2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

Dr. E Has A Near-Death Moment and Experiences The Healthcare System For Himself

Since I’ve written more than 1000 of these Health Tips over the years, you may not have noticed you’ve been reading re-runs this past month. Although I try to keep us both away from doctors and hospitals as much as possible, sometimes you’ve just got to bite the bullet, turn yourself over to someone else’s expertise, and hope for the best.

Obviously, since I’m writing this, my personal results were good. The fact that ten inches from my laptop is a flute of icy cold champagne is meant to convey a celebratory component, the celebration being I’m not dead.

I must say that when enough medical professionals tell you “You do realize you could have died” there’s a moment when your pain meds wear off, reasonable thought returns (considering the circumstances), and you realize everyone’s quite serious. You’re then left alone in your hospital room thinking, “Holy shit, they’re not kidding. I wasn’t hallucinating about the grave looks.”

And the next day you see the sun rising over Lake Michigan and you know you’re alive. In fact, you’re now talking to a “discharge planner” (which sounds like something to do with your bowels, but is actually the person who will send you on your way). Later still, on the way home from the hospital, life takes on a new perspective. The trees along Lake Shore Drive are a richer green. At home, you hear nuances in your new CD of late Beethoven string quartets that you hadn’t noticed before. And the juicy, dipped Al’s Italian beef sandwich you scarfed down on the ride home…ambrosial, your juice-stained T-shirt a new art form, perhaps a Jackson Pollack.

A couple days later, you’re outside on your deck on a warm summer afternoon, writing your Health Tips and sipping champagne.

So here’s what happened.

On the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, unaware of a wet spot on our kitchen floor, I fell and landed mightily on the very hip I’d had replaced 11 years ago. Picture a cartoon character in pain, Road Runner or Roger Rabbit. You know how their eyes pop out in pain? Vroom, vroom. “Wow,” I said from the floor, “That really hurt” (what I actually said was far more colorful).

I figured I must have broken the hip and as much as I really didn’t want to have another hip replacement or even go to the emergency room, off I went to Weiss Hospital. Three reasons for Weiss:

  1. It’s an efficiently run emergency department where you can be seen in minutes rather than hours.
  2. It’s managed by professional ER docs, not medical students.
  3. I know the chief of joint replacement, Henry Finn, MD, who has done good work with both my wife and many of my patients. Surgery to repair joints that already have implants is very complex and, handily, this is Dr. Finn’s specialty.

However, to everyone’s surprise, the x ray of my hip was completely normal. The old implant was in perfect position and they said I just had a really bad bruise. I saw the x ray myself—it looked just fine.  To say I was delighted is no exaggeration, but this delight, along with the Norco I’d been prescribed, definitely interfered with my critical thinking skills. You learn in medical school to never, ever diagnose or treat yourself, and it’s absolutely true. Your diagnostic skills, honed for decades, work only when they’re directed toward others. Self diagnosis for a physician can kill you. It certainly almost killed me

A long holiday weekend
So now I’m home and it’s Memorial Day weekend, leg elevated, unable to walk, waiting for my bruise to heal. WHC acupuncturist Mari Stecker came by and though her pain relief treatment was as effective as a Norco, like the pain med it just didn’t last. Our physical therapist Karen Meier also stopped by, encouraged some exercises, but added that if I wasn’t better I should just get back to the hospital.

Unfortunately, everything steadily worsened. By Memorial Day (Monday) I could barely walk a few feet, couldn’t go upstairs, and was peeing in a bottle.

On Tuesday, I called the emergency room and told them I was coming back.

Dr. Finn met me at the ER entrance. Amazing as this sounds, with a bedside examination alone (no tests or x rays), in less than 60 seconds flat he diagnosed that:

  • Despite the normal x ray I did indeed have a hip fracture (confirmed by a CT scan).
  • I’d developed a blood clot in my leg (confirmed by ultrasound, and not just any blood clot, but a 3½-foot monster, from my foot up to my belly button).
  • I had “thrown” a piece of the clot, called a pulmonary embolus, into my lung (confirmed by a lung scan), which had sent my heart rhythm into atrial fibrillation (confirmed by an EKG).

