Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Catching up

This year has been a real bugger, and it's just getting started! In January I finally got my morphine pump replaced. What was supposed to be a simple 20 minute procedure turned into a two hour nightmare! When they opened me up, they found that the catheter which carries the morphine from the pump to the spinal canal had ruptured. It was also clogged and nothing would go through it. Now it couldn't be removed because it would leave a hold in the spinal canal which would leak spinal fluid, so it had to be sealed. Then a new catheter had to be run from the pump, which is in the lower right quadrant of my abdomen, under the skin (and through layers of fat) around to the spine. Then another incision had to be made to insert the catheter into the spinal canal. The doctor said he has never seen such a screwed up back. There is so much arthritic growth and scar tissue that he had a devil of a time getting the catheter through.

As a result of the rupture, there was no way to know how much morphine was actually needed to control the pain, since it was being absorbed through the gut instead of going directly to the spinal cord. So, the doctor decided not to put any morphine in the pump for the first few days (from Thursday to Monday) and just run saline through. Well of course this put me into withdrawal. That is the worst experience anyone could have. Having been there before, I knew what to expect, but it didn't help any. The cold shakes are really bad. You just can't get warm! My teeth were chattering so much Judy was scared I would break some! I turned my electric blanket all the way up to 10 and piled on the covers. It is now three weeks later and they still don't have the level up high enough to kill the pain. Every time I stand for more than 10 minutes I go into spasms and have to sit down. On top of that, for some reason the trigger points in my upper left back have started to act up and cause horrific pain in the back and down my left arm. I have had injections, acupuncture and some new procedure the Chiropractor uses, all to no avail so far, so I am also having to take oxycodone to dull the pain. Nothing kills it.

Meanwhile I had to take three weeks leave of absence from the Temple and yesterday we started rehearsals for our next play, House Ghost, to be produced in March. Speaking of which I have to leave for a meeting of the Artistic Committee now. More later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day of Rest and Thanks

Yesterday, I had an angiogram to check for coronary artery blockage. Today I am resting up from the procedure. Let me go back to the beginning. Last January, I had some minor prostate surgery, and when the anesthesiologist game into the OR, he asked me if I had ever had a heart attack. I answered "NO". He said "well according to this EKG you have". That prompted me to call my cardiologist. He checked the EKG in question and informed me that that guy didn't know what he was talking about, the EKG was no different from all the ones he had taken over the past 10 years. Then he said, "you are about due for a stress test so let's set one up for October". I made an appointment and had the stress test and nuclear scan October 1st. On the 8th, I went to his office to get the results, and was informed that the left side of my heart was not getting sufficient blood flow during exercise. He asked if I had any symptoms and I said no. I also told him I had been taking a supplement called Pro-Argi9 that was created by a Dr. Anne de wees Allen and that Dr. Randall Maxey, former President of the National Medical Association said if you take this supplement he could almost guarantee you would not die from a heart attack or stroke. He, of coursed was very skeptical and said if that were true there would be no heart disease. He then reminded me that the angiogram I had seven years ago showed 30-40% blockage in two left arteries. This is considered minimal and not even labeled coronary artery disease. He said one of two things had happened, either it was a mistake or the blockage had increased. We elected to err on the side of caution, and scheduled the angiogram for yesterday. Well, a minor miracle had happened. It was a mistake, but most significantly, the previous blockage was gone! When he came in to my room to tell me the results, he asked " what was that stuff you're taking"? So, yesterday and today, I am just resting to allow the entry sight to heal. Any one interested in this amazing supplement go to Dr. Allen's web site

Tonight we have a rehearsal for Teachers Lounge. The play is coming along very well and promises to be a great show. It is one of the most fun roles I have had in a long while. It is great to do a non-musical again. It has been a long time for me since doing a drama/comedy. Because of my love of singing, I have stuck to musicals for the past 10 years. Actually, the only community theater company here in town is the Saint George Musical Theater. I am really excited to be associated with a company that will do a variety of plays.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We're Back

As all of you know, we have not been very diligent on posting, since there has been nothing since May! That is only because we don't have time to post.
David is now involved in two plays. He is assistant director for a Readers Theater Production of "The Ravine", an adaptation of a Ray Bradbury short story. Judy has a part in the show and is beginning to understand how D got bit by the performing bug. D is playing a major part in "The Teachers Lounge", a play about a bunch of disgruntled high school English teachers in the New York City School System. Of course this means many, many rehearsals, so not much gets done in the evenings. These shows are being presented by a new community theater company called the Dixie Dramatic Association. D is on the artistic committee and also does the publicity for the company. It is being sponsored by the City of St George Leisure Services department. There is an old building in town called the Opera House which in the 1800's was the center of culture in SG. Since the Saint George Musical Theater grew out of the Opera House, there has been no theater productions there and the City wanted to return performances to it. It is a lot of fun being in on the startup of a new company like this, but also a lot of frustration and work. Getting the word out to the public is our biggest problem since we have no advertising budget. So we rely on independent publications and PSAs on local radio stations. We have had to recruit actors for the first few productions, rather than audition them, because we are still quite an unknown entity.
That's all the time for today, will try to be more diligent in the future.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What next?

