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Before I got sick, my hubby, who is a music afficianado both in knowledge and in dj abilities, would try to play different music for me. I found myself stuck in a pattern with not just my health issues but also in my musical tastes. When I returned home from my hospital stay in 2016, I found myself drawn to much heavier music then I had in a long time. I also found a new respect for many legends I had just sort of turned my snotty-at-the-time nose up at. Now, I was blown away by the intelligent and soulful lyrics of musicians from all around the globe. Germany, Sweden, and even some of my own fair city’s known bands.

After the Ghost concert was announced and we got tickets, I started a countdown in my head. I had this many days to get ready for that flight of stairs! I came out of this illness with a brand new palate as well. For the first few months, it was like I was a child. I didn’t want anything except soup. Not only was I wanting to start a brand new life mentally and physically but also with nutrition. I had gained about a hundred pounds over the many years since starting the medicine I had been prescribed and I wanted to lose it. My hubby had lost a hundred pounds and I knew it was time to use him as an example. I am proud to say, that as of this writing. I have lost those hundred pounds! I didn’t do a lot of exercising as I was in extreme pain. I was experiencing chronic pain without any drugs stronger then over the counter aleve. Another thing I was fighting was the fact that when you stop taking opiates, your nerve endings become super sensitive. To give you an example, if you ran your foot over a bit of rug, it would feel like a rug.To me, it would feel like broken glass. I occasionally walked around the neighborhood but as I realized soon after the hospital that I was going to have to switch from the health system I was currently in, to the one that had treated me at the hospital. They wanted to do a sleep study to determine the severity of my sleep apena. This new health system also sent me to a pain psychologist, which surprised me! I didn’t even know such a psychologist existed! 

The Swedish Invasion begins

Year Zero. Live. Ghost. The band that had won me over ever since I started drifting away from phish for a multitude of personal reasons. It would be the band to bring me through to a breakthrough that is bringing me to the next chapter of my life. It was June and they had announced they were coming to Portland and at a venue I knew I could access in my condition. It wouldn’t be easy though. I knew, that if I went in a wheelchair, I wouldn’t see the band. For some idiotic reason the venue stopped letting wheelchairs be up front, which relegates the ones coming for healthy medicine to be sitting on the side.  They (the venue staff) don’t know that for someone coming to a live concert for medicine, hearing it and not seeing it, while it’s great, it just isn’t the same thing. To just hear a concert, not see it; I don’t think people really understand the power of music.

I went to my first concert as a young child. The first concert I chose to go see was a boy band wearing matching shirts playing to an adoring crowd of prepubescent girls screaming their heads off. Months later I found myself at a heavy metal show that would be my foray into other genres of music. This would be my salvation.

I knew, after we got front row, reserved balcony seats that I would have to walk up a flight of stairs. The year previous, I had seen ghost at that same venue. It is one of the only hazy memories I have of 2015. I started walking up that flight of stairs and it was so hard and tiring that I was forced to sit between the two sets of stairs.

I now had a goal. I had four months to get myself standing, and walking enough to park a few blocks away and stand in line, amped of course, up those two flights of stairs that would take me to my coveted seat for the best medicine there is. Live music.

The first few weeks home weren’t easy. My memory was fucked. I would get a phone call and forget what was said. This was frustrating to my poor hubby. He had nursed me from almost the entire time we’ve been together. I was able to some what nurse him when he suffered a diagnosis of congestive heart failure and a subsequent cardiac arrest a few months later but I had not been able to sustain that for very long