Anyway, I've been keeping a diary for several years now. Since I was unable to get out on the town and write my feature stories this month, I thought I'd read you the extracts from my diary which I wrote while I was ill. So many celebrities I've worked with at 'TEEN' came to visit me and sent me flowers it was an incredible boost to my morale!
Went down to Universal studios to visit Ben Murphy and Pete Duel on the "Alias Smith & Jones" set. At the end of the day, I developed a sharp pain in my side. Ben attributed it to the studio's commissary food. Pete was convinced it was appendicitis. I left them playing Dr. Welby vs. Dr. Cannon and drove home. Traffic was unbelievably bad tonight. The pain started getting worse so I turned off the phone, took a pill and crashed.
(Wrote this on Wednesday) Woke up in agony! Had visions I was dying because I thought no one could be in so much pain and be able to live long!!! Called my friend Corby, who drove me to my doctor immediately. Crawled into his office. At a quick glance Dr. Owens thought I was suffering from a severe hangover or lack of sleep, bless him!! Anyway, he took all the usual tests, proclaimed that I was "a very sick little tomato" and rushed me off to the hospital. The rest is pretty vague. I remember hearing the word surgery and almost passing out at the thought of having an operation. I signed the consent papers on the condition that I could call my office before surgery.
Diagnosisruptured appendix. I don't remember anything more about today. . . .
Woke up in the hospital. "What am I doing here?" was the first thought that came to mind! I gasped in horror when I saw the tubes sticking in my arms. A very large nurse with an even larger needle was towering over my bed. "Why me?" I remember pleading. She told me that I was a very lucky girl to be alive and proceeded to give me the shot despite my protests. The rest of the day was filled with doctors and nurses hovering around me giving me shots and taking my blood pressure. Apparently peritonitis had set in when my appendix ruptured; hence all the antibiotics. Dr. Owens really saved my life. If I hadn't been operated on when I was, I would have died within the hour. Scary thought, huh?
Feeling groggy from all the medication, but I'm allowed to have visitors today. Ben Murphy stopped by to cheer me up for a while and brought me some health books to read! Phone calls and flowers started coming in ... I'm almost back to routine again!
Received bouquets from Melanie and Rare Earth today. The nurses are complaining that it takes them longer to water all my flowers than it does to feed the entire wing!!
Might get to go home tomorrow. I don't know who's going to be more excitedme or the nurses. I always seem to cause an uproar wherever I go and this hospital has proved no exception. The large nurse just came into my room with two more bouquets of flowers. One was from Karen Valentine and her husband and the other from Three Dog Night. Another nurse dragged the mail sack into my room, snorted indignantly and left... whoops! I feel a lot better today. I hope I get to leave tomorrow, as I have a feeling that I'm overstaying my welcome here!
Came home today. I feel a little weak but I'm in great spirits. Phone was ringing as I opened the front door ... it was Susan Dey. She apologized for not coming to visit me in the hospital, but she had been frantically finishing work on her first movie. My girlfriend Lynne Hoch had volunteered to stay with me for a couple of days and she arrived around four o'clock. Nothing else exciting to report today!
I guess the most accurate description of today is insane!! Emitt Rhodes came over in the morning to visit. He knows I'm an animal lover, so he brought me a tiny kitten to keep my Great Dane and horse company!!! He was enroute to a band rehearsal so he didn't stay too long. The afternoon was graced with the company of the Hudson brothers: Bill, Mark and Brett. They're the funniest people I know, but not the ideal visitors to have when it's still painful to laugh! They stormed into the bedroom looking like the three wise men, bearing gifts of all shapes and sizes--a pack of Midol, a rubber turtle, a caveman's club, soap bubbles and a coloring book complete with crayons. Everything a person recovering from appendicitis could want!!! They were still really excited about their new album on Playboy Records, which was just released. Mark had me in "stitches" when he explained that he had a perfect body except for a pigmented left kneecap. They're all nuts. After they left I was too exhausted from laughing to do anything except sleep.
Felt really depressed when I woke up. However, the arrival of Sam Heiman at my door lifted my spirits! Sam lives with David Cassidy and he was delivering flowers on his roommate's behalf, as David is recording all week. Sam is really working hard trying to get an acting career of his own together. He's also collecting dogs! He told me about the time when David was in the hospital and he had to sneak David's dogs up the fire exit because he missed them so much and no animals were allowed inside the rooms! Sam left to go to acting class but promised to come back another day and stay longer. Keith Allison and Paul Revere from the Raiders brightened the rest of the day when they arrived with a bottle of my favorite wine. It was hastily consumed, practically before glasses arrived from the kitchen. They were getting ready to leave town to play some bookings in the South. The days are going by so quickly I haven't even had time to read!
