Thursday, March 20, 2008

nancy walsh was on fire


Tuesday night, around 11:30, after a beautiful evening at home with Sxip and Jim Shirey, Nan stood up and her sari billowed towards the table and the hem caught the flame of a candle on the coffee table and the dress burst into flames like tissue paper. She dropped and rolled, smartly, and Jim was the cool head, batting her out, but the dress kept burning. We got her into the cold shower and the EMTs arrived and the ambulance ride and all the rest of it and now she's up at New York Presbyterian with second-degree burns on her upper left torso.

They'll decide when or whether to graft in the next few days. She's getting morphine whenever she wants it and, as most of you know, she's stronger than most of us, but it hurts just like you think it does. It's your skin and it's burning, like paper, like when you light a match wrong and it burns your finger. Only times about seven hundred.

She's all right and she's going to be all right. She's in the Burn Unit where they send New York City firefighters when they burn, so they are the absolute best.You can feel their confidence and expertise just walking around up there.

Anyway, we'll know more about what's next in the next few days. Right now I'm up at the hospital all day sitting next to her. She's in pain, but smiling and joking and all of the nurses are already in love with her, so she's Herself.

Here's where you come in.

If you believe in Anything Powerful, pray to that Thing and ask It to send Good Stuff to Nancy, especially around the inside of her left arm, down to the elbow. Her left ribcage could also use some Love. If you don't believe in a goddamned thing, think about her tonight and tomorrow as well. Both work.

I'll let you know more when I know more. Everything's on hold for awhile now.

Take care of yourself and fucking well watch those open flames.

And ladies, ditch the saris. A nurse told me last night you'd be amazed how many Indian women they deal with up there. Peasant skirts, too.


Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear about this. I don't know Nancy, but I'll send good thoughts and wishes. What happened sounds awful.

Ian W. Hill said...

I'm one of the ones who doesn't believe in a goddamned thing, but I'm thinking of Nancy and hoping you're both okay.

Ann said...

Oh, John.

You know what I believe in? Nancy Walsh. Much good karma headed your way from Syracuse - I just spent twenty minutes navigating the hospital phone system trying to find out if Ms. Walsh can receive flowers (the answer is NO, folks)and I am feeling very frustrated that I can't *be* there.

For now, I shall sit here and work on my "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness EXCEPT..." shtick. When it's perfect, I'll present it to you like a birghtly wrapped gift, okay?

Anything you need, John. I mean it.

showard said...

my spinning head can still project a bright white light
round nancy walsh with its center at her left ribcage
I feel ya and feel for ya girl.

John said...

Thanks, all. Today was a better day and I expect the same from tomorrow.

She's tough.

Makes me think of that great line from State of Grace when Turturro says to Penn,

"I thought you Irish were supposed to be tough."

And Penn rages back,

"We're not tough! We're crazy, but we're not tough!"

Walsh, (meaning Welshman in Irish), is tough. Don't ever fuck with a Welshman.

Those people are tough.

Regina said...

John and Nancy, you are both in my thoughts and I'm even saying a few prayers. Don't be brave, Nancy, use that morphine. I loved my morphine button when I had my surgery.

Cousin Regina