Dr. Finn was surprised that I hadn’t noticed anything. “No chest pain? No shortness of breath?”

“Really, I didn’t notice anything. Except for my hip I feel fine.”

My wife, ever supportive, broke in with “He never notices anything.” They both looked at me like I was weird and I apologized again for feeling fine.  I then heard for the first time how close I’d come to death. It had been a perfect-storm scenario for a blood clot to develop: when you don’t move (remember, I couldn’t without extreme pain), your blood gets thick and clots form. It’s why people drop dead after long international flights.

“If a larger piece of the clot had broken off, your wife would have awakened next to a corpse.” I was to hear variations of this theme over the next few days until reality sank in.

Good medicine
I was immediately started on blood thinners and a med to fix my atrial fibrillation. The next day, a specialist in interventional radiology inserted a clot-catcher into my inferior vena cava, the main vein from legs to heart.

While covered with huge paper sheets, leaving exposed just a small area of my neck, a needle was jabbed into my jugular vein and the doc threaded a wire down past my heart and through my chest, aiming approximately for an area just above the clot. The sensation of something sliding through your neck and chest, while not painful, is certainly memorable.

Finally, at about the level of my navel and just above the monstrous clot, he inserted a parasol-like device that would catch any pieces of clot that might break free. The procedure went very smoothly and these guys (who, being masked, I never actually saw) had obviously done thousands of them. They were from southern Illinois and cracked jokes constantly.

The cardiologist came by to tell me his meds had converted my heart to a normal rhythm. He reminded me how close I’d come to dying of a massive pulmonary embolus, but assured me that between the clot-catcher and the blood thinner I was out of danger. Because of the clot, he added “Don’t move your leg too much.” I assured him this was no big issue as my hip was broken (I think he might have forgotten).

And a new hip
The next day, exactly one week after my tumble, I was in the OR at 6 am for the new hip. That, too, apparently went well, but since I was asleep I missed out on the action.

The remainder of the day was a blur because my thumb was fixed on a morphine pump. Through serious creative visualization, my left hip felt as if Godzilla were chewing on my left butt cheek and only by pressing my morphine pump would the Big Guy loosen his jaws. Later that afternoon, the physical therapists came by to start me walking. “But…but,” I pleaded, “I just had surgery. Isn’t this a mistake?”

“Out of bed, Dr. E. This is the way Dr. Finn does things.”

And honestly, from that moment forward, all the drama behind me, I was just another joint replacement patient, quickly transferred to their rehabilitation unit, where I learned all sorts of exercises to get my strength back. It was just 11 days between surgery and seeing a full load of patients at the office. When my wife tenderly inquired about my resting at home rather than returning to work, Dr. Finn said, “Nah. He’s fine. He can go to work.”

How can you help but love hearing that?

So between the Beethoven quartets, green trees along the lake, a dipped giant Al’s (extra hot peppers), and a celebratory glass of Moet & Chandon, life’s pretty good.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

Leave a Comment

  1. Ceil LaPorta says:

    So glad you are on the mend. OMG……every thought about mortality must have raced thru your mind. Blessings, and continued good and lasting health. May you never have to experience anything even close to this again!

  2. calle says:

    Oh my land.

    Amazing how the doc becomes the patient and lives to tell the story.

    And it sounds like you were a good patient.
    Some doc’s no one wants to take care of..my mom was always chosen to be the new to the doc’s!
    She lived to tell the story, she always said they were good! LOL

    We are blessed to have you back and no more wet sponges.

    We need you..


  3. Robert W. Boxer,M.D. says:

    Happy to hear the favorable outcome.

  4. Jodi says:

    So sorry to hear about what happened to you. So glad you made it through the “danger zones”. Wishing you a smooth, quick and complete recovery.

  5. David Bailey says:

    What in heaven’s name would we do without you! Happy to hear you are still with us. Perhaps on my next visit with you, I’ll share (time permitting) my NDE.
    Mazel Tov! (my first wife was Jewish) 🙂

    D. Bailey, DC

  6. Joann Romanovich says:

    I am so glad to hear you are better and OMG had no idea this had happened to you. I called to inquire about a test and did not know until now reading that you didn’t just fall. I can not imagine what you went through. Best wishes and blessings may you be well soon.

