Why Every Performer Has Written a Song About Being On and Off Stage: Touring, for Real, in the 1960s
missjosh
FOREWORD

As a user of Facebook, I have been fortunate enough to re-connect with many old friends, some all the way back to the 60s.

As Facebook grew more and more, ‘groups’ opened up. I was excited to find some for people from the 1960s or early (pre-disco) 1970s and for various performers that I loved back then. Eventually the ultimate question is asked in one of two forms: Did you go to Woodstock? or How old were you when Woodstock was a ‘happening?’ And then the youngsters come out of the woodwork: “I wasn’t born yet.” or “Hey, I was only 2 or 3.” I think it is great that there are young people with great taste in music but they need to read and learn or ask questions. Sometimes their comments are shocking to those who lived it. For instance, there was a picture on one of the Brian Jones sites at a concert and he is surrounded by police and guards. Sure enough, some commented: “I adore him, too, but I think they are overdoing it!” No, they weren’t. You are Millennial. Even then, when Brian wanted to be famous, he never realized what the fans were going to do to him or how hard it was to tour and get gigs.

So, for all the people who didn’t live and work in the olden days and are not leftover hippies, here is the real truth and not the myths. It was work, work, work and not a lot of glamour until much later for those who ‘made it.’

WHY EVERY PERFORMER HAS WRITTEN A SONG ABOUT BEING ON AND OFF STAGE…
(TOURING, FOR REAL, IN THE 1960s)

I was watching an episode of Endeavour (Canticle) that was about a rock band getting ready to tour with The Kinks with the made-up name of The Wildwoods. Insp. Morse wanted to know why they had a doctor tour with them. They were four healthy young men. The answer: Sprains, strains, stress and the occasional need for a sleeping draft.

This brought back memories I had shuffled away in my head from that era, The British Invasion 1964-1969.

Some people not might know this but waking up every day in a strange room, in a strange bed, in a strange city is very mentally and physically taxing. Add to this the fact that there were no sound systems except for the singers. Thus there is extra loud music from the amps going through you to reach the back of wherever you are playing, plus the stage vibrating, plus the electric instruments vibrating right against your body, plus the hot lights, plus the screaming audience, plus remembering all the notes and words to many different songs. (Heaven forbid a guitar string should break in the middle of a song…what to do: Quickly change guitars; step off to the side of the stage for a couple of minutes while the string is replaced and let the band carry on; forge on through with the remaining strings until the end of song and improvise?) And keep an eye on all your equipment as there was easy access to backstage, cars, trucks, buses and motel rooms. You were constantly worried and keeping an eye on your stuff. And if you were just starting out, you probably were your own roadies, as well. (Lift that amp, tote those drums.)

Now add the fact that in 1964-1969, many bands drove themselves and pulled the equipment from city to city in strange countries. Or the ever popular used Greyhound bus with a few seats torn out, not equipped like today). Some bands had to play odd places due to the availability of concert halls…think Michigan one night, Texas the next night, New York the next night and California the next night (or different countries in Europe and Asia) and the flying is nerve-wracking at best. You walked to and from the plane across the tarmac in all kinds of weather. If you were lucky, a car drove up to the plane to get you.

You stayed in small dirty motels that came with their own assortment of permanent guests you can call vermin. You had to share with others up to 4 or more (if you could get away with it). You, finally, made a little extra money as you got more ‘well-known’ and could upgrade to the Holiday Inn. (Okay, until you caused enough noise and damage that you got banned from the entire chain and Holiday Inn is worldwide!) The beds were lumpy and, sometimes, you were positive the sheets hadn’t been changed for a month or two. And if there was a room where the shower, or anything else, didn’t work; the rock bands got it! And you had to flip a coin, or whatever game you made up with your band mates, for the bed or the floor. And no TV or swimming pools. (Some had TVs in certain rooms but you paid extra for it. And some had swimming pools but those places were likely out of your price range.) There were no video games or internet or cell phones. If your family could afford long distance/trans-Atlantic calls, you could call collect, otherwise, you better not add something like that to your bill! And the ‘central’ room would be packed with people offering free drugs and booze and sex. And they were passing out and vomiting and stealing everything they could get their hands on.

