Category Archives: Uncategorized

If anything’s in here, it must – by default – be interesting simply by defying to be labeled

Revenge of the Abused Arteries

By Brian M. Howle

Sorry for the lack of activity here, kids … but my absence can best be summarized in the following mathematical equation: 59 yrs. @ 6’1″ + 189 lbs. x 45 mph ÷ Gravity = Unlimited Legal Drugs. Is this a great country, or what?


My darling Della, who valiantly tried to stay upright after I was forced into the median curb by a car, only suffered a broken rear turn signal lens and a scuffed derby cover on the transfer case. Other than that, not a scratch, dent or wobble in the wheels or fork, all controls untouched and safe to operate.

Oh, this little distraction sorta clouded my larger issue for absence.

However, like being in a late-onset Sesame Street episode, I was destined to learn a new word, a medical word that was applicable not just once; oh no, it was applied to my condition twice, but with different body parts in play with the use of the word.

That word is stenosis; from an Ancient Greek word that means “narrowing.”

While shopping in an Indianapolis Wal-Mart in mid-August, I suddenly went totally blind in my left eye.  Now, I had been having little bouts of impaired vision, where these obscuring fields of gray blocked parts of my field of view in either eye; sometimes the top half, sometimes the bottom half, sometimes the sides, sometimes was like a tunnel and sometimes right in the center of my vision.  But, they began dissipating almost as soon as they appeared, and never lasted more than a minute or so at the most.

Not this time.

This time, it stayed blocked, completely.  As I was processing this as a possible problem, I became aware that the entire right side of my body – from neck to feet – felt like it was asleep; not paralyzed but buzzing and as if something was trying to grasp my entire right side with frail but gripping fingertips.

With a family history of heart problems, I was aware of the signs, and how to deal with an onset if one still had the ability to control functions as it begins.  I began talking to myself, out loud, making sure it was clear and not slurred or babbling voicings.  I smiled and felt my facial muscles for the expression.  And I made a beeline for a store employee, ready to ask them to call 911 for me.

As I approached a guy working frozen foods, there was a sudden wave of nausea, and a feeling of being very flushed, along with a biting, metallic taste …

Then, a momentary pain from hell, merely nanoseconds if that, which felt as if I had been shot in the temple, directly behind my left eye.

And with that, my vision returned, all other symptoms disappeared, and the numbness was gone.

I knew it wasn’t something to ignore, so I called my childhood best friend, who just happens to be a doctor, and a bit of an expert in cardiac matters.  He told me to return immediately, and though I had driven to Indy from Myrtle Beach, I could not take the time to re-pack my things and then make the arduous 800-mile drive under the circumstances – so I booked a flight the next day and returned home.

My exceptional friend had me come over to his office, to pop the hood and give me a look.

Seems I had experienced what is called a “Classic TIA,” medical slang for a transient ischemic attack, which means I had a pre-stroke stroke; a wake-up call, if you will.

He checked both carotids in my neck with a stethoscope; immediately went over and called his cardio guy for a consult.  They ascertained that I suffered from carotid stenosis (There are 2 main arteries to the brain, right and left; I have an 85%+ clogged right artery.)   That will have to be opened up and cleaned out.

The unexpected free drama came when a second stethoscope visit and a simple listen to my heartbeat led to a second phone call for a second consult, and they hurried me to a small room.  An ultrasound scan immediately revealed on screen what he had heard through his stethoscope – a failing aortic valve, which (surprise!) is called aortic stenosis … which, turns out, is sorta important.  So that will have to be replaced.

Perhaps Della was implicit in my re-introduction to mother earth in front of the M.B. Airport terminal in late August.  There was a purpose in slamming my ass into the ground at 45 mph and impaling my leg with the carburetor intake, which allowed my circulatory system to have a “pop-off pressure release” that kept my heart valve from exploding with the pressure put on it upon impact of my chest and collarbone with the median grass.  For most practical purposes, the chest held together, although severely bruised and a cracked rib or two.  The collarbone made the ultimate sacrifice, however.  But I did get lots and lots of little collarbone pieces to listen to whenever I moved my left arm, or breathed.

