Saturday, September 28, 2013

Did I mention I am stubborn?

July 2001….  I went to the ER because I had tremendous pain in my side.  After hours of tests and blood work and other procedures I learned that I was type 2 diabetic.  I guess I was not very shocked because I never watched what I ate and I could drink a six pack of Coke in a sitting. But I just didn’t believe it. It was not a concern for me, so I casually took the medicine that I was prescribed and even bought the blood sugar tester and strips. I checked my levels on and off but still did not take it very seriously. I felt like I was bullet proof and I would be fine…..

Over time I developed neuropathy in both of my feet and to be honest it still did not motivate me to get myself fixed. At one point I stepped on a needle that was on the floor and did not notice it was stuck in my foot for over a week. Guess what?? I still did not make any changes. Dumb.

In February of this year, while taping an episode of The Pro Wrestling Report, I hated the way I looked on tv. I decided then that enough was enough and I had to make some life changes. I enrolled in a gym and changed my eating habits. I started to do my work. It was not easy, 40 years of bad eating habits had to be changed immediately. I started off barely doing 5 minutes on the elliptical machine, finally building up to 10 minutes, then 20 minutes and eventually 45 minutes. I was slowly getting stronger and healthier. 

It took how I looked on TV instead of healing my body to finally get healthy. How selfish and stupid am I?? I am just happy something motivated me to make some changes... I need to make them quick

This past April after returning from Wrestlemania in NYC, I had some dry skin on my feet and I bought a skin shaver to remove the skin. I thought that was the best way to do it, nice and easy….. Unfortunately, I nicked both feet in the same place, both under the pinky toes.  Once again…. Cellulitis set in.  So again I went straight to the ER and got antibiotic IV. My primary doctor had me go to a foot doctor immediately.  Right away I was started on antibiotics and wearing post op shoes to relieve the stress and pressure off my feet.

The doctor made it clear I needed to be off my feet, but I am stubborn and I was on a mission to get healthy. So I continued going to the gym every day and pounding my feet on the treadmill and elliptical machine.  As much good as the doctors were doing for me I was going backwards by constantly going to the gym. But I was determined to lose the weight and get healthy, I was afraid this would hurt my chances of achieving my goal. Did I mention I am stubborn?

Summer of 2013 may have been my busiest ever for GLCW. We had over 15 live events and appearances scheduled. Did I mention I was supposed to stay off my feet?? After a long weekend in July with my dear, good, personal, and longtime friend Al Snow (5 events in 3 days) I went back to my wound clinic doctor and he was not pleased. He could tell that I was not staying off my feet and put ly left foot in a total contact cast that has to be replaced every week. The cast keeps the weight and pressure off my foot and lets the wound heal. Every Monday I would spend 3 hours in the clinic getting the cast changed.  I continued to go to the gym and live my life, I figured the cast would do all the work.  Unfortunately the right foot did not have cast on it and continued to stay the same or get gradually worse.

In the middle of August I had to cancel the second show of my 16 year GLCW career because my foot was not healing properly and the doctor said I need to stay off my right foot.  Shortly after I had both my left and right feet in the casts.  According to my doctor he had never had a patient with both feet in casts, I reminded him I am a #SuperHerro. Did I mention I am stubborn?? 

I kept going forward still going to the gym with both casts on. I was achieving my goals I had dropped almost 60 pounds since April and I got my A1C from a 9.5 to a 5.2 which means I was no longer “diabetic” but I still have and will always have diabetic feet. My doctor was very pleased and thought I was gonna be in the clear. After all I had my left foot in the cast for almost 13 weeks and was almost healed and now the right foot would be on the way.

My right foot lasted one week (last week) in the cast before I felt it swelling up and I went straight to the ER on Sunday night to have the cast removed. The ER doctor saw how red my foot was and I knew it was cellulitis again. The doctor immediately set up and MRI on my foot for Monday morning and wound care doctor to immediately follow.  The MRI showed that the infection had worked its way into the bone in my foot and surgery was immediately required. The doctor sent me straight to the hospital and had me hooked up to IV for two straight days to help fight the infection before the surgery.

