text of an email from watt describing his "piss bag" illness of 2000

(this is the text of an email flowed by watt to let his friends know what had happened to him regarding the infectious assault on his perinieum beginning in january of 2000)

watt update for may 11, 2000


   it's been ten weeks and a couple days since my
surgery. for those of you wondering what that was
for, let me give you a short summary: in the last
week of january I came down w/flu symptoms. the
first doctors I went to missed what I really had (an
internal abscess in my perineum) and after a month I
almost died but was saved w/emergency surgery by the
doctors at l.a. county hospital downtown. I have been
laid up in bed healing ever since. it's been ten
weeks and a couple of days now since my surgery and
the wounds that resulted are pretty much healed.
of the three holes, two have closed up and the
remaining one (which was a four inch slit used to
clean me out) is now only the size of a pencil's
diameter. saw the doctor sunday and he said when I
see him again in three weeks I'll probably have
nothing to show him. the human body is truly a
miracle and it amazes how resilient it can be. a big
thanks to my sister melinda for tending to me and
keeping my hurts so clean. the doc said due to all
the care her and myself took, I didn't even need the
stitches he thought it was gonna take to close the
shit up.

   also, many thanks to all the sweet folks who
helped me get through this w/kind words, calls,
letters, books, emails, videos, vibes and visits. I
am forever indebted. I'm now working at getting
stronger on my legs, my bass and the tunes for my
next record. I'm even going to try doing some gigs
this month, one of which is tonight w/perk, nels
and norton. I'm pretty weak on wrestlin' this boom
stick now but there's no other way to get set back
in the saddle except to go out and ride. my timing
is shot to shit and my strength is piddily but how
else to get it together? I saw richard hell read in
venice, saw wire and leaving trains play and sure,
it was a struggle but I gotta start my climb, up
and out. last week was my first practice w/amps
and drums. wow, was it loud but I'm popped from
the bed and back in the practice pad, glad to
throw some pracs!

   I've had lots of time to think and am very
grateful to have a future where I got a shot to try
my hardest. I cannot ride a bike yet or swim to
catalina but I can get around and take care of
myself, even if I still hurt - it's good hurt, it's
healing hurt. I'm going slow but still am going
forward, steady and being very careful. I'm making
it back to good health and this is a gift I will
not take for granted.

               forever and universally grateful, watt

here's the three other past updates:

from april 4, 2000
> hola all,
>   five weeks now since surgery, ten since this sick
> ride began. lots of good news: after a harrowing six
> days, the bladder infection subsided. six days that
> will live for me in infamy. last week the piss-bag
> tube got yanked from my bladder by the doc at county
> so no more plastic in watt. also, no more antibiotics
> and no more narcotic painkillers (nightmare givers /
> constipators). hurting a little but healing right
> along.
>   on saturday (april one) I played my bass for the
> first time since feb one. I played for about an hour
> and my fingers were really weak and unsure. I just
> improvised around a d7 chord, playing slow and
> always returning to the root, d. it sure was a weird
> experience. I haven't gone that long w/out playing
> since I started doing bass as a teenager. such a
> trip... I'm gonna take it a little bit at a time
> each day.
>   later, I also took a walk to the oldest graveyard
> in pedro, _harbor view_. it's about a block from my
> pad but it took a long time to get there cuz I can
> only take small geisha boy steps. it's got san
> pedro's first church, a tiny wood one they moved
> over from other side of town in the 50s. it's from
> the late 1800s and it's never used, always locked
> up. the cemetery's small too, about a block square.
> can't see the harbor any more cuz of all the stucco
> box apartment crap surrounding it but it's quiet.
> all the people buried there are from when pedro was
> young. some were sailors in the navy by the look of
> the headstones. some even u.s. calvary! lots of
> italians, slavs and scandinavians (probably all
> fishermen). most the stones lie flat in the ground
> so you don't really see them unless you're looking
> over them so it ain't that gruesome. looks like a
> peaceful little park. good to get some air and do
> some thinking outside. felt great to lie down on
> thick, green grass and let the warm breeze blow over
> me, a big old tree filtering out the bright sun
> w/it's branches. wonder if it's roots are all
> tangled up w/the folks planted downstairs?
>   maybe a month more of laying in bed, whatever
> takes, I'll see how it goes and go w/it - no rush.
> this time the doctor's are on my side. just wanted
> to let everyone know I'm coming along and not to
> worry. thanks much for the visits, the calls and the
> emails. means a lot to watt and gives him a break
> from the non-stop monologues he's got going in his
> head. thank god also for books, the printed word and
> the art of writing. and the tape of that
> "...malkovich" movie spike made, it was a trip.
>            love and bass from watt
> from march 20, 2000
> >
> > hi folks,
> >
> >   here's an update on my mending:
> >
> >   good news is that my deep wounds from the
> > surgery (where they drained that big fucking
> > abscess) are slowly healing up good. no fever
> > since coming home. am strong enough to use the
> > 'puter now for some period of time so I can
> > return all the nice emails I got from you folks
> > wishing me well. I will get to each one in time.
> > can also resume sending out the flow I used to
> > do. have to set at a big angle but I've adjusted
> > keyboard and trackpad accordingly along w/the
> > donut foam pad I use to sit my sore ass on. sort
> > of like how I am in the rented hosp bed (thanks
> > again mark g) but in front of the 'puter. can
> > walk to the head and small shit like that but
> > mostly I'm still on my back. these holes are
> > going to take time to fill but I've got the will
> > to be still and let things run their course.
> > reading and thinking lots while I'm doing it.
> > missing the bass but it can wait. has to.
> >
> >   bad news is cuz there's still a cathater coming
> > from my bladder, I contracted a bladder infection
> > so the pain thing has been pretty intense. it's
> > like pissing out fishing hooks. treble ones at
> > that. gotta go through w/it though cuz the dick
> > hole will close up and I'll be on the piss bag
> > forever and I don't want that. so every piss is
> > about dancing on your toes, hollering your head
> > off. been four days of that so far but it's worth
> > it if it means getting well and getting right. I
> > couldn't lean on that piss bag as a crutch
> > forever anyway. sunday I get the bladder tube
> > pulled if things look good and I won't have any
> > more plumbing coming out of me (the dick one -
> > which the docs plugged so I could heal there -
> > came out about ten days ago).
> >
> >   so that's where I am so far on this voyage. so
> > many thanks to all the well wishes I've gotten,
> > all my love back. I'm a lucky man, both in
> > friends and providence. I owe you all so much,
> > thanks again for helping this watt out.
> >
> >                  love from the man who right
> >                  now can't drive his van, watt
> >
> > p.s. big thanks and love too for the cats who've
> > come on over to visit and my sister min and ma
> > for their essentialness
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > from march 7, 2000
> > >
> > >
> > > hi folks,
> > >
> > >   last monday (feb 28), after a whole month of
> > > mis-diagnosis, fever and big time pain, I
> > > found myself in an ambulance, heading for l.a.
> > > county / usc medical center for emergency
> > > surgery on a burst abscess of the purineum
> > > (sp?, the area between the legs, just rear of
> > > the balls). it was like a bullet hole from the
> > > inside and more than a quart of pus dumped out.
> > > I was all full of it. a team of surgeons headed
> > > by a doctor hopkins (much respect) cut me open,
> > > drained me and cleaned me up, leaving three
> > > huge cavities. however, no organs were
> > > infected - only the soft tissue. they did
> > > excellent work and saved me. it's gonna be a
> > > slow go though healing the cavities from the
> > > bottom up so there's no infection. I got back
> > > yesterday and now will be down six to eight
> > > weeks. this hosp was for econo folks so it was
> > > like four of us to the room w/no phone and I
> > > couldn't let anyone know what happened. only
> > > my ma and sister knew so sorry for keeping
> > > everyone in the dark. I'm on the road to
> > > healing now and am very happy after sufferring
> > > the whole month of feb just laying there
> > > getting worse and not knowing what was really
> > > going on inside me.
> > >
> > >   much love to all. will do flow again when I
> > > can. have to heal slow.
> > >
> > >                  watt
> > >
> > >

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this page created 7 sep 00