Honestly, I think Della may have just wanted to take my mind off of the new words I had learned, especially after I returned home from my medical evaluation and researched the conditions, online.  Because it turns out, stenosis pretty much means, “Dude, you are so screwed if you don’t have surgery – very soon.”

Oddly enough, that was pretty much the assessment of my doctors.  So, I’m in the glide path for a couple of major surgeries, including the always-a-hoot open heart variety.

Needless to say, on top of immediately forcing me back to the beach for treatment while in the middle of my most recent extended visits to see my sweetie in Indianapolis, Indiana, it has pretty much put an end to my writing or promoting musical performances for the immediate future.  But I promise to keep my journal going into all phases of this, and reporting to you as we go along and see just how much fun this is going to be.

Pros: I have watched “Grey’s Anatomy.”  Cons: I have watched “Grey’s Anatomy.”

FYI: If you develop anal stenosis – Magnesium Citrate, drink an entire bottle; then take Senekot, twice a day.

Just trust me on this.

And stay tuned.



Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized



New Stories, Previews, Reviews and Interviews Coming Soon in April 2013

By Brian M. Howle

Local MusicHey kids, sorry for the delay in posting current stuff for the past couple of months.  Been a little busy trying to move a lifetime’s worth of “stuff” from the home that I sold in the fall, mostly by myself in carloads at a time.  Was very fortunate to have a couple of workers help move the really big, heavy items in a 20′ U-Haul truck so that it was all in one trip getting to the second storage unit I had to procure due to the aforementioned lifetime’s worth of “stuff.”

Anywho, Spring has sprung and lots of new tours are cranking up, plus all the new bands – both local and worldwide – will soon be competing for stages all over the Grand Strand and the Carolinas in general.

One of the features I intend to add will be a Concert Calender, which will primarily show every major tour in the Georgia/S.C./N.C. triangle of the Southeastern Seaboard, and tossing in Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia just because, well, I’m that kinda guy.

If you have a band – or know a band – who is seeking some coverage in getting their name out there so folks who support live music know where the hell you are going to be playing in order to be able to actually SEE and HEAR you!

So hang tight just a bit longer as I tie up the last few loose ends to a myriad of personal things, and look for new content and an updated site as well.

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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,100 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


M.B. Locals Rule! Benefits Raise $6K For Ryan Howell

By Brian M. Howle

Local hero, Ryan Howell.

There are several very good reasons why I love music so very, very much.  Some of them are obvious and fairly universal. And then, some of them are just … special.

And the local community never ceases to fail me when it comes to being my favorite special reason.

A three-phase punch consisting of a Zumbathon in Little River, a Poker Run and a benefit concert at House Of Blues in North Myrtle Beach combined to raise over $6,000 for the family of 6-year-old Ryan Howell in assisting them to pay for medical treatments not covered by insurance.

Minutes after being born, Ryan suffered a serious stroke. This is called an “infarction” in newborns. It causes Ryan to suffer symptoms much like someone with severe cerebral palsy. He is confined to a wheelchair; very challenged in normal daily activities, has never known a childhood, and is helpless as a newborn.

Ryan is undergoing treatment called “Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber” or “HBOT” for short.  This chamber was originally set up for people who surface too quickly after diving in the ocean.  It forces pure oxygen to the brain which can repair damaged areas of the brain. This procedure is also used to help those with spinal cord injuries after serious accidents.  The HBOT procedure for a child this age is a two step phase, with each phase taking 30 days to complete.  The child and mother have to go into this chamber forty times during each phase, and each session could last 30 minutes to an hour.

Ryan’s father, Wesley Howell works for Time Warner Cable during the day and the House of Blues in the evening.  His wife stays at home to care for Ryan.

The proceeds from these most recent benefits will pay for Ryan’s second HBOT treatment.

Although official thanks went out from the staff at HOB and the family, I want to add my personal thanks to all of you amazing folks around this little chunk of Shangri la, for once again stepping up and adding significantly to the term, “Southern Hospitality.”

Donations may be sent to:
The Ryan Howell Project, c/o Carolina First Bank – Crescent Branch, 1801 Highway 17 South, N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Phone 843-272-7344.


This article also appears at


Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

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