As readers know, I suddenly developed blood clots in my legs a week ago and was hospitalized.

This was not the first time this happened; that was in 1998, when I not only had blood clots (deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but pulmonary embolism (PE), which is potentially fatal, as it means the clots detached and flood your lungs).

This time, thank goodness, I recognized the DVT before it turned into a PE and went right to the emergency room of the nearest hospital (not the one that treated me in 1998, which has fallen under the budget axe).

When I got home after two days of treatment, I began a battery of tests at Mount Sinai Hospital, which is one of the best in the nation. The vascular surgeon did a scan and found I had clots in both legs, not just one. When I took an echo-cardiogram, the cardiologist told me that I had a leaky heart valve and might require heart surgery. That really scared me. At that point, I canceled all my travel for the rest of December. I had really overdone it.

Today, I had a meeting with a hematologist (blood expert) and had a CT scan of my entire vascular system. The doctors conferred and decided that I do not need heart surgery. That I should rest up for a few weeks. That I should not pretend I am half my age. But that after mid-January, I could return to normal activities, but not so frenetic as in the past.

So, I will be in Chicago on January 11 to speak to the Modern Language Association at its annual convention on the subject of the Common Core. Originally, I was scheduled to debate David Coleman, the architect of the Common Core, but he said he had to attend a board meeting in California and withdrew.

So, thank you for your many good wishes and prayers and even chicken soup (truly!). Your support meant a lot to me and kept my morale high.

I am not going away. I am in it with you. For the kids. For our society. For a better education for all.