Food? Hah! No fancy restaurants and most motels didn’t have food service. So you ate fast food/takeaway and it was greasy, fattening, under- or over-cooked, tasted like cardboard. And then there were the vending machines with stale you-name-it that didn’t work anyway. That’s if you had a chance to eat at all. (Many bands members suffered from malnutrition and/or dehydration.) Sometimes one meal would have to get you through. (And people wonder why, as bands entered into the 1970s, they started demanding food backstage as part of their contract…)

Now add that you had to hide! Yup, hide! Don’t let anyone know what motel (later hotel) you are staying at. Don’t let anyone know the route you are taking from the airport to the motel. Don’t let anyone know the route you are taking to and from the venue. If anything slips…you are mauled. Just plain physically violated. Your clothes are ripped to shreds. Your hair is pulled out of your head in handfuls (or with scissors and you can get your scalp cut). You are grabbed and kissed on the mouth. You are squeezed in a frenzied hug. You have private parts grabbed. You have police/security/other band members pulling you to ‘safety.’ The car you are in is jumped on putting dents everywhere, especially the roof, making you slide down in your seat. People are pounding on the windows, sometimes breaking them in an era before safety glass. Or, if the window is accidently left open, repeat the above clothes and hair pulling. You have to go very very slowly so as not to kill someone in front of the car, on the car, hanging to the bumper of the car and being dragged.

Rest? Rest, you say? Oh. No. During the day you have photo shoots, radio station interviews, lip-syncing on local TV dance shows, in-store record signings and press conferences. And after the show: meet-and-greets with the big wheels and their little teeny bopper daughters (and their friends); glad-handing to keep that radio station owner playing your record (sometimes your manager slips them a few bucks you can’t really afford but Payola works); sucking up to the producers and local record executives; the club/arena owners; the local press; DJs; promoters; and the party to make sure everyone who ‘counts’ is drunk and happy. And you better sound and look happy, happy, happy! Smile until your face hurts, literally. And, don’t forget the small talk such as, “Yes, we did take the train here. How interesting that you actually have a train collection. What a coincidence. Tell me more about your collection.” (“My face may be smiling but I have killed you three times in my head…”) And, please, never ever blink when all the flashbulbs are going off in your face because that is the picture that will make the newspaper or magazine because they think it is funny.

While on the road or in the area you are staying, if you want to eat or take a walk, good luck. If you are a woman, you sported the Mary Quant/Sassoon-look. Men and women made rude remarks about your short dress, platform shoes and panda bear eye make-up. You might be safe inside but you could be taking your virtue in your own hands as soon as you left. If you were a man, you sported the Carnaby Street/King’s Road/Sassoon-look and the men would really razz you. (Listen to Bob Seger’s Turn the Page or The Barbarians Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?.) You could be hassled or get caught in a fight inside, and walking to the cars or tour bus might feel like the longest walk of your life.

Money? You get money? Well… Sometimes. There were the gigs you played where the check bounced. Where you learned to get the cash before you left and had to sleep with it because the motel safe was locked and banks weren’t open and you didn’t really sleep because a lot of bands got robbed and sometimes beaten up, but you had to go on the next night. And the promoters who lied about the ‘take’ or faked robberies at the ticket booth/office. And the managers/agents who lied about how much you spent for food, lodging, gas, and airfare, whatever…and ripped you off. And the bad contracts that took away your composing rights and all your songs because you were too young and too excited and they were greedy and saw a way to make a fast buck and run.

