Comedian-actress Sarah Silverman says she nearly died last week of the air-blockage condition epiglottitis — an inflammation of the cartilage, called the epiglottis, that covers the windpipe.
“I was in the ICU [intensive care unit] all of last week and I am insanely lucky to be alive,” the “I Smile Back” star, 45, wrote on Facebook Wednesday. “Don’t even know why I went to the doctor, it was just a sore throat. But I had a freak case of epiglottitis.”
Silverman went on to describe how “They couldn’t put me fully to sleep for the recovery process because my blood pressure’s too low. I was drugged just enough to not feel the pain and have no idea what was happening or where I was. They had to have my hands restrained to keep me from pulling out my breathing tube. My friend Stephanie said I kept writing ‘was I in an accident?’ ”
The two-time Emmy Award-winning writer went on to say that, “When I woke up 5 days later I didn’t remember anything. I thanked everyone at the ICU for my life, went home, and then slowly as the opiates faded away, remembered the trauma of the surgery & spent the first two days home kind of free-falling from the meds / lack of meds and the paralyzing realization that nothing matters. Luckily that was followed by the motivating revelation that nothing matters.”
In her Facebook post she thanked her three doctors as well as “every nurse, and every technician & orderly” at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, whose “punch-the-clock jobs happen to save human lives on the regular.” She also thanked her partner, “Masters of Sex” star Michael Sheen, as well as her sister and her friends.
Without specifying names, she added that, “There’s something that happens when three people you’re so close to die within a year and then YOU almost die but don’t. (That was me. I’m the one that didn’t die.) It’s a strange dichotomy between, ‘Why me?’ and the other, ‘Why me?’,” an allusion to the trauma of nearly dying combined with guilt at surviving when others did not.