Posts Tagged ‘gig’

The Cool Manager Shoreigh

    I got there at the usual time for set up, got into my room… and waited for the right time to carry all my equipment into the Tarpon Lodge….and get set up for the gig….I have so much fun with the employees at that place….Everyone that works there is just fun to be around….we have our own rapport, should I say….last month when I played there, the manager and one of the waiters (the manager of the bar) had this conversation between them about me that he did not work on the nights I played but they screwed up and he was scheduled that night while I was playing and they did it with such straight face….and while they were conning me with this, the manager, Shiree, crawled around on the floor behind me and one book at a time took my music books and hid them, she wrapped them in my shawl that had fallen to the floor, and inserted them under the cushion in the chair in the front foyer behind me…..She said later that they thought that I was going to play out of one book that whole night , before I noticed my other books were gone….they waited and waited and waited and finally…..

     And this time I actually had some time to sit down and get rested up from the set up….Then I went back out to the bar to get my equipment turned on and talked with some of the very nice people that were part of the party that was there to get married this weekend….

     The Tarpon Lodge is almost the perfect setting to get married, the sunsets and the beautiful gazebo on the grounds, with the pool and the 5 star food, the fishing guides at the dock….I found out that there were going to be 4 Toms there and one of them was the groom and the bride’s name was Diane…All of a sudden I had an attack of very bad heartburn so I  ordered a dark foamy beer while I was out there getting a sound check, to try and make the heart burn go away.  When I made mention of the heartburn, 3 people at the bar (out of the 5 bar stools there) offered me some of what medications they take for heartburn….it can be so very bad and one should “swallow the camera” as they say, to take care of it so that it does not turn into something worse later on.

     I have been taking a medicine for my stomach for years but the last time I filled my prescription the insurance company said they would not pay for my particular medicine (Aciphex) any more so I now had to call them and find out what they will pay for and get a new prescription…I had forgotten since I am in and out of town so much these days…I finally accepted a purple pill from one of the Toms.  It (or the beer) saved the day.

     Well last night I ended up taking something I think was “THE” purple pill…and it worked so very good…of course I did not know it would work so I had a second dark foamy beer just to be sure I would be okay to sing….A person simply cannot sing with heartburn…way too much pain…

    Much to my surprise, while I was singing a song, I looked up at the end and there stood the Rabbi I recently met, and her husband.   They came to hear me sing.  She said that she would try to, and then all of a sudden there they were.  I was very happy about this because I had committed myself to singing alto in her choir for High Holidays(Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).  This all began because I am working as a personal assistant to a friend of mine a couple days a week who is a realtor going through Chemo’ for her current breast cancer…And she has come to hear me sing many times, and sings very well herself.  She also said to me that I should help them in their choir because they need an alto right now.  I went with her one time to choir practice and worked on my computer while they practiced and while I was there I spoke with the Rabbi and she was such a nice person I decided to sing for her.  Since most of the songs are in Hebrew, the Rabbi had assured me that I was not going to sing anything that was against my own religion, as it was all only in praise of God that they sing their prayers.

     We had a great time that night. The room was packed and except for the fact that the Rabbi and her husband were so upset because the crowd was very loud while I was entertaining them, it was all good.  The Rabbi herself had been an opera singer, (and is also the cantor at the Temple) and knew how hard it was to sing to a room with noise in it, but I am used to it from starting out in Rock and Roll.  I eventually got control of the room even though the audience was so involved with themselves, being wedding people, and it turned out to be a very respectful and appreciative audience when I got done with them.

     High Holidays finally came and I do have to say I had never been in a religious service that lasted more than 2 hours…My first day which ended up being the morning of Rosh Hashanah, because I was booked for an engagement of my own on the evening before, was a four hour service….Well!!…about half way through I asked one of the other women in the choir…”so how long is this service?” and she said, “Oh, eight hours” and kept a very straight face….I laughed it off but I was beginning to wonder…….after a while.

     Then came the time for Yom Kippur.  I was actually going to be in a service that lasted all day.  I had been booked once again the night before, at my gig of half way to St Patty’s Day, and was pretty exhausted for the next day, but I did make it.  This service was 3 hours, then 3 or 4 more hours, and then 3 or 4 more hours.  However the Jewish services always ended in food being served and eaten together, very good food, and with everybody talking to each other it was quite nice.

     I said my goodbyes that day to all my new acquaintances at the Temple, because my commitment was now over, and spoke again with the Rabbi and her husband.  He, himself, was absolutely entertaining.  The Rabbi kept saying things like we will be seeing more of you, and my not understanding why she was saying that, and of course she was explaining that she did not mean she was trying to proselytize, but she would be seeing me, and that she wanted to talk to Judy.  Later upon finding out that they might try to hire me to be an alto in their choir, I felt very honored.  I also felt very honored to have met the Rabbi and her husband and will greatly respect their friendship, and I am quite happy for the education of the Jewish prayers that I have learned to sing.  I have  a special gratitude for the learning of the Hebrew that I now have.  It is a beginning.  I would like to learn more and I would like to learn their numbers system, I believe it is called “Gimatria”…but I have been wrong before (usually only in marriage ha ha)(not my first marriage though).