And it was strange to read about yourself in all the magazines. Everything was made up. The top name magazines and the fan club magazines had people who were hand-picked to be you. They answered all the questions and wrote all the articles and many even answered the fan mail that came in. They worked on the signature so it looked like yours. (Or the fan clubs just had rubber stampers.) You never even saw the letters or the gifts or the x’s and o’s. There was someone to do that for you. Early on, you might have tried to keep up with some it. Or, and here is a favorite, your mom answered the mail! (I, personally, know someone whose mom did that and he never saw any of it. It gets better. Teen girls hung around the house, so she invited them in, gave them milk and cookies, and THEY answered his mail!) Well, at some point, you really did lose track of yourself and the fans knew you better than you did and you couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to know what your favorite color was or what toothpaste you used. There were a few magazines who really tried with real interviews (quick shout-out to Unity at Fabulous 208!) but they were usually the magazines that were aimed at the fans of the instruments you played and why, and not about you personally. Of course, that meant that if you should need something like the aforementioned toothpaste or you wanted to just take a walk to try and remember what real air smelled like, you better look pretty darn good! (Imagine if you lived to today with cell phone nuts.)

And, yes, it was called: Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. So, let’s mention the groupies who gave you STDs and stole your stuff (check out Rod Stewart's Stay With Me). They had no place to stay so they slept in the halls or stayed up talking all night which kept you up. And the pregnancies. I knew a group where the girl showed up and you knew that kid was the bassist’s, looked exactly like him, but to save money the band vowed to say in court that she slept with all of them (gang-banging) and she got no support. No DNA tests in those days. And, yes, sometimes a girl would have sex with every member of the band. I, also, know a British band who spent all the money they made on the tour for medicine to cure their VD.

(I’m just talking about the touring part here. How and where you lived and what you did or didn’t eat between tours is another horror story all together!)

Okay, looking back, given all the whining in the new Century autobiographies, was it all worth it? Well, sure, if it panned out to be a good dream come true. For The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Cher, Bette Midler, you know, the people who managed to finally make some money and keep it and are still touring with one-week gigs in big cities like Las Vegas or Paris, in a nice big suite, in a beautiful hotel, with your wife/husband and kids/grandkids. Whine all you want because every little club where you got booed and chairs thrown at you; every dirty motel room; every sexual conquest that came with an STD, every hangover from all the booze, every coming-down from a drug trip, every arrest, every stomach ulcer, every ache, pain, tinnitus, arthritis, surgery, etc. was worth it. However, for a lot of them, it was a bad dream. Yet, many of those one-hit, one-tour wonders still think it was, in a way, worth it. But too many burned out, are still on drugs, picked up medical things that would debilitate them for the rest of their lives, or just plain died.

I know. I have the photos and memories to prove it. I don’t have the money but I have my integrity…I never drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, had sex with a rock star/roadie or took illegal drugs. So for all you young people who think you know everything there is to know about your favorite musician in the 1960s? You don’t. You can Google it on your cell phone or join a Facebook group or watch documentaries on your cable TVs but don’t, for a minute, think you ‘actually,’ know anything unless you were there!

“And oh the stories we could tell...sittin’ on the bed in some motel.” (©John Sebastian, 1974)
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Antidises...aaa forget it.
missjosh
A vast number of decades ago, the longest word in the dictionary was

antidisestablishmentarianism

and everyone had a goal of being able to spell it.

I had a friend, Patty, who was an all-A student. She decided to outsmart everyone. When asked if she knew what the longest word in the dictionary was and how to spell it, she replied, “Yes, but do you know what it means?”

Everyone looked blank and then admitted…”No.”

Brain Scan Update, Update
missjosh
I got the information from Beaumont Hospital. Just a map and the psychologist's business card.

I called Leona and she said the 2 ½ hour test was oral and written. No scan. The doctor doesn’t like to put radiation in your body unless you need it. He can tell if I need an actual scan by the tests.

Plus, since it is in the geriatric wing of the hospital, he can tell if I need a scan somewhere else on my body due to age. Pain in other parts of the body can affect the brain and slow it down mimicking Early Onset Dementia.

Therefore, no fasting, no scrubbed clean scalp and I can go to the bathroom when I need to. Interesting…

Of course, Dr. Sturla and Debbie never mentioned this. And Dr. Sturla said that Debbie would not be handling it and that it would be a scan.