I checked into the hospital on Tuesday morning and was immediately taken for all different kinds of tests. They even put in a IV picc in my right arm so that I could receive IV antibiotics for the next six weeks, every day…  The surgeon’s assistant came to see me to go over the game plan and told me that the plan was to remove about 2 to 3 inches of the bone under my right pinky toe. He then asked if I wanted to have the pinky sewn to my other toe or just have it removed all together… What?!?!? He said because if they take the three inches of bone, I would not have any support for the pinky and it would “flop around”.  All the years of terrible diet and no exercise went thru my mind… All those Cokes, cookies, and cakes was going to cost me a toe….

Thursday morning I woke at 3am because I had surgery scheduled for 230pm. My last meal was my Quest protein bar (2g of sugar). Then it was time to wait…. I am such an impatient person it is ridiculous. Kal says I need to work on that…  Speaking of Kal, he was all I could think about  and how he would react to everything. I did not want him to worry or to be scared.

So at 2pm, the nurse came to get me and rolled me down to the operating room. I met my doctor and he assured me that because I had worked on my weight and got my blood sugars in check along with two days of IV antibiotics that I would be able to keep my pinky toe and it would not need to be sewn to the other toe. I would lose about two inches of bone and that a skin graph would cover the wound. If I stay off my feet I can be good to go in 4 to 6 weeks.  Twenty minutes later I had the anesthesiologist work his magic and I was out. I woke up two hours later in the recovery room and I laughed. I couldn’t believe how fast that gas worked.

The doctor came to see me and said that everything went great and that I need to stay off my feet for everything to work. He told me that there is a chance I would not need the IV pick and I could just take oral antibiotics but I would need to spend another night in the hospital. Three nights in the hospital was a nightmare for me, all I could do was lay in that bed. It turned out to be the best thing for me.

Friday morning the docs took some more blood tests and were amazed that my white blood cells had dropped to where they were supposed to be and that the infection was gone. The IV pick was removed, what a relief.  I was able to come home on Friday late afternoon and I had dodged a bullet.

All I can say is that I was very blessed and very lucky. The years of sugar abuse I have done to my body should have taken my foot. That still could happen, but I am determined to Go Forward and beat this battle. No longer will I eat they way I have in the past and drink all those sugary drinks anymore. Diabetes is no joke. I hope that some of you take this as a lesson and make life changes if you need to. Get healthy. There is no reason to lose body parts because of a Snickers or a Twinkie.  Eat in moderation not excess.

Kal is my number one priority and I made a promise that I will not fail him. I never want him to have to answer the question.. “Do you want us to sew your two toes together or just remove the pinky toe”.   Since April I made changes I should have made years ago, I just was not ready for it. Kal and I both live healthier lifestyles and will continue to do so.

I am sorry that this blog is so long, but I want to thank each and every one of my #SuperFriends for reaching out and wishing me well.  I am sorry that I have to postpone GLCW Shenanigans on October 4th but I promise with this time off to heal I will guarantee that this year’s BlizzardBrawl on Saturday, December 7th will be tremendous.

Much love and appreciation to you all.

 Top photo April 2013 and bottom on June 28th 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Indy Scene... Box Office

This is just my personal take on the local independents and I am sure it applies to more than just Milwaukee….

I have been promoting shows since 1998 (Great LakesChampionship Wrestling) and I believe I have seen a lot of good and terrible talent over this time. I know some of the guys and girls have gone on to big things in the business and others have just stayed in the same place or have even left.

Independent wrestling is no longer about guys and girls that one day hope to become a star in the wrestling business it is now becoming a place where weekend warriors complain that they are not being used right or not getting their “opportunity”.

Where did this go wrong? I know the wrestling business has evolved and changed into something different, but “back in the day” people paid their proverbial dues. They got trained PROPERLY, they invested into real ring gear not just kick pads, they invested in their look, their body, their personality. Ever hear of tanning?

Today at most indy shows I cannot differentiate the in ring performer from the fan in the crowd. What happened? I believe it has become too easy to become a professional wrestler. Anyone can buy gear online find someone to “train” them for $100 and within a few weeks have their first match.

