New member saying hello (warning, it’s long and I’m a bore )

Mayan

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Hello and I hope everyone is drumming plenty and staying healthy and sane during this crazy time in our lives. Glad to be here and look forward to continuing to enjoy the time I spend here, as I’ve been lurking and reading a bit. Now I can post and ask for advices and hopefully contribute something...eventually, anyway.

I played drums as a kid, started at age 11 or so and did the school music stuff, marching band and wind ensemble and festivals etc. Then I went off to school and that was the beginning of the end of my playing. First only the summers, and just less and less did I have the ability to play the drums I owned. Then I moved across the country to SoCal and after six or seven years, I told my dad he could sell my drums, get a few hundred bux. Which he did (I regret not asking him to keep the snare drum, a Slingerland Spitfire, and I have also posted a thread on the marketplace/wanted board, I’d like to find more of those drums). And that was probably fifteen years ago. So it has been 20 years since I played drums with a decent ability or technique.

Fast forward to last summer, and my recent serious back pain turned into paralysis. I was driving a manual transmission at the time, and the need to take my hands off the wheel and stick, to pick up my left leg from the clutch, meant I should stop driving. !!!! So I did. And called a couple friends who took about 45 minutes during late afternoon L.A. traffic to get where I parked in Venice Beach. By the time they got there, the tingles in my legs were gone, and my body from the bottom of my pectoral muscles to my toes was essentially dead weight. My friends struggled to pull me out of my car and put me in the back of their SUV. And it took another 40 minutes or so to make our way back to Cedars Sinai where I was gonna live for the next two weeks.

After the mandatory EKG and other standard tests were fine, they did X-rays and MRI and by 10:30PM or so I was shaking hands with the spine surgeon who told me his twin brother, a neurosurgeon, had also gotten out of bed and was on his way for my spinal fusion surgery. Of course I asked if there was another option. “Do you wanna walk again?” was the response before I finished the question. So they fused my thoracic spine, T3 through T9.

On day one, I walked with a walker and plenty of assistance, beginning rehab right away. But I walked only one time before they came to do an echocardiogram. They bones they removed from my spine and replaced with rods were cultured and revealed streptococcus in my spine and blood. And sure enough, the echocardiogram showed that two of my heart valves were infected. Not only that, but I had a genetic aortic aneurysm, and it was enormous. My aorta was dilated to 9.4 centimeters, it should be no more than 4cm. This comes with a 90% mortality rate, so the surgery was urgent. Should the aneurysm rupture, death it is. But I had streptococcus in my blood and it needed to clear before the valve replacement and graft procedure. So a week of using antibiotics along with lots of poly-pharmacy to keep my pulse slightly elevated but my blood pressure slightly lowered, so I would be as safe as possible as the bacteria cleared.

The surgeries were August 7 and 14th, and I came home the 21st. I recovered remarkably well, I have no pain to speak of, better-than-ever posture. And my endurance is fine, I need to remind myself when I’m on the elliptical that I had serious heart surgery, slow down a little! But I‘m incredibly blessed to feel this way. During my recovery when I was still in the hospital, I started to look at drums online. eBay and craigslist, stuff on GC’s website, etc. And I decided when I was able to, I would start playing again.

In November as I was walking near where I live in L.A. (rehab), I passed GC and then walked in the Sam Ash Percussion store and just looked around a minute. Such beautiful drums, and pretty cool how acoustic drums and hardware haven’t actually changed all that much since Y2K. I played used Slingerland drums growing up, and when I left Sam Ash I googled to discover the DW purchase of the Slingerland brand from Gibson. That sealed it for me, I knew if those drums were coming back and hopefully DW was gonna make a quality product, I was gonna wanna get a kit when they were ready, it was another sign to me.

Then the pandemic lockdown begins, I start reading and find one of those Slingerland Spitfire snares on eBay and make it mine. And of course I was psyched for the delivery and got impatient during the weeklong wait. So when I found a mahogany 4 piece Slingerland kit on Craigslist that came with hardware and cymbals and even cases with a junk box for $950, I drove to look. And brought them home. I live in a small complex of townhomes, and now I have one neighbor who is generally obnoxious who is displeased, and a bunch of other neighbors who have been really nice in telling me how great it sounds, as dishonest as they may be (it’s Hollywood, people are full of sh!t!!!), and boy do I need to practice!

So after that massive novel (thank you if you stayed with it), hello to all of the drummers and other great people who post here, I hope all are well, and I look forward to being a little bit better than I could’ve been, had I not come here.
 
