The other night
At first I thought my lung was collapsing.
I know what it feels like. I've had so many collapsed lungs (9) in my life that they had to perform a thoracotomy on each side. One when I was about 19 and the other when I was about 29.
Then I started to panic that I was having a heart attack. Normally I would've never thought something like this, but ever since I had a stroke last year I've been a little skittish.
Oh yeah- the pain was on the left side of my chest.
A conversation in my head-
Mellow Steve: It's cool. You don't need to go to a doctor. It's just a pain on the left side of your chest. There's no way you'd have a collapsed lung after all those years. They fixed that shit for good. It's just chest pain. No biggie. It couldn't be a heart attack. You're only 55. You just had heaps of tests done after the stroke and you got a clean bill of health.
Nervous Steve: Dude! Go to a doctor. It feels like a collapsed lung. It's a dull pain on the left side of your chest. It could be a heart attack. Are you an idiot? Chest pain for the last 5 days? GTTFD! (go to the fucking doctor)
Nervous Steve won out. I went to the emergency room.
Me talking to the doctor: Hey, I'm sorry I'm here. It's probably nothing but I had a stroke last year and I've had two thoracotomies after having several collapsed lungs so I thought I should come in.
Doctor: Of course you're supposed to come in! We need to immediately do a lung X-ray and we need to do an EKG and see if you're having a heart attack.
So they do the tests and I nervously wait. Finally the doctor comes in and says everything came back great. No collapsed lung and no heart attack.
Me: I've had this bad cold and my chest started hurting. I was also involved in a push-up contest with my much younger nephews. I've been doing 4 sets of 30 push-ups for the last two months. The contest was on Christmas Eve and I did 55. I took second place.
Doctor: A push-up contest? I think you irritated the chest area. It could be Costochondritis. You need to stop the push-ups for a couple weeks till the pain goes away and take ibuprofen. Yoga is ok but don't strain that area. Be careful. You're not 18 anymore. Oh and hey Steve? It's really good you came in. With your history you always need to respect chest pain. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Have a good new year.
Here are my upcoming shows- tell your friends to come see a crazy person while he's still alive.
Jan 15 &16 Beaches of South Walton Florida- 30 A Songwriters Festival
Jan 17 New York City- City Winery
Jan 19 St Petersburg Florida- The Hideaway Cafe*
Jan 20 St Augustine Florida- Cafe Eleven*
Jan 21 Decatur Georgia- Eddie’s Attic*
Jan 22 Charlotte NC - The Evening Muse*
Jan 23 Whitesburg Kentucky- Summit City Lodge*
Jan 26 Charlottesville Virginia- The Southern Cafe*
Jan 27 Ashland Virginia- Ashland Coffee and Tea*
Jan 28 Vienna Virginia - Jammin Java*
Jan 29 Albuquerque NM- The Cooperage
Jan 30 Red River NM- Motherlode Saloon- Red River Songwriters Fest
Jan 31 Santa Fe NM - Jan 31 Santa Fe NM- Jean Cocteau Cinema!
Feb 2 Toronto On- The Dakota
Feb 4 Ardmore Pa- Ardmore Music Hall*
Feb 5 NYC Rockwood Stage 2*
Feb 6 Natick Massachussetts- The Center For Arts in Natick*
Feb 8 Pittsburgh Pa- Pittsburgh Winery*
Feb 9 Ann Arbor Michigan The Ark*
Feb 10 Cleveland Ohio- Music Box Supper Club*
Feb 11 Chicago Illinois- City Winery*
Feb 12 Fairmount Illinois- Sleepy Creek Vineyards *
Feb 13 Cincinatti Ohio- Live at The Ludlow Garage*
Feb 16 St Louis Missouri- The Old Rock House**
Feb 17-19- Kansas City- Folk Alliance International Fest
Feb 20 Solana Beach Ca- The Belly Up 7th annual Steve Poltz 50th Bday Bash- featuring The Rugburns, Shawn Mullins, Tim Bluhm of The Motherhips, The Brothers Comatose AND Devon Sproule. Whatta lineup!
Feb 21 Santa Monica Ca- McCabe’s
Feb 24 Santa Ynez Ca- Tales From The Tavern at The Maverick Saloon
*co-bill with my friend Grant Lee Phillips ** tri-bill with my friend Heather Maloney AND Grant Lee Phillips