  7. Jude M. says:

    I’d tell you to get well quick, but apparently you’ve already done so!

  8. ChristineJoy Tell says:

    Glad to here you are mending well. You would be sorely missed! You seem to be “one of a kind”. Keep up the good work! Hope you are pain-free really soon.

  9. Herta Hlavac says:

    Oh ! So glad you are here with us doctor! All the best !
    The Hlavacs

  10. John Yeh says:

    Wow, Dr. Edelberg, what a story! Thank goodness you’re around to tell it! Thank you for your always astute expert advice! The part about long international airplane flights especially caught my attention! Be well and celebrate!

  11. John Cox says:

    Thanks for the candor and the comedy. Glad you’re well!

  12. Deborah says:

    So happy to know you are well and on the mend Dr. Edelberg.

  13. Robin Zimmerman says:

    Is this your version of telling us “no room for complaining??”.
    Glad to hear you are feeling better, I soon have an appointment with you!
    All jokes aside,someone was watching over you, and I am glad they were.
    Feel well, Regards and all the best, Robin Zimmerman.

  14. Cathy says:

    So very thankful you are ok! All your good karma is coming back at ‘cha :),

  15. Tony Spreitzer says:

    Hello David,
    Here’s wishing you an easy and quick(er) recovery!

  16. Emily says:

    Phew! Thank you for staying with us!

  17. Kellee says:

    Wow! Glad you are back in the driver’s seat, Dr.Eldeberg. And you still found humor in writing your experience. Love it!


  18. Gina Lundell says:

    Dr. E, so glad you’re on the road to a full recovery! What an ordeal you went through. Maybe, stay out of the kitchen:)
    To your continued good health and safety…
    L’Chaim ~

  19. Donna dufner says:

    So glad you are here!

  20. Laurie Lee says:

    So glad you are ok Dr. E! Take care of yourself, you are needed! Rob says HIP HIP hooray, hope he is ok!

  21. Jennifer karnes says:

    Dr. E~ Continued “God speed” healing. SO glad you are still with us!!!

  22. Deborah F says:

    Not only returned from near death but with sense of humor intact–very glad to hear that you are well and enjoying champagne!

  23. Jamie Starratt says:

    Wow!!! I am so glad you are ok. I really enjoy your posts. I have never met you in person but you are very important in my life. Ironically I also slipped twice in the same week you did on water in the kitchen floor ( I am a cook not a dr!) and can say it really hurts! I am glad you are ok. Thanks for your wise advice about taking falls seriously. And hey.. Of course the guys from Southern Illinois knew what they were doing! I am from there too! Best wishes for a speedy recovery !!!

  24. I am so glad that you are now making a good recovery.
    And by the way, you really do write good blogs!

  25. Phil Purkett says:

    Wow!!!! Doc, i thought it was just me but I don’t think you notice much either!! Lol!!! I’m glad you are mending sir.

  26. Irina McSweeney says:

    First and foremost I am so glad that the outcome of this awefull and unfortunate experience is so positive and you are continuing to get better.
    Secondly, after reading your story ( in away you could only describe ?) I realized the importance of staying pisitive and living in the moment.

    Stay well and hope to see you soon!

    Irina McSWeeney

  27. Joanne says:

    So glad to hear you are doing well. You are an amazing doctor! Hope you continue to heal quickly and feel good.

  28. Andrew Levy says:

    We are so glad that you are feeling better. Thank you so much for sharing this story as I can only hope that it will help someone else.

  29. Sherry stroud says:

    Good to have you back and doing well. God bless!

  30. Deborah Zera says:

    Thankful you are still among us, and doing so well!! And from a purely selfish perspective, I’m not ready to lose you yet!

  31. Stacey Hubbard says:

    Wow. So glad you are well again. Amazing story.

  32. Christie A. says:

    SO glad you came through that ordeal w/ flying colors! Congrats on the new hip & God bless you, He is good. 🙂

  33. Margaret Heffinger says:

    Wow! That’s quite a story! So glad to hear you are doing better!

