Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Almost Died Last Week

Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration but there were a few scary moments last Friday. Throughout the week I had been dealing with a bit of a cold and was also getting winded really easily (going up the steps in our house). I have an inhaler but it wasn't doing squat. (I found out later it was a for-everyday-use inhaler, which is really lame because it's 1/3 the size of a fast-acting one AND THREE TIMES TO CO-PAY). So I was hoping the over-the-counter Bronkaid would help. Plus I found an albuterol inhaler that expired last year but seemed to have a few puffs left in it.

Friday night, I used both, pill and inhaler, and still I couldn't catch my breath. The bus that stops about 100 feet from my house goes right by West Penn Hospital, so I got on and road over there. By this time, I had a little relief but my chest felt tight. I worried that if I took another albuterol hit, I'd have a heart attack and die. (A few days later, I was reminded that the drummer from Ladybug Transistor died of an asthma attack.)

I got in at the ER within minutes, and they made me drink two quarts of water and huff on a nebulizer about four times. (The first two times I didn't do it right.) By 4:30 I felt pretty normal. Normal enough to walk home. I was more worried about walking through Bloomfield  - having heard about people getting attacked recently - more than I was worried about keeling over on Liberty Avenue.

I had to work the next day because we were having a big event, and I only got two hours of sleep. But I honestly have to say that I felt great in the morning. I hadn't had coffee in about two days and it went straight to my head. Oxygen seemed to be flowing to my head too, because I felt more energetic at work. I still have a bit of a cough, but it's helping me get rid of stuff, if you know what I mean.

Damn, I turned 47 last week and was worried that this new age was bringing with it some serious ailments.

The night of my birthday, I went to see Mike Watt at Brillobox. He was performing with Il Sogno Del Marinaio ("the dream of the sailor"), a trio with two Italian guys, drummer Andrea Belfi and guitarist Stefano Pilla. I didn't know much about them, other than how they met. I figured it was another Watt "opera" with a new backing band. Their selt felt similar to Watt's last tour, a bigger piece made of up smaller songs. But it's largely instrumental, and Belfi and Pilla do as much of the writing as he does.

Pilla really seems to have studied his D. Boon and Nels Cline licks but rather than spewing out the same thing, he really make it his own. Same with Belfi, though he had some little gongs set up on the side, and seems like he'd be just as comfortable doing free improvisation on his kit. They played for about an hour. One encore, no Minutemen songs. No "The Red and the Black." Ed fROMOHIO was there but he stayed in the crowd. Unfortunately I missed the Sicks because I was downstairs having drinks with my friend Will, and they only gave the band about 25 minutes to play (or so it seemed).

Sicks member Sam Matthews used to be in the Bats, who I wrote about in last week's City Paper. You can read that here. The band also featured Michael Chabon briefly, long before he wrote The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and other novels.

Now it's time to face the day.


dpetrou said...

Ed fROMOHIO in the crowd? Wow.

shanleymusic said...

Yep, Edward is a fixture around town. I'm not sure where he lives but I see him hanging out at Gooski's. Or I did when I went there more often.