JUMPING DARKNESS PARADE: DAATH’S EYAL LEVI CANNOT BE KILLED
Laying in a bed in Atlanta, Georgia has never felt so sweet. One week ago tonight I was laying in a hospital bed in Hartford, not sure if I was going to live out the week. One week before that, I was breaking fevers in the van once every three hours, not able to breath, and breaking down from the exhaustion of getting really fucking sick on the road.
Back when we first started touring I used to get tour cough. I just called it that even though I don’t know what it really is. For me it was just a cough that lasted for about three weeks straight. I think it was due to not taking care of myself enough while out on the road. While it was a pain in the ass, it was never something I worried about. Once in 2007 I got pneumonia on the road. It took me down for a few days but I didn’t miss any shows, and one z-pack later I was fine. Since then I haven’t really gotten sick on the road.
Actually… let me rephrase: I haven’t gotten ill on the road since then. I’ve gotten sick from drinking too much, or taking a painkiller on an empty stomach, or just not sleeping enough, but nothing major, nothing real, nothing to worry about. Sometime about two weeks ago when the Conquer and Curse tour hit Denver, I noticed that tour cough came back. It seemed a bit worse than just a cough because my energy levels were low and my entire body was in pain. I had no desire to smoke weed or drink, and I was starting to get cranky. These are signs that something is wrong.
The next day I could barely walk due to muscle pain. That night I started getting wicked fevers. Everytime I would break them, I would sweat through all of my clothing, through the sleeping bag, and soak the goddamn van bench. Literally every three hours. Ok… something was definitely going wrong. By the time we hit Nashville, I could barely fucking breath or move. I played the show basically trying to find a corner of the stage to hide out and die in. The moment we were done, I went straight to the emergency room. They shot me full of IV fluids, 8 milligrams of Morphine (wowzee!), took an x ray and told me I had pneumonia on the side with my broken rib.
For those that don’t know, pneumonia is a danger if you have a broken rib. When your rib is broken, you don’t breathe as deep because it hurts. You aren’t really using your lungs to their fullest. which means that whatever bacteria, fungus, homeless people, or stalker fans that you inhale can just hang out and fester. Well, considering that this was somewhere around twenty five days into one of the most brutal tours of our career, I bet that what was residing in there, growing, wasn’t too good.
So anyways, they gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I thought I was going to get better. We kept on playing. Hit NYC, played a great show which left me almost unable to speak ’cause I could barely breathe. The next night we played one of the best shows of our career at Jaxx. Things were going straight except that I was feeling worse and worse. Right after Jaxx, it was right back to where it was prior to my Nashville emergency room visit. I was FUCKED UP. Breaking fevers all the time, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t live, etc.
In Hartford I just couldn’t take it anymore and did the thing I’ve never in my entire time playing shows even considered doing. I called a cab and left the show. Went to the emergency room. Didn’t play the show with the band. I just couldn’t. I felt like such an asshole and so pathetic, but I just couldn’t do it.
Well, I thought I was going to be in there for a night and they were going to tell me to go home. Boy I was wrong. They admitted me to the hospital and began a week of hell that I wouldn’t wish on anyone except for my worst enemies, and dudes, I do not wish it on you. I’m not going to go into the hospital stay too much, except to say that it sucked ass. I’ve never come that close to dying and I hope to never come that close to dying again. Makes you realize how quickly things can change and how easy it is to go down.
I was discharged yesterday. I flew home. I’m not healed, I’m not 100 percent, and I’ve got weeks until I am, but I’m going to live and life will go on. Emil and I just signed a deal with Magna Carta records and are going to write an album of guitar music with Sean Reinert from Cynic. That’s on my agenda, and then after that its Europe with DAATH, Unearth, Chimaira, and Throwdown. I can’t wait to do these things. I’m fucking ready.
Anyways, I figured that I would answer the question that my band has gotten everyday while they continued without me, and that has been coming to my e-mail every day for the past eight days. I’ve been in the hospital. It sucked. I’m getting better. My band are a bunch of tough motherfuckers. They were already exhausted when I went down, but they kept it going and finished out the tour with only two drivers in the van. Kudos to them for being some real deal peeps. I will write to all of you soon.