him well and speedy recovery until he can take more visitors . Tell him you love him. These messages are the most important part of his day and they are easy to make and send to me via WhatsApp or directly to my phone. This is preferable to a phone call right now as we can't control when he's ready to take a call but a video can be played anytime... 

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.24 So Many Thanks...

Thank you so very much for all the great videos being sent to Henry. I showed him a batch today and he was smiling ear to ear and saying hi back and thank you!!

Thank you for your healing kindness!

Tomorrow is another day. Remember to say: Please and Thank you...


11.25 Update—09:50

Henry had a good night sleeping but will probably sleep most of the day as well. The pain medicine is very strong and it knocks him out.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) doctors will work on his right knee. He won't be able to put weight on it for at least 6 weeks. 

This Thanksgiving please remember him and be thankful he's alive!

—Ph/H (Philip)

11.26 Update—08:45

Henry will go into surgery between 11and 15hr today for a revision to the left leg amp. and to fix the right knee. He's in great spirits today and joked early this morning with doctors and his nurse, John. 

His pain levels go up and down and he's on three different pain medications to help him manage different pain sensations. He is eating more calories which is necessary to get the feeding tube removed and make him more comfortable. The next stage will be to check his neurology and make sure there is nothing else the needs the hospital. The various infections are being treated long term. There is no time frame when he will be released to rehab so today's operations will help give us some milestones.

Today I'm contacting the police and working on the insurance forms for EDD. 

Keep sending me videos for him to watch, he loves seeing all of you and it makes him smile. 

I'll update later with surgery status.


11.27 Update—07:30 

Surgery went well! 

Yesterday Henry had surgery on his right knee/tibia and it went well. He is in a lot of pain but the doctors have a plan to help him manage. He also had a revision to his left leg: the doctors improved the area below the knee where the foot was amputated. He is doing very well and his spirits are very good.

I am not surprised by his positive attitude and that's what has gotten him this far. I am so grateful that he is alive!

Be fierce and thrive!


11.28 Thanksgiving Day

We are thankful for our friends who have given us so much love. Henry is in good spirits today. His will is strong. 

Thank you for your loving support!

Be fierce and thrive...


11.28 End of the Afternoon—16:50

Today is a lazy day (Henry says they must have given him blood from a lazy person yesterday!) I think it's the tranquilizer the doctors prescribed to help him manage the pain and stress.

He's had some calls and lots of videos from friends and family. The videos make him happy and reminds him about the many friends he has who wish him well. I, too, am thankful for all the love and support he's gotten these last four weeks. It's been 28 days since the accident that was nearly fatal and he is improved so much that even the trauma doctors are impressed. But we all know he is strong-willed.

Next week his (our) nephew, Quinton, will come out to help with his care and support. They are close and it will motivate further is recovery.

Be fierce and thrive, Henry West Foote!


11.29 Trying to Comment? Do this...

Some folks are having trouble posting a comment. Here's what to do.

At the bottom left in tiny letters below my signature you will see a link that reads either: "No Comments" or "Comments" just move your cursor over that link and "click" on it. You will be taken to a page with a white box where you can write your comment. When you are finished "click" "Publish" and your comment will be available to everyone. 

I don't moderate this so do not leave any personal information like a phone number. I go through all the comments at the end of the day and read them out to Henry as needed. He loves hearing from you!

Be fierce and thrive!



Thank you again for all the videos. He watched them all with the biggest smile on his face. His morale is very good and it amazes me that he is so positive. I think this is because of the love and support of his friends.

Today the leg is being exercised by a machine that lifts and bends his right leg for 6 hours at a time. Henry is eating better and taking in more protein calories which is a very good thing (as Martha Stewart would say...).

Be fierce and thrive...!



Another good and productive day. Still much pain but his spirit is positive. This is day 30 in hospital...


12.01 Sitting Outside...

(Photographs of Cedars here)

When I take a coffee or food break I like sit in the bamboo garden between the North Tower and the Saperstein ICU. It's lovely and quiet in the evening: when the wind blows the bamboo plants there is a comforting rattle that calms me and helps me reflect. It's a nice spot few visitors know about and instead they sit in the rather dingy lobby/waiting rooms of the hospital. Even though the furniture is comfortable I still find these rooms oppressive and not good for me to get my mind at peace.

I've found there are lots of places where people can sit and reflect. There is a lot of public art around the various squares and plazas too; I like to walk around these spaces: being in the moment; listening to the sounds of a city alive with people and machines; I like to look at the staff and visitors hurrying to an appointment or work or to see a loved one. In these moments I try not to remember the past or plan for the future only the present moment; then I am released from pain.

Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills has some extraordinary pieces. This Is a Henry Moore and while I’m not the best judge of sculpture I really love this one. It’s called Three-part Reclining Figure. Of course Moore is one of the most important of the Post-War artists working in large scale bronze pieces.

Or this piece by Jonathon Borofsky, Molecule Man. Both of these pieces are in a garden of succulents and beach grasses. There are also little water fountains that are lighted with LEDs that change colors as the water gentle burbles like springs. Yesterday I made a short video of the fountains and the gardens. There are bamboo plants and desert grasses throughout the sculpture garden making it a comforting and healing environment. Many of these pieces are important works and all celebrate humanity and the human condition.

I also like to sit here in this space while having a late afternoon coffee...It's a beautiful useable sculpture and I've not been able to find out who designed it. There are a few places like this one and I often find myself alone in these spaces.  

There is also an extensive painting collection here on each of the floors in the towers. I've seen paintings and prints by Picasso and Oldenburg and many others. I'll document some of these pieces in another post.

Be fierce and thrive!


12.01 Be Fierce and Thrive

Henry is fierce and he is thriving. He said to me today that he is happy and his spirits are good. It's evident in his appetite and willingness to participate in the physical therapy on his right leg. He's more talkative too even though his voice is still weak—but getting stronger thanks to his vocal therapist, Paula.

It's been one month since the accident. He was in ICU for 21 days and in very critical condition for 18 of those days. Today he is thriving and will live and recover from this terrible accident. We are both grateful for your continued love and support.

He looks so handsome: today he got a shave and a good washing. 

Be fierce and thrive!


12.2 Update—11:00

Henry is eating well and going through intense therapy his right leg which can cause a lot of pain. He needs to do 5 hours a day.

His spirits continue to be good. 

Be fierce and thrive!


12.2—Evening Update

The doctors will perform some surgery (debriding) tomorrow morning to fix the infected area around his hip/thigh. He lost a lot of skin there and it's become infected.

Be fierce and thrive!


12.03 Update—08:00

Surgery on the infected wound today at 13:30 PT. This should fix the fevers he has experienced for the passed week.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.04 Update—06:00

Surgery was over in an hour. He had a hole about 6cm deep and pretty wide. They cleaned out the dead tissue and packed it. There is a vacuum over the area now to drain it. 

He slept OK last night and he's being washed now. 

Be fierce and thrive


12.05 Update—19:00

Our nephew joined us today to help with Henry's recovery by motivation. He's going back into surgery tomorrow morning sometime after 10AM to clean out more debris in the infected wound. While he's not run a fever today he's in great pain and they hope to repack the deep wound.

We are going to sleep early tonight.

Be fierce and thrive...!


12.06 Status—09:00

The surgeons are ready to move Henry to the Pre-Op room. His surgery will take about an hour.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.06 End-of-Day—20:00

This was a trying day for Henry as the pain was very intense. The doctors operated on his bottom again debriding lots of debris from the very deep wound. It will heal but will remain painful for a time.

As always his spirit is strong and he is determined to recover fully. He smiles often and is alert when people speak to him. It's not time yet to visit but soon he will be ready to see folks.

As always,

Be fierce and thrive...


12.07 End-of-Day—19:00

It was a good day and we are hoping for a better day tomorrow. Day by day...

Be fierce and thrive...



Henry had a good appetite today and ate Eva’s pork roast with mashed potatoes and red cabbage and then a bowl of ice cream. I’m so glad he ate everything! 

Be fierce and thrive...


12.09 Morning update—06:45

Very rough over night. Even though the doctors enhanced his pain medication he was in terrific pain in every part of his system. It was difficult not to be able to help him so I sat with him through the night. Today there will be more doctors and a quick meeting with the plastic surgeons. 

Updates as needed. 

Be fierce and thrive...


12.09—Site Statistics

On 3 November I started reporting on Henry's status here to update his many friends all over the world on his condition after the accident on 1 November 2019. To date there have been 12,000 visitors of which 3,000 are unique and over 80,000 page views. Visitors are mostly from the USA but also The Netherlands, France, Spain, Mexico, Morocco, Romania, China, India, and Germany.

Most of the traffic comes from FaceBook and directly from Google. While I've tried to reach out to everyone in our contacts list, I fear there are many more of our friends who are not aware of his situation so I ask that you share the link to your FB account to spread the word to our many friends.

Many folks are praying, meditating, and chanting for Henry's speedy recovery. His spirit is strong but he has days when the pain from his injuries is too much to endure but he draws his strength from your thoughts and good wishes (he loves the videos you send and I hope you will send many more)!

Over the coming months I will continue to post here everyday while he recovers. Henry and I look forward to being able to visit with you all soon. 


Be fierce and thrive...!

—Ph/H (Philip)

12.10 Morning Update—08:45

Henry will have some plastic surgery today to repack his deep wound on the left side and a skin graft on the wound on his right side. These are pretty quick operations to take place this afternoon sometime after 13:00. 

He slept OK last night but the powerful drug Methadone caused him to be delirious a bit and he complained to me he didn't like it. But he was alert enough to know what happened.

Yesterday the young resident Doctor David Gotstein stopped in and was amazed at how good Henry looked. He took great care of Henry while in the ICU for 20 days. Henry was all smiles.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.11 Morning—08:35

After a lot of pain the pain killers set in and he slept fitfully through the night. This morning Henry had a good appetite and ate eggs, pancakes, and cereal. No more surgeries this week but he may go back for the skin graft sometime next week.

Be fierce and thrive...



It's been forty days...4 0  d a y s...

I am grateful that Henry is alive and he's alert. He's in good spirits and knows he's loved by so many people. He will survive this horrible accident and will thrive and be happy and dance again. My lovely husband and friend of thirty years will sing and laugh again and this will all be a distant memory...

Be fierce and thrive...!


12.12 Update—10:00

Henry had a good night and slept through most of it. This morning he had a good appetite and ate most of his breakfast. 

Today is his sister's birthday and he called and sang "Happy Birthday" to her...

Be fierce and thrive...


12.12 Afternoon Update—16:45

Pretty quiet today. He's on some heavy pain killers that sort of knock him out but he did five hours of physical therapy on his right leg. Today the NP will take his catheter out and begin to prepare him to sit up in the next few weeks.

He remains in good spirits!

Be fierce and thrive...


12.13 Late Afternoon

Another quiet day. He spent five hours on the PT machine for his right leg and had a meeting with several doctors. We also met with one of the insurance companies. They are assisting us in the filing of our claim and accessing funds.

Henry's Orthopedic doctors think he may be able to move on to more rigorous PT soon which will mean a move eventually to another floor. So far, however, his need for care is very urgent and there are more nurses available on our current floor.

We continue fierce and thrive


12.14 Afternoon—14:00

This is day 43.

View from the chair where I sleep—02:00

Henry's recovery is going well. He's working on physical therapy on his right leg four to five hours a day. It's painful but necessary to keep his right leg mobile. 

He has a good appetite and we shared a pizza last night and a salad. Tonight we are going to share a steak and some appetizers. He's talking better now though it still tires him out but the vocal cords are working and coming back to life.

