Too much of anything can kill you. I had a science teacher who once noted to us that even imbibing too much water could be fatal. Brooke Shields just shared that she had a tonic-clonic seizure recently, and the cause was determined to be too much water! Formerly called a “grand mal,” a tonic-clonic seizure can be a violent experience involving loss of consciousness, severe muscle contractions, or foaming at the mouth. Brooke recounted the incident to Samantha Barry, Glamour Editor in Chief and her friend of nearly ten years. The two enjoyed a boozy lunch to discuss Brooke being one of the magazine’s Women of the Year, her solo show at Cafe Carlyle in New York that opened in September, and her podcast Now What? With Brooke Shields. Keep reading to learn who makes a very unexpected guest appearance:
Brooke: I drank all this water. I leave my house. And they kept asking me, “Do you want coffee?” And I was like, “No.” “Are you all right?” I go, “Yeah, great.” Then I walked to the corner — no reason at all. I’m like, “Why am I out here?” Then I walk into the restaurant L’Artusi, and I go to the sommelier who had just taken an hour to watch my run-through. I go in, two women come up to me; I don’t know them. Everything starts to go black. Then my hands drop to my side and I go headfirst into the wall.
Samantha: Shut the f— up.
Brooke: I start having a grand mal seizure.
Samantha: What does that mean?
Brooke: It means frothing at the mouth, totally blue, trying to swallow my tongue. The next thing I remember, I’m being loaded into an ambulance. I have oxygen on.
Samantha: Oh my God, Brooke.
Brooke: And Bradley f—ing Cooper is sitting next to me holding my hand.
Samantha: Shut up.
Brooke: I didn’t have a sense of humor. I couldn’t really get any words out. But I thought to myself, This is what death must be like. You wake up and Bradley Cooper’s going, “I’m going to go to the hospital with you, Brooke,” and he’s holding my hand. And I’m looking at my hand, I’m looking at Bradley Cooper’s hand in my hand, and I’m like, “This is odd and surreal.”
Samantha: What happened? Bradley Cooper, riding in the ambulance in the West Village to Mount Sinai?
A you-couldn’t-make-this-up game of phone tag had ensued, as the sommelier at L’Artusi first tried to reach Chris Henchy, Shields’s husband, which ended up with an assistant reaching an assistant, who eventually called Bradley Cooper, who was nearby.
Brooke: His assistant called Bradley and said, “Brooke’s on the ground. Chris isn’t around. Go get her.” And he came, and somebody called the ambulance. And then it was like, I walked in with Jesus.
And then Brooke delivers this fabulously epic monologue:
Brooke: Low sodium. I had had too much water. I flooded my system, and I drowned myself. And if you don’t have enough sodium in your blood or urine or your body, you can have a seizure. And then male doctors kept asking me if I was limiting my salt. And I said, “You know what? I’ve had it with male doctors. I know you’re all smart — smarter than I am in what you do. But let me just tell you something: I look younger when I’m bloated. If I’m bloated, people think I’ve had Botox.” So as a 58-year-old woman, I’m not limiting my salt, okay? Stop trying to make me a crazy actress or a female that doesn’t know what the f— they’re doing. I was drinking too much water because I felt dehydrated because I was singing more than I’ve ever sung in my life and doing a show and a podcast. So they were just like, “Eat potato chips every day.”
OK I am still missing some very vital pieces of information here. Brooke’s assistant calls her husband’s assistant, husband isn’t available, guess it’s time to call in Bradley Cooper! Did we even know they were friends? Aha, thank you internet — Bradley and Brooke were both in a 2008 horror film, The Midnight Meat Train. Still, I want to know how high up on the list of contacts Bradley is to call in case of emergencies. Do these assistants have a spreadsheet of which celebrity friend to call based on New York neighborhood? And where on earth was her husband that he couldn’t go to his wife who was frothing at the mouth?!
So basically I adore and worship everything about Brooke’s energy here. A touch crazy? Oh yes. But with dashes of confidence and wit and smarts. I absolutely love the message: “Brooke’s on the ground. Chris isn’t around. Go get her.” It’s like a haiku! (Yes, I know the syllables aren’t right for a true haiku.) And side thought: Bradley Cooper must love this story being out there right now. Not just because he’s the hero, but because it’s free publicity while he’s still not allowed to promote Maestro (as an actor) during the strike. And as of this week it also distracts from his totally scabbing on Halloween. I don’t think that’s why Brooke mentions him, but I can’t help but notice the lift it gives him. Now, where do I find a doctor who will prescribe me to eat potato chips everyday?
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