Friday, 3 July 2015

Stall That Jazz

I remember vividly the first time I knew (and accepted), that I was seriously ill. 
I was at a gig with my partner, we'd gone to see Gil Scott Heron; my bf was a huge fan and it might have been (and subsequently was) the last time we could see him in Scotland/alive. I felt relatively OK on the way there, I was looking forward to it, but as we stood in the hall and the crowd began to build around us I started to feel a sense of foreboding. It's something I feel a lot of the time in crowds, anxious and an increasing sense of panic; what if I can't get out of here? What if I'm sick? Or faint? What if I ruin the night for him? 

I was feeling claustrophobic and unsteady on my feet, and wondering why in the name of all things holy I hadn't booked us seats instead of standing. I usually can't stand without sitting down for more than about 15 minutes so gigs are often a huge challenge. I usually dance away the fear/nausea but at this type of gig it was more about quietly 'appreciating' the jazz. 

I hate jazz. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean hate in the sense of hating brown sauce on chips or when hating it when someone eats with their mouth open; I mean full on, unadulterated hatred
I went to this gig with my beloved because he doesn't hate it, quite the opposite in fact, and what is a relationship if not putting yourself through your own version of hell to please someone you love? 

I appreciated I needed to SIT DOWN. About half an hour in and I was feeling awful, major nausea and dizziness. I tried to focus on the man on stage talking/jazzing. I tried to hold onto my bf, feel my feet solidly on the ground and breathe in and out but it was hopeless, before I knew it I was a slurring mess, mumbling to my bf I was about to pass out. 
And I did. 
In the most dignified way possible; in a room full of thousands of people and after having thrown up all over myself. My bf and some lovely stranger apparently helped me out of the crowd and to a First Aider. I came round and was totally disoriented and FREAKED OUT. Where was I? Why did my bf look ashen? Why did I STINK? 
I was at a gig and had passed out and thrown up – naturally the first aid staff assumed I was a drunk/high on drugs/both of the above. They knew I wasn't high on JAZZ that's for sure! hahaha :( 

They checked I was alive and sent me on my way. (Which was back into a sweaty room surrounded by thousands of sweaty jazz loving people wearing berets and flat caps and drinking speciality beers). Because I didn't want to have completely ruined my partners evening, I insisted we stay to watch the end of the gig. We stood out from the crowd so I could get some air and I waited patiently for my jazz-infested ordeal to be over. I stunk of vomit. I had sacrificed both my favourite cardigan and scarf to the bin as they were beyond help. I needed to be anywhere but here. But I stayed. 
We left and walked out into the night, I felt like the Worlds Most Disgusting Creature 2010 and my bf handled me like a china doll, albeit a foul smelling one. 

A few months later I was having life-saving surgery. I am a lot more sensible now; I know my limitations and without sounding negative, I know when to admit defeat. There are things I’d love to be able to do – but there are more days alive I’d like to have than nights out, so one outweighs pushing myself for the other. 
I have also gone cold turkey on jazz since that fateful night, and my ears have never been happier. 

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