  34. Ellen hargis says:

    So glad all is well! Welcome back!

  35. Mery Krause says:

    So glad you are still walking among us. . What an adventure,and you make it sound easier than it was, I’m sure. Glad that you are glad to be back at work and helping others, but personally, I would still be recovering at home in the comfort of my recliner and reading lots of books and watching some great movies on Netflix. You are a real trooper, Dr. E, and hope your total recovery goes as quickly and smoothly as your other procedures. Also hope you can return to your weekend retreats very soon. Many thoughts and well wishes are being sent your way.

  36. Betsy Lupetin says:

    Ok. You are a marvel, your doctors are superheroes, your humor is such a relief. I am in awe that you are so healthy in your pleasure to be amongst us. You certainly are not going to be welcomed at any pearly gate for a long time because we need you right here,right now, doing the great work you do and being the great “work of art” that you are. (So that’s why your mother called you David!).
    Thank you for sharing your perilous but miraculously redeeming story. I much prerer this good ending than the dire one you could’ve (should’ve?)had. Stay well, and listen to your wife..or at least, don’t work too hard! We all love you!

  37. Casey says:

    Well, Bravo to you Dr. Edelman. I am not a patient, but a huge fan of your writing and weekly newsletter. Enjoy that champagne and carry-on!

  38. Sherry Kodner says:

    Dr Edelberg, so sorry you had to go through this terrible experience, but so so happy you are still with us. ?

  39. Kim Foley says:

    Wow! Quite a story! Thank you for sharing your life with your patients everyday! We are blessed to have you and you have been blessed with renewed health. May you continue to have many more healthy years ahead of you!

  40. Stacy Gonzalez says:

    So glad you are here. Yes all the colors, smells, air, sun seem brighter because you are here. What could have been is the formula to all this sharpened senses. That water on the floor did all this.
    Be well

  41. Carol Hamilton says:

    What an ordeal! So glad to hear that you are okay and that you received good care. Best wishes for the rest of your recovery.

  42. Laura M. Dini says:

    So glad your doing better! In bocca lupo (Italian for good luck; loosely translated as- in the mouth of the wolf!). Take care.

  43. Suzan snook says:

    So glad you’re well. What a scare. You’re too valuable to lose. Dr Finn really is the best
    But it’s hard to believe that you’re right back to work.

  44. Jane says:

    WOW! That sounded like a really awful experience…the Good parts were the new perspective you have on the simple things of life. Enjoy the green leaves, beef sandwiches and of course the Champagne! Your family and ability to work again too….oh my….what a blessing you have been given! Ode to Joy!

  45. Peggy Wolf says:

    OMGosh Dr. E! Guess you have heard THAT phrase enough! I knew you had “fallen on your hip” and you were “in the hospital” but NEVER this scenario! Thank God for all the expert clinicians and doctors that surrounded you and thank God for HIS hedge of protection around you and that you are healthy now and ok! This is just unbelievable! I cried while reading this! You are NOT done YET, Dr. E. We ALL need you, and God has much more for you to do. Love and blessings and prayers to you. I thank God for you.
    Peggy Wolf

  46. Keith Berndtson says:

    Long live the King!

  47. Mary says:

    Dr. E., I’m so happy you are on the mend. Take care and be careful on the wet floor. I’ve lived through pulmonary emboli after spinal fusion and it is scary when the pain meds wore off and I realized it could have all been over for me. See you in August!

  48. Tiffany deRamos says:

    I love that you shared all of this with us in such a comical way – you are such a pleasure to know! I am so greatful to hear you are okay. What would we do without you. I think your the only doc. that truly gets how to treat a patient!

  49. Mike V says:

    You’re very important to all of us Dr. E. So concerned for you but relieved for the happy ending to this story. Get well.

  50. Anna says:

    AMAZING! Dr. E. so glad you are doing better!!!

  51. Mary JO says:

    WOW What an experience! Thankfulness & blessings to you and your family.

    Mary Jo

  52. Rose Blouin says:

    okay, Dr. E, no more self-diagnosis! So glad to hear you’re on the mend. Stay strong and be well.
    Rose Blouin

  53. Andrea says:

    Quite a tale. I’m so glad it ended happily.
    Love your column and never miss it. Many thanks.

