Sarah Silverman posted to her Facebook page on Wednesday to talk about a near-death experience she had recently. The comedienne shared that she was in the Intensive Care Unit last week with a case of epiglottitis, a rare, life-threatening disease. Silverman reports that she went to the doctor for a sore throat, having no idea what the next few days held.
Silverman is one of only about 20,000 people worldwide who will have epiglottitis this year. Healthline describes the condition as an inflammation of the epiglottis, which is made up mostly of cartilage and keeps food from entering your windpipe. When the epiglottis becomes inflamed, it can obstruct the windpipe and lead to asphyxiation. Sarah Silverman did not state how she contracted the disease which can be transmitted through the air from an infected person, Streptococcus, the shingles, and chicken pox viruses and fungi.
Sarah didn’t talk about how she was treated for her condition but described the recovery process. Unable to be fully put to sleep because of low blood pressure, Silverman was given drugs to keep her out of pain following treatment. She describes a situation in which she didn’t recognize her surroundings or understand what was going on or why anything around her was going on. Friends told her that staff kept having to restrain her arms so she wouldn’t pull out her breathing tube, and one friend said that Sarah kept writing “was I in an accident?”
In her post, Silverman described the emotional journey of her sickness as well.
“… 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.”
The experience caused Sarah to reflect on the recent deaths of others in her life.
“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?'”
Of course, ever the funny woman, Silverman shared some comical stories from her experience. A friend told her that during the period of time that she doesn’t remember, Sarah flagged down a nurse as if there were some urgent condition that needed immediate attention. Silverman described what happened next.
“[I] furiously wrote down a note and gave it to her. When she looked at it, it just said, ‘Do you live with your mother?’ next to a drawing of a p****.”
Sarah also shared the story of when she first woke up. They removed her breathing tube, but Silverman was still unable to talk. Her friends and family were so eager for her first words following such a serious ordeal. She was given a board with letters that she could use to communicate. She had to point to each letter to form her words and sentences. Onlookers watched with great interest as she spelled out “Did you see ‘Hello My Name is Doris’?”
Sarah Silverman is 45-years-old. She has 95 acting credits and 16 writing credits. Silverman has received two Primetime Emmy Awards. One was the 2014 award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for her work on Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles. Her second Primetime Emmy was given in 2008. It was the award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for her work on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Sarah and Jimmy were romantically involved from 2002 to 2009.
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