Bill Drucklieb here...Unlike Mark Twain, I did have a brush with death recently. I thought I had a bad cold and went to the hospital. When I got there they said, “No Sir, it's not a cold, you're having a heart attack!” They did a few tests to confirm, one being an MRI with contrasts. Upon admitting me I promptly dropped dead, a probable reaction to the MRI contrast chemicals. As luck would have it, a quick-thinking intern realized I had succumbed to congestive heart failure was able to revive me. Please don’t ask me what being dead was like, I don’t want to spoil the ending for everyone. All I’ll say is drowning in in your own bodily fluid is no fun!
Long story short, the tests showed my heart was only pumping (ejection fraction) at 12%. I ended up needing a triple bypass and re-sectioning of one heart chamber. After surgery, I only came up to 18%. Recently I washed out of cardiac rehab because I wasn't strong enough to do the exercises. There has been talk of giving me an internal assist pump. That will probably be the next step. I go back in for more testing next week. I'm not a candidate for a replacement heart due to my age, 57, and my Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle. Also, I don’t have medical insurance.
As you would expect, I am now almost 100% disabled. For the last six months I had been living at a church-based mission shelter for disabled veterans here in Omaha, Nebraska. I was recently awarded a minimum of SSI but only about 1/3rd of what’s possibly available, we appeal but it takes years to get a hearing. The curse of being freelance, not enough days for full benefits. Don’t get sick folks!
Good news is, with the minimum disability I was able to rent a small studio and get out of the mission. I’m setting up my tech bench and will continue to service equipment and recover recordings as I can. Probably only a couple of hours a day, if that. I’m seriously thinking of selling my service business, I’ve already sold most of my location equipment. Did I mention I don’t have medical insurance? The expenses are really adding up. Just the cost of meds alone are killer. I've stopped opening the hospital billing statements.
To that end, we set up a go fund me page. https://www.gofundme.com/billdheartfunds
if anyone would care to contribute.
The really good news is no money contributed goes towards tobacco products. They said my problem was caused by “40% heredity and 90% from smoking.” Anyone who knows me knows I smoked 3+ packs a day for something like 38 years. I quit cold turkey and haven’t had a craving yet. I never expected heart disease, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop…sorry Sir, it’s lung cancer. So far, my lungs are fine, go figure! I count my blessings.
If anyone is interested in the entire story, blow by blow and shot by shot, send me an email. Local52mixer at aol. In hindsight, I should have seen this disaster coming. Shortly before moving to Nebraska a friend from the island told me I should write my “memoirs” because I have so many great stories about the business. I pissed off all over her saying “the only people who write memoirs are people about to die”…little did I know!