No longer do potential wrestlers pay a credible trainer (sometimes up too $5,000) to learn their craft. Wrestling school is just that a school. If you went to college and paid $100 a semester to get your degree I would have to wonder what kind of education you are really getting…?? Then after you learn the basics you would put on the ref shirt and ref some matches so you could learn from others from a different view point. Then maybe after six months or so you would get in the ring with someone that is a true veteran and work a match… Not anymore….

I get a kick out of talent that has that “sense of entitlement” that they should be booked on every show. Last I checked, the promoter runs the show, it is his or her money invested. Why does anyone think they should be able to tell the person with the money how to spend it??

Finally…. I hear far too often that a talent is being held back or disrespected or not being used enough. Well maybe if you had a fan base that bought tickets you would find yourself higher up on the card. Wrestling is a business that survives on fans buying tickets. If they fans do not buy tickets to see you perform, why would any promoter want to invest any time into you? Now before anyone says, “It is the promoters job to sell the tickets” you are wrong. It is the promoters job to make the people aware that there is an event, it is up to the talent to get over with the people that they want to come out and buy a ticket.

Just because you are the most talented and have the best matches does not mean you are getting over with the paying audience. Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage was the best wrestling match at Wrestle Mania 3, but 93,000 people paid to see Hulk Hogan body slam Andre the Giant.

Just keeping it real…. #DHHS

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finally...... I will explain why The Rock is needed for the WWE

The WWE had their Royal Rumble PPV last Sunday and the headlining Main Event was WWE Champion, CM Punk defending against The Rock. 

For the past seven days I have been reading the comments, the complaints, and the nonsense about how The Rock as WWE Champion is bad for business. That CM Punk got robbed. That CM Punk is a better wrestler. That The Rock will just leave the WWE for Hollywood after WrestleMania. You know what, I am sure most of that is true. Was Punk robbed? Maybe so. Is Punk a better wrestler? Probably yes. Will The Rock leave for Hollywood again? Absolutely. So I guess most of you could be right.

The fact of the matter is, nobody on the current WWE roster (except Cena and maybe Punk) has been elevated to pop culture or mainstream status. WrestleMania is about the show, the experience, the event. The WWE needs The Rock more than The Rock needs the WWE.  

If the current roster was WrestleMania ready then the WWE would not need to call upon Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Triple H, The Undertaker, and The Rock. As talented as guys like Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and Daniel Bryan are they have yet to become the larger than life stars that the brand needs.  Now I do not blame the talent for all of this. The creative minds at WWE have started and stopped and started and stopped many of the young talents pushes more than I can count.

The Rock is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He brings a humendous spot light onto the WWE brand leading up to WrestleMania. He will sell tickets. He will create buzz. He will be on all the talk shows promoting his main event match. When the general public flips thru the channels they might just stop and watch the great one.  Name one current WWE star that can create this kind of buzz on Leno, Letterman, or Conan? Nobody…..yet.

When The Rock headlines WrestleMania against John Cena (or CM Punk) he will pass the proverbial torch to one of them. Some of you say he does not need to be WWE Champ to pass the torch. The WWE title is needed for this match otherwise The Rock vs Cena does not get there without it. There is no reason for each other to challenge the other again. The WWE Title is the cherry on top of the Sunday. It is the exclamation point. The two biggest stars in the company will be fighting over the WWE’s greatest prize.

I understand that “Passing the torch” does not always work out (Hogan to Warrior or Rock to Brock) but right now the WWE needs this. Cena is a legitimate star. The Rock dropping the WWE title to him makes him Legendary. 

WrestleMania is about the spectacle... Remember Snooki, Maria Menounos Liberace, Muhammad Ali, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Eucker, Pete Rose, Lawrence Taylor, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Mickie Rourke,Donald Trump, etc etc all brought BUZZ to the event. Now the WWE has one of their own to elevate someone else to the stratosphere level...

Believe me when I tell you the three months that The Rock will be the WWE Champion will only make the business and the current product better. Guys like Punk, Sheamus, Ziggler, Rhodes, and Del Rio will have a larger audience to show their talents. The rub The Rock gives the WWE is well worth the three months as WWE champion. Still don’t believe me?? Then just wait and see, it will prove itself. #DHHS