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Drumbumcrumb

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Incredible story! Welcome, and welcome back. A good set of drums, especially a set that has nostalgic connections, can be both therapeutic and rehabilitative. At least that’s the rationale I use to write them off on my taxes... badump bump. But seriously, it’s great that your back on the throne. Next stop: GARAGE BAND (you’re gonna need a good size garage so all the band members can stand 17 feet apart - it’s gonna feel weird at first, but it’ll catch on)
 

rhythmace

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Mayan, you made bad stuff a very interesting read, that reminded me of what really matters. Health! (not a boring story, to say the least!) Thanks for the perspective on real life. We do take ourselves too seriously sometimes. Drumming is fun! Also, just in case you haven't seen my jelly bean Rogers orphans set? Ace
BestVintageAwardResized.jpg
 

dsop

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You can't be very old. Did you ever discover what may have provoke the back/spine issues? That's scary stuff. My nephew (around 30 years old) had a second back surgery today. During the surgery, the surgeon tore the dura lining which covers the nerves and spinal fluid. He had to spend a bunch of time repairing the tear with sutures, glue and patches. On top of that, the stitching needle they were forced to use wasn't as fine as the one they usually use, as it's on backorder due to covid19. That resulted in more holes. Now when my nephew gets vertical, gravity pulls the liquid from his brain and gives him nausea and dizziness and eye pain. They're keeping him in the hospital for a few days for observation (and to keep him horizontal).

Back pain sucks.

Oh, I almost forgot.... I had a Slingerland Spitfire snare back around 1979/80. It was beautiful, but 12 lugs is just too much. I too look forward to the new Slingerland from DW.
 

Fat Drummer

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Wow, welcome aboard.... and that was certainty NOT boring! Glad you mending so well and we all wish you a complete and total recovery. I'm looking forward to your post and following you along the journey to playing drums again!

Ward
 

drummer5359

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Hi Mayan, and welcome to DFO!

You seem to have a positive attitude, that is most of the battle. I have health issues and physical challenges myself, my love of drumming is one of the things that keeps me going.

Good to have you here, and welcome back to drumming!
 

AgentGreen

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welcome! what a story! I can only relate to the break in playing drums. I played in high school and stopped once I started university. Fast forward 20 some odd years and I've picked it up again having someone to actually play with, so plenty of motivation to get better. Good luck with your health and drumming!
 

DanRH

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Welcome! That was an epic read which I appreciate and admire your attitude and determination. Welcome to DFO. Have you considered edrums to get back your chops?
 

BennyK

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Always room for one more !! welcome to DFO

So you're flying a Spitfire , what are you driving ? I figure you'd be the one to ask about spinal-friendly vehicles . Right now I'm limited to no more than 40 minutes behind the wheel , I'm interested in improving that .
 

Mayan

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Wow so many kind replies!! I’m really glad to be here. And so happy to be playing drums again after nearly 20 years off. I discovered that no, it’s not ”just like riding a bike”, for myself anyway, after such a long time. But muscle memory is for real, and every day the sticks feel better and better in my hands, open rolls are cleaner and cleaner.

dsop, I’m 41, I was forty when all the craziness happened last august. And I’m sorry to hear about your nephew. He will be in my positive thoughts for sure. I had my thoracic spine fused which is unusual right in the middle, it’s usually a lumbar or cervical fusion. So I am incredibly fortunate to be free of pain now. This was not the case before my surgery, there was a lot of pain as the discs dissolved and my spine collapsed just before paralysis, so I definitely sympathize with anyone dealing with back issues and surgeries.

rhythmace, that is the most perfectly matched mismatched group of orphans I’ve ever seen!!! Well done, and I’m sure they sound great too.

To everyone else, thanks so much for the welcome. I do have a question for anyone reading. Maybe I’ll start a new thread to ask, but I’ll leave it here too: I always played single pedal bass drum. Now that I’m starting again after such a long time off, I thought maybe I should get a double pedal and learn something completely new. Thursday I watched an interview with Taylor Hawkins on YouTube, and he mentioned that he tried to learn double bass technique but it was too late. He said he believed that 90% of ones playing style is sorta cemented in the first couple of years, and after that it seems impossible. Any opinions on that? Of course it isn’t impossible, but what he is saying makes some sense also. And of course it’s always cool to learn how to do something new.
 

Mayan

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BennyK...I’m still driving the same car I was driving when I had to pull over, paralyzed. It’s a 2017 Audi S5. The manual gearbox option was gone after 2017, so I decided to buy the car when the lease ended. It will be valuable to someone some day, I hope. Fortunately now I can drive it without any problems.
 
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