Sigh…..
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Brain Scan Update – or – Who? What? When? Where?
missjosh
The phone rang and a woman said, “Mrs. Emmett?”
“No, Miss Emmett.”
“Oh, well, I’m calling from Dr. O’Leary’s office about a referral from a Dr. Scurla and I’m afraid we can’t help your husband because the doctor doesn’t take Medicaid.”
Long pause…deep breath…no cursing Debbie.
“Okay, I’m single, female and only have Medicaid ‘hospitalization’. I have Medicare and Medicare Part C under Blue Cross Blue Shield.”
“Oh, my, well…”
“Would you like to go back to the beginning? Or maybe before the beginning?”
“Sure, let’s start over. And I’m very sorry, I saw the ‘y’ and thought it was a man, but I do see here it is checked ‘female.’”
“That’s okay.”
I proceeded to give her my insurance info, that I was, indeed, a senior female who had never been married. I had been told that I would hear from Leona at Dr. O’Reilly’s office. And the other doctor is Dr. Sturla, as in sternum, not Scurla. However, this was very typical of his office.

The upshot is that Leona is excited about meeting me and was surprised to hear that I wrote a whole blog on the ‘y’ in Randy. Of course everyone jumps to when they hear Blue Cross Blue Shield (because I pay for it) and the first opening is Oct. 6 at 1p, unless I’m a morning person. I told her I’d have to get up early for 1p! We ended up laughing. She is sending the information. Whatever it is I’m getting will be at his office/clinic and it takes (at least) 2 ½ hours. Fine.
I called Rose and told her to go ahead and enjoy her Sept. vacation! We laughed, too, and she needs it!

Lord, help me! Maybe after this is all done I will really consider getting a new doctor, whatever his name is! haha
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Medical Update
missjosh
I called the doctor’s office on Sunday and left a message.
The doctor’s office called on Monday and said all my results were fine.
I would be called by a woman, Leana, from a Dr. O’Reilly’s office and he would do the brain scan. It would be in his office NOT at Beaumont. (I didn’t say Beaumont, Dr. Sturla did, but I let it go.)

So far…no call. I will wait until next week and then call them.

If they try to make it in September, I will have to have a date that does not conflict with Rose’s vacation. The Dear Lord knows she NEEDS it!

At least I feel I have made a start.

There is no word on my getting a physical or scans of the places I need scans. Still thinking of getting a new doctor.

At this point, I think the best thing to do is go to the November Wellness visit and see what happens. If I’m not satisfied, I will definitely get a new doctor in 2018 after all the January medical insurance updates go through.

I feel I am making progress and have a plan.

I Hate Flies
missjosh
I hate flies. They are dirty and they bite and they are ugly.
3 were in my apt the other night and it took me forever to kill them. Actually, I only killed two, the other one committed suicide in my glass of ice water.
The next day, I killed 5 on the window.
I killed one today.
It always takes me several blows to actually kill one. At times, when I think I've killed a fly, I see it crawling across the floor directly to me!
On TV and in movies, you only see and hear flies in haunted houses and around dead people and animals.
I think flies come from satan. When I am trying to get rid of them, I say, "Jesus help me get satan out of my home! Please, please, please."

The NAKED Truth About Josh
missjosh
I never lived in a place with a full length mirror, so I've never seen myself naked.
I've never slept in the nude.
I never went skinny-dipping.
I've never walked around my apt nude when I forgot to get something before taking a shower.
No one has seen me nude since I was in diapers, except maybe the surgeon, but I wasn't nude when I went into the operating room. And partial nudity during some doctor exams.
I've never posed nude for an artist or photographer.
I was never one of those kids who ran around naked or barefoot after a bath.
I think people with clothes on are sexier than people in the nude on TV and in the movies.
I DO take a shower naked.

Do You Have Trouble with Accents?
missjosh
I watched the British mini-series Flood. I loved it. Robert (Rumpy) Carlisle was great, as usual.