  54. Andrea Bunch says:

    Dr. E, I am grateful to hear that things ended up all right, and that you’re here to enjoy the delicious colors, food, and music!

  55. Merari says:

    The patient always knows when something does not feel ok so you had to trust your feelings and go back to the ER. I am glad you listened and returned to the ER just on time to be able to tell the story.

  56. Jill K........ says:

    Dr. E. Please feel better and recover soon!! Thinking about you!!

  57. Mike Lawler says:

    Dr. Dave, that was a close call. I must admit you were an over achiever in building a 3.5′ clot. I’m glad you are ok. That was quite an ordeal.

  58. Liz Strause says:

    Dr E.

    Get well soon, sending healing vibes voo-doo and well wishes.


  59. Jennifer Baron says:

    Glad you are still with us! Cheers!

  60. Sandy Remijas says:

    All the best to you Dr. E.! Thanks for sharing your story with all of us. I had NO idea a blod clot could be 3.5′ long! Yikes!

    Sending healing thoughts and prayers to you for a full, quick, and painless recovery.

    Dr. Kelley’s patient, Sandy Remiajs

  61. Shifra Werch says:

    Baruch HaShem. I’m do glad you are better and still here. Your attitude is an inspiration.

  62. Maureen McLaughlin says:

    Wow. So glad you are going to “make it,” Dr. Edelberg! What a story.

  63. Susan Barney says:

    Good LAWD, Dr. E! Only you can tell a story like this with humor and suspense. I am so glad you are ok. Much love from one of your many fans. Cheers!

  64. Michelle Robinson says:

    So glad you are ok! Certainly not how I’m sure you had planned to spend your Memorial Day weekend.
    Wishes for continued healing!

  65. Loti San Pietro says:

    I am so glad you survived this horrible experience. I have health issues and always worry about what ER I should go to but I had very different results from Weiss more than one time I went after a car accident and sat there with a blown up broken Foot and waited for hours. They tended to my foot but never checked my head or neck the car accudent was terrible. Another recent event as I thought let’s try them again My boyfriend went for chocking and they said they couldn’t do anything because they are minor ER???? Not sure what that means so finally I replied should we go elsewhere and the doc yelled across the room saying diiscjharge them AMA and said that they are not a ER that does everything so I said why didn’t anyone inform us of that before we checked in and now they want to discharge us AMA which means he would get a huge bill. When he had this happen before he went to presence health and they sent a specialist in whom performed something to remove the meat that was stuck in his throat. Therefore, at Weiss I told them that and we were treated terribly and of course because I was advocating for him they put me in the crazy lady category and got frustrated. It’s difdternt for medical professionals and the regular people. I know we get treated different. However wonderful that Dr, E is better he’s amazing and the best doctor I have encountered since my childhood doc!!!

  66. Lisa Romano says:

    So glad you’re well now but a horrifying and what sounds like very painful story. Cheers!

  67. Addie says:

    So glad to know you’re well. I feel in the Godzilla visualizations the early seeds of a book!

  68. Holly Gerberding says:

    So glad you’re bouncing back! And thanks for the tip about the Weiss ER.
    My mother (age 90) fell in the bathroom recently and thought she had broken her hip, which already had pins it from long ago.
    At the suburban ER, they X-rayed her hip and told her she was fine. But when they tried to help her off the gurney to go home, she clearly was unable to stand on that leg. Fortunately, the ER called her GP, who came and told them to MRI her hip, as well as the shoulder she landed on. It turns out that she had fractured her pelvis — they just hadn’t looked far enough!

  69. Julie Rutili says:

    God bless you, David! 🙂

  70. Julie Rutili says:

    Dear David,

    Thank God you are fine and back to work! We all need your guidance and wisdom. God bless you and keep you well….and please be safe.
    P.S. Al’s is STILL the best! 🙂

  71. Andrea Winshp says:

    Dr. Edelberg, was it just pure luck that saved you from buying the farm? What is the bigger lesson in this story? Are there things we can do to avoid clotting like you did?
    Saying that, it is a great thing you got the care you did and are literally back on your feet.

