A shocking dose

by Misty Jade Groat

Misty Groat - Hospital Misty Groat - Hospital Misty Groat - Hospital

The start.

During a quaint dinner at a Turkish place I begin to have signs of an allergic reaction. Fairly mild, but slightly worrisome none the less. Didn’t seem it was enough to be a shocking dose, only a couple of bites. I decide to inquire.

I had just greedily shoved hummus into my mouth. Small panic attack at this point, but besides the light throat swelling, difficulty swallowing and itchy mouth, I really don’t feel that bad. This has occurred before so I assume it will be like the others: mild to moderate belly cramps and possibly a few sessions in the washroom.

A while later.

I take a cab home due to the looming feeling I may need my bathroom in the very near future. I start to feel really hot and went to investigate further in the mirror. I discover that my upper torso, face, and arms are completely red and blotchy and are basically on fire. Lobster or beet red would have surely been idioms bandied about if anyone else had been present to observe. At this point the panic is at an all time high. I phone a friend, who is at work, to get some input on where to go from here.

Things are getting really intense at this point. I call 911 and they transfer me to the ambulance line. I explain what had happened.

They're on their way; I'm supposed to be lying comfortably waiting for the ambulance. I change my clothes for the impending trip to the hospital while attempting to swallow through my clenching throat.

A short time after.

Ambulance arrives and EMTs trudged in with muddy boots. Things are looking considerably worse by now. The attendants assess the situation through a bunch of asinine questions and start taking my blood pressure. This is rather uncomfortable because I’m convinced I’m going to poo myself at any moment, and am trying to go to the bathroom. They won’t let me. The fact that they're walking all over my white shag carpet with their boots on is really pissing me off. I shouldn’t care, but I do. 0.5mL of epinephrine and 0.25mL of benadryl are administered.

The compromise is that I can sit on the toilet with a towel over my lap while they monitor me. They decide I can close the door after a bit. I do so and hear them over my groans.

I decide I can make it to the ambulance now. I get myself sorted and am ushered out.

The ambulance ride.

I’m pretty out of it at this point and everything is coming to me through a surrealist fog. It’s like I’ve found myself in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, but with a disappointing lack of Johnny Depp. They make some more conversation among themselves/me.

The hospital.

Enter emergency room on a stretcher to the horrified faces of onlookers and am triaged right through the gleaming metal doors. Get set up on a bed and am so cold I’m convulsing constantly. Get warm blankets. Listen to the EMTs as they give a run down of what happened.

Laying in the bed almost warm and still feeling like the waking dead. I make phone calls and text some friends. I look through the curtains to the nurse and doctor station. Low and behold there’s a gentleman with whom I used to take biological sciences. Apparently he just started his emerg rotation at this out-of-the-way hospital a couple of days previous. We chat.

I have two thoughts running on parallel tracks in my mind. One: I should have stayed in bio sci. Two: maybe I should have tried to date him instead of dudes in bands. Oh decisions made, and the places they lead us in the end. That is pretty much it. I lay in the hospital bed very groggy and feeling like I’d smoked a jazz cigarette due to the fact that I can hear every conversation in the room super loud in my head, but can isolate which ever one I choose, and such. I’m given a pill of prednisone to decrease the swelling. I hang around for 45 minutes or so and am then allowed to leave. Home sweet home; a place that doesn’t seem quite as comfortable as before. A certain amount of tension now enters my throat when I reside on the couch or enter the bathroom. Hopefully these won’t be lasting effects.

The end.

Break

Primavera Sound 2009

An Edmonton music fan in Barcelona

by Misty Jade Groat

Tabaco

General comments on festival setup

There really can't be too much fault found in seeing an amazing line-up of artists in a location such as the Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona. If at times I found myself daunted by the festival blues — the sometimes tiring sun, or the inconsistent consumption of beer throughout the evening — I needn't look far to feel rejuvenated. I'd just take a seat and gaze out across the sea at cruise ships and planes, and the surreal setting of the festival would take hold once more. The festival area was almost entirely concrete, so the scant patches of foliage were always highly populated with well-dressed people of all ages. Also highly frequented was a strange AstroTurf, yellow bean bag chair and white Ikea table area near the toilets and tobacco purveyor.

There were a total of five larger sized outdoor stages (Estrella Damm, Rockdelux. ATP, Pitchfork, and Ray-Ban Vice) and two smaller tents (Myspace Lounge and Ray-Ban Unplugged) for more intimate encounters with bands. Then there was one indoor stage (Auditori), a rather bizarre blue, mirrored triangle which played host to larger shows throughout the evenings.

General comments on the festival’s abilities to provide the five essential Ts

Tasties

The selection of food vendors was well thought out, as they included pretty much anything one might crave after a few too many beers and a day in the hot sun. They were burgers, roasted chicken, falafels, shawarmas, fries, hot dogs and pizza. The usual 'this is why we're fat' kind of food. Unfortunately, like most of the food eaten by myself in Barcelona, it looked good, but the taste didn't really match up.

Tonics

Primavera switched over to the Smart Kiosk system this year to apparently aid festival goers in their pursuit of drink tickets. I have mixed feelings on this system. It's entirely automated and operates via a touch screen. The downside of this is that you have to decide exactly what you want before you reach the front of the queue, whether that might be Estrella Damm, Jagermeister, a Coke brand soft drink, Red Bull, water, or a high ball (or, as they called it, a ‘Tall Drink’). Drinks were reasonably priced and we averaged spending about 20,00 Euros keeping ourselves ‘hydrated.’

Tobacco

Courtesy of a shipping container located beside what we fondly referred to as “Toilet City,” you could buy a pack of Camels from a vending machine for the reasonable price of 2,75 Euros. The container also had a handy lighted balloon attached to the top proclaiming its business being there so that you might locate it from great distances.

Toilets

The Port-a-Potties were a highlight of the festival for me. I've never had the pleasure of utilizing such unbelievably well maintained mobile outhouses. They perpetually had the faint smell of coconut and a piece of engineering marvel added a hole that pointed in such a way that you weren’t forced to look down into the murky, hopefully faintly lit yuck of thousands of festival goers.

Transportation

Primavera provided a shuttle bus at the cost of 2,00 Euros which ran from 2 a.m. every 10 minutes from the Parc del Fòrum to Plaça Catalunya. This was greatly appreciated as on weekdays the underground only runs until midnight, making the trek across the city slightly more daunting than your means of arrival. We had the pleasure of being crammed like sardines on it the first night of the festival. After that experience we got savvy and used the night buses. They were a more pleasant experience than the overheated underground or the overcrowded shuttle bus.

Photos from some of the bands that we caught

Thursday, May 28

Women

Women

Phoenix

Phoenix

Aphex Twin

Aphex Twin

Friday, May 29

Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon Ensemble

Saturday, June 30

Chad Van Gaalen

Chad VanGaalen

Ghostface Killa

Ghostface Killah

Break

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