Tomorrow is another day...

Be fierce and thrive...


PS: I sleep in the room with him nearly every night and spend all day with him every day. It's a joy to be near him and we often laugh and smile at each other. 

12.15 Morning Status—06:45

We slept well last night with few interruptions. Henry’s pain levels are dropping but still higher than what most of us could handle on a daily basis. 

He has a good appetite and last evening we shared a steak dinner with crab cakes and a fillet mignon with iced tea and apple juice. He ate half but we both left the potatoes. 

Today Eva will bring him a Sunday supper which he’s looking forward to. We might move up a floor next week to be close to PT and of course a little apprehensive at the amount of work involved butt he is more than eager to get his life back. 

Be fierce and thrive...


12.15 Late Afternoon—16:15

His friend brought him Sunday dinner of liver and onions with mashed potatoes—his favorite thing to each at Musso and Frank's Grill on Hollywood Blvd. He ate most of it before getting full. He loves Eva's cooking.

Be fierce and thrive, Henry!


12.16 Morning—10:30

Yesterday Eva brought him his favorite liver and onions with mashed potatoes and he ate most of it. When the food is good and made with love he has a good appetite. This morning we shared an omelet and mixed berries.

His pain is more manageable today—he slept through the night—and he is on the PT machine this morning for five hours bending his knee to 75º.

Everyday there is improvement. Two of his antibiotics have finished and he is on one final one that will continue to the end of December. He has one of the best infectious disease doctors in Los Angeles attending to his infections and we both like him a lot.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.17 Morning

(Photograph of my travel grip)

My bag packed and AOC at 6AM

I stay with Henry for five days at a time. I sleep in a chair next to his bed and watch over him through the day and night. I help the nurses change his dressings and I move his legs ever so gently. He goes to sleep early and I read a book for a time and have a little zip of brandy. We wake at 4:30 in the morning for his dressing change. I am his advocate here in the hospital and I don't mind a bit; I promised him a long time ago before all this that I would always be by his side regardless of the circumstances.

This is the bag I've traveled all over the world with; it carries four changes of clothes and my dopp kit. If I add a pair of pants to this grip I can live out of it indefinitely. There is no variation to what I wear which minimizes my dressing: a pair of dark grey trousers; four identical black pull-overs; four changes of underwear; and five pairs of socks (I believe one should always carry an extra pair of socks). My dopp kit has a flask of Hennessy V.S.O.P. or XO and other essentials. When I'm not here every fifth night, our nephew Quinton stays with him: I hate to leave him alone but he loves Quinton and we trust him.

This is day 46...

Henry will go into surgery today at 3PM for a skin graft on his right leg. He continues five hours a day of CPM physical therapy and it's not pleasant but necessary for his future mobility. Hopefully in the next week or so Henry will begin intense physical therapy on another floor of the hospital and will begin the journey to recovery. Please keep sending him your love and videos of encouragement.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.19 Another Day...

(Photograph of the commissary at CS)

0600 in the cafeteria at Cedars-Sinai 

My fellow watchers and I were lined up at the door of the commissary again this morning waiting for coffee and breakfast. Starbucks opens at 0500 but I prefer the brewed institutional coffee here. I've been coming to this outlet everyday since 1 Novembre. Some mornings I'm the only one here at opening but this morning there was a crush of people.

I was up all night with my husband whose Ketamine dreams kept him awake. Twice he tried to get out of bed and nearly fell. I had to call for help just to pull him back onto the bed and reassure him that he was alright. Much of the night he thought he was either moving his car, so as not to get a ticket, or "doing" the laundry. Last night he baked cakes and cookies in his sleep. It distresses me that he is having these disruptions to his sleep and life in general. During the day we talk and watch television together or I work on paying his bills or answering emails and texts with him so he was no time for his mind to wander into the drug induced delirium but of course at night when the lights are off there is no stimulus for his brain. Today there is an order to wean him from the Ketamine which is used as a powerful pain-killer; I hope this will lessen the disruptions for him.

We've been informed that it's nearly time for him to move to a transition rehab facility to prepare him for acute rehab down the road. The transition in whichever facility we go to will take four to six weeks at which time hopefully he will be ready for acute rehab to learn to walk with a prosthetic leg. I continue to be moved everyday by his will to live and I can't imagine the struggle he is going through now and will have to bare in the near future. 

Every day I am grateful for the love and support from our friends and family. Henry is a very special man who loves his friends deeply and he is aware of all the love he is getting in return. Once more I would love for you to send him videos of encouragement. 

Day 48

Be fierce and thrive...!


12.19 A Moving Day...

(Photograph of my crossed waiting legs from the series; photograph of the IR machine; photograph from the waiting room on the seventh floor)


This morning I learned that the doctor taking care of his leg wanted to insert a filter into a vein in his stomach to catch any blood clots from his right leg. He's off blood thinners for now and this is to reduce that risk. It took very little time to perform the procedure so this is me waiting in the 7th floor waiting lobby for him to be moved to his room. I also learned that the Orthopedic team wants him on the 7th floor where much of the ortho physical therapy is located. Not a problem! It's a nice room with lots more space and a bed for me instead of the recliner I've been in for 48 days. 

While I waited next to him we were in the X-Ray room with this fantastic looking machine. This camera is state of the art X-Ray and is nearly brand new. I love the organic look—almost like a space monster. It cost several million dollars...pretty cool. Cedars-Sinai has lots of new equipment mostly gifts from donors and corporate sponsors. I can't imagine what a place like this costs to run on an annual basis.

View from a bridge...

Here is a view from one of the bridges going between the South and North towers of the hospital. It's a lovely day here in Los Angeles.

With this move to the seventh floor we are getting ready to move into a transitional rehab facility for four to six weeks to prepare for a more intense rehabilitation program that will last several months more. Both Henry and I are excited to begin the next stage of this journey. 

Please keep us in your thoughts...

Be fierce and thrive!


12.19 Close of Day

(Photograph from the new room)

ChaosWe go to bed early around here, mostly because Henry is awakened at 4:30AM each morning for a sponge bath and at 5AM for dressing changes. Since I sleep next to him I'm awake too, so I help with the tasks. This is the new view from our window. I like the many triangles in the view as well as the great trapezoid that makes the frame. While it's chaotic it somehow makes me peaceful when I look at it. Beauty is everywhere...

Today is day 48 here at Cedars-Sinai. Henry is still asleep and I doubt he will wake up again until tomorrow morning since he's not really slept in two days. I'm turning in to read "A Bookstore in Berlin" which I love so far. If you haven't heard of it look it up: it's about how one fierce woman made her way out of Nazi occupied France in 1942 and thrived. It's a memoire; a melancholy reminder to us all how it can happen again.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.20 Friday Afternoon

(Photograph of Henry dancing in a Paris street near the Champs)

Henry in Paris

As I mentioned in a post yesterday, Henry is now on the 7th floor of Cedars-Sinai where the Orthopedic team is located. We are getting ready to transfer to Kindred Acute Rehab Hospital in Los Angeles sometime on or before next Friday. This will be the rehab facility he will stay at for about four weeks before moving to a long term rehab facility to learn to walk and move about. This is great progress and we are both keen for this to start.

His attitude is very positive and he really basks in the love and support everyone gives him. Even people from Cedars stop in to see his smile and encourage him to thrive—as you know his smile has the power to heal other people and warm their souls. My husband is a truly remarkable man.

Today is day 49

Be fierce and thrive...


12.21 Day 50 

(Photograph of the “snail canopy” at CS)

I sat under this canopy last evening after sunset to relax with a medicinal drink and thought back on the last 50 nights here at Cedars-Sinai. I'm so grateful to the doctors and nurses and Clinical Partners who all supported Henry and me during our long stay, first in ICU and then here in the general hospital. Henry is alive because of the hard work the trauma team did on him when he came into the Emergency Room on November 1. It took 7 hours for them to stop the bleeding and clear his lungs of blood and fluid. The injuries were catastrophic and the first four days were very tenuous for him. I sat up with him and promised him I would be there when he woke up...But he would not be alive if it were not also for his strong will to live. When I asked him if the amputation bothered him he replied -No. I'm alive!- and that's all he needed to say.

Now 50 days into this he's ready to begin the process of healing and the rehabilitation of his body and mind. I know he is fierce and he has the will to thrive.

Day 50

Be fierce and thrive...


12.22 Mid-Day Update

(Photograph of Kindred front)

Henry had another good night of sleep. Since coming off the Ketamine his sleep has been undisrupted and peaceful. The pain in his leg continues to be a challenge but it's managed with strong painkillers.

Kindred Hospital on Slauson

I looked at a transitional hospital today that will get him ready for a long term rehabilitation facility. This transitional hospital is in South LA and is recommended by Cedars because of the good orthopedic care as well as the rehabilitation program. It's part of the Kindred hospital group and this one is a full hospital with ICU and clean operating rooms. I toured the plant today and I liked the vibe there: it is clean and the patients seem to be well cared for. I showed up unannounced with our friends, Pirco and Jean, and met with a nurse who took us around the building and showed us the rooms and labs. The place is very clean. I rubbed my finger along the door jams and the pictures hanging on the walls and found no dirt or dust. Too, there was no sour institutional aroma that one often finds in nursing homes. The vibes were good...

There are 80 beds and a large staff of nurses equal to what is at Cedars (5:1). I think once the insurance company has approved we will move there for the net 20 to 30 days before the transition to the residential long term rehab perhaps back in Beverly Hills. Henry is eager to begin...I also found a place to stay close by the new hospital since I won't be able to sleep in the same room as him. My plan is to be with him everyday at 7:30AM until he goes to bed at night and be his booster while in rehab.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.23 Morning

(photograph of the patio at Saperstein in the rain)

0500 Cedars-Sinai

I woke at 5AM this morning and it was pouring rain...I got a strong allongé and walked a little in the court yard under a roof. We slept pretty well last night. Henry is sleeping through the night. Later this morning he ate a large breakfast of omelet and potatoes and a Boost drink. I went to the little coffee shop and had another café allongé and an omelet. The resident who is on the plastic surgery team changed the dressing on the skin graft and it looked amazingly good. I could not tell there was a wound there. The good thing is Henry heals fast.

So today we hope for some physical therapy. I'll give an update later today.

Be fierce and thrive...



(Photograph of presents from his bakeshop)

Today the chef leadership from the Beverly Hills Hotel made a surprise visit to Henry's room and brought lots of food and treats for us and the floor staff here on the 7th floor. We shared some of these treats with the ICU nurses as well as the nurses on the 6th floor. I am so grateful for their display of affection for Henry. Thank you to all his beloved co-workers. Henry loves his job and the Hotel Beverly Hills where he has worked for 25 years. Thank you from us to you all. There was a huge amount of fried chicken and veggies as well as biscuits and of course treats! I know the nursing staff and clinical partners enjoyed the food as did we! 

The book and the bear are signed by his friends/coworkers at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Be fierce and thrive...!


12.24 Christmas Eve...

(Photograph of my laptop and text)

My lap is my studio

Writing has always been the way I ground myself. I've kept notebooks and journals since I was eleven years old and I still have many of these books. Writing gives me a rhythm to measure time. These days I write whenever Henry is sleeping or watching television here in the hospital. It's been the way I not only pass the time but the only way I have to make sense of what has happened to him and us. This is not just a record of events but of my emotional health as well during his recovery. Sometime in the future I'll look through this weblog and my digital notebook to discover our journey. I made hundreds of photographs as well so I can document our journey.