    A big sigh of relief!

    Andrea Winship

  72. debra calicchio says:

    doc, so sorry for all you went through and happy that you are ok!!

  73. Lisa Manuele says:

    I am elated for the happy ending.

  74. Nancy Meyer says:

    So very glad you are out of danger.
    What would the world do without our dear Dr. Edelberg? You know you aren’t just an everyday doctor, so mend, keep that cool champaign glass nearby on occasion and feel better.

  75. Dawn M Barajas says:

    Happy to hear you are healing and feeling better.I would not want to be without you as my doctor.

  76. Lydia A-H says:

    I am very glad you are OK. Looking forward to seeing you back at practice when you’re ready.

  77. Angela says:

    Wow..what an experience! I am SO GLAD you made it through and are here to tell the story,as only you can. Experiencing something like that, puts everything into perspective.
    Be well!!

  78. Eileen Harakal says:

    Along with all your other well-wishers, I am so glad you are on the mend. What an awful ordeal, but your always positive attitude seems to have helped you heal. Stay well!

  79. Flo Estes says:

    Welcome back from near death Dr. E. I see the ordeal did not affect your excellent story-telling skills. Glad you’re back.

  80. KBond says:

    Bless you, Dr E. So glad you are on the mend!

  81. Nancy Kent says:

    Very glad you’re doing better. So many of us need you. Stay well.

  82. Nina M. says:

    They have not quite mastered Beethoven quartets, but the birds of Lincoln Park are soaring high and chirping happily, in honor of your recovery! Glad you are on the mend with nature (green trees!) and music by your side. Take care, and thank you for sharing this story.

  83. Mary Jennings says:

    Good Heavens, Dr. E! So glad all turned out ok. Stay well!

  84. Denise Reinke says:

    Dr E, So glad you told me today about this column…I’ll be reading it daily going forward. Thank you for sharing your amazing health experience. Thank you for being my doctor for 21 years…my life and health are great because of you.
    Wishing you best wishes as you continue to heal.
    Wishing you NO MORE wet floors EVER!

  85. Dana Jessen Ullom says:

    I am so glad that you went back to the ER when you did! It’s challenging when our bodies respond in a snow ball effect, downward spiral. I always tell my patients that these things are never planned, and to take it one day at a time. 11 days post-op and back at it, way to go Dr E! I’m sure your active life-style lessened your recovery time. If you don’t mind me asking, what approach does Dr Finn use for his hips? Anterior, lateral, or posterior?
    Best wishes as you continue your recovery and your Physical Therapy

  86. Joan Bedore says:

    So good to hear you are feeling so well. What would we do without you Dr. E?

  87. Dawn Manfredi says:

    Praise God!!!

  88. Van Gurley says:

    Dear Dr E,
    Suzanne and I are so thankful that this event turned out so well for you. That was some scare, even reading it in the comfort of an easy chair. You are an amazing doctor and a very interesting author of books and blogs. We are extremely fond of you and my wife is ever thankful she is in your care.
    Best wishes for a continued successful recovery,
    Van and Suzanne Gurley
    South Bend, IN

  89. Kathleen a good says:

    our GOD knows this world needs Dr.E
    Your recovery – a gift from GOD
    You are in my prayers
    Stay well – and look down – no more falls
    Love you

  90. Carol Nichols says:

    Dr. Edelberg, what a close call. Glad to hear the good news. Thanks for sharing your story. I had no idea of what could happen with a bad fall.

    I have to add I’m glad you are still here because I would miss your weekly
    Commentaries. Besides being informative, you have a style of writing that cracks me up. Thank you for taking the time to write, inform, AND
    put a smile on my face!


  91. Vickie C says:

    Dr E.,
    Oh My Goodness!! This was a very scary story indeed!! So glad the doctors discovered the clot (and I am amazed at the size but even more that you were still getting around with that large of a clot in your body)…,So glad you are still with us! Your sense of humor is wonderful in spite of the serious nature of this ordeal.
    Wishing you the best on your recovery.