Thing is...most people I know in the States say they can't understand accents in movies and on TV. Esp my mother, so she hated PBS.


I have never had a problem understand them or doing them. Like they had this joke in Reader's Digest:
A nurse from America started her first day working in an Australian hospital. Her first patient said, "I'm going home to die." Okay...right there, I knew the rest of the joke and laughed. She's. In. Australia. Hello?


My mother and I took a trip a down to Alabama and we got in really late, so my great aunt Elva whipped up a small breakfast-type meal and we went to bed. When we got up, we had a full Southern breakfast. Aunt Elva asked if I wanted anything and I said, "Yes. Could have some of that sour gum?" Great uncle Roy burst into laughter. Even my mother didn't get it. I have told that to Southern people and they know what it is right away, like uncle Roy.


That is one of the very few times I misunderstood a word, but it was 1959 and 3a when I heard it and I had never heard of the product. Although I was 13, I was tired from the Greyhound bus (and change-overs and stops) from Michigan. I forgive myself.


I don't know why some people just don't understand accents other than their own. Is it a talent? Yes, Gary Quackenbush, guitarist for a local band, SRC, blew my ear open one night and it is permanently dilated and, for a senior, I still hear very well. But I got stuff way before that!


And the beat goes on.

1967 Detroit Riots
missjosh
It was just about this time, 50 years ago today, that I received a phone call from my boss telling me not to come in to work tomorrow. My mother and I had just gotten home from our weekly visit to my father in the tuberculosis sanatorium in Northville.
While there, we watched a few minutes of the beginning of the riots, mainly the looting, in Downtown Detroit where I worked at First National Bldg on Woodward and Congress. My mother, born in Kentucky, said, in a resigned voice, “Well, the South finally won the war.” Then she turned the TV off and we concentrated on talking to father.
When I returned to work, because the buses were running, on Thursday, while the riots were still going on, I walked from the end of the bus line, on 2nd Avenue, to Woodward and down to Congress as I did every week day. However, on this day, across the street from our landmark, Hudson’s Department Store, Woodward was empty except for a huge tank rolling down the middle and a soldier with a rifle on every corner, esp. around Hudson’s.
I can still feel that End-of-the-World-Twilight-Zone feeling in the pit of my stomach to this day.
On CKLW (The Big CK) and WKNR (Keener) radio stations, the big hits of the day were: Light My Fire by The Doors and Give Peace a Chance by the Beatles. Irony upon irony.

Why I Need to Turn to God Even More Now
missjosh
I have not been feeling well for the past few months. I haven’t been talking about it much as I didn’t really know what to say.

In February, I woke up one day with a sore throat. I never have sore throats but I had been shouting a lot the day before and that was unusual for me so I wasn’t thinking of calling the doctor. I waited it out and it went away by the end of the day. However, the next day I woke up with a horrible cough, the kind you can hear for three blocks, and I lot of clear stuff was coming up. Then my body started having sharp pains when I would cough because it was so physical.

After a week, I decided to call the doctor’s office. I have trouble with the receptionist so I called after-hours to leave a message. Of course, she picked up. All I said was that I had a bad cough and she wanted to know what I expected the doctor to do about it. I said that I just wanted to talk to him and she took my number and hung up. The pharmacy delivered a medication and cough syrup ($8 for the bottle!) and, so, I took it. All the medicine did was make it harder for the stuff to come up and I had to cough harder plus the stuff got a little yellow. The cough medicine did nothing except taste like cod liver oil.

I waited a couple of days after I finished the prescription and called again. This time the receptionist was furious and yelled about the cough medicine. I told her it didn’t work. She hung up. The next day, I got a new 7 day, three-times-a-day, prescription and stopped taking the cough medicine.

Now up until this time all I had was cough. No fever, I was eating fine, etc. This medicine gave me a fever, an upset stomach, a visual aversion to food (even seeing it on TV or a picture of it), diarrhea, and closed my throat tighter. I had to cough harder to get even a little dark yellow stuff out and eventually it had red specks in it (blood).

