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Fleetwood Mac Guitarist: Suicide after Spinal Surgery

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BruceMC, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just happened to notice this morning that Bob Welch, former guitarist with Fleetwood Mac, committed suicide yesterday following spinal surgery that seemed to have not improved his condition:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/entertainment&id=8694576

    You might notice that Welch had been told by his doctors following back surgery that he would "never get better". Not wanting to burden his family with care of an invalid, he opted for suicide. Of course, I'm not familiar with the particulars of Welch's medical condition, but it makes you wonder whether what he really had was TMS? He was always a very self-effacing type of anonymous artist, so you have to consider how much personality traits were involved in his back pain scenario.

    One more reason not to have back surgery I'd say. As many back specialists have come to realize, it just doesn't result in many positive outcomes! You also have to wonder just how devastating it must have been when the doctors Welch trusted told him he'd "never get better"? OMG!
     
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl Well known member

    MorComm - the obit was corrected and your link is different now. But something else had to have been going on. Like depression? Being told you aren't going to get better has been a theme around here. And then people DO get better. I'm guessing (without reading the article) that there was something else perhaps chemically in his brain - that had him opt for suicide. Most people know by now that doctors aren't gods. Also - how many doctors told him this?

    BG
     
  3. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I edited my post and inserted a new version of the Bob Welch obit that still has the part about spinal surgery and not getting better. I think it's like a friend of mine said: Doctors are okay as long as you don't believe everything they tell you (or take it at face value I suppose).

    Just so it doesn't get edited out of subsequent newspaper obits, here's the salient quote:

    "Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association, quoted his wife Wendy as saying Welch had spinal surgery three months ago and doctors told him he would not get better, and he did not want her to have to care for an invalid."

    Sure the next issue of Rolling Stone will contain more particulars.
     
  4. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    I just noticed this morning that part of Welch's rationale for his suicide was that he had watched his mother care for his invalid father for years and did not want to put his wife through the same kinds of thing:

    http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2012/06/bob-welchs-death-came-after.html

    Without knowing the particulars of Bob Welch's case, it's impossible to determine whether TMS played a role in his back pain. But the kind of traumatic reenactment from one generation to the next that Peter Levine talks about in Waking the Tiger certainly sounds like it may have played a part in this tragic episode too. I realize that the rate of recovery following back surgery is not very good in any case and that's why some respected surgeons no longer perform back surgery at all. So what surgeon would have ever told Welch that he would "never get better"? Doesn't sound to me like a very responsible thing to do unless Welch's back problems were do to some pre-existing medical condition.
     
  5. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Morcomm, there are WAY too many stories of people who have been told this same negative thing - and then go on to defy the odds by simply not believing what they've been told. I think it should be considered malpractice, because the other side of the story is the people who believe everything they are told by doctors, and then don't even try something different.

    My best friend was treated for breast cancer (successfully) about 20 years ago. I remember clearly the day she said "no one is telling me that I'm going to die, but no one is willing to tell me I'm going to live, either - and I'm saying that I AM going to live!"

    The story of Bob Welch is a sad one that is probably far too common.

    I stopped believing in traditional medical doctors a long time ago. I always got better advice from their nurses, LOL! Nurses and PTs - but I don't even see any of my PTs anymore....

    Jan
     
  6. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    I agree with you Jan, not just because I am a nurse but because nurses are in touch with conditions and patient idiosyncratic response to those conditions and the therapies prescribed. Nurses do naturalistic observation by default as they spend hours observing their patients and the changes they undergo. I think they are down to earth not trapped in the Ivory towers of academic medicine. Having said that I met Drs that had an uncanny intuition, they were intuitive healers. The difference lays on who is a vocational Dr and one that became simply because of curiosity, or because of parental or peer pressure.

    Peace to you,
     
    Shanshu Vampyr likes this.
  7. quasar731

    quasar731 Well known member

    This is terribly sad MorComm, I wonder too how much of what this man experienced was TMS. What a waste of a life. It begs the question as to how much of the population suffers TMS and nothing else. Moreover, does everyone experience TMS?
     
  8. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    No idea about how much of Bob Welch's back pain was due to TMS, Quasar. But I'll have to check out the next Rolling Stone and see if they publish the text of his suicide note in their obit. In any event, there's sure to be more details about his health than in the newspapers. Sounds as though the image of his mother caring for his invalid father had quite a bit to do with Welch's decision to end it all too. I do know what Jan means by not believing doctors too much. I remember quite clearly when in 2007 the head doctor at Kaiser advised me to get surgery for a torn rotator cuff. Fortunately, I sought a second opinion from my old family doctor who gave me his standard range of motion tests. "With your range of motion", he said, "I sure wouldn't get that operation if I were you". Well, I didn't and now my left shoulder is just fine. But old Doctor Buckley was not only the senior internist at Sequoia Hospital, but had 50 years of experience behind his judgement. Lucky for me. If the Kaiser doctors had cut through the muscles in my shoulder I might not have ever come back to full strength. Like Dr. Sarno says, the human body has an almost infinite capacity to heal itself. It just seems awfully irresponsible for Welch's doctor to tell him he'd never come back and would become an invalid like his late dad. Sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. With the back, you just never know if someone is going to make a remarkable comeback out of the blue or not. Of course, if the spinal cord is severed, that's a different matter. Have to see if I can did up a few more particulars about Welch's condition.
     
  9. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Doctors. *shakes head*
     

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