Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Half of the Sideshow

The music for the moment is silent ...

My good friend and musical compadre Mikey is right now in a precarious place. He's been hospitalized for over two weeks and was just moved to St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville where tests have indicated and the doctors are now saying that there is an urgent need for brain surgery to remove a tumor to relieve the massive headaches and vomiting that have caused him to lose thirty pounds. At 52 years old and with no health insurance, the predicament seems overwhelming. The good news is that St. Thomas doesn't appear to be concerned with who will pay and is doing everything they possibly can, unlike Vanderbilt Hospital who refused to admit him.

Mikey and I have been playing music together for around twenty years.with various other musicians but mainly the last several years just the two of us in our near weekly jam sessions that we have always called therapy. Our motto was that we were 'happy amateurs.' 

The name of this blog was actually taken from what we dubbed ourselves ... the 'sideshow.'

It's been hard to concentrate on the 'big picture' with all of this going on. It goes to show that individual plights trump everything else.

I'll be taking a bit of time off from my ramblings here and do what I can to help he and his family through this difficult time and to reassure Mikey that he has friends who love him.

If you are so inclined, please offer up a prayer, thought or meditation.


  1. i will include him in my prayers.

  2. Dude,

    My thoughts and prayers to Mikey, his family and his very good friend!

    I hope for the day that I get to hear the Sideshow in person.

  3. Prayers Kenny. I'm 52 with a lot of headaches and disorientation of late. Have been able to minimize things by fastidious avoidance of white flour. Even a cookie brings on a massive skull splitting sensation. Last night was a dilly. The yellow bee pollen granules always seem to perk me up. Tree ripened Oranges the most perfect food, I hear.Fingers crossed.

  4. I genuinely feel for your friend and I hope he gets well. My thoughts are with him.

    Sad cases like this show how corrupt a government has to have become to allow a citizen, a person, to be denied such a basic human right.

  5. Best of luck to Mikey and to you also, Kenny, in this difficult time. May God be with you.

  6. Makes me ill whenever I read stuff like this.

    The whole idea of operating a hospital as a profit-making business is obscene.

    If Vanderbilt doesn't want to accept poor patients, then they should be shut down.

    Or stripped of their tax exemptions and any other subsidies they currently receive.

  7. These are the times to focus on our nearest and dearest Kenny. I too will add my prayers.

  8. It is shameful we live in a country where war and corporate profits come first and the basic well being of our citizens pretty much comes last. That undeniable fact says it all about how corrupt our system truly is. I too have no health insurance and suffer from god knows what exactly. I have various health issues but not enough money to actually go see precisely whats wrong. My thoughts are with you and your friend kenny, I hope for the best possible outcome.

  9. Sorry to hear that Kenny, I lost a friend that way also. He got a brain tumor right by his right ear where he was constantly on the cellphone. With the congressional laws allowing small towns to string out cell phone and wifi towers all over neighborhoods there is going to be a lot more of this type thing.

    Exposure to microwave allows more toxins to enter through the blood brain barrier, thus leading to tumors and illness.

  10. For a good man, all things turn out well in the end.

    Very well indeed.

    In the meantime, I pray you pass through these trials even better people than before.

    And hopefully the people of St Thomas Hospital are grateful that every day they are given the chance to do enormous good. The real currency of this world is virtue. Money is just an illusion.

    Happy jamming, guys!

  11. Hi Kenny,
    Best Wishes, Prayers and a Speedy recovery to your dear friend.
    Bless you and his family during this time.
    All the best from Down Under.

  12. I can dig it brother. I've been looking after the old man and his cancer for five years and it seems like we're in the last month or so now. It's a brain scrambler and no mistake. T'ain't been nothing on my blog for, what is it? a month now? Like I said, I can dig it.

    I'm not much into prayers, but regardless, thoughts go out.

    As for music, I've no ability at all but it's been my distinct privilege to hang with musos and be present whilst they made music in real time. These constitute my most treasured memories and I'm thankful for every bit of it. Long may you both continue.

  13. Personal realities trump everything else in life. My prayers will include your friend Mikey because he will need every positive energy he can garner. He will need you and his family more than you can possibly imagine: you will be missed for now, but you are doing the right thing.
    Blessings be upon you and Mikey.

  14. My heart goes out to you and Mikey.

    May the healing continue!



  15. I want to thank everyone for the comments and well wishes.

    Mike is having an arteriogram this morning to give the doctors one last look at the situation and if that is positive then his surgery will be tomorrow. The docs aren't saying much except that they will go in above his right ear in what will be about a 5-6 hour operation.

    I was just listening to our local neocon radio station and they were talking about the budget, teachers who are paid too much, how social security and medicare must be cut and of course the domestic muslim terrorist threat. Not one word about the over $1 trillion in military funding and the wars, banker bailouts and fraud and certainly nothing about the 40-50 million without health care insurance. They make me mad with their hate talk and I'm disappointed that so many around here are falling for it.

    Anyway, I'm heading down to the hospital and hopefully this ordeal will soon have a happy ending.

  16. Mikey's got a good friend in you, Kenny. I send my prayers.

  17. Get well soon Mikey.

    - Aangirfan

  18. Hi Kenny,
    Your buddy should turn to alternative therapy. Hospitals and doctors will ruin your friend's life and kill him ultimately. My friend has been recovering from end stage breast cancer with the help of diet, supplements and other things. Doctors don't understand why she is still alive. She should be dead by now. Instead, she feels better than ever, huge tumor is shrinking steadily, metastases in liver and spine are gone. Take my advice, no chemo, radiation os surgery. Any of those will kill him. I know because I work in a place where people drop like flies. Feel lucky that Vanderbilt did not take him. Educate yourself about alternatives. Look up the web site called Cancertutor, and follow their advice!

  19. I just came back from a visit to Mikey's house. He got out of the hospital Sat.

    The brain surgery went as well as can be expected. There was no tumor. It was a cluster of burst blood vessels and what they first thought was a growth was a blood pocket. Repair and clean up.

    He has about a six inch scar held together now with metal staples.

    He still has a long way to go.

    It looks like he and his wife will file for medical bankruptcy. The total bill for over 3 weeks in the hospital, surgery and misc. is expected to be close to $1 million.

    Mike works for a non-profit organization that didn't offer insurance. Making only about $20k a year and with his wife having a pre-existing condition they could not afford the $15k a year with a large deductible for private insurance.

    What's a person to do?

  20. I was having an argument with one of my hardcore libertarian friends yesterday and its stories like yours that prevent me from ever being a full on libertarian myself(not to mention giving corporate America and Wall Street a pass). All the money we spend on war and we let our citizens just lay down and die, its horrible. I'm glad to hear it wasn't cancer though. Best of luck.

  21. You are a musician.. So are a lot of us..

    Why not see if collectively we could produce a good recording and video about this?

    I'll betcha if you asked Les Visable and other blogger/muscians.. a great song and video could happen...

    It could be spliced together from musicians all over the world... One track at a time.. Using garageband for macs and mixcraft for pcs. (free trial music editing software) and cheap if you want to buy it....

    A collaborative/collectivist project.

    I do keys, bass, rhythm guitar, and vocals.

    I would love to take part in it..

  22. I appreciate the thought pr but I just don't have the time. Too much going on, even some much needed work has been coming our way.

    I seem to remember that you posted one of your songs on WRH and it disappeared. Have a place where you post others? If you have I've missed it.