HigherFrequency OVERSEAS NEWS


LCD Soundsystem

international news _ 27th November, 2006

Pancreatitis Strikes Another DJ

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

London house/ progresssive DJ Paolo Mojo chatted to Skrufff this week about recently contracting acute pancreatitis and revealed that doctors remain unsure about how he developed the rare but life-threatening stomach condition.

“The doctors told me gallstones and alcohol abuse account for over 70% of cases of acute pancreatitis though I’ve had several scans which indicate I don’t have gallstones,” said Paolo.

“And whether it’s the lifestyle, they’re not sure either. In terms of partying, I’ve really calmed down a lot over the last few years, I quit smoking and I’ve never been a heavy drinker, so they couldn’t really pin it down to that either. Although its fair to say that when I described a typical week to them it doesn’t necessarily fall into what they consider a normal healthy lifestyle,” he added.

The extremely painful condition affects just one in 100,000 people in the UK each year and sufferers need to moderate or quit alcohol and avoid spicy food, with relapse and the possibility of developing the much more serious condition chronic pancreatitis a real possibility. Since falling ill, Paulo’s been forced to cancel a number of gigs including a tour of South America and admitted he’s already been forced him to re-evaluate his lifestyle.

“It’s a sobering experience spending time in a hospital, and being unwell for an extended period of time, with constant visits to doctors and for tests, which is still going on now. Having to think about everything you eat and to avoid alcohol in its entirety and becoming aware of every little twinge in your body is not something I’d experienced before either,” the 20-something spinner explained.

“Although I’m still in pain and I’ve not recovered as quickly as I would have liked to the doctors have emphasised to me that I’m doing well and pancreatitis is not something to be taken lightly, it’s really serious condition that can kill. So I’ve got to look after myself basically. That means no alcohol for quite a while, a restricted diet and plenty of rest and water. It sounds boring but better that than the alternative.”

“I’ve realised too that even if you’re an absolute saint, then travelling and gigging all over the world takes its toll on the body and mind,” Paolo added.

“There will be people who would quite rightly say ‘eff off, you’re paid well to play other people’s records’ and I would accept that. But there’s a lot more goes into DJing than just showing up at a nightclub, certainly from my own experience anyway,” he said.

Paolo discovered he had the pancreatitis after initially being diagnosed with food poisoning, which was the way that US house legend Doc Martin (real name Martin Mendoza) found he had the disease in 2001.

“I went into hospital with what I thought was food poisoning and woke up six weeks later in a bed. They put me on morphine for that whole time and I had the craziest trips,” Martin told Skrufff several years ago.

“The pain felt like having two circular saws being sliced into you and rotated. I passed out coming into the ward and literally came round six weeks later. Everything shut down except my heart; my lungs shrunk down to the size of a plum.”

The West Coast acid house pioneer, who eventually took an 8 month total work break, blamed work commitments as much as partying for damaging his health, admitting he inadvertently got caught up in the superstar DJ lifestyle.

“I was travelling a lot before the illness kicked in, for example, I did a 29 date tour without a break that involved flying from city to city, day after day. I became accustomed to that lifestyle to the point where I thought if I was only working three nights a week I was being lazy,” he recalled.

“Then substances and drinking were involved- ‘here’s an E, here’s a spliff’ and I found during that period that I really got lost and forgot why I was doing what I was doing. It was just one big party rolling on.

“These days I have to be very careful,” he added, “I can’t touch alcohol, I stay away from intense spicy foods and eat better generally. I can’t do substances either.”

Related Link