For the past week Henry has been able to sleep soundly through the night. He's managing the pain but it is still a major factor in his day. He does about two hours a day of physical therapy on his right leg. The nurses change the dressing on the wounds twice a day at which time we have to move him around and it causes him a lot of pain. For the most part the nurses are kind and gentle and I'm there to make sure he's comfortable.

Today is Christmas Eve and I'm grateful for his life, the best present I could ask for from anybody. He's received beautiful flowers and a wonderful box of fruit as well as other presents of love from friends and colleagues.

Both Henry and I are focused on the present and what it takes to get to the next minute but we look forward to spending time with all our friends wherever we may be in the future.

Day 53

All the best,

Be fierce and thrive...


12.26 A Milestone 

(Photograph of an altar in Amsterdam)

The Energy Vortex Amsterdam

On Christmas Day a few close friends gathered here at Cedars in Henry's room to celebrate with him. we feasted on finger food and and ate the delicious Asian Pears and cheese our friend Jennifer sent for us; there were cookies and a few of us drank a bubbly beverage and toasted to his health. Henry loved the visits and he spent lots of time chatting and watching old sitcoms Christmas episodes with Leigh, Eva, Tim and Quinton. Later Pirco and Jean stopped by to visit and chat. An exhausting day.

Our great friend, Kenya, in Ibiza and Amsterdam has several energy alters for Henry. This one has something very special! Puccini Chocolates which are the best in the world, IMO. This is sure to give him strength. In fact yesterday we hit a major milestone: Henry was able to sit up and dangle his legs over the bed with the fine help of the Physical Therapy team. We both cried because it was so great to see him sitting up for the first time since November 1. The goal is to do this three times a week and continue with the flexing exercises he is already doing every day.

Very few of us can imagine the pain Henry experiences and emotional energy it takes for him to survive each day. I can only watch and help him through whatever he goes through: sometimes tears and sometimes we laugh together but day by day he is improving and while it will take a long time for him to recover I can see in his eyes the determination, the will, to survive.

Day 55

Be fierce and thrive



 We arrived at Kindred in the early evening after a long wait. I hate arriving anywhere after dark because it makes everything seem bleak. He has not in the happiest mood and our friend Jean Kim and I went out and bought him some Bose head phones to cancel out the noise of the surroundings. Today he is in a Quad room, meaning three roommates but we are waiting for a bed to open up in the ward for him to move to a duplex or single.

This is the next step and he needs encouragement to keep his spirits up. We have music and your great videos keep him happy.

Day 57

Be fierce and thrive...


12.29 At Kindred

This is a different environment than Cedars-Sinai where the level of service was superior to anything I could expect. Much fewer nurses here and very different skill sets. Of course it is the weekend and weekend staff everywhere is lower than the weekday staff. Henry is comfortable though getting used to a new environment has been a challenge. I’m still confident he will have a successful recovery here but we will have a better idea of the hospital’s capability this coming week.

I’m staying close by at a residential hotel in Culver City and it’s next door to a Dinah’s Chicken Restaurant...I brought him breakfast this morning from there and he ate it up. One bit of advice to anybody caring for someone in the hospital: bring stainless flatware so they can have a proper meal experience. I brought two spoons, a knife, and a fork. I hate plastic ware and Henry can at least feel like a human while eating. In American “health-care” we are dehumanizing people by using plastic and disposable food service because no one wants the cost of washing the dishes. I’m appalled by the really poor food service in hospitals in general.

He’s sleeping now. I’ll update this later today when I get a stronger WiFi signal (another pet peeve).

Be fierce and thrive...


12.29 Evening

(Photograph of Kindred’s staff poster)


These are everywhere employees congregate or walk past when coming to work. Of course everyone becomes blind to these kinds of statements when they see them everyday. But Corporations are obliged to put up to show that they are training employees. We did the same thing when I was at Disney. It’s mighty hard to be empathetic when you have 12 or 15 patients to attend and care for on a 12 hour shift. Many of the staff are LNs (Licensed Nurses) who get their certificate after a year of training. RNs have to go to school for three years and many at Cedars had Masters degrees and even Doctorate degrees. But this is not about the nurses and care givers at Kindred: this is about the terrible state of affairs in the American Health Care system because conservatives and liberals alike can’t grok that health care should come before bombs and the Military Complex. 

Henry is being cared for because he has friends and family who love him and won’t let him languish in a hospital bed. I am grateful for all the support and love I get from everyone; without you I would be lost! 

Thank you from my heart and soul.

Henry is fierce and thriving...

Day 59

—Philip (Henry’s husband)

12.30 Update

(Photograph of Dianah’s in Culver City)

Eating a lot of take out and diner food these days. I’m taking two multivitamins in the morning and another two in the evening to ward off anything that might make me sick. I’m sleeping at a Hotel nearby the Hospital and can be there by 7:30 every morning with a breakfast for him.

Today we met his doctor here at the Hospital who brought in specialists who will evaluate his well being at this time. He also met his Physical Therapist today who is going to work with both of us to exercise his legs. Both Henry and I are eager to begin and get moving. He’s morale is better today and he tells the doctors he is fine and wants to get out of the hospital. His speech pathologist will work on a program to get his voice strong again and I can work with him on that as well.

I can spend New Year’s Eve with him which is great since this will be an important milestone for us. A new year!!

Day 59

Be fierce and thrive...


12.30 Evening Status

Today was a long’s early evening now and I am ready to wind down. Henry told me to come in late tomorrow but I told him I don’t think I can stay away passed 8 but he wants me there at 9...I’ll bring breakfast.

Henry told me that today was the best day because of the encouragement he got from the doctors and therapists. I am so happy and very relieved that his morale is improving.

Big thank you to Kenya and William in Amsterdam for the great videos. They make his day.

Tomorrow is the last day of 2019 and the beginning of a new year.

Be fierce and thrive...


12.31 On The Eve of the New Year...

(Photograph of my legs from waiting series)

Watching Wendy Williams with Henry

I don’t watch much TV but Henry loves Wendy Williams so we watch it everyday at 11AM. I like sitting next to him and laughing along side while we watch the celebrity silliness.

This is New Year’s Eve and Henry wants me to stay with him tonight even though there’s no place to sleep. I realized that he doesn’t know what the place looks like or what the accommodations are like here. Even at Cedars he couldn’t understand why it took so long to get fresh water and ice; I made a video walking down the hall 25 yards to get the water and ice and showed it to him, then he understood. I’m going to do the same thing here so he has an idea of the space. Hopefully soon he will be able to move around the space himself in a wheelchair. He starts PT after tomorrow but the therapist is stopping by today to see him. His spirits are good most of the time. He needs to begin to move and work his body and is impatient to begin. This is a good sign and I am happy to see it so soon after the accident.

Day 60

Be fierce and thrive


12.31—On Visiting

(Photograph of sign with No Flowers)

01.01.2020 A Good Day ...

(Photograph of my iPad)

Today is the first writing day of the new year! The posts on this weblog are just a small part of the writing I do everyday following Henry’s life in the hospital. Since the day of his accident I’ve kept a detailed journal of not only his recovery but of my own journey through this experience. I hope to be done with this journal sometime this summer and be able to report to you all with pictures and text Henry’s recovery. It will take years for him to fully recover but I hope he will be able to return to some sense of normal in the not too distant future. Until then I continue to write for hours everyday and evening.

Today he met with three doctors one of whom is his pain specialist who seems to have conquered, with Methadone, the persistent pain Henry has felt. The he had a 30 minute session with Scot his Physical Therapist who exercised his legs and arms. I was surprised at how pain free the right leg seems now and really surprised to see him lift his left leg so far in the air without much strain. This is a big improvement as it was the left leg that was amputated below the knee.

He then met with the speech pathologist who went through a series of breathing exercises that were akin to a Mindful Meditation practice that we both perform. She indicated that she often teaches mindful breathing and meditation to people in the hospital and I mentioned the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn She knew his work. I’m happy she is a practitioner of his work. This will be an important part of both Henry’s and my recovery.

Friends also visited today as well as our nephew Quinton. So far it’s been a good start to the new year.

Please call us before you visit as Henry may be tired.

In 2020 be fierce and thrive...


01.02 Afternoon...

(Photograph out his window at Kindred)

The entire third world has better wifi than this place.

A really good day again. Henry had a 20 minute session with the physical therapist who worked him out hard with leg lifts and arm exercises. He was exhausted after the workout. Then the occupational therapist came in to work on his fine motor skills with his hands (he brushed his teeth and is doing some exercises to strengthen his right arm). Finally the speech therapist ran us through some vocal exercises to strengthen his vocal cords. Henry is talking more and is beginning to sound much more like him self. I can’t wait until I hear him sing again...he has such a lovely voice.

These good days are great for both of us, our morale is very high after these sessions. He continues to improve in strength everyday. 

He’s looking forward to seeing his family tomorrow.

Day 62 

Be fierce and thrive...


01.04 Waiting...and waiting...and waiting

(The waiting series)

01.06 Day 65

Today was a day full of milestones. Henry had his first hard PT session in the morning and exercised his legs, arms, and shoulders. It was a really good session with Scott his PT. Later in the day he had speech therapy and then Occupational Therapy which is centered on getting him strong enough to be independent. The big milestone is that he is now able to turn his body to the left and right and lay on either side in order to be cleaned and in preparation to transferring him to a wheelchair. He worked so hard he was exhausted after all the workouts and I know he will sleep well tonight. Tomorrow is another big day and Wednesday he begins to put weight on his right leg. I am so happy for him.

Today was also the last day of the visit from his mother, two of his sisters—Tiajuana and Tanya—and his nephew—Renze. He really enjoyed this visit especially seeing his mom. 

Henry is strong, fierce, and thriving...


PS: To those who ask how I am doing I can say while I am tired and exhausted I am also well and happy. Yes, I’ve lost weight but I am eating well. Writing has kept me centered. I look forward to the day I can sit with my friends and drink wine and have a meal and laugh again...thank you for your love and support

01.07 Update

(Photograph of the front of Kindred)

Kindred Hospital

Kindred Hospital

Here are the grounds in front of the Hospital. When Henry is ready I’ll be able to take him for a little sun. He sat up for the first time since Christmas Day but this time the PTs made him sit up on his own with very little help. He was able to sit straight up without support for five minutes and then lay back down on his back. I had tears in my eyes watching this man struggle then lift himself to sit was a great sight. Today he also exercised and strengthen the muscles in his left shoulder and arm. He’s getting stronger each day.

I also observed the wound-care nurse change the dressing on the wound on his left side and I couldn’t believe the improvement there; he is almost healed up completely and the wound is now superficial. At this rate it should be closed in two weeks. It’s impossible to say how long we will be here at Kindred: he’s making great progress but has a long way to go before he can go to final Rehab. He will become more and more independent each day.

A Word About Visiting...

I know many of you want to visit Henry now that we are out of acute care. Henry asks that you please be patient with him for another week or so as he needs to focus on rehab. His family was here for three days and he enjoyed seeing them and a few friends who have been with us since the first day of his hospitalization stop by, but visits exhaust him. When he is stronger in a week or so I’ll let folks know here on the weblog. Please text us or call before you visit as he often has appointments at Cedars and we will be away from the hospital with very little notice. Thank you for understanding.

Be fierce and thrive


This Happened Today...

(Photograph of the wheelchair)

This happened today...I watched in awe as Henry was sat up and then transferred to a wheel chair. It was not without pain but after a short break sitting in the chair he wheeled himself the thirty yards or so to the PT gym. As he wheeled through the halls all the nurses and assistants yelled “Hi Henry” and applauded his effort. He was working hard but grinned at everyone and totally charmed them.

