My wayward life has caught up with me. I am 83. It was a good run.

Alcohol and smoking will not be a part of my life from this point forward.

The medical problem that has been affecting me for a month has been diagnosed and treated. Pancreatitis. Alcohol a major cause. Smoking right behind.

Interestingly, last year I lost 62 pounds. On a high protein/low carb diet. High protein  a fatty diet from my perspective. The diet did not help. I have reverted. Must be high carb/low fat from this point forward.

A month ago, I started feeling terrible. Every day. It seemed that every problem I have been afflicted with the past 5 years returned. All at one time!

I was exhausted daily. When tired, it was total. Came in 5-6 hour spurts. Then went away as quickly as it had hit me. Up and down stairs became an ordeal. Huffing and puffing. Down as difficult as up.

I became wobbly again. Started losing my balance, falling again.

My eyes started going. My most recent prescription for new glasses only a year ago. Suddenly, everything had a tinge of blurriness to it. Because of all the research I do, I have an extra screen attached to my computer. Two and a half feet by one and a half. It became difficult to read.

One drink and I was drunk. Two or more the same reaction. Booze was hitting me hard.

Oily stools. Enough said.

Nausea immediately following eating. Not severe, but there. I started eating less.

Weight loss terrific. If I wanted to lose more weight. Hit 15 pounds last week.

Appetite was gone. I could not finish a meal. A full feeling constantly.

Overall, I felt liked shit!

I thought it was my heart again. Exhaustion previously a big part of the heart problem. Saw my heart doctor and primary care physician within days of each other.

Dr. McIvor my heart doctor. I have been his patient for about 15 years. Trust him implicitly. He ran a ton of tests. Heart good! No problem there.

Now I was in the hands of my primary care physician Dr. Norris. He has been my doctor for only 1.5 years. This was his test!

Parasites in my stool? No parasites.

What, then?

More tests, more blood work.

Norris caught it. Pancreatitis.

My initial concern was pancreatic cancer. Everyone who gets it dies. He assured me cancer not involved.

I never knew what the pancreas does. I learned.

The pancreas is a long flat gland tucked behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. It is sort of a last stop for food ingested before it goes into the small intestine.

Enzymes are involved as food passes through. Somehow the pancreas activates these enzymes. They leave the pancreas with the food. I either was not making enough enzymes or the ones being made remained in the pancreas instead of leaving.

Excuse if I misdescribe. I am not a doctor.

Whatever enzymes remain,  attack the pancreas. Causing the problems I was experiencing.

A change of diet, no alcohol or smoking, and a terrific pill Creon 12,000 taken 3 times a day. Took 10 days for everything to kick in. I am supposedly fine today. Stopped taking the Creon last night. Hope I do not need it again.

Norris passed the test. My test. I now have faith in him as I do McIvor.

I went out last night! Walked into the Chart Room. Cannot describe the exhilaration I felt by being there. Almost giddy. I did not expect such a reaction.

It was good to see friends again. Jean and Joe Thornton, Sheila, and Mary.

Drank one short diet soda. With lime.

Followed by dinner at La Trattoria.

Pasta good for me. With marinara sauce. I am to avoid meat sauce. La Trattoria has a close marinara sauce. No meat. Too spicy, however. Not discouraged. Will find something else on the menu.

If you are concerned about no more drinking or smoking, fear not. I do what I am told when it comes to professional advice.

Twelve years ago, it was my heart. It was enlarged. Alcohol induced. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy. I was told stop drinking and the heart will return to normal size. I never had a drink for 1.5 years. Nor did I smoke. Stopped the moment the doctor told me about the enlarged heart and what to do.

I am human. When the heart reduced, I went back to drinking and smoking. With the doctor’s understanding. Just drink less, he said. Substantially less. Less become more over time. I have been overdoing it recently. One to four drinks a night.

Whatever, time to pay for my sins.

Tonight, Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 for what I guarantee will be a fast moving interesting half hour. I promise not to talk about my pancreatitis.

Enjoy your day!



  1. Lou, you can do without the booze, but we can’t do without you at the Chart Room. Order seltzer and enjoy the company, that’s more important than the booze any day!

  2. I am glad you discovered the problem and can recover and enjoy life as you do so well. I’m wondering, how much do/did you smoke?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.