September 30, 2022

Playing Doctors: Inside the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic – Medscape

Raymond Weber says type 2 diabetes “snuck up” on him ― which makes sense. Playing 6-hour gigs four nights a week at Fat Cats on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, plus assorted weekend gigs, can do a number on one’s health.

Drummer Raymond Weber plays at Fat Catz Music Club on Bourbon Street.

But thanks to the staff at the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF), Weber has managed to get at least a bit …….

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Raymond Weber says type 2 diabetes “snuck up” on him ― which makes sense. Playing 6-hour gigs four nights a week at Fat Cats on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, plus assorted weekend gigs, can do a number on one’s health.


Drummer Raymond Weber plays at Fat Catz Music Club on Bourbon Street.

But thanks to the staff at the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF), Weber has managed to get at least a bit of control over his health. His weight has fallen from 340 lb to a more portable 240 lb. And when he slips by overindulging, his physician, Cathi Fontenot, MD, can be as stern as the most demanding band leader.


Dr Cathi Fontenot at the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.

“Dr Fontenot says to me, ‘Raymond, you are telling me one thing, but the lab work tells me different. You don’t want to have to lose your feet or hands. That would not be a good outcome for a drummer,’ ” Weber, 55, said in a recent interview. “She keeps me on task and fusses at me when I mess up.”

He follows a strict regimen, taking four or five medications daily to manage his blood pressure, fluid retention, and blood sugar.

All that percussion work also takes a physical toll. “To the audience, we might look like we’re having the time of our lives, but we feel like we’re working for a construction company,” Weber said.

Legendary New Orleans musicians ― think Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Joseph “King” Oliver ― are considered royalty in this sultry southern city. But the title is not reserved only for the ones who are household names worldwide.

The city is still home to musicians who rule with their soulful blues and smooth jazz, creating a soundtrack iconic to residents and visitors. As vital as these artists are to underscoring the city’s rich culture, their healthcare can at times play second fiddle to their maintaining livelihoods at nightclubs, music festivals, and pickup gigs.

Key to addressing the health problems of these culture bearers is NOMC&AF, known around town as the Musician’s Clinic.

Founded 25 …….

Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/976489