Tuesday, May 06, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2650, May 6th, 2014


Today marks the 8th anniversary of the LuLac Political Letter. We are now entering our ninth year of providing perspective on politics and pop culture in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties. Thus the name LuLac.
When this began eight years ago I wanted to have an avenue to share my thoughts, opinions and observations on Politics. I brought to the table my experience in Media, (Radio, TV and Newspaper) as well as a Government and Politics Degree from King’s College. But more importantly I brought to this endeavor the kitchen table discussions I was fortunate to have with parents, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends, who through the years gave me their insight, ideas and opinions. My family on both sides never were rich, but we never went without the essentials. However we were rich in our ability to opine on the political system, one that was defended by numerous uncles of mine in World War II. That is the perspective I am most proud of when writing LuLac.
Providence willing, we will head into our ninth year doing what we’ve done for the past 2650 editions.
1.Show up almost every day.
2 Give our opinion as openly and non judgmentally as possible.
3.Try to educate, entertain and inform.


As we begin this ninth year, I’d like to give you a personal insight about what has been going on with me since the Fall of 2012. I’ve been hinting about a neurological issue for about 14 months now. Today, on this anniversary is a good time to tell the story. Shortly after the Presidential Election of 2012, I started to get terrible pains in my neck. Then I lost the ability to chew and eat. I chalked it up to fatigue because at the time I was still trying to do LuLac and handle my job responsibilities with extra overtime. But as Thanksgiving drew near, things got worse. My neck was now drooping so I couldn’t pick my head up without severe pain. Showering, shaving, and even putting on my jacket took a long time. Having had cancer and a hip replacement, I had thought nothing could stop me in my tracks. This disease did.
After a visit to a hospital Emergency Room, a brain scan for tumors, and other various and sundry tests I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis.
MG is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that affects the voluntary muscles of an individual. The immune system attacks the receptors on the muscle at the neuromuscular junction which limits the ability of the muscle to receive the signal from the nerve to work. As a result, the individual with MG experiences fluctuating muscle weakness.
The symptoms were not pretty. They include weakness in muscles that control eye movements and eyelids, chewing, swallowing, coughing, facial expressions, arm and leg movements, and breathing. MG strikes people of all ages, races, and genders. There is no known cure for MG, but there are effective treatments.
Anyone can get MG but it is not communicable. Young & old, male & female and all races can have MG. I’m told that 1 in 25,000 people have MG. So it appears my neighbors in the North End of Wilkes Barre are safe as well as my colleagues in the Hanover Industrial Park.
There are degrees of severity of Myasthenia. Some people have drooping eyelids. I had the worst of all worlds. I checked myself into Geisinger last February when my breathing became compromised. I had a thymectomy to remove my thymus gland. About a third of these operations put the disease in remission.
Through my recovery process I had many plasmapheresis treatments, which cleanse the blood of “bad” antibodies.
I started on a series of medications used to suppress the immune system. I returned to writing LuLac in late March of last year and was doing well until I had a setback in April. I returned to work in May of 2013 and knock on wood have been there ever since. I resumed my TV activities as well as trying to get out to events for this blogsite. When I look at the old You Tube videos of me and Tarone, I never realized how sick I was back then.
I put off telling this story for a number of reasons. Primarily I did not want to jinx myself and get sick again. Plus I didn’t feel comfortable outing myself until I was ready.
June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness month and I will be helping our support group at Allied Services get some needed awareness. I am encouraging people in my support group to tell their stories. The damn thing is no one knows what this disease is and people in my family and friends still have no clue what was wrong. People who have it look fine.
I will never be cured but I will be able to maintain this through medication. There are times when I push myself and when I do, the Myasthenia Man in my body slaps me on the side of the head. I usually take a nap and get back up.
In a strange way Myasthenia has had a positive effect. I appreciate things more like having a simple cracker without choking, eating an apple in under 4 minutes, and taking out the garbage. They say Myasthenia will bring you to your knees but will never make you cry. I’m sure the people in my support group will disagree with that. I did cry though when I returned to work last May 13th. As I entered the office a line of my co workers formed in the hallway as I returned to work after two months. I’ll never forget that kindness.
How has this affect LuLac? I’ve come to terms with the fact that even though my symptoms are under control, I need to be careful. So if you see me at a meeting or an event, I’ll be taking occasional spells sitting to get my energy back. (Don’t want that neck drooping. I hate talking to feet!).
The work on the 590 Forever blog will continue too. My goal there is to tell 590 Mighty Memories. In terms of comments, we will still moderate (or censor to some) and if I don’t get to them right away, don’t panic. Like Prego Sauce, they will be “in there”.
I have been very careful in terms of proofing but sometimes I miss a few things. But I do my best to keep them at a minimum and I do take constructive criticism. Mrs. LuLac and I thought that perhaps we can get Donald Sterling’s “assistant” to proof some of my work. But that would be problematic since we’d have to teach her how to read first.
Okay, okay, couldn’t resist.
We’re into year number 9 and will do our best to bring you news of politics and pop culture as we have for the past few years. We thank you for your support, your comments, your loyalty and your interest.
Now on to year number 9. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, HERE'S THE MG LINK:  http://www.myasthenia.org/


At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ya Yonks! Like Babe Ruth had stomach aches and missed games. Whats the real story?
Hang in there, Buddy. You are a survivor and a credit to Lulacland
in many ways.
Stay well and keep up the good work.


At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, having had several conversations with you during your suffering, fight and recovery, I understand a lot more about your struggle than about the disease itself. I did wonder where you got the strength to do all that you continued doing and gained a real understanding of your dedication to not just LuLac but to your job and to your family. I'm much to much of a wuss to put forth the effort you did. I think I would have found comfort in the couch and I have no doubt that I would have become self absorbed to the point of not caring if the world became unhinged.
You offered a great deal of information about a rare disease that I'll bet few of your loyal LuLac fans knew much about. I have no clue if there is something you can be doing to remain in remission but if there is, I have no doubt that you do everything possible to avoid reliving that experience.
I think that the positive that comes from this will be a new found respect your followers will have for your dedication to what you do and your determination to hang tough and walk the walk.
Count me among those who cherish your friendship and appreciate all you do to inform and keep us up to date on the happenings in LuLac land.
Wil Toole

At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Lulac is a winner and respect and appreciate the efforts that go into creating something almost
everyday let alone the obstacles you must sometimes overcome to get it done.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job with LuLac. And that idiot on from noon to 3 has the nerve to say he does his thing with one hand behind his back.
Continued good health.

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stand tall, Mr Yonki. You are a throwback to another age. Many would long ago have seized the opportunity to go on the dole, but you fight back no matter what the odds. Agree or disagree your ideas are most often well thought out and well expressed. You can be tough but there is a humanity to your character which consistently shines through.
Keep up the good fight, Sir. Good luck and good health in your future endeavors.


At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well first off I appreciate your energy. It's like you relish the process of getting back up again.
Love your thoughts even though I disagree politically and enjoy your perspective. Too bad a local newspaper doesn't put your link up.
Good health.

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk..you do more running around on this blogsite than some paid news people. Great job. Love the way you write. Bought all the books. Keep rocking and rolling man.

At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, I really think you have expanded LuLac into a very fine go to instrument for people interested in this stuff. Plus I really like you on WBRE TV too. Great job. You'd never know the disease you are carrying. Tough guy!!
Stay writing.

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 8th.....love the features, especially Maybe I'm Amazed.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Joe V said...

Yonk - my mom has MG. She's 85 and doing fine. Like you said it was frustrating and it took a while, but now has it under control.
you friend
Joe V


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