Once in the gym he tried to stand up using the parallel bars but the pain was too much to stand today. But he showed tremendous willingness to work through the pain. One of the PT said under his breath: That’s one tough cookie...of course yours truly cried with joy. As his reward we wheeled him outside to sit for ten minutes in the sun. 

What a great day!

Day 67

Be fierce and thrive!


01.09 Day 68

Today was a slow day after so much work yesterday: Henry experienced a lot of pain and didn’t get much sleep. Much of the pain I understand is nerve pain and is caused by the nerves growing back. But today he did sit up on the edge of the bed again and did some balance exercise. He also put some light weight on his right leg and foot which are very tender.

Tomorrow we go back to Cedars-Sinai for a check up with the plastic surgeon and perhaps meet with the Orthopedic doctors. We’ll travel by ambulance.

One of the doctors told him he needs to eat 90 grams of protein a day and so I’m looking for cases of Premier Protein drinks in Chocolate, Carmel, and Oreo flavors. I’m going to the Target that is local to the hospital.

Be fierce and thrive...


01.11 Day 70

Not much of an update today. The weekends are very slow and without physical therapy. I did exercise his legs and massage his right leg to loosen the scar tissue. I also moisturized the skin on both legs.

The kitchen at Kindred Hospital had a fire this morning and they had to serve cold meals all day. I ordered fried catfish, hush puppies, and greens for him from Cafe Creole. The fish was good and the greens excellent. Earlier his friend Tim came and brought him 16 bottles of high protein drinks. His doctors want Henry to take in 90 grams of protein a day. The drinks provide more than enough protein since the hospital diet is short on high quality proteins.

Henry’s spirit is strong and he’s doing very well. Please keep sending him videos and messages as they give his morale a boost.

Be fierce and thrive...


01.13 Day 72

(Photograph of the grounds)

Today PT started again and Scott, his therapist, sat Henry up on the edge of the bed again and put some weight on his right foot. Henry handled the exercise very well and sat up by himself for about 15 minutes. He had to sit himself up and he did it without asking for help, but it was a struggle. I’m so very proud of this man and his strong will.

After laying down again Scott worked on stretching his right leg muscles and ankle. After about 30 minutes he was exhausted. Tomorrow he will get in the wheelchair again and go to the gym. 

He also had speech therapy. The therapist told him to take time off talking as the strain was too much for now. He talked all weekend and needed a break.

This is exhausting for both of us, I won’t lie to you. I leave at the end of the day too tired for words and yet I have to work on writing and answering emails for another two or four hours depending on how much time I get during the day.

Be fierce and thrive...


01.15 Henry’s Progress—Day 74

(Photograph of a wheelchair)

The last two days were very physical for Henry. Yesterday was a strenuous session sitting up and learning to use a dressing stick. He’s having to stretch and use his left arm and shoulder which were smashed in the accident and are now in the painful process of healing. At the end of the 30 minutes he was exhausted and somewhat frustrated.

Today after stretching out his leg muscles and shoulder he was able to roll over to the right and left side without help. Eventually he was able to sit up on the bed and dangle his legs over the edge. The therapist then transferred him to the wheelchair and allowed Henry to wheel himself down the hall and out the front door so he could sit in the sun and coolish air. While this seems a simple thing it is in fact a major accomplishment for someone who has been inside and flat on his back for 74 days and nights. After getting outside the PT stretched his leg again and then let him sit quietly outside where he and I spent some time talking and enjoying our time.

It is impossible to describe or even to imagine the pain, both physical and emotional, he is going through each hour everyday; the drugs don’t completely abate the sensation but he rarely displays despair. I am so proud of him.

Be fierce and thrive...


01.16 Day 75

(Photograph of a camera)

I carry two cameras with me all the time. My mobile phone, of course, and my trusty Ricoh GRII that I carry every where in my pocket. It’s a great camera and out of the three cameras I own this is my personal favorite; I’ve made over ten thousand photographs with this camera. While I don’t publish photographs of Henry here in the hospital while he’s recovering, I do make a lot of images here and at Cedars that I use for documenting his care. The photographs you see on this site are for illustration.

To you who have written me about a book: yes I am writing a book about our journey. I started that journal on the day of the accident; I started updating my weblog with his status on 2 November. These are two different points of view and compliment each other each adding context to the other. As you can imagine both the weblog and the book are far from complete.

Today the therapists showed up early and had him dress in pajama pants and a sweat shirt (from The Beverly Hills Hotel). Then they showed him how to slide himself into the wheelchair. He then wheeled himself into the gym again where his PT helped him stand using the parallel bars. He was able to lift himself but needed help standing. He was able to stand for about three minutes before having to sit again in the chair. Once he gathered himself again he was able to stand twice more with help from the PTs. After this exercise Henry sat for about 30 minutes in the wheelchair while we visited with the staff. I was so proud of him. 

He’s beginning to become more independent and do things for  himself again. This is very rewarding for both of us as I become more of an onlooker and his cheerleader. 

Be fierce and thrive!


01.20 Day 79 Brief Update

I haven’t updated this site for a few days; over the weekend he was pretty out of sorts and not feeling his best. This passed today after a very productive but painful physical therapy session with Scott and Michael. Later, Minjy came in and gave him a little pep talk and explained that he would have to work hard and work through the pain.

No one can relate to the pain Henry is going through; all I know is whatever he is going through he has already gone through worse. That he survived the accident with all his injuries is amazing and a tribute to the doctors’ skill and his will to live.

Be fierce and thrive...


01.22 Afternoon Update

(Photograph of the gym)

Today was a very good PT workout both in the bed with his legs and learning how to push and pull himself up and into the wheelchair. He powered through it and never complained. Scott and Michael then took him to the gym (he wheeled the chair: that’s the gym in the picture) and put him on the cycle to stretch and strengthen his right leg. This was very painful but once again he did it for about 20 minutes. After they stood him up and put him back into the chair. 

He sat in the chair during speech therapy and practiced various sounds and vowels for 30 minutes. He is sounding better and better but I think this is going to change his voice permanently. He always had a raspy voice but now it will have more rasp and vocal breaks. But he still sings to himself and me though and I love the sound of his voice... 

He is exhausted after these two hours and his legs are both on fire with muscle pain. We are determined to move to Acute Rehab in ten day or sooner so he knows there is a lot of work yet to do.

This is day 81


01.25 Day 84

Yesterday we found out that our insurance will cover our preferred rehab center. Now Henry has to get in shape to withstand intensive physical therapy for more than three hours at a stretch. He spent a couple of hours in the wheelchair and wheeled about a tenth of a mile around the parking lot of the hospital; this strengthens his arms and builds endurance. In the afternoon his PT, Scott, had him up and standing several times for over a minute which is the longest time to date he’s been able to stand. His knee is painful but he needs fewer pain meds than a week ago to tolerate the strain. He still needs to be lifted and supported but he is standing! I wish I could show you video of his progress, he is amazing and so focused on getting well. Henry is an inspiration to me.

I am hopeful. We are beginning to see the distant end to his immediate suffering; I know it will take him many more long hours of therapy to understand and overcome his limitations.

This is a painful journey for both of us. I try not to anticipate the future anymore knowing that anything can happen and to try and be prepared is useless. The best I can do is to focus on the present and take care not to judge what has happened. To breathe and not judge.

Henry is fierce and thriving.


01.29 Short Update—Day 88

(Photograph of Kindred dining hall)

Kindred Hospital dining roomThis week is going well. Henry’s PT includes standing for 70 seconds as well as arm exercises. The new stain on his leg causes new pain but he’s able to tolerate it and complete his PT. He also wheels through the halls of the hospital and we can sit outside in the sun. 

He was also fitted with a compression sock for his left leg to prepare it for the prosthetic lower leg. 

Most hospitals spend less than $6.50 per patient per day on raw food (i.e. before it is prepared). Here at Kindred I estimate that cost to be lower than $5.00 per day per patient. There may be some flux—higher and lower— but that seems to be the average cost. Much of the food is processed and I imagine frozen to reduce staff and time in the kitchen. This is not unusual across the American healthcare system. Some are much lower! 

Be fierce and thrive


01.31—Day 90

It’s been 90 days since Henry had the accident at Sunset and Foothill. I can’t pass that intersection without a sense of dread and sadness. 

Henry is doing well with physical therapy and though there are bad days there are more good days. Visits from friends help a lot and afternoons after 1 and before 4:30 are a good time to visit. These visits lift his mood and he’s able to refocus the next day. We often pass the time after lunch watching Netflix binging on a series or enjoying a movie. 

Sometime in the next two weeks he will be moved to an acute rehab facility where he will prepare to return home. It’s going to be a long process but Henry will return to the full life he had and desires. 

Be fierce and thrive


02.06 Latest News—Day 95

I've been absent from the weblog for a reason: Henry and I were waiting for more information to share with our friends and family. Over the last ten days Henry developed an infection on his left hip; on Sunday the site burst and drained a lot of infected debris; once drained, the wound-care doctor looked at it and decided to take cultures and start Henry on a regimen of antibiotics. 

This is potentially serious. Henry will be transported sometime soon back to Cedars for the orthopedic surgeon to look at his hip and perform a CT-scan to see if the infection is attached to the hardware in his hip and thigh. If it is then he will need major surgery to remove the hardware. There is a possibility that the infection is superficial and can be treated with antibiotics. If there is surgery it could add many weeks to his recovery. He is progressing with physical therapy rapidly and this would put a stop to that. Needless-to-say we are both anxious but hopeful that the infection is not related to the metal implants. Our attitude during this time is positive. Of course, your support and love carry both of us and we welcome your notes, videos, and comments along with your prayers, best thoughts, and chants.

He will remain at Kindred until we have a plan from the orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai.

Be fierce and thrive!



Henry has an appointment with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Moon, on 14 February at Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Moon will decide at that time what the course of action will be to clear the infection. He may be admitted to Cedars at that time or sent back to Kindred for treatment for the infection.

Henry continues physical and occupational therapy while we wait for the results.

Be fierce...and thrive


02.10—A Good Weekend

It was a great weekend: Henry had a visitor, Brooke, from the Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday and on Sunday early morning our good friend, Pirco, visited on his way back from a morning walk on the beach. Then in the afternoon, Eva brought him a meal of ham and cabbage and we got a cherished visit from Térence who came in from Paris on his way to a conference in Las Vegas to see Henry. Térence and Henry are like brothers and I could tell the visit lifted his spirit and made him so happy. For me it was a great comfort to see my friend of 20 years who brought us much love from our family in France. 

Visits from friends over the weekend fuels Henry for the week to come and give him the energy to work hard during the week. This coming week will be one for hard physical therapy and healing. On Friday we go back to Cedars-Sinai for a meeting with the orthopedic surgeon.

Be fierce and thrive...


02.12—Positive Update

Very positive progress for Henry over the last two days. On Monday he was able to hold himself upright with the parallel bars and stand on his right leg. Tuesday he surprised me by sitting up on the edge of the bed and using a walker was able to lift himself without aid and stand for a period of time with some weight on his right leg but supporting himself with his arms. This is a major accomplishment for him and I was in tears as he stood there and could look be in the eyes. It took all his strength to do this six times standing for about a minute each time. There is considerable pain in his ankle and knee but it is tolerable for him for a short time. His physical therapy team encourages him and he responds to them easily even when he doesn't feel like doing anything.

Naturally, I am very happy with his success and I can't wait to see what happens each day. Thank you again for your constant empowering thoughts and prayers for him. When I look back on the last 103 days and the terror and pain we both experienced, I don't know how we would have gotten through it all without your loving kindness toward the two of us. 