     The next morning at the Tarpon Lodge eating their exquisite continental breakfast, I ran into the “Tom” who gave me “his” purple pill.  I truly did hesitate to take it the night before because I could find no particular printing on it of any kind, but I was in such pain.  It is odd the things we do, mostly when we shouldn’t.  I later found out, when I called my doctor for a prescription of my own, that it was probably not the purple pill I took.  I mean ‘THE” Purple Pill.  It, I am fairly certain, is something different, but you know what?  The one I have works pretty darn good.


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     I had just returned to Marco island from my 10 year stint in Michigan being a scientist in Molecular Epidemiology.  I remember having this very nice gig 3 nights a week in Naples Florida… and I was also working at a day gig for a plastics company doing statistics on the computer with their efficiency formulas for their manufacturing computer systems…I could not have been happier.

     Then….I had a toothache and went to a dentist that I found…I had asked around and some of the other people at work said they thought he was good…so off I went.

     When I was sitting in his chair he took an x-ray of the area I had a problem with and when he came back in the room, he started feeling my neck and the glands around my throat….Well…!!!  I wondered why he was doing something that people do to you (like your Mother) when you are sick….so I asked….

     That was the beginning of a whole new reality for me….something I had never encountered before in my life….I was ill……..All I heard was the word growth….He then walked me over to another office in the same complex we were in…This doctor was an oralmaxillofacial surgeon….I certainly could have gone my whole life without finding out what his job entailed.

     I went in the very next day for surgery.  Apparently this tumor was as aggressive as an a very aggressive cancer.  the doctor proceeded to tell me I had one of three diseases…..I do not remember what they were but at least one of them was a type of cancer and none of them was a good idea.

     The surgeon decided that it was always a better idea to have a local than to be put to sleep for the surgery so I acquiesced.  We began and after about 15 minutes of surgery I made sounds referring to the fact that it was hurting me and he numbed me again.  Again, after around 15 minutes of surgery I made sounds that it was hurting and he numbed me once more.  This went on every 15 minutes or so until he had removed two of my back teeth on the upper left side and scraped out the bone under them.

     Then this surgeon tells me that I cannot cry, whistle, sneeze, or cough for a few days until this heals because he has exposed my sinus cavity, and sends me home.  So let me get this straight.  They tell me I most probably have cancer, but do not cry because it will be very very bad if you do.  How nice…..I am not even allowed to have emotions about what I am going through…..

     Okay….Okay…I got it…..

     Did I forget to mention that on the way out of the office after surgery I have to write a check for how ever many thousand this cost???

     Sooo….knowing that I am going to have another surgery next month because what the surgeon is trying to do is save as many of my teeth as possible, I say to him, “I think we should go for the anesthetic next time.  I cannot take that pain again.” 

     Now, when I go back for my check up a couple days after the first surgery he says to me. “Amazing….It is healing!”  Now this takes me for surprise because he did not tell me this, but then he says to me “I did not sew it up because cancer tissue does not heal and I was just sure it was cancer”   The he says “Good news…It is benign”.  I am thinking “Well of course it is.  I just knew it was benign”. 

     Then when I go back in for my second surgery the doctor tells me that pathology said it is not cancer…. Great!!!…but they do not know what it is…..hmmmmm.  This time I am thinking “No sh**t Sherlock” but I kept my mouth shut about it.

     Now his wife is a surgical nurse….so here we are doing surgery in his office..and he puts the proper stuff on my finger to check my pulse and the other things attached to me and he is putting the needle into my arm for the anesthesia and he has the gas thing over my nose and I do not like the smell of this gas…..and I am starting to shake and my legs are starting to jump and he asks me if I have anxiety and I say “oh yes”…and he takes the gas off my nose and puts a surgical hat over my nose so that I can breath some of my own CO2 now and stop the anxiety when I hear him puting tape over the needle and I say to him “Oh did I tell you I am allergic to paper tape?”…well no I did not…. So now I hear him taking the gloves off of his hands because he cannot get the tape off with his gloves on and well about that time I fell asleep…..I am no fun to do surgery on because I am allergic to everything…..

You gotta just laugh at this though….because this poor surgeon is trying to do his job and encounters all this stuff that he has never had to deal with before….not that they are not used to that…..I am certain that every case is very different….but when you come across someone who is allergic to so much medication and medical items.,,,,you just have to feel sorry for this man going through this in the middle of the start of the surgery….I am allergic to 8 different things that can cause real problems in surgeries….I always have this great big red folder unlike the other people getting stuff done.    I can just see them talking about this for years….Like over drinks at the Christmas party…you know?

