Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Where's the old guy been?


Recommended Posts

Hi folks…


Our mod, Duane, called me the other night to see how I’m recovering from a U.S. “Memorial Day” stroke that removed control of most of my left side.


I promised a note to fellow Gibson and Epi forum regulars on how I’m doing, and lessons learned.


First, major thanks to Duane, a very caring, as well as largely uncredited but hugely valuable volunteer moderator for the forums. He’s a great guy to talk to on the phone as well as being a real musician and overall creative and reflective man.


Second, Rob “Digger” in the Epi forums and I had been emailing since a couple of days after my stroke. His caring and “good wishes power” from Oz are greatly appreciated, along with that of many forum members.


Gib/Epi forumites overall are exceptional folks. I’m proud to be back. (BTW, both Gibson and Epiphone forums are individually valuable in different perspectives on both guitar and issues of the day. They are more valuable together than the sum of them separately.)


What happened? I’d been feeling a bit odd for a month before our U.S. Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 25. Then again, at work I’d likely been pushing the envelope in hours … pulling all-nighters, etc. A couple of times my left arm tended to stop working. Typing speed went from gusts above 150 words a minute to 20-30… I ignored it.


Anyway, a couple of months before my 70th birthday I was pushing a pace I might have kept at 35 – or not – and was content in a belief that I was more or less indestructible. Some of that was ego; some was more than 50 years of martial arts that teach how to push the envelope. I ignored lessons that such pushing inevitably demands repayment.


Anyway, I got out of bed that morning with an uncontrolled flop to the floor. After a half hour of attempts to make my right side push me to sit up over an uncooperative left side, I hollered to wife Carla that I had a problem. The one-time nurse in her said I’d had a stroke. I got hauled in the Hurry-up Wagon to the hospital.


Anyway, I’m off work on medical leave.


I’m very lucky. I’ve kept my marbles, communications ability, and can even drive well. I’m concentrating on mentally rewiring my left arm and hand (and overall body) to what I’d consider “normalcy.”


I just get tired easily and am waiting to see what they may do to a totally clogged right carotid.


Lessons learned:


Don’t let ego tell you to go beyond physical stress without far better reason than “personal purpose and dedication.” I learned long ago I could, as many others can, literally push myself into a physical wreck or worse. That’s good to know overall, but it can be taken much too far when it’s not true necessity. That’s my major personal lesson.


Coming back from stroke or serious injury is tough. I look in awe at the courage of injured war vets, and also far worse and far younger stroke patients. My road is easy in comparison.


Guitar content? Oddly my physical therapist fairly quickly recommended I get back on guitar. It’s frustrating to go from 50 years of accumulated guitar skill and lore to being a beginner of several weeks – but that even has brought back another 20 percent or so of overall fine motor skills in a very short time.


Unlike many others here who have literal physical pain from playing, I only have the frustration of sounding like I’d only been playing a few months. Even that taught me, as Django proved ages ago, where there’s a will, there’s a way. That “way” may require rewiring of how one thinks of, and approaches this marvelously versatile instrument. We can do it. Rethink, adjust, and overcome.


I also credit old-style, old-concept Asian martial arts for getting my “gross motor skills” into at least a facsimile of normalcy. I’ve done that stuff since I was around age 12. I don’t push the envelope as I did until I was 50 or so. But the past two months I regained ability to drive, shop for groceries, and enjoy a nice dinner “out” with my wife and friends without embarrassment.


Those “forms” may not be possible the same way at age 70, or after illness or injury, as at one’s youthful physical peak and aspiration, but the “way” is lifelong and without adversary but oneself.


Ditto guitar playing. They’re only too similar sorts of art for life. I’m privileged to have had opportunity in both “ways” and arts.


--- Enough. I only hope that perhaps writing of my experience may be of benefit to others. And to our “forumites,” never underestimate the power of guitar playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there, Milo.


Stating the Bleeding Obvious it's really good to see you posting here.

One of the things you mention which I found to be particularly interesting was that you received what appear to have been several small 'hints' that all was not 100% well.

Perhaps that is something which we forumites might bear in mind should any of us be so unfortunate as to experience similar 'messages'?


Great to hear that your powers are returning/being modified as the situation allows. And Django is, indeed, a lesson to us all.


Thanks to all those who helped and are continuing to help you, my best wishes to Carla and yourself and here's looking forward to a full recovery.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great to hear from you and that your recovering mate, you've been missed around here. Regarding the guitar playing, look on the bright side, you get to learn all over again, just like starting with a clean sheet of paper [biggrin].

All the very best for your continued recovery.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back milod.


Pippy echoes my thoughts on the valuable tips you provide us all on "signs of danger".


But keep on playing and getting better. I remember reading about Tony Iommi when he lost the tips of his fingers on his last day at work in a wood mill. He was in despair as he intended to become a professional musician. His manager asked him to listen to Django playing with just two fingers and what was left of the third and fourth. Iommi said that he was simply blown away - just couldn't believe it. But he was inspired to carry on at the same time.


Great to hear from you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Milod, it's a pleasure to read your words. It always is.

And right now I'm recovering myself from a minor injury, and if it wasn't for that urge for playing guitar I wouldn't been recovering not half as fast.


I really wish you all the best.


Greetz from Spain,



Link to comment
Share on other sites



A huge "yes" to the danger signs of stroke. I think we males too easily ignore or set such things aside. I certainly did. Something's wrong? Left hand can't hold a sheet of paper? Yeah, well, I'm tough, no time for a doctor visit, so ignore it.


Besides, I was outworking two folks half my age...


Until I flopped to the floor because the whole left side didn't work.


About the same time a guy I know who has kids, and he's young enough to be my kid, had an even worse stroke... My road is far easier.


It makes one think.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well first off milod It's great to have you back, you have bn missed.After rob told m of you set back I knew you would over com it . The mind I've learned is a wonderful thing,In most cases it will mend the body if you use it as I myself have learned some what.The brain to hand in guitar playing advancement of your arm/hand due to motor skills from it repairs it's self , the brain probably saved you months of therapy.The quicker you start to re use the damaged vessels the faster they return . Many thanks to Duane for his help in letting our little family of friends know how our brother was doing ,glad to see your return and hope your continue to keep us updated with a speedy recovery.


Your friend


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I share everyone's delight that you are back Milod, you attitude is exemplary, I honestly hope that nothing but good things come along from here.


on a side note, about ignoring matters and pretending things are ok, my wife's brother dropped dead on July 9th, we're not sure if there was a heart issue or perhaps a pulmonary embolism, the details as we know them, point to the embolism (passed out, and was deceased by the time he hit the ground) which he was at risk for apparently, He was going through follow up chemo for cancer surgery from last October. My point here being, he was great at pushing aside matters that pertained to his health, so as not to worry those around him. that is probably what killed him. he should have been way more aggressive on the "Risk" factors he was facing recently, and now, it's too late for him to do anything about it. he's gone.


so, what you say is so true, be wise with these matters, you only get so many second chances.


Three cheers for your return Milod, looking forward to seeing more of you around the place..



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Milod. Like everyone else has already stated, it's great to see you posting again. We've all missed your thoughtful input.


Wish you the best as you continue your recovery. Your positive outlook is inspiring to all of us here. Keep playing! [thumbup]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome back M, good to hear your "voice". Been in my prayers & thoughts ever since I heard. Continued prayers and good vibes during your recovery. Being 62, I will heed your advice and get things checked out that need it. It feels like the "Family" or "band" is back together again [thumbup] very happy.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...