I’ve had a weird and interesting week.
First up; DRUGS.
I’m changing my DMD’s.
In case you’re not in the know with medical acronyms DMD’s stands for Disease Modifying Drugs. If you’ve never read me before, I am indeed diseased.
I went for an MRI back in January that showed new lesions in my noggin. This means that the drugs I am currently taking to slow my progression into Multiple Sclerosis aren’t working.
I went to see my Neuro and asked him about a relatively new (*for MS) drug called Lemtrada. I had heard about it on an MS forum, the general mood on there about it was ‘take my money’ or more accurately ‘take my taxes and deprive me of the best medications for my disease’.
Unfortunately it’s not widely available yet in the UK. The good news for me, however is that it is up for grabs in Southampton and I don’t even pay taxes.
So I have signed on for this 75% reduction in relapse medication and I’m on a waiting list for 5 years of monthly blood and urine tests, one chest X-ray, already had my smear and a week long hospital visit. The possible side effects are a little terrifying but I guess I’ll just have to be brave and wing it. I mean we take chances everyday when we leave the house, so why not chance some blood clots and thyroid disease for an MS break.
I have been getting worse and struggling with my health. I think a big bold and slightly risky step may be beneficial because struggling with the MS is taking up so much of my time, I have little left to do the things I love but fortunately last week I kicked MS’s ass with a little adventure to Bristol to see Screaming Females.
It was a bit of a weird one, this gig. I’m not really sure what was going on.
So we rocked up to the Stag & Hounds which is a venue I was completely unfamiliar with, my BFF plays D&D there was all the info I had prior to the night. It was a really small space for what I consider a pretty huge band to play at, so I was really surprised from the get go.
The band were hanging out in the bar which always terrifies me because I have a fear of talking to shop assistants and answering the phone, so needless to say people that I find inspiring, who I hang out with regularly and have intimate moments with their art from afar are like a massive LIGER BEAST! when it comes to reality (*LIGER’s are scary Lion, Tiger, Spiders)
As someone who is socially awkward, shy as hell and easily intimidated this whole hanging out with those people who make the songs that make you feel is just awful, especially when you’re BFF and GF don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to go up to that person who you admire so much and say ‘Hey, I love your music, I’m a big fan’.
I don’t know why I feel like that. It’s not a big deal to me to avoid these iconic music gods. It’s always really awkward meeting people you admire. I’d rather just watch the craft and enjoy it. I don’t want to have to interact with them. I guess that’s just my unique way of being a fan but for normal people like my BFF and GF it was a great interaction and I would be lying if I said I couldn’t see why, it’s just not for me.
I do have to say though, I don’t hate my GF for getting my tix signed on the down low whilst I went to take my meds back at the van…it was a nice surprise at the end of the night.
So that was all good, great start for everyone who isn’t socially crippled.
We got there late, so missed the two support acts. SF were on at 9.45 and they ripped it up for forty minutes. It was the shortest gig I ever went to and the only gig I’ve ever been to where there was no encore.
The band had some issues with their drum kit and after the second song, Marissa (Lead badass) told the audience that they wouldn’t be able to play some songs because they were missing a bracket tom…I kinda thought she was kidding.
So they kicked off with Ripe and Boss which were two of my gig five. (*The 5 songs in my dream set) and man they are pure electric live. They have so much raw energy. All three are masters of their craft, the drums were great despite not being a full kit and the bassist King Mike has this whole demeanor of not giving a single shit but then he just hammers out these flawless bass lines that carry the songs so elegantly and then there is Marissa.
Marissa Paternoster is probably the best living guitarist. A bold statement but I’m going to stick with it. The fact that she is this tiny woman who just owns this instrument in itself is quite awe inspiring. She makes it sing like Hendrix made it sing. She plays as if the guitar is just an extension of her being. Then there is this voice that packs this guttural punch that leaves you dazed…how she has the talent to own both these gifts is beyond me. Yet she does, she exists and she sends shivers down my spine, making me feel such an array of sensation through sound. When you fall in love with an artist’s work, it can be like a rush of dopamine just hearing it at home in your bedroom but when you see them perform in front of your own eyes, it is like a transient experience that can’t be matched that you never want to end.
Unfortunately, it always does end but not always so abruptly. This gig was great and on par with every other gig I have ever attended but it didn’t feel like it reached its climax and it left me feeling a bit empty. That’s not the bands fault, I think whatever was going on had impeded them and they gave it a really good run for what seemed like an effort running on empty back up.
It lead to a lot of confusion and speculation from the crowd that I didn’t stick around to hear out. I just headed to the roadie and bought my merch, he did mention to the chap in front of me that they had to leave off 5 or 6 songs.
Alas, I don’t mean to complain. It was unfortunate but on the flipside, I got to see one of my favorite bands rip it up for 40 minutes and if that’s not money well spent then I don’t want to know what you do with your muller.
I huddled in the back of our van and we headed out to our beds for the evening. It was the first time visiting the BFF’s new digs and he lives in a really weird building. It’s like an outhouse in an all girls school. I really can’t describe it less creepily, sorry dude. It’s a great flat and is so secluded it would make a great murder house. I am making it worse aren’t I? In all seriousness, it was spacious and his housemates were delightful. It’s a great relief to know someone you care about but live so far away from is in good hands…in the all girls murder house.
The very next day we headed into Clifton for Gluten Free burgers at The Burger Joint. It was a great burger but no GF fries which was disappointing. The choices for eating out and being a coeliac have improved vastly over the past few years, had I discovered this place when I was newly diagnosed it would have been the cats pajamas. BUT I guess I’ve been spoiled by too much variety on menus, that these days, if you don’t have gluten free fries at a food establishment that advertises as being gluten free then you just ain’t up to scratch. That said if you just want a gluten free burger, then this place packs a good’un.
Speaking of cats pajamas. I then dragged my company into a museum that I once attended to view the Banksy exhibit many moons ago. They still have a Banksy piece in the entrance and it was a nice throwback to simpler days. I remember investigating this museum back then but I think my main focus then as a fresh faced 21 year old was to look cool for a boy I kinda fancied. I hadn’t decided if I wanted some boylove for a stopgap…so I was trying to be all cool and down with the cool kids, so I never really noticed all the other cool shit in this museum…like MUMMIFIED CAATS! (*Yes I am aware of the dick move I made with indecision of boy-love stopgapping)
It’s a really cool museum that if you’re in the area, I encourage you to check out. It’s called Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and the Egyptian section is not only educational but will give you nightmares…of mummified kittehs who want to eat your brain.
I’m sorry about this all over the place post, I did a lot for a change last week, so I had a lot to mention. Highlight of the week was of course Screaming Females, despite everything it was a phenomenal gig and I had a great time. I can’t wait for them to tour over here again.
If you don’t know who the hell the Screaming Females are you should check out their stuff, here’s my favorite from the new album.
Thanks so much for reading.
Hopefully I’ll have something up for you on Friday and back to routine thereafter.
Follow me on Twitter.