Be fierce and thrive...



I am aware some of you are unable to post comments to this weblog and I apologize; I will try to fix that user interface. When you write your post don't forget to click on the "Publish" button on the lower left of the comment box. If you are reading this on a computer rather than your phone; click on the title of the post and go to the post page at the bottom of the post you will see the comment box. I know this is poor design...I am sorry! 


On Friday we will transfer to Cedars-Sinai for a consultation with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Moon, who will examine the infection in his left hip. We don't know how long we will be at Cedars but we are hoping for a positive outcome that would find that the infection is superficial and not connected to the metal in the leg and hip. We are anxious but hopeful.

We often spend the afternoons watching Netflix or Amazon Prime to relax and get our minds off everything that is happening. After 30 years I enjoy just sitting with him quietly, watching a movie and just being together.

Henry had a very hard workout on Wednesday. He was able to take six hop-steps forward using a walker. He didn't get a lot of sleep the night before as the hospital is very noisy, but he once again rose above his pain and exhaustion.

Today is Thursday and I expect PT will give him more challenges. We met with the sales rep for a prosthetic company and he will make a brace for Henry's right foot, while it is getting stronger he needs support to help him walk on with that leg.

Be fierce and thrive...


02.15—Real Progress!

(Photograph of a transport ambulance)

On Friday Henry and I traveled by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Orthopedic Center for an appointment with Dr. Moon, the original surgeon who took care of his broken body. After x-rays and examination of the blood work the doctor told us the hip infection was "superficial" and not a problem with his full recovery. To say we were relieved would be an understatement and we went back to Kindred Hospital very happy indeed!

It's too soon to know what the next steps will be but I imagine once the antibiotic protocol is complete and Henry can withstand the physical therapy we will be released to the acute rehab facility (we are hoping it will be California Rehab Institute in Century City). This is great news!!

It's the weekend and Henry is resting and taking visitors while I do the laundry and rest for the week to come. I am grateful for the many friends who expressed concern and kind, loving thoughts for Henry and me.

Be fierce and thrive...!


02.19—We've Moved!

(Photograph of Century Park East)

Yesterday morning our case worker at Kindred informed us that a bed had opened at California Rehabilitation Institute and that we had to move ASAP. By 3:30 that afternoon we were at CRI in room 419 and getting settled in. This is major progress for Henry's rehabilitation and I am eager for him to start today.

CRI is perhaps the best institution of its kind in the US and I am happy we got to jump ahead of the waiting list. Henry will miss his PT and OT team at Kindred; they did a remarkable job getting him motivated to succeed and we are both grateful to them all. In a future post I'll name them all and give other shout outs to the kind folks who took care of Henry and put up with my badgering.

This is the next fierce and thrive, Henry!!


02.21—At CRI

(Photograph of exterior of CRI)

I spent the last three days in amazement at Henry's progress. He is able to transfer himself from and to his bed and to the commode. Yesterday he took a shower for the first time in four months. He is growing stronger quickly with each day. I noticed today how strong the left arm is becoming and his tolerance for pain is becoming stronger as well.

Yesterday he was fitted for a prosthetic leg and measured for a brace for his right foot; both will be ready for him within a week. The reason CRI is accelerating therapy is to make up for the lost two days this week before he was transferred and he will have physical therapy (and maybe occupational therapy) both days over the weekend. The OT focuses on the day to day tasks like showering and going to the toilet while the PT focuses on strength and includes things like the mechanics of movement and yoga. Everything is to prepare him for going home and being self sufficient. 

I am seeing so much progress that it is hard to describe in a few words. He's even gaining a little weight back and I can see that old spark in his eyes when he is delighted. I know he's tired of seeing me tear-up every time I see his progress but I am seeing the man I love fight back and gain his independence.

Be fierce and thrive...!



(Photograph of my Cedars room)

Henry's time at California Rehabilitation Institute is very positive; everything from the atmosphere to the great attentive nursing staff and the strong presence of the therapy team all add to his recovery. A good sign of this is his proposed release date is 12 March if he is ready. This means home and we are very happy!!

My room at Cedars

On another note: I had an emergency appendectomy on Saturday and I am now recovering at my friend Karen's house in Beverly Hills. I am grateful as always for the many friends who supported me while I was in the hospital: Pirco and Jean; Jennifer and David; and Cliff and Vicki who were the faces I saw when I woke up. I was operated on by Dr. Singer who was one of the attending doctors who saved Henry. He remembered me and assured me he would take good care of me.

I haven't been able to see Henry for a few days and it's the worst part of this. We both depend on each other for everything. We talk daily and text often. I hope to be able to rally and see him tomorrow. 

More another day...

Be fierce and thrive!


03.03—We Are Fierce and Thriving

(Photograph of my laptop)

Today is a writing day for me. I'm also catching up on the stressful filing of insurance forms...but mostly catching up on the book.

I saw Henry yesterday and he looks great. He was pretty sore from his workout but got through the afternoon workout like he always does. He said this morning that he slept well and without pain. 

He's using the prosthetic leg as part of the therapy and is beginning to stand and even use a step. His right leg still needs a lot of work to strengthen the muscles but he's improving with each day: he's gaining strength in his left arm and the bending of his left knee is greatly improved. I'm so proud of him.

My health is improving. I see the attending physician later this week and I am sure everything will be fine. I want to get back to seeing Henry on a daily basis as soon as I can but I tire easily. I am moving back to my own flat on Saturday and I am very grateful to Karen Roth, in whose home I have been staying off and on since November, for letting me use the villa as my camp ground. I don't know if Henry will be ready to return home on 12 March but when he is ready his home will be ready to receive him.

Be fierce and thrive...


03.06—Brief Update

(Photograph from CRI patio)

The plaza at California Rehabilitation Institute

Henry's stay at California Rehab may be extended for awhile. His doctor is concerned about the reoccurring infection in his left hip. On Monday morning we will go back to Cedars-Sinai for a CT-Scan of the area to figure out the nature of the infection. But otherwise he looks and feels good. Henry is sleeping better and he is getting stronger with more range of motion in his right leg. 

I am moving on Saturday from the beautiful villa on Carla Ridge back to my flat on Los Feliz. I decided to do this because I too want to get back to a normal routine so when Henry is home we can pick up easily and move forward. But I can't lie: I will miss this wonderful place and I am ever so grateful to Karen Roth for her generosity. I am feeling much better now and there doesn't appear to be any lasting issues from my surgery. 

Be fierce and thrive...


03.08—Home Alone...

(Photograph of my flat)

My sitting room—Los Feliz

I've moved back to my own flat and I'll travel to California Rehab from here everyday to see Henry. I needed to bring some normalcy to my life even though we are a long way from normal at this point. Being around my stuff and sleeping in my own bed is a comfort. But I can't wait until Henry is home as well.

I'm about to leave and go over to Century City today to spend the day with him and I'll sleep overnight so I can travel to Cedars tomorrow with him. 

Be fierce and thrive, my Love...!


03.10—Less Worry...

Yesterday Henry and I went to Cedars for a CT-Scan of his left hip to determine whether the infection he developed is superficial or deeper. Today the scan came back clean though the wounds are still not healed. The infection is superficial and he can take the antibiotics orally instead of the painful IV treatments he has had to endure. His stool tests came back with no sign of infection as well and he is no longer required to be in isolation. His mood is very much changed for the better and we both cried with relief.

Today he has his normal physical therapy sessions. On Friday we go back to Cedars for an appointment with his orthopedic surgeon to evaluate his left thigh and amputation site. 

Be fierce and thrive...


03.12—Staying Home Today

(Photograph of Elixar bottle from France)

Chartreuse Medicine

Henry and I decided I would stay at home today and visit by way of FaceTime later. Mostly this is to limit travel for me and possible exposure as well as to limit our Uber expenses. He's so much stronger now and while I don't like not being with him constantly I am comfortable that he will be alright alone. I miss him terribly when I am not with him. I'll see him tomorrow and travel with him to Cedars-Sinai for an appointment with his orthopedic surgeon, Dr Moon. We hope to talk with him about his strategy for Henry's left hip and knee.

We are both concerned about the Covid-19 virus and hope all our friends here in the US, Europe, and Asia keep safe and well. If you plan on visiting Henry please monitor your health before your visit and do not kiss him or hold him. His health is my primary concern and we don't want to expose him to anything that will make him sick.

Be fierce and thrive...



(Stock picture of COVID-19 virus)

California Rehabilitation Institute has changed the policy for visitation during the COVID-19 outbreak. At this time only one visitor per day to any patient and only between the hours of 5PM and 8PM. Visitors will be screened and you can not touch Henry. If you want to visit him please reach out to me first as I will try to see him on a regular basis and as they are restricting visits to only ONE PER DAY you may not be able to see him. Naturally, we are sad about this but it is for the safety of the patients and staff.

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 I highly recommend this article sent to me by Pirco (hat tip). It's simply the best explanation of the virus and where these viruses come from in general. Read it here and please keep yourselves safe.

Here is the link to the article: COVID-19

Remain fierce and thrive...



California Rehabilitation Institute has stopped all visiting to all patients in response to the COVID-19 crises. Henry is able to take calls and I FaceTime him several times a day.

His new release date is set for 26 March or sometime thereafter depending on his condition and progress. He's been experiencing a lot of night pain and the doctor is working on his pain management. 

Henry is asking for reading material (magazines, light reading, etc) that can be delivered to the desk at California Rehabilitation Institute at 2070 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Keep it light.

I am staying in my flat in Los Feliz and am busy writing and reading. Please keep safe all our friends and family are in our thoughts every day.

Stay fierce and thrive...


03.22—Staying Home

(Photograph of my writing table with manuscript)

My work space today...

I don't go out for anything except for a walk in the morning or late afternoon. Of course Henry is also confined and very bored. Your calls help him. We FaceTime several times during the day and text back and forth often. I spend my day documenting his progress: writing about his and my journey since that first day in November 2019. This weblog is part of that document; the other part is the journal I've been keeping since that day. Eventually they will be published together as one narrative that examines not only our journey together but also the state of the nursing and hospital system that while healing can also be dehumanizing to both patient and family.

Last week at California Rehabilitation Institute Henry was able to walk down the hall on his prosthetic leg with the aid of a walker frame several times. He is also now able to sit up in bed on his own and move to an arm chair in his room without the aid of a nurse. I am very proud of his determination and strong resolve to get his life back. In a short time he will be able to go back to his home and begin the next phase of his journey: to reclaim his life. We are determined to live happily-ever-after. I am grateful for your loving and kind support of our life together. We have a ways to go yet but we are looking forward to being with our friends and family once again.

The COVID-19 virus is still running its way through the world and with each day we see many more deaths and infections. I urge you all to shelter in place and be tender to each other.

Stay fierce and thrive...


03.23—Eight Steps Up

(Photograph of the stairs to my flat)

Few of us consider climbing stairs an accomplishment; today Henry climbed eight without help from his therapist and that is a great accomplishment. I am beyond happy—and so is he. To get to his apartment there are 14 stairs that he will have to climb and I am excited he is so close to moving back home.

The Institute has requested another week of therapy from the insurance company and we hope they will approve as it will put Henry on a path to success. His proposed release date is now 2 April. He will celebrate his birthday at California Rehabilitation Institute and I hope they will let me be there with him.

Be fierce and thrive...


03.29—Day 150

(Photograph of his graduation card)

Outside Henry's room...

I visited Henry at CRI on Friday and found this outside his room. It means that he can manage getting in and out of his bed and wheelchair on his own as well as use the toilet and dress himself. This is progress toward being independent for Henry and I am so proud of his accomplishments! 

