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posted 7/7/2009 8:15:12 AM |
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Just got this this morning.

Dear Friends of Art,

Art's Doctor Elmariah, who had been keeping us informed of his condition, has been on another assignment since July 1st, so I called the hospital today to get up-to-date update. I spoke to Sheila Doyle, a nurse practioner at the Respiratory Care Unit of Mt Sinai. Art has been in that unit for the past week. Ms. Doyle had just talked to Leo Leukowitz, Art's primary medical decision maker, regarding permission to insert a stomach feeding tube, since the nose tube used until now is not suitable for the long-term care Art needs. Leo gave this permission, in accordance with Art's expressed wishes about such decisions. Later in the day, I received an e-mail from one of you who had also talked to Ms. Doyle and asked for thoughts about how Art's friends should proceed at this point.

Ms. Doyle's assessment is not optimistic. Art has still not regained consciousness. They are not sure if that is caused by residual effects of drugs, the continued effect of all the poisons in his body, loss of brain function when his heart stopped, or a combination of all these factors. They can't make a long-term prognosis now, other than that he will need medical care for a long time or, indeed, may not recover at all. He is still on dialysis, a breathing machine, a new round of antibiotics for another infection and, now, the stomach tube coming up.

Ms. Doyle thinks there is a value in having friends visit if they can, just to be a presence. I felt that too when I came down two weeks ago, and hope to come again. Depending on your philosophical leanings, prayers, "holding him in the light", or simply sending good thoughts his way has a value too, and is the main thing we can do right now. We are all on a journey that leads to a time like this in our lives and can recognize the importance of being surrounded by love when it comes.

Ms. Doyle expressed her sadness and frustration that something that began as a simple pacemaker procedure has reached this point, but we do know that Art had multiple health problems. I don't know if there could have been any better outcome. I do know that all the people I've talked to at Mt Sinai for the past 3 weeks have shown a great sense of reponsibility, care and compassion for Art. I think he's in good hands.

If "a man is known by the quality of his friends", Art is certainly surrounded by fine ones, as seen in all your concerned e-mails. "Holding him in the light" still works for me and I now see that includes a very strong element of the light of friendship. Best wishes to all, Peter (Salmon)

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Jul 7 @ 10:31AM  
Thank you for posting this. I had feared this message as it was very similar to what I anticipated as you know. People often try to be as positive as they can while still being truthful. I am a bit at a loss for words. Well actually, the words flow but not the concepts.

If possible, as Art was always a man of passion and thought, but never one to speak of himself, could you possibly see if we could discover who the man was in his life and times. I believe, but am not certain, that he was a journalist and editor. I would like to know. Thank you, and I am sorry for rambling.

Jul 7 @ 11:18AM  
I'm still praying for that miracle.. but .. if he must go.. let it be painlessly. Sigh... it's a sad, sad situation.

Thanks for the update SunnyD.

Jul 7 @ 12:33PM  
Still hoping for hope. Best wishes to him.

Jul 7 @ 7:49PM  
Thanks for the update. Hoping for all the best!

Jul 7 @ 8:09PM  
I'm still hoping for the best for Art. He will be in my thoughts.

Jul 7 @ 8:53PM  
Thanks for letting us know!! He's certainly in my thoughts!! I hope the best for him and will even say a prayer.. he's a good guy!! he's missed around here and we'd love to see him back with his comments and opinions!! He'll be back soon!!

hugs to him!!!

Jul 7 @ 11:58PM  
Thanks everyone for the thoughts and prayers. This is upsetting to me because over the last year and a half Arthur has become a very dear friend of ours. I've known his health has not been the greatest; in fact it was sort of a running joke as to what type of meds he was on "this week".

He has been a fierce advocate for the disabled in New York State, and several times asked me to proof read and edit letters or papers for him on legislation for health care in NY. His "attitude", what alot of people saw here and frequently bristled at, was more a passion for what he felt was right.

He also appreciates good food, and loves to let me know what exotic food he's having for dinner, along with good wine or beer...I remember him telling me once that Sam Adam's Summer Ale was an excellent choice! When Nomi came down to visit us last year, he sent us some fresh NY style bagels, with instructions on how to keep them fresh! There were three or four different kinds, including the "everything" bagels...yummy!

I'm going to try and call the hospital tomorrow to see if I can get any information, but since I'm not family or one of his surrogates I doubt they'll be able to tell me much. So I can only rely on the emails I get from Paul. Hopefully the next one will have better news. I'm also going to get a card that I can record a message maybe he can hear us.

Please keep up the prayers, he really needs them. When he gets better and can get back here, won't he be suprised at all the well wishes!


Jul 8 @ 3:46PM  
I just got off the phone with Arthur's Dr, who is very concerned at this point. Aside from the one visit from Peter, the one who sent me the emails...Arthur has gotten no other visitors.

I'd like to ask, if there is anyone in the NY area who can go, Please go see him! Let him know we are all thinking of him and praying for him (whether he likes it or not!) He is at Mt Sinai Medical Center on Madison the RCU 9 West.

I know Arthur has not been a favorite here, but he doesn't deserve this. No one does...

Jul 8 @ 7:21PM  
I don't remember if it was you or Nomi who changed my mind about Art. Everyone deserves a second chance. Art isn't really the person you read on the screen, there is so much more to him than just words. I'll continue to pray for him, and I really wish there was a way for some of us to be there physically for him.

Keep me updated Sunny.

Jul 8 @ 7:34PM  
As we speak, I'm looking into flying to NYC for a day to go see him. I don't know if it will help, but I can't just sit here thinking about him all alone.

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