A regular reader sent me a nice letter asking where I've been. OK, here is the story...
On the night of Sept 5, 2014, I suddenly had a hard time breathing and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I say "suddenly" but that's not exactly true. Actually, I had been sick for two months with a stomach ailment that just wouldn't go away. Also, being an idiot, I am one of these people who won't go to the doctor unless something is just about killing me. So, I had been suffering some symptoms for several weeks, if not months. And, as an idiot is wont to do, when I felt bad at night, I'd smoke a few cigarettes and drink to excess so I could ease the pain at night and, come sleep time, just pass out ...
So, I've actually been sick since end of July or early August, that's why I haven't felt up to writing - well, at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Was my stomach ailment Ebola? Nah, nothing that cool. Just a messed up stomach. Lots of people at work had it for a few weeks too.
Anyway, at the hospital, after some tests and X-Rays, they deemed me as not being bad enough for admission so they sent me home. Much later than night, though, on the morning of Sept. 6, I was in an ambulance again and, this time, to Tamagawa Nissan Hospital (a much larger hospital with a heart specialists center not 5 minutes walk from my house), where I was admitted to the hospital.
That's bad.... No, that's good.
While there I had told the doctors about my stomach problems and also told them that I had just come back from visiting the Philippines. So, just to be cautious, the doctors put me in a high-falutin' - expensive as hell - private room because they were worried that I might have something like Ebola or Dengue Fever.... Or, even worse, the dreaded "Dengbola Fever!" (That's a joke, folks.) And, because it was a precaution that the doctors ordered because they feared I might be contagious, I didn't have to pay extra for the private room.
It was really a nice quiet room with a great view. So if you ever want to be upgraded to a private room for free in Japan, just tell the doctors you just came back from a sub-Saharan jungle expedition.... They'll isolate you, no problem!
Kind of like the time in 2005 when I had a cold and went to the doctor and there were a hundred people in line before me. I gave an Academy Award performance and told the nurses that I thought I had SARS. The nurses eyes grew large and they freaked out. Boom! Into see the doctor immediately and back home in bed before lunchtime! Wheeeee!
But I digress...
See? Nice view!
I stayed in the hospital for the next 17 days or so (I kind of don't remember well.) One of the doctors told me that I was almost critical upon my arrival. I had a stomach infection that lead to water accumulation in my lungs which lead to my heart suddenly going into a sort of failure and the doctor said my heart was running at 1/2 so my lungs filled up with water suddenly (hence the long time in the hospital). He also said, that it was just because my heart was probably "Just tired."
Maybe so. I've done lots of drinking, drugs, smoking and all sorts of stuff over the years. My claim to fame is that just about everybody from the late 1970s Punk Heyday in Los Angeles are dead excepting me and just a few others so I am, really, one of the lucky survivors...
I should have died long ago anyway, but that's another story....
Private room just like some rich movie star!
Actually, I just got released from the hospital on Monday night (Sept. 22). I was in the hospital for a total of about 16 days and do not remember anything at all about the first 10 or 12 days or so. The first week or so was hell because I had so much water in my lungs that I couldn't breathe if I laid down so I had to sit up 24 hours a day. That meant I couldn't really sleep. So, I think I was hallucinating from chemicals and lack of sleep the first week or so... Thank god for that!
I've been out of the hospital now for five weeks. I'm OK now, sort of, but was told to cut out stress and take it easy, so I quit most all my jobs and have kept only the low stress ones (TV & radio). I go for a 15 minute walk twice a day and, of course, absolutely no salt, sweets, oils, only healthy food and no drinking or smoking.
So, I need to take it easy. I have left working and am taking a break from most things until at least New Year's.
The good news is that I went back to the hospital on Oct 20, 21, 22 for more tests on my heart and was given a clean bill of health; no other heart complications like hardening of the arteries or Angina...
That Angina test hurts like hell, by the way. They cut a hole in your wrist, insert a small straw, then run a camera in through your vein in your wrist, past your elbow, around your shoulder, and down into your heart. It's weird laying on a table and being able to watch your own heart beat on a TV above your head... (Wasn't there anything better on TV, I wondered?)
Damn, though if that didn't hurt like hell where they cut a hole in my wrist. Hurt for days, actually.
I'll be OK as long as I chill out for a few 2 (maybe 3) months. The doctor says my condition is 100% curable - I doubt that, but it's kind of nice not having to go to work and get stressed out by idiots.
I have realized something too: the more idiots you work with, the more stress you get. Funny how that works.
Now, I am working on having another free concert with some REALLY famous bands in January and I wrote the synopsis for a short film that we will begin making soon. I will announce that later. If you did wonder or worry about me, thanks. I'm doing fine... Hope you are too.
Hug your wife and kids.
But, I don't want to leave you with a downer, so here's a joke for you about being sick...
A guy goes to the doctor for his regular monthly check up. The doctor sees him and grimaces. He says, "I have some bad news and some really terrible news."
The guy gets really scared and says, "OK, Doc. Give me the bad news first."
The doctor pauses, gathers his breath, and grimly announces, "I am sorry to inform you that tests show that your cancer has rapidly spread over your entire body. There's nothing we can do. It's over for you. Finished. You are as good as dead.... You only have two days to live."
The guy says, "Shit! What news could possibly be worse than that?"
The doctor replies, "Sorry. I forgot to call you yesterday."
See you soon.