Note from Bill Whittle
First, last and always, thank you all for the incredible outpouring of good wishes, prayers and emotional support. Natasha and I are enormously grateful and very, deeply moved by the response to what was, without question, The Least Fun Either of Us Has Ever Had.
I had developed a pretty severe case of bronchitis in my early teens, and that left me with a life-long, overly-sensitive cough reflex. Not long after I last updated you fine people, I developed a cough which led to a sore throat so severe that it absolutely crippled my ability to do anything but wince. The infection never got to my lungs, but I was coughing so hard that I felt I had several broken ribs thrown into the bargain. That sore throat was so painful that for four or five days I could not drink anything. I was running a fever of between 102F and 104F the entire time, became completely dehydrated, and the only way I can describe what taking a sip of water was like for me is to tell you it felt like I was drinking a glass full of electricity.
I also lost 16 pounds. Not only was I not hungry, no matter how long I thought about it — and I had very little else to think about — I could not imagine any kind of food that I could keep down. I honestly went about eight days without eating a thing.
I finally turned the corner about four days ago. Our operations manager, Shelley, and her friend Ginny had finally found a place that could do some antibody treatments. Ginny drove Natasha and me to Anaheim, where they informed me that having been sick for ten days the treatment would have no effect and could possibly make things worse. Then, finally, we got a break. My sister had found someone that would do IV fluids, so I lay down on the back seat of the compact car and we headed to Fabulous Beverly Hills, where the (superb) nurse spent about 10 minutes simply trying to find a vein — of any size, anywhere. She got it on the third try and then finally, finally, I started to get some fluids.
We then went to the emergency room at a hospital here in the valley. They took my vitals, put me in a hard wooden chair, and there I sat for four hours. The fluids were starting to make life livable again, so after four hours of waiting for some medical attention we finally just got up and went home.
Then, somewhere around this time, medicine — Forbidden Medicine — began to arrive from all points of the compass, sent on by you excellent people who live in a free country where such treatments are both legal and available. By this point it had been 13 days — I think — but I remember waking up somewhere around the 4th or 5th of January and realizing that for the first time in two weeks I actually felt better.
I’m sorry to have kept you all in suspense for so long, but please believe me when I say that just the thought of replying to a single text seemed about as daunting to me as swimming to Catalina Island. My physical health is nearly back to normal, but I find that I am driving very slowly and things that used to be second nature — like eating, for example — now require some advanced mental planning.
And that is the story of My Worst Christmas Ever. I’ll be back in the saddle on Tuesday. Thanks again for the overwhelming good wishes; to Scott, Steve and Zo for carrying the ball; to Ginny and Shelley for their endless efforts and energies, and especially to my wife Natasha, who got to spend our fifth wedding anniversary in a germ-filled room, as sick as I was, and kept me afloat despite all that.