     Well then, eventually I wake up from this surgery and they have removed two more teeth and scraped out more of the bone again.  I cannot sit up because every time I change position from lying down to sitting up I feel like I am going to throw up.  So I am there in the office chair for hours and finally they put me into a wheel chair and roll me out and the family takes me home and I sit up all night long on the couch and puke black stuff for 11 hours….I had a double bagged grocery bags and a trash can there with me on the couch….it was just so much fun…

     When I went back in for the check up after this surgery the doctor said to me, “We sent this to the Armed Forces Unit in Bethesda Maryland for diagnosis.  I am thinking , “Good now we will get some answers.”

After the illness I was singing again


     Well we did try to keep my eye tooth.  Now we had to crown the front teeth (which at this time were perfectly fine) to hold the partial in place….so the eye tooth became loose also and we had to remove it as well.  I told the doctor that I am NEVER going to puke for 11 hours again and we will have to do this with a local.  He agreed and added that now he understood my system to be one with a high metabolism and then everytime he would numb me, my body would metabolise it within the 15 minutes and I was no longer numb and he would just have to keep numbing me every 15 minutes and we would be fine and no pain for me.  He did this and we got along fine during this surgery.


     We did three surgeries, one a month, found out it was benign, found out it was not cancer but they did not know what it was…they sent my tumor(s) to the Armed Forces Unit In Bethesda, Maryland for pathology and it came back as “Histiocytosis X”…oh yeah…you guessed it…the “X” means they do not know anything about it…..


     This is a long, drawn out, very scientific illness so I will spare you the details and just tell you that I recently spoke to a pathologist about this and he informed me, once again, of how unbelievably lucky I am to be alive…!!!!!   And I am sooooooo grateful to be alive…!!! They treated me like they had treated the other patients before me….Did I forget to mention how very, very rare this is…..So rare that no one is doing any research on this…And it is mostly children who get this…….. And it is mostly fatal….I did however see the only specialist in the world, who happens to be right here in Florida….in Tampa at the Moffitt Cancer Center….of which I am now a proud card carrying member….


     Then, they treated me with radiation …in massive doses …. (I will tell you this story later)…. during which time if I had not spoken to my sister about this and she sent me to find a Reiki Master to help me through the treatments, I never would have made it.


     When I finally found a Reiki Master, she was also an RN and she prayed with me on the phone about my illness and explained to me that “I had to think of this treatment like God cradling my head in His Hands and it was through this treatment that He was saving my life”


     The radiation went up through my brain causing the most extreme case of anxiety the doctors had ever seen….I could not sit down or lie down or stop moving for 3 days until I drove myself to the doctor and said “get rid of this…make this stop…now” …..I lost my math functions and some of my word functions in my lexicon….The final straw was my diagnosis of PTSD…..Great!!!  Just Great….So now they decided to put me on massive doses of neurotransmitters and meds inducing them until I did nothing but sleep in my lazyboy chair for 9 months….One day I simply said …Whoa!!!   And proceeded to wean myself off of the drugs and went back to work.


     Now I became a country song…..I lost my great job because of downsizing at the company…I had lost my gig when I could not play because they were taking out part of my mouth at the oral maxillofacial surgeons office….the man I had been with for over 12 years walked out on me to another woman….and my dog died while they were radiating me….OKAY WHERE WAS THE TRAIN??? 


     Well there was no train in this song and no prison….but when you go through something like this you also have to remember that you pay for this while you are getting this or they do not do the work…So now that I had spent every last dime of my money… I had to go back to work….and I managed to get $300.00 out of my insurance companies (both of them) because the reports said tooth….even though it was the bone they were taking out..the teeth just happened to be connected to the bone.


     So now I was starting my life over….I found a job that I was on my feet 10 hours a day…I would go home at night and cry myself to sleep cause my legs hurt so bad from being in bed for 9 months and now having to stand up all day…I got over that and I got a better paying job which was horribly stressful…I learned lots of stuff though.


     A new man walked into my life and I was learning how to sail.  Thank you God.


     I am just praying that I can learn the right stuff from this experience and not have to go through it again….I am doing my best….Believe me….


     I could not even carry my brief case for awhile but I got back to where I could play and eventually carry my own equipment.  I had to keep practicing my songs until I could remember them over and over until the memories would eventually come to me.  Every day was just a little better as I worked hard to get back into shape….I had to start by exercising one minute at a time but I finally got up to an hour and off I went….Thank you again God


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     Okay then do not forget that I am there every month at the Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island, FL….and April will be on the 29th…a Thursday…everything will be sooo nice then.

     We will be warm but not hot yet……A lovely month shooing in May and the rain and blooms that come with it…so bring your camera (always) to once again try and get a pic of that green flash during dinner on the water.

     Or you can come by boat you know. Go out for a day of fishing and come home to the Tarpon Lodge for the night and celebrate your day. Then from 6:30pm til 9:30pm Sister Kaite’s show is for you. We will laugh and be serious and simply have fun. Join us for a drink and toast or two.

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