Quinton and I saw Henry walk fifty feet with a walking frame and walk up some stairs on his own. He is nearing the point when he can come home...soon. We are going to ask for an additional week but if the insurance doesn't approve everyone is fine with him coming home this week. I am so happy!! Soon he will begin to live in his own flat and take rehabilitation there as well as outpatient rehab once the sheltering is over. It's been 150 days since the accident that nearly took his life and changed it so much. It is astonishing that after just 5 months he is beginning to walk and take care of himself. If you saw what I saw on November 1 when I thought, and lots of people told me, it would take a year for him to even stand up, you would be amazed as well. His injuries were so great that to even think he would recover was hard to imagine. But he is recovering.

Your phone calls and FaceTime chats really help him through this very tough and lonely time. None of us can visit whenever we want and contact is limited. He is working hard on improving but he wants and needs human contact even if by phone. Thank you for reaching out to him during this crises and sheltering. 

Stay safe and stay away from groups of people.

Be fierce and thrive!


04.03—Nearly Home...

(Photograph of the front of 5317 Loma Linda Ave)

This is the "home" stretch! Henry's release date is 9 April probably in the morning. I am very happy he will be back at home soon. There will be champagne and laughter.

Henry is progressing very well and is walking with the walking frame and getting stronger by the day. But this journey is not over; he will have many months of home and outpatient therapy to improve his mobility so his life can return to normalcy. I wish we could have a big party but alas we are all still in quarantine and need to isolate ourselves—the last thing we want is for him to get sick with this virus. I urge everyone to stay safe and don't go out in public without protection.

Stay safe and be fierce and thrive!!


04.05—How Are You?

(Photograph of a sidewalk drawing “How”)

From my walk down Los Feliz

How are you? 

These three words usually mean nothing and are said instead of "Hello"; today these three words carry meaning: this simple sentence is a powerful act of kindness and human tenderness.

This sentence carries no subtext. 

It is direct.

It is not subtle. 

It no longer means, "Hello."

Saying this sentence to friends and strangers alike is an act of outreach. It is an example of our humanity. 

Now more than ever before we are called to act as a community of individuals who care for each other. Now what is most important is human tenderness...

How are you?

Be fierce and thrive...


04.06—The Journey is Not Yet Complete

(Photograph of cobblestones in Berlin)

It's been a little over five months Henry and I began this journey and on Thursday he comes home at long last. This doesn't mean the journey is over—I don't know if it ever will—but we are entering another phase of his rehabilitation: at home. He will still have healthcare professionals working with him to improve his mobility and strengthen his body. He was always very fit but over the months he's lost a lot of muscle mass. Too, there will be several surgeries yet to come on his left hip and knee but I hope these will heal fast and not hinder his full recovery.

Meanwhile his nephew and I are getting his home equipment set up and stockpiling provisions for us over the difficult quarantine period. Naturally there can be no visitors until it is safe, but your phone calls and video chats are always welcome. Thankfully all of us are well. I hope you are too.

Be fierce and thrive


There is a link in my bio if you wish to contact me by e-mail.

04.11—Henry is Home!!

(Photograph of H’s Front door)

On this beautiful day, Henry is home at last. Quinton and I are tending to him and he begins his at-home physical therapy on Monday. 

Of course we can't accept visitors yet but he is taking phone calls and texts from his friends.

This is the next phase of our journey and I am optimistic for his recovery even though we both know there is a long way to go. Your support, prayers, chants, and meditations are welcome!

We are sheltering in quarantine and wish everyone good health and peace during this difficult time. 

Be fierce and thrive...


04.16—Day 167

(Photograph of me in mask)

How are you? We hope you and your family are well. 

We are doing as well as can be expected during a difficult isolation here in Los Angeles. Henry is walking a little on his own and even walked down the stair case at the flat. Our lives could be easier but everyone is experiencing difficult times, no?

I spend the day with Henry performing his exercise routine in the morning. Today our housekeeper is coming to help us get a little more organized. I spend the day cooking our meals and working on insurance matters that I'll share with you in a future post. I also write in my journal at the end of the day before reading a little and retiring for the evening early. Our spirits are generally good though we have emotional moments and so appreciate your calls and good will. 

As always, be fierce and thrive...


04.25—Day 176—Forbidden Knowledge

(Stock photograph of all 17 vols. of 1001 Nights)

When I was in Paris in September and October last year I started writing a mémoire I called Forbidden Knowledge. It is the story of my reading of the full text of A Thousand and One Nights as translated by the explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton. I was eleven years old when I saw the 16 gilded volumes at my local library and I became enchanted. I was a precocious reader and was given access to the adult collection but unbeknownst to the librarians the edition on the shelves was published before Burton’s zealous Christian widow expurgated his work. This edition had all the naughty bits including an essay in the appendix that detailed homosexuality in Arab and Muslim  cultures (written in 1886); it blew my twelve year old mind when I read it. At the time—1960-1961—I kept the sexual content of the texts secret, but I detailed and copied all of it into my commonplace books. It led me to read all of Burton's adventures and then Havlock Ellis and his work on human sexuality and then in 1963 Kinsey. The writing of my essay was interrupted, of course, by Henry’s accident on 1 November when I began the work on a much different mémoire I call Beware The Thin Ice about our life since and now. This weblog makes up part of Beware The Thin Ice. I hope one day soon to return to the other essay. 

Meanwhile Henry is progressing. Like all of us he has good days and not-so-good days but his good days are beginning to outnumber...

Be fierce and thrive


05.01—6 Months!

(Photograph of CRI Entrance)

Today marks 6 months since the accident. It was a good day. Henry had an appointment with his long time PA Kenny to approve the procedure to remove the IVC filter on Tuesday 5 May at Cedars. This filter was used to keep blood clots from traveling to his lungs from his legs and causing big problems. It was moving when he rolled his wheelchair through his doctor's office to hear and see the staff cheering him on: they all know him by name and he knows all of them by name. I have to admit it was an emotional scene and he was treated like a celebrity there...and he is, isn't he?

Yesterday he walked unaided down his stairs and to the landing at the entrance and back up. He was excited as he stood on his balcony looking out for the first time in weeks. He told me he felt "normal" again. Everyday is a new day and another day of progress for him. Henry told us he wants to walk alone by the end of summer and we all believe he will be able to meet that goal.

We both took the tests for Covid-19 today at the office and we are awaiting the results. We all feel well and strong and we are keeping separate from strangers and our many friends. But like all of you we long for our friends' presence and touch. Until then virtual kisses and hugs have to do.

Be fierce and thrive...!


05.08—More Waiting...

(Photograph of me waiting with wheelchair)

Here I am waiting again last Tuesday (5 May) while Henry was at Cedars to have the IVC filter removed. We arrived at 6:30 in the morning and left at 2:30 in the afternoon. I read Hilary Mantel's book, Wolf Hall, while waiting this time, somehow, I broke my Kindle during this wait so I finished on my iPad.

Henry did well. He pointed out to me that everybody in the IR knew us from November and remarked on how well he looked; they all knew us by name. Henry and I are very grateful to the staff of doctors, nurses, and technicians at Cedars-Sinai for saving his life and making it possible for him to continue his life. They are rightly proud to see him in such great condition and able to do so much more than when they last saw him in December. 

Henry is back home and feels great. He's walking on the prosthetic daily for several hours in the morning and afternoon. He's also able to sit in his chair much longer than before. While his pain is still constant it is becoming manageable thanks to his constant use of his legs. On Monday he starts with a new rehabilitation team from Rehab Without Walls and they will work to get him independent and able to work again if he desires. What he desires most is to be independent and mobile and able to drive again. We are both happy our insurance company approved this intensive rehab. CIGNA has been great in quickly approving and paying providers particularly compared to AmeriBen which has been, in my opinion, negligent and uncooperative.

We are both well and keeping ourselves isolated from general public except for when I have to go out to market. We hope you all are also well and keeping safe.

Be fierce and thrive...


05.17—Out for a Walk...

(Photograph of Loma Linda)

Out for a walk

This was a good week for Henry. His physical therapy was very aggressive and as you can see here he walked all the way to the camera which is about 100 yards. Earlier he walked down the stairs on his own. [I never post images of Henry during his rehab but this is far enough away to protect his privacy a bit.]

He's also working hard on balance and exercises to strengthen his right leg and arms. He is very determined. All of his therapists are very committed to his goal of being independent around the flat. Some of the upcoming exercises will be cooking and going out on field trips when the lockdown is lifted. His recreational therapist has even promised to get him to the beach as soon as he is able. Anyone who knows Henry knows the beach is what he lives for in the Summer! Rehab Without Walls has been fantastic for our morale and I am sure he will progress fast under their care.

His two nieces are out from Atlanta to help with chores around the flat while I take some time to myself (though I am with him everyday except for today). One of them arrived a week ago and will stay until next Saturday. I am very grateful for the help. Three weeks ago his sister came out for two weeks. This has been great for me. While I love taking care of Henry's needs, I am in need of some time to recharge. Having help from his family is great, even though I stress about Covid: we all practice hand washing and isolation. There have been several folks who have showed up unannounced and I ask that you refrain from that until June. Also I will ask that you wear a mask and sanitize your hands. I think the mask and hand washing will remain with us for many years to come. 

Stay safe and healthy.

Be fierce and thrive...!


06.06—The Full Catastrophe Living...

(Photograph of random image)

I have been remiss in posting here for too long and I am sorry. I'll try to do better in the following weeks. Today I'm posting an excerpt from my diaries this week.


Woke at 4. 

Slept better after MBSR practice for 45 minutes

Arrived and Henry was still asleep. He finally woke at 7:30 and reported that he slept through the night. He got up immediately and had cereal and coffee in the front room. Still in pain and none of the supplies have arrived and the provider and our doctor still haven’t connected to extend Henry’s wound care. It’s frustrating that I have to bird-dog these guys to get them to fill out an authorization. Dr C is good with getting the scripts requested. I spent all day writing emails, texting, and making phone calls speaking only to voice mail or answering services and no one responded. Such is my life.

• • •

I bought another 10 cloth masks today. Henry and I now have about 40 pairs of cloth masks that I wash and disinfect when used. I keep the surplus for friends who visit who don’t wear a mask. I need large gloves or xl gloves but can’t find them anywhere. Every day I count back 14 days and look at who I interacted with, where I went, who came to the flat. I live like so many others in constant terror of contracting the virus. I don't believe either Henry or I could survive it.

• • •


Woke at 5

Long day. 

It’s only 19:00 but I am very tired and will go to bed in 30 minutes. I spent all day on the telephone and on the hospital app trying to get wound dressing for Henry. Finally at the end of the day the Doctor got the fax and called the Health Care company so we can get a nurse again. It’s been six days since his wound has been dressed and I still don’t have any supplies. I’ve order a few boxes from Amazon at $50 for five pieces!

Henry had a speech class and then we met with the Social Worker for an hour.

Meanwhile the country is still in turmoil over the Police murdering black men. I really dislike the Police Culture.

Meditated for 45 minutes—


Woke at 3


This is the 84th day of our quarantine or isolation. Though neither of us has been entirely isolated and I am in constant fear of contracting the virus. I wear a mask everywhere I go and I wash and disinfect my hands constantly. This morning the Uber driver told me he works at night and picks up young people who are coming home from late night house parties that they pay a cover charge to get in. The host pays the local cops to ignore the party. All our police are corrupt in one way or another. It’s the culture the police are trained in that bothers me and so many others. They are above the “law” and act as judge. Now that there are cameras everywhere it is harder for a police officer to get away with bad behavior. Unfortunately, our justice system favors authoritarianism. 