Here’s the main kicker…I got dementia plus trouble breathing and lack of oxygen to my limbs. The last two days of the prescription and two days after, I couldn’t remember where the door was (I live in one room), how to brush my teeth after I got the toothpaste on the brush, etc. I was very wobbly with lack of oxygen to the brain and extremities and had to use my Rollator even in the apt.

Meanwhile, I had heard that there was coughing virus going around that lasted about a month and to wait it out if no other symptoms were showing up. Plus, there are medications that work fine on younger people but in seniors it can cause early onset dementia. And the receptionist and doctor never asked if I had any other symptoms besides the coughing or even how bad the coughing was.

After the heavy dementia went away, I was still having semi-severe problems for about a week. Now I deal with little things all day every day. Sure, I had a few problems before, part of it was short-term memory loss which is a side affect of ADD, but this is continual. I have gotten used to it, yes it’s still annoying, but I had nothing like this before February! Dementia does not come on that quickly and no one in my family suffered from it.

I waited out the cough, as my throat had opened up and I was coughing up the stuff easily again and it went back to my usual cough in April.

My regular doctor visit was in May. I tried to tell him that I had no symptoms of a cold or the flu, but I got them after I took the meds. I tried to tell him about the dementia and the lack of oxygen. He didn’t want to hear about it. He kept running out of the room (not normal for him at all) saying he had to write a prescription (not for me). Finally, he said there was a test for early onset dementia and I said I wanted it. He said alright he would set it up at my local hospital. He had a hole in the crotch of his pants and he was flashing people (at least he was wearing underwear) and he gave me some ‘rap’ handshake which hurt due to my arthritic hands.

While I was in the room I noticed a new sign about the difference between a physical and a wellness visit. For the past 20-25 years all he does is check to see if my ankles are still small and writing down all the problems I am having and that is it. He did give me a bone scan on occasion, as he has the machine right there, and knows I have lost an inch. Last century, in x-raying for sciatica, he discovered two disintegrating discs in my lower spine, but has ignored it. He does take blood samples, and EKG on my heart, urinalysis, and has me breathe in a tube.

I have never been x-rayed (or, now-a-days scanned) for my lungs, back, knees, head, etc. In other words, I have not had a physical in decades. Plus, in 2014 I lost two pints of blood and he has no idea where it came from (I did have an endoscopy and a colonoscopy, both fine but then he quit looking).

So, it is August, and I have not received my May results nor the head scan. My back and knees are worse and even my little ankles are swollen at night when I go to bed.

I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. So, I do what I have done my whole life…I live with it and shut up. Should I try calling the doctor or find a new doctor or call about getting a physical or what?

We all know I have anxiety/depression and maybe he thinks I’m just another hypochondriac, although he has been my doctor for 35 years. I just don’t know and I’m living in fear and anxiety/depression as well as the pain.

Meanwhile, I got a raise in food stamps which gives me some extra cash money. So, I have been getting things that can help a disabled senior. Some things were just old and needed updating. I did get a laptop and tablet (as who spends more time in doctors’ waiting rooms and hospitals than seniors?) and newer cooking appliances, etc. I talked the bldg into updating my air conditioner to the new ones that run when it cold outside but hot and humid inside and it even has temperature control (besides ‘on’ and ‘off’) and a remote control! I got a little vacuum cleaner/hand held vacuum that is light weight and cleans up the floor although it still hurts my back, but I can do a little at a time. I am going to start getting Meals-On-Wheels, hopefully next month. And I want to try learning to sell things on Ebay (and some brand new rugs I will do on Craig’s List because I don’t want to have to try and mail them).