Woke up to the telephone ringing in my ear. It was Pete Duelwhat a great way to be awakened! After I told him all the gory details of my hospital visit, he laughed and said if I had listened to his diagnosis that day on the set my appendix probably wouldn't have ruptured! Who knows--maybe he'll give up "Alias Smith & Jones" and switch over to "Medical Center"!!
A knock at the front door brought forth
Davy Jones, who stopped by to say hello enroute to his recording
session. He was very sympathetic about my plight. A similar thing
happened to him several years ago. His appendix burst when he
was on stage in New York and he had to be rushed to the hospital.
I guess in that instance the saying "The show must go on"
wasn't foremost in Davy's mind!
Just as Davy was leaving, Wes Stern pulled up in the driveway. He brought me a Ronald McDonald doll, because we both have this craving for McDonald's hamburgers. I just knew he would bring the doll, but it cracked me up just the same. He had just finished filming a McDonald's television commercial for which he had to have his hair cut a little bit. Since the cancellation of "Getting Together," Wes has kept busy fixing up his new apartment in Newport Beach. After Wes left, Lynne and I played cards. After losing tons of money, I crashed!!!
The doctor came over in the morning. He told me I was making remarkable progress and should be back at work in a few weeks. My girlfriend Samantha called to see if I felt like having visitors. She's really a fabulous person and it was great seeing her again. I first met her when we both lived in England when she was doing "Top of the Pops." Then I moved to the States to live and we lost contact for a while. Then she married Micky Dolenz and moved over here too. Anyway, she and Micky came over and brought me a health food cookbook. We spent hours rapping about England and all the things we missed .. . mainly the fish and chips!!! Micky's movie "Keep Off My Grass" has just been released. I heard it was a great movie. Micky delighted in telling us the details of his last operation ... he had a deviated septum or something. Anyway, it was something to do with his sinuses and it sounded horribly painful, so Sam, Lynne and I begged him to stop! A crazy day. . . .
It's the end of the week already. I can't believe it! The Osmonds came over today and spent hours telling tales to Lynne and me about their tours in Sweden. Donny hilariously recalled the time when they had to follow an elephant act and just before the curtain went up they all had to frantically sweep the stage before they could begin their show! Apparently one time the curtain went up too soon and Alan, in his rush to get off the stage, slipped and fell. He had to go change clothes before the show could go on! Another time they were performing at a rodeo and a stagecoach drove them into the ring and across to the stage area. Well, the stagecoach got stuck in the mud halfway across and the Osmonds had to wade the rest of the way in brand new white suits which were ruined from the knees down.
They left around five to head for the studio. I felt bad because I forgot to thank them for the beautiful flowers they bought me.
Today was a lot of fun! Jimmy Griffin stopped over in the morning and then ended up coming back in the evening to have dinner with Lynn and me. He's really an incredibly talented guy. Not many people realize that he won an Oscar last year for co-writing the lyrics of "For All We Know" from the movie "Lovers & Other Strangers," besides being in one of the nation's top groups, Bread. He joked that he was going to bring me his Oscar for a present, saying it was just getting rusty sitting on his piano at home! He left around ten o'clock to go to a band rehearsal. Lynne and I rapped for a while and then crashed.
Today marked the end of a perfect week. The telephone rang around three o'clock and it was Robert Redford calling from Mill Valley, California! He was on location for his new movie for Warner Brothers. He'd heard that I was in the hospital and called to wish me a speedy recovery. He couldn't talk long because he was due back on the set, but he said he'd be in Los Angeles for the last part of the movie and would stop by my house and say hello. It's really amazing how many good people there are in the record and movie industry today. I mean, despite their incredibly hectic schedules, all these people took time out to either stop by or call or send a card. Looking back on this week, it's probably been one of the most memorable of my lifetime.
Well, I hope you enjoyed sharing some
of my memories with me. I'm now preparing to start work on next
month's features. I'm also keeping busy making all the necessary
plans to go to Durango, Mexico, on location with B. J. Thomas,
who's doing his first movie. Sounds like it's going to be a fun
trip. Maybe you'd like to hear about my experiences.