• • •

I am reading Fang Fang’s Wuhan Diary and it’s a great insight into her experience in quarantine. Very personal and very interesting. She writes wonderfully about her family and neighbors. I'm very interested in how much time she spends on social media. I gave up on FaceBook a long time ago and I deleted my Twitter account when I retired from Disney. But I do miss the social interaction of bulletin boards and message boards. It seems Chinese people use the medium a lot though It may be my misinterpretation. Some people speculate that the virus will go away once the weather turns hot which it did last week and will do again later this week. I don’t know if the warm weather affect SARS or not.

The manager of the building I live in posted signs outlining how to use the pool during the pandemic. He likes to use words like “protocol” and “procedures”. The young tenets all think it’s amusing.

Henry is sleeping late today. I arrived before 7 and made coffee and it is now 8:30 and he is still in a light sleep. The birds are singing loudly but the sky is grey with clouds. It is supposed to be cool today but next week very hot. Luna is already up and barking at every person who dares to walk passed the building. Luna is our downstairs neighbor’s dog. She is a large mixed breed and very gentle though her bark is deep and gruff sounding. She loves Henry because he used to bake dog biscuits for her and gives her left over steak.

Looking back on the last seven days I have to say it’s been rough dealing with Henry’s pain—though he has to experience the pain directly it affects me as well in that I worry about him and there is little I can do to help him. When he has physical therapy with E or A he feels better and the activity gives him a morale boost. He’s walking a lot during the week: back and forth on the sidewalk up and down the block where we live. Last week he walked a third of a mile in one session. 

Next week he has an in office appointment with Dr. Cushing and I am setting up his next appointment with Dr. Moon to see when the next surgery will take place.

I am waiting for UPS to arrive for a delivery of dressing supplies that were ordered over a week ago. The Health Care company claims the delay is due to the protests which sounds like BS to me. We have no dressing for Henry’s wound and I want to make sure we get these on hand so he can be comfortable.

It is 10:30AM. He’s had breakfast and so the day begins.


Sitting quietly reading and writing and listening to Jazz with Henry sitting close by reflecting. I went to the market to buy some dinner and I made a lasagna that we’ll have with broccoli. I also found some bottles of rubbing alcohol and I spent part of the early afternoon disinfecting the bathroom and the hard surfaces of the front room. The store manager told me, incidentally, that they can’t keep rubbing alcohol in stock for much longer than half a day before word gets out and someone cleans them out of every bottle. He put four cases aside to put out slowly so people like me could have some to buy. The store I go to requires the workers there to change masks every hour and disinfect the counters every time a customer uses it. They keep hand sanitizer nearby as well.

We waited eagerly for the post to arrive as I hoped the dressing supplies would arrive and when they did not I texted the case manager who wrote back that they had been delayed until Monday. I was so angry I cried. It’s unacceptable for this to happen since the company knew three weeks ago that the authorization was ending last week. Instead the case manager waited until last Wednesday to seek approval. It is painful for Henry to sit or lay on his back for long and the pain becomes all encompassing down his leg. It puts us both in terrible states of near despair but somehow we both manage to stay somewhat happy and even content in our quiet sitting. He meditates for 45 minutes to help with the peace.

• • •

He didn’t really want any dinner but he ate a big slice of

lasagna and a hotel spoonful of broccoli. He went directly to bed at 17:45 and I kissed him and left for home. Tomorrow is Sunday and Henry will attend his Church service by YouTube and take communion which the Church delivered to him a few weeks ago. He’s a believer and I’m not.

I’m going to have a glass of wine and read a bit of Fang Fang then go to bed at 19:30.

Be fierce and thrive...!


©2020 Ph/HOPBELL—Beware The Thin Ice

06.13—Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world...

(Screenshot of walk)

06.12 (From my diary: Beware The Thin Ice)

I'm reading Yeats before bed time as a form of meditation. His words inspire me and pull together my dark thoughts about our country and the pandemic the world is experiencing. 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

                   —WB Yeats: The Second Coming

On the right is the route Henry walked with his PT today. It's over three quarter of a mile around our neighborhood and through a shopping center, up the escalators and down a steep ramp to our street. He was so excited about the achievement that he cried tears of joy! He and his therapist are very close and the work he is doing is making him stronger and more capable of dealing with the pain both physical and emotional. He is most alive when he is able to take control of his life and get out and about with people. I am an introvert but he needs people to interact with. 

His therapist reported that all along the way during his walk people stopped and talked to him and gave him words of encouragement: one man even made a U-turn on the street in his car to cheer him on. He didn't know any of these people but his soul is such he draws people to him. On our street everyone knows Henry and they see him out practicing walking with the walking frame and his prosthetic every day: they all call out to him and greet him with lots of love and encouragement.

Earlier this week on Monday we went to an appointment with Dr C at CRI. Our friend Tim drove Henry's car and Henry was able to sit in the front seat and get in and out of the car with the help of the walking frame. We used the wheelchair to get him into the offices. After the good meeting with the doctor we went to West Hollywood and went to AAA to get his membership renewed and pickup a Handicap placard. We had a great time waiting in line and seeing all the people out on the street; nearly everyone with a mask. Henry loved being out and about other people. This coming Sunday morning Henry and Tim will venture out to get their hair cut and perhaps go to the beach to sit by the road. These little trips go a long way in keeping his morale positive.

Today his therapist, A came by for a long extra session with him—she also fixed the limb support on his wheelchair. As I type this they are out taking a walk around the neighborhood. 

After he finished his shower we cooked together with him making lemonade and supervising me while I prepared the collard greens for tomorrow (he's the chef). Then we played cards, talking and enjoying each other's company. We met 30 years ago this week and I consider them the best 30 years of my life.

Be fierce and thrive...!


© Ph/HOPBELL Beware The Thin Ice 2019-2020

06.28—A Letter to Our Friends...


Thai Town, Los Angeles, California

Dear Friends—

I hope this finds you all well and happy.

A week ago we went on a grand adventure and four of us traveled to Claremont and had a long afternoon lunch with Eva. Henry was in great form and managed to walk up to Eva’s door using his walking frame and walk through the house and sit in the parlor. Eva made us deviled eggs and had a wonderful Hungarian cheese made from sheep milk. LC brought two bottles of good Champagne. Dinner was a corned brisket of beef and cabbage and a hazel nut cake for dessert. It was a good beginning to a good week.

Henry had several long therapy sessions with physical and occupational therapists and spent long times using his prosthetic and walking frame. His mobility is improving and he spent some time at the Observatory and Elysian Park during the week. He really wants to drive again but we could not get an appointment at the DMV so that will have to wait. The line was around the block and one of the staff told him even disabled people had to arrive at 6AM to get in line.

I’ve been spending the week dealing with my anxiety and depression by meditating daily. I’m trying to take care of myself by eating healthy and practicing the mindfulness meditations I’ve learned at least twice a day. Henry and I both have some sleep deprivation: neither of us sleep well these days. The prospect of a longer lockdown here in Los Angeles is very real and this has us both concerned and a bit depressed. I wear a mask and carry hand sanitizer with me everywhere and I stay as far away from strangers as possible. Neither Henry nor I can afford to catch this virus. 

Henry is working on colouring in a colour therapy book one of the therapists sent him. It helps him relax and keep his mind active and he loves it. I spend my time with Henry and reading and writing when I can. I’ve decided to return to my long essay project “Forbidden Knowledge”; the writing keeps my mind relaxed and is good for my mental health as well.  I’m also reading “Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas: A Novel” by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis in a new translation; It’s very entertaining and gives me great joy to read. I have a large line up of books to read this summer and I am looking forward to the time to read a lot of books, mostly French and classic works that have gathered on my list. I also have time for a new Daniel Silva thriller—a guilty pleasure and a book that gives me strong dreams!

We would normally be preparing to go away this week and next to celebrate my birthday and relax over the Fourth of July holiday, but not this year. Instead it looks like we will be in quarantine like everybody else these days. I hope you are well and being safe. As I said earlier, it’s very depressing and alienating to spend so much time without being able to interact freely, but it’s better than becoming ill. Henry and I make sure to have an end-of-the-week special dinner and have a glass of wine or Champagne to celebrate the accomplishments of the week and feel like we are going out, though I can’t make liver and onions as good as Musso and Frank’s does.

Both Henry and I wish you all the best of health and happiness. Please let us know how you are doing. We are well but miss all our friends.

Remember, be fierce and thrive!


07.09—A Random Update On Our Lives Now...

(Photograph of waiting with my feet and lost shoes; My Notebook and pen)

A few weeks ago I turned 71. Of course it was meant to be a milestone and celebrated with friends but we opted to delay any celebration until after the quarantine is lifted and people can gather again. Last year when I turned 70 I was joined by my close friends here in Los Angeles and we kicked off what was supposed to be a year of celebrations. Henry and I left for Europe that September and spent a wonderful time with our friends KB and WB there; visiting the little village of St. Agnes and lounging at our hotel in Talamanca, Ibiza; and dancing all night to dawn at Heart. Then we flew to Paris where we spent two weeks with our friends TMT and CD. Henry and I love Paris and he shopped everyday and we explored new neighborhoods discovering little curio shops we never would have seen had we not walked down streets no tourists would. Henry being Henry smelled a fragrance he loved and chased the wearer (a young man on his lunch break) to ask him what he was wearing: we later came upon the little shop that made the perfume. It was a magical time for us. Henry left and I stayed on for another three weeks and began work on a project I had planned during the summer and came back to the US on October 21. I was only home for two weeks before the accident and the rest is recounted here below in the many posts since then...

• • •

I've kept a diary/journal/notebook for over 60 years. My first diary was given to me by my aunt Mary Hopbell Maines: it was one of those My Diary books with a lock and key. I wrote diligently in that little book all my secrets until I used it all up. 

I then bought a composition notebook to continue my daily habit that I've kept up since then. Now I carry little notebooks with me and type my entries every night or early morning into a text program on my computer. Since 1 November 2019 the only topic I write about is Henry and his status and progress. I've only just began writing about anything else like the Coronavirus or the Black Lives Matter protests in last two weeks. This is because Henry's progress is so great and while we have many emotional moments caused by the damage done to his body we also have many joyful and hopeful moments because of the achievement of his goals to get his life back to some new normalcy. This is difficult because of the "Stay Inside" orders here in Los Angeles which has caused an absence of friends but we are having more good times than bad these days.

• • •

Yesterday Henry walked well over a mile and went to the market in our neighborhood and today he is going to his dentist to have a partial dental plate fitted in his mouth which will greatly improve his self esteem. His physical and occupational therapists report he is improving his balance and his stamina. He spends part of every day up and walking and where a month ago he spent most of the day in his bed now he spends most of the day moving about the flat or playing cards with me while sitting in his chair. He is able to make his breakfast and help with the cooking (like teaching me how to make proper collard greens); he can clean up the flat and pull his bed together. These are all activities you and I take for granted but for him it has taken eight long months to achieve. 

His progress is a tribute to his strong desire to heal. I am beginning to feel better about when I am not around him in the flat and he loves his alone time. These eight months have been so difficult and I am grateful to have discovered Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes that have given me back my sleep on most nights and eased my anxiety about Henry's well-being. I am so grateful he is alive and I am hopeful that we will soon walk the beaches of Ibiza and dance all night in the clubs there and walk the streets of Paris and enjoy our great friends again.

Be fierce and thrive!


07.25—Beware The Thin Ice...