So, I have some positive things happening, but mostly negative. I even got press-ganged onto the Resident Council and got bitten by bed bugs in the chair. Really? Really. I haven’t spoken to anyone, but Donna (and then not everything), about how I feel. My eyes were messed up two years ago by a surgeon but I got them lasered this year and can finally see pretty well again. I got a dermatologist because of my (as it turns out) very thin skin. I go on the computer to visit a few friends on Facebook as most of them cheer me up, even if it is just praying for them. I play brain games to try and ward off the dementia and am trying to get back to my writing. Of course, I’m having trouble with setting up the laptop and Don is leaving for Philippines on the 10th, and so it goes. I will find a way. Carolyn and Donna have tablets so they can show me how to work it…all I know is that somehow I pushed on something and got Candy Crush for free! It’s a start. Now, I need to download music! I have my books and loads of puzzle magazines and lots of jigsaw puzzles and games (if I can find someone to play with downstairs). I am trying my best to be as independent as possible, including in-home care when I need it.

So, that is why I have been concentrating on my Bible and devotional readings and praying and putting ‘GOD’ a lot on my Facebook page. This is the time for prayer and belief and hanging in there with the Lord’s help.

God bless all my dear friends.

P.S.

I forgot to mention, which means I need an actual list, I tend to sleep/pass out after the first and second meals of the day.

I just read, AARP or Reader’s Digest, the average head weighs between 10 and 20 pounds. If you look down, to your neck, it is the equivalent of 60 pounds. It was a warning to people about their cell phone usage. Eventually, this could do you neck and upper spinal cord damage. At least, you have control over your head and can help to hold it up. So, I’m going to assume that if you are asleep, it is a dead weight and most likely heavier.

I know people ‘nod’ off but it is usually not on a regular basis unless they are sleep deprived or getting much older. Many people in my senior bldg take a lot of naps once they get past 80.

I have no idea what it wrong with me but for the past 3 years I just ‘nod’ off right after I finish eating. I have no warning and don’t feel sleepy.

I normally get 8 hours sleep. If I have fewer hours, say due to going to the store on the Senior Centre bus, I go back to bed for about 2 hours after I get the food put away. Therefore, my problem is not due to sleep deprivation.

I don’t lie down during the day as I live in a one room apt and I use the bed as a table the other 16 hours, which is why I make it every day. Also, after the endoscopy, the gastroenterologist said that I am not to lie down for at least an hour after eating.

I have learned to tape anything I’m watching on TV during meals to avoid missing the ending (DVDs can be backed up and books just stay right there where I left off).

I am ‘ou’t from anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour and a half. Occasionally, I do wake up/come to and try to get up but go right back to sleep. This can happen two, three or four times. At some point, my brain/body lets me go and I can get back to what I want to do. I only feel dragged out for about 5 minutes or less, to not at all. I’m not running a fever. As a matter of fact, all this particular summer I have been running about a degree below normal. My ‘normal’ is 97.8°, so about 96.3° to 96.9°. My mother was told I’m anemic when I was child, but this doctor has never agreed with that. Some people just run different ‘normal’ temperatures. And fairly often, if I’m upset, I get chills inside my body but my temp reading is normal.

No, I don’t have the problem after the third meal of the day but that is late at night, or early in the morning if you prefer, and that is when my brain functions the highest. The darker it gets, the perkier I am.

So, imagine my head hanging down for that length of time plus arthritis in my neck. That can’t be good. Occasionally my head falls back and I read that if you fall asleep like that in a chair it can bring on a stroke. (Strokes run in my family and I’ve had a few small ones that I have ignored as there is nothing a hospital can do about it. When people have a major stroke, after the head scan, the first thing a doctor will say is, “Did you know you’ve had several small strokes?” Well, in my case, I actually know about some of them, so I can answer, “Yes.”) Sometimes I wake up/come to and I am bent over and my head is practically on my knees. However, I usually wake up/come to in the exact position I was in: Holding a book, my face in my hands, leaning on the arm of the chair, etc. Of course, any extremities that are ‘up in the air’ have ‘fallen asleep’ as the saying goes. The rest of my body doesn’t move so it is like I am frozen. When I go to bed, I do wake up in a different position than when I fell asleep, so I sleep normally.

Well, you’ve got me on this one…
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