  92. Patricia OSullivan says:

    Dear Dr E.
    So glad you’re now ok, that must have been very scary for you and your wife. You must have a high tolerance for pain!

    I’m very glad that the man that takes such good care of others, was on the receiving end of the same.

    Being a nurse myself, we both know doc’s and nurses make the worst patients. Once we are the patient, especially for something as serious as you experienced, it gives a new perspective on life.

    You changed my life in Sept of ’12 after 30 yrs if pain. I will never forget! I’m very glad you received great care from your docs and nurses. You deserve the best‼️
    Take care of yourself, do what the doctor AND your wife tells you, and you’ll be just fine. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.

    Tricia O’Sullivan ☘

  93. Maria Sigman says:

    What an experience! So glad to hear you are on the mend and back to what you love….helping patients. Wishing you well Dr. E

  94. Great writing. My heart was pounding. I only wish it were fiction. Can you save the drama for your books and please not put me through that again? So glad there is a happy ending!

  95. jeff Lupetin says:

    Just another day in the life of Doctor David Edelberg.
    Thank the good lord or any lord out there you are still with us.
    Good healing and be well or else your office would become a
    NOT Well Center.

    Thanks for the story as harrowing as it was.
    Makes me realize how precious life is and all the things that go flying by us each day.

    Going to eliminate all water and or condensation on my kitchen floor to prevent a similiar issue. I will now sand my floor clean and not mop it..

    Be well!!

    jeff lupetin

  96. Mary Gardier says:

    Thank goodness you are OK! Get well soon!

  97. Linda Ryan says:

    Dr. E, I am so happy to hear that you’re on the mend! What a scary experience. We just never know when an accident like a fall could cause a near-catastrophic chain of events. So glad you came out OK!

  98. judy kayser says:

    Dr. E, how wonderful that your story ended so well, but I must say it was shocking to read. Who knew a clot could be this large. Happy continued healing.

  99. Patricia Barber says:

    omg. almost lost the first Dr i trusted! and still the only Dr i trust when weird things come up. take care Dr. Edelberg!!!!


  100. Shari D says:

    Dr. E….you know I work for The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and I’m happy that this journey has a happy ending! sending love, hugs and continuous healing and good health. You are one of my health heroes! it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you, but I think it’s time to stop on by even just to say hi.


    HI DOC,

  102. Bianka says:

    Dr. E, I am so glad you are ok!!! Here’s to a speedy recovery!

  103. I say less work more moet! Glad you are on the mend.

  104. Lee says:

    I am sooo glad you are OK my favorite doctor. What a scare for all of us.

  105. Elisabeth Swisher says:

    Glad to hear you recovered so fast! Best wishes form
    Elisabeth Swisher

  106. Sandra Nettz says:

    Fascinating story. So glad you recovered. A votre sante!

  107. Todd and Beverly Parkhurst says:

    WOW! Dr. E, So glad you are well. It just goes to show–enjoy every day and look down before you step.

  108. Todd and Beverly Parkhurst says:

    Dr. E, Don’t know if you got our messages (tried twice) but rejected. Bill is paid. All kidding aside. Just goes to show–enjoy every day and look down before you take a step.
    Thank G-d, you are ok!!!

  109. Carol O. says:

    Wow, so thankful you are okay! What a scare – for you, your family, and your patients too. (Don’t know what we’d do without you, Dr. E.)
    Hugs and best wishes as you recover. Keep enjoying Beethoven, trees, and those dietary splurges.

  110. Irene Frederick says:

    WOW!!! What an unexpected fork in the road!!! (I’m sure that is the understatement of all time!!!)
    SOOOOO glad to hear that you are recovering nicely and even back at work already!!!
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us… I admire your attitude and aptitude!!!
    Delighted that your wordsmith prowess and indomitable spirit have survived intact.

    May you continue on the healing highway… zoom, zoom, ZOOM!!!

    With Love and Appreciation . . . Irene

  111. Richard Feely says:

    Dear David
    Besides being witty and brave, you are a great Doctor and smart not treating yourself.
    Carol’s and my prayers are for you health and happiness.
    Richard Feely

  112. Bob Wendling says:

    Glad to hear you’re OK Doc. Sounds scary!

