Cindy Adams explains mystery illness

Columnist returns to New York Post after 4 months

Cindy Adams' byline mysteriously disappeared from the New York Post four-and-a-half months ago, replaced with a small box that said the famous columnist was "unwell."

In Monday's Post, she explains for the first time what happened. Adams faced a ruptured appendix, anemia and "heart valves that needed TLC," she writes.

The gossip columnist says she began feeling exhausted after covering the Oscars in Los Angeles earlier this year.

"Felt weak. I figured it's sort of a flu. Didn't eat for two months. Lost 10 pounds. My lawyer, Barry Slotnick, and my legal health-care provider, Judge Judy, said I looked terrible. Only both were more descriptive," writes Adams. "I felt nothing. No symptoms. No pain. Just no energy. My face was ashen. Healthy always and fearing medical practitioners, I had no primary-care physician. Barbara Walters sent hers over for a house call since friends threatened a medical intervention. He prescribed an ambulance to New York-Presbyterian. Instead, Reggie, my driver of 30 years, drove me there, and this doc met me curbside with a wheelchair, wheeled me through a private entrance -- and that's almost all I recall."

She spent time in the ICU, before being sent home with, "day nurses, night nurses, a salad of meds surpassing whatever Lindsay Lohan might've once taken, plus a big, tall gizmo feeding me six weeks of antibiotics. Plus more tests and doctor appointments. Plus a physical therapist because I could no longer walk. Trust me, I was not ready for prime time. Today, I now walk. Not run. Walk."

But, Adams warns she's not out of the woods yet health-wise.

"Hospital personnel told me the team 'saved your life.' Also, 'You were the sickest person here.' Also, 'Any of your three prime conditions nearly did you in.' Seems another day and I'd have been interviewing Walter Cronkite."

Despite being at death's door, Adams warns that she hasn't lost her her edge as a columnist. She had her assistant keep track of everyone who sent well-wishes, and coyly promises to skewer anyone who didn't.