AS you may or may not know, I am currently appearing in the production of Damn Yankees put on by the St George Musical Theater. The show has been going great! Last Saturday, however, I had a slight accident on stage. At the end of the number "You've Gotta Have Heart" in which I have the solo, we stack locker room benches two high with two bases and one crossing those at a 90 degree angle looking like a capital H or I depending on your angle of perspective. Well, I am supposed to climb to the top of the upper bench, swing my legs over and strike a pose with my hat in the air at the very end of the number. As I swung one leg over the bench, I did not have my butt far enough on the bench so I lost my balance and tumbled backwards to the floor, about a four foot drop. Fortunately I didn't do any permenant or serious damage, but I sure had a headche for a while! I also had several bruises and ached all over on Sunday and Monday. Then on Monday, I went to pick up my truck from the repair shop after having some electrical work done, and got about 2 blocks away when suddenly the cab began to fill with acrid smoke. A totally unrelated wire had shorted and started the carpet on fire. I got a lung full of toxic gas and almost passed out. I did a quick U turn and went back to the service station, and literally fell out of the truck while the mechanic doused the fire with a hose. I then went to the emergency room for some oxygen and a breathing treatment. Remember, I had to perform last night! after the O2 and Breathing treatment, I felt fine, and was able to sing with no problem last night, but today my chest sure hurts! I'm beginning to see where my grandson Hilton gets his accident proneness.

Our gas mileage increase business is growing very quickly. I got 24% increasein mileage and about 150 % increase in performance in my truck, and my Caddy is already up about 12% on only less than half a tank! I am really impressed in this product and so are a lot of other folks.

May is shaping up to be a very busy month, then in June, I have to have surgery for replacement of my morphine pump and repair of a ventral hernia along with a "tummy tuck" because of all the weight I lost. We are taking a 5 day trip to San Diego to celebrate our 42nd wedding anniversary on the 16th of May. Then all our kids and grand kids will be gathering in St George for the blessing of Chris and Allison's new twin boys, Jonah and Matthew.

Will keep you informed of our progress.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

David & Judy Shuck

David & Judy Shuck

David & Judy Shuck
What are the three most important issues on the minds of Americans right now? In my opinion they are: Illegal Immigration; The Iraq War; and The Price of Gasoline! My thoughts: Illegal immigrants are just that, illegal. Why the big debate? Do we have such debate of any other criminals? Would we pardon all shoplifters, muggers, rapists, thiefs, robbers,murderers? So why pardon illegal , read criminal, immigrants? Race has nothing to do with this issue. My grandfather came to this country for Italy, whose people were despised at the time, and had to wait years to bring his family here legally. My grandmother sat alone in Italy waiting for her turn to receive permission to enter the country. My uncle stayed in Italy until he was 17 years old before he came here. Meanwhile he had 8 brothers and sisters born in America! I'm all for a guest worker program, after we deport all those who have broken the law by sneaking into our country, and SECURE our borders to stop the flow of more criminals! I have never understood why if so many Mexicans want to come to America, why they can't simply copy what we do and turn Mexico into another USA! What is the big mystery? Are we really that much smarter that them thay they can't simply imitate what we do? They certainly have the same abundance of natural resources we have, and apparently a work force that will do anything! I just don't get it!

As far as the Iraq war is concerned, regardless of whether we should have gone there in the first place,(and I support the position that we had to) cutting and running will do more harm now than any thing else we could do. We MUST win now. We cannot leave and allow those people to falter and end up worse off than they were. If we stay, Iraq could become another Japan, rebuilt in our image, productive, participative, properous and a staunch ally in an area of the world where we badly need one.

As to gas prices, I sincerely believe that the major oil companies are motivated strictly by greed and will continue to gauge the American people until we are paying $6 to $7 a gallon for gas, like most of the rest of the world. But we are not the rest of the world! We can certainly develop the technology to stop this nonsense in its tracks. (see We MUST develop alternative sources of energy for such things as heating homes, producing electricity and yes, even powering our vehicles. If we could send a man to the moon, why can't we produce a fuel efficient system to power an automobile. This is ludicrous! I believe that the oil industry and and automobile industry are in collusion to prevent this from happening in order to maximize their own profits. The Federal Government busted up AT&T and look what happened to the cost of phone service! Now we can get complete service through the internet with unlimited free long distance in the USA, CANADA, and PUERTO RICO, for just $25 a month! It's time to remove all the professional, connected politicians from office and start from scratch. For the past 40 years I have advocated voting every single incumbent out of office after two terms. Then maybe they would get the message that they are there to serve "we the people", not feather thier own nests! Rise Up America, use the power of your vote to let Washington know we just won't take it anymore!


I have wanted for some time to start a site where we could let family and friends, and anyone else who may be interested, what is happening in our lives. Our dear daughter Jenny started a blog and motivated me to stop procrastinating and do one myself. So, drop in once and a while, keep up, visit, post comments, and stay in touch. We hope you will enjoy our family blog!