(Photograph of H’s face)

How does one know when the journey is complete when the destination is unknown? A little fox early in its life leaves the family and explores the territory not knowing where the boundaries are and what it will experience along the way. The little fox will encounter many dangers along the way and needs to be alert to the thin ice that covers the little brooks it crosses lest he get his tail wet but there will be happy surprises too along the way such as wonderful sunsets and sunrises and good food to eat and social nourishments: there will be joy and happiness and fear and anger. This is how our life has been these nine months.

All I know is that I look for the long moments of joy and happiness. Henry looks for independence from having to have me or anyone else do for him what he used to do for himself. Henry and I are solitary people who love to come together and enjoy the company of each other and talk about what happened in those times when we are apart. I know we are getting closer to that boundary but so far it's unknown territory. We have longer moments of joy and happiness than moments of despair and anger. Henry is spending much more time up and walking with the prosthetic and walker and he's learning to walk with a cane. Six weeks ago we measured his walks in feet and now we can measure a mile or more in a single walk. 

On my big book case I keep a handmade box with a cobblestone from Paris; it reminds me that we walked so many of those streets and discovered so many places and made so many friends over the years of our visits. It also serves as inspiration for future journeys.Henry smiles and laughs more now than he has in the last nine months: this is how I know the journey is nearing a milestone but perhaps not the end. Of course I am referring to the journey of the moment one does not want to look forward beyond the present and we are taught in Mindfulness not to be judgmental of the moment but that is so hard and when we lose ourselves we suffer by remembering what used to be and what might come. Joy can be found in the moment: Henry painting and coloring, music playing to accompany our day: I absorb myself in a book or write in my journal. 

The COVID pandemic has isolated us from so many of our friends but Henry and I stay in touch through texts and video calls on FaceTime and WhatsApp. Recently several old friends found this weblog and contacted me by e-mail. It is a wonderful thing to reconnect after so many years. Likewise Henry's FaceBook page gets so many happy responses to his posts and I can tell how healing it is for him to read the loving and caring messages he gets. Everyone ends these messages of reaching out with three words: Keep in touch.

Keep in touch!

Be fierce and thrive...


08.03—Autoportrait #1 (Picking Up Where We Left Off)

(Photograph of my hand/shadow)

Autoportrait of the right hand by a camera obscura—August 2019

I've been thinking a lot about photography lately: Drawing with light—light and shadow. The word for CAMERA comes from the latin for ROOM or CHAMBER—Camera Obscura. When I retired I took up a camera other than my mobile phone for the first time in thirty years and it's become a second language for me. Since November I've only made photographs for this blog and to record Henry in the hospital and in recovery but I'm beginning to see again—observe my surroundings other than my immediate concerns of Henry's progress. Too, I've begun to look at other's photographs as well. I reacquainted myself with Robert Frank and Hervé Guibert. Yesterday I spent a few hours looking at the photographs of Stanley Kubrick who was a great editorial photographer before he made motion pictures. I also like to look at very early work of photographers just emerging in the field during the early years of the 20th Century like Brassaï, Atget, Nadar, and Cartier-Bresson. Henry calls this "getting back to normal" for us: we had a way of living before November 1, 2019 and we loved our lives the way we lived. His goal is to get back us to that state again. He is constantly pushing me to "return to my life". Of course my life these 30 years has been with him and I know that whatever life I have left will be with him. But he's right. It's time to get on with "it" and begin to pick up where it was left off. To that end I'm beginning again to make pictures and catch up on my reading; the book takes a big part of my day but I'm carrying a camera again all the time. As that happens the posts to this site will be a mix of Henry's life—and my life.

Be fierce and thrive...!


09-03—Back Again...

(Photograph of Cedars entrance)

Here we are again: on Tuesday (09.01) Henry had surgery on his left hip and femur to remove the hardware and infected flesh. The surgeon also put a "nail" with antibiotic coated on it to kill off any remaining MRSA. This was a planned procedure but stressful and very painful for Henry. Today (09.03) he's still at Cedars and we think he will be there to Saturday. He really wants to come home but there are therapy and tests that have to be done before he can be safely released. Needless to say this is very stressful for the two of us and he appreciates the prayers and chants everybody gives him. All the staff on the 7th floor remember him and come in to say hello and wish him well—he's well liked and taken care of. The nurse in the recovery room after surgery remembered him and he remembered Halim as well. Halim was the nurse who helped me put Henry back in bed after he tried to get out of it after the amputation and when he was delirious. If you know Henry you know he bonds well with people.

I am taking care to eat this time around and get sleep and I thank everyone who annoy me by reminding me to take care of myself. It's taken me these ten months to get over the shock but I understand I need to be strong and healthy for him to fully recover.

Thank you everyone!

Be fierce and thrive...!


09.09—Beethoven was black...!


—Beethoven— (Photograph of LvB)

I have no idea if Beethoven was black but he was called The Spaniard because of his dark complexion and the composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, himself of African descent, made the claim 80 years after Beethoven's death which is recounted in this  article I found the other day in The Guardian. As the article points out this phrase became a mantra: ""Stokely Carmichael raged against the deeply ingrained assumption that white European culture was inherently superior to black culture, the baton was passed. “Beethoven was as black as you and I,” he told a mainly black audience in Seattle, “but they don’t tell us that.” A few years earlier, Malcolm X had given voice to that same idea when he told an interviewer that Beethoven’s father had been “one of the blackamoors that hired themselves out in Europe as professional soldiers”." Read the article here...

—Alexandre Dumas—

Alexandre Dumas was black! (Photograph of Dumas)

This article reminded me of in incident with our beloved nephew TJ (RIP). TJ came to live with us twice and I greatly enjoyed watching him grow up but he died too soon. When he was in high school at John Marshall here in Los Angeles, his reading teacher gave the class an assignment to read a black author and write a one page report on the book. When TJ came home that day he asked me if I could recommend a book by a black writer he could read. I asked him if the writer had to be American and he said only that the author had to be black. Knowing TJ had a taste for adventure I pulled a copy of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. We had watched an old movie of the book and he liked it so I figured he would like to read the book. He read the book over the course of the following week and wrote a little one page report/summary. He told me several times how much he liked the book and I was happy he found reading a pleasure. A few days later he came back with the report and it had a big red F on the front with a note that Dumas was not black but French! I was furious to say the least and wondered how this teacher did not know Alexandre Dumas was black...and French! I went to a parent teacher meeting and asked the teacher if she had assigned the class to read an American black author and she said no he could read any black writer but that Dumas was French. After much discussion I was able to get her to understand that while Dumas Grandfather was white his grandmother, Marie- Cessette Dumas, was, in fact, of African descent. Alexandre Dumas the great French writer was black. This was a fact well known in Dumas' lifetime and something he never hid. Dumas wrote a novel call Georges about a man who was of mixed race. TJ's grade was changed and he got an A which was probably the only A he ever received. You can read about Alexandre Dumas here

Many white people have a hard time conceiving that cultures and races other than white European culture have any value. Of course this is the genesis of the problems we are experiencing in American now. Black lives are valued less than white lives for no reason other than the color of the skin covering their bodies beneath which we are all very much alike. This same entitlement reminds me of the outrage that was expressed when Larry Kramer (RIP) announced that Abraham Lincoln was gay even though that same thought had been expressed obliquely by Carl Sandburg in his multi-volume award-winning biography (read here for interesting commentary). If one is an example of white European entitlement the other is an example of heterosexual entitlement.

Update on Henry

On September 1 Henry had surgery on his left hip and thigh at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood. The surgeon, Dr. Moon, removed the hardware from his hip and cleaned out the MRSA infection. Blood cultures now show no sign of infection. He spent a few uncomfortable days in serious pain after but was able to sit up and take himself to the toilet. On Sunday, September 6, he was transferred to California Rehabilitation Institute in Century City where he is going through rehab under Dr. Cushing and his team on the fourth floor. He's doing great and spending the days in therapy and watching tennis on the television. We hope he will be able to come home next week. He currently can only have one visitor a day and visiting hours are between 5 and 8 in the evening. Please call him if you plan on visiting as he has a schedule of visitors already and can only have one visit per day. Of course this is all due to the Covid pandemic and we want to make sure he and the staff remain virus free. I hope you are keeping safe and isolating when possible as well. Los Angeles seems to be coming out of a critical time but that doesn't mean the virus is gone. I suspect you and I will be living this way for a very long time.

Remain fierce and thrive!



09.29—The COVID Blues

(Photograph of sunflowers H gave me)

Yes. Summer is ending. The days are warm now and the evenings are cool. There was some joy this summer; not many beach days that counted; no picnics; and no gatherings of friends. Like most of you, we've been isolating from most people—strangers and friends alike. A few brave and perhaps foolish souls flew out from the east coast to visit for brief periods. Henry and I don't encourage this. His lung health is not fully back to normal and the virus would be brutal on him. Henry has been in at home physical rehabilitation since April and he is improving rapidly, though not as fast as he would like of course. He's eager to drive again but his license expired while he was at California Rehab and he was not able to file for renewal online. Then on September 1 he had surgery to remove the hardware that was in his hip and thigh. The recovery was very painful for three or four days but he quickly rebounded and has healed well and this Friday had the remaining staples removed from his leg enabling him to put his prosthetic leg back on. This morning he and his friend TC went out for a ride and to get hair cuts. He's back to working with his personal trainer (Phil) and Rehab Without Walls has begun to work on his physical and occupation therapy sessions four days a week. Are we where we hoped to be last December? No. His injuries were extensive back in November of 2019 and his body is still healing. I unrealistically thought we could travel to Europe this year! Even if we had we would not be able to because of the pandemic.This brings on a double melancholy for us. We miss our friends in Europe; we miss our friends here in America; and we miss our lives as we once lived.

Our many friends and family: you have our gratitude. Your rescue I'm sure helped save Henry's life and give me the strength to get through the hard times. We are approaching one year since the accident that upended our lives in November and it is now 6 going on 7 months of isolation due to the virus that has affected everyone. I hope next year at this time Henry and I will be spending time in Europe visiting Ibiza and Paris and Amsterdam and Berlin enjoying friends, drink, and food!! Stay well! Wear your masks and wash your hands. And most of all—

Be fierce and thrive!


November 1, 2020—A New Year One Year Later

(Photograph of H sitting with his back to me looking out from Griffth Park)


This morning Henry and I agreed that from now on our year begins on November 1. We are so grateful for life! I couldn't imagine the pain and struggle my cherished husband would have to go through to thrive this year. Not only brought down by a horrible accident when a careless driver rushed the traffic light and caused horrible injuries to his body; then to suffer through the isolation from the pandemic when he needed the physical support of his friends. After being hospitalized for 12 weeks and then 8 weeks at California Rehab and another six months of home rehabilitation he is beginning to enjoy his independence once again. Henry has had the best care imaginable from doctors and physical therapy professionals but all the progress he's made is due to his courage and determination to "get his life back' as he never tires of telling me. In a few weeks he will begin outpatient physical therapy to begin to strengthen his legs and learn how to deal with whatever comes to him. 

I learned this year to challenge doctors and nurses when I got vague or conflicting information; I also learned to challenge the insurance companies who denied him coverage when he needed it the most and while his care was never delayed I had to act on his behalf to make sure he had continued care from his employee plan. Like all caregivers I had to learn a skill I didn't think I'd ever have to learn. People tell me Henry is lucky to have me but I remind them all that we took vows to support in sickness and in health until death...My job is to keep others out of his way so he can reclaim his life-potential.

Thank you to everyone for the kind words of support we received today. Your loving kindness helps us more than you can know. This year was one catastrophe after another but thanks to our mindfulness practice and our friends we got through this and will remain fierce and thrive...




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