  113. Lilija says:

    I’m glad you made it. Get well Soon!

  114. Valerie Wilson says:

    I am so grateful that you are well, and back on the correct side of the Dr./Patient equation.

    Just one more observation, though. Maybe,considering that horrible experience and Dr. Finn’s ministrations, you know how I feel every time I tell someone, “Dr. Edelberg saved my life – more than once!”

    So glad you’re better. We need you.
    Valerie W.

  115. Alberta Jacob says:

    it is Sunday am in the morning and I had thinking of you for the past few months. So I decided to google you web site, and I ran into your letter about your hospital I bet that was an experience. Me I have been doing Intergraded medicine since 1970.And lo and behold I was taken to a medical Dr. and I wanted to flip. Well I am doing well, but don’t like the pills.
    Well I hoe you can remember me we worked together I was Alberta Gutierrez at the time I worked for the City of Chicago when you did assessments on home bound seniors who live in deplorable living conditions. Well I am 82 years now and still kicking.[ smile] Good to see you are back to work and feeling find. Hope to hear from you. as I am seeking a new Doc.

  116. Evie says:

    Wow. These comments are a real tribute to you, Dr. E! I’ll bet you’ve never received so many comments from your other very intelligent posts.
    You are truly amazing, and your life habits show. Perhaps you are invincible and will live forever!

  117. Sheri Meshal says:

    This is my first time visiting your site. As a fellow writer, I must tell you that this was a very fun and entertaining read. Glad everything worked out beautifully.

  118. Adele Lanan says:

    OMG. I’m so glad you’re ok. Now that most of my family and friends text, I only check my e-mail once in awhile. After reading about your experience, I was so happy to get to the happy “starting” (not ending) of the next phase of your life. See you in August for an appointment I have scheduled.

  119. Gabriela Cosma says:

    Dr. E,
    That was quite an experience. I am so glad to hear that you are well.

  120. Thelma says:

    You couldn’t jus leave we need people like u. Thank u for all your hard work the lord moves in misterous ways my friend. V. Sorry Doctor I ment xxx bless u sir

  121. Thelma says:

    We need your kind you have much more work todo u jus can’t leave like that blessings my friend from London

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our


The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Telemedicine – Now Available at WholeHealth Chicago

In order to maintain your continuity of care, WholeHealth Chicago now offers telemedicine appointments with most of our practitioners. During a telemedicine visit, you and your healthcare provider can review medical history, discuss symptoms, arrange for prescriptions, and more. When necessary, labs and diagnostic imaging can be ordered from a facility near your home, and our Natural Apothecary can ship supplements quickly to your door.

Please contact Patient Services for details and scheduling a telemedicine appointment, or to change a regular appointment to telemedicine by calling 773-296-6700.

We’re looking forward to meeting with you in our virtual consultation room soon.


Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.


• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

Recent Health Tips

  • Commonly Missed Diagnosis: Early Autoimmune Disease

    Amazingly enough, there are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions, which collectively are responsible for more chronic illness and disability in women than heart disease and cancer combined. Men can get autoimmune diseases too, but the predominance in women (2:1) is striking and also puzzling, though current thinking attributes this susceptibility to a combination of genes and hormones. Because autoimmune conditions can affect any area Read More

  • Six Commonly Missed Diagnoses: B12 Deficiency

    You’re pretty sure you know your body and you tell your doctor you’re just not feeling right. You’re tired, maybe a little depressed, a bit achy. Maybe your digestion is “off.” The list of foods you can’t seem to enjoy is definitely longer. Your doctor’s empathic, not at all dismissive of your symptoms, but after a physical exam and some apparently appropriate tests she can’t Read More

  • What is Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and Can It Help Me?

    Ten years ago April marks the anniversary of the first time I wrote about low-dose naltrexone (LDN). I described it as an orphan drug, meaning that its patent had long ago expired, that it was generic, and that it was not owned by any one company. For these reasons and because they’d never recoup their investment, no Big Pharma company was interested in pursuing the Read More

Join our Discount Program

Member benefits include 10% off all your purchases. Low, one-time membership fee of $25 ($35 for family).


Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!