Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sink or Swim

I'm always writing about being sick in these blogs. This just hasn't been my tour as far as health goes. Basically everything I eat has had a negative effect on me. I might as well stick to potatoes and carrot sticks from now on.  I'm blaming the sushi I had for either an extremely terrible case of food poisoning or the stomach flu. Poor Nick stayed up all night with me, offering me ibuprofen and lugging up a room heater from downstairs.

Trying to return to optimal health on tour is difficult. I can take all the vitamin C and Echinachea in the world and still not see any signs of improvement. Dia said it best. She says sickness sticks around on tour because we are all exhausted and don't sleep enough.

During the same night I had food poisoning (I say "night" because 4:00 a.m. is still night to me.) we perfumed at KSL, a local MORNING news station in Salt Lake City. "Meg and Dia" didn't have half as many red-eye morning news recordings and fly dates and radio station interviews as "Dia Frampton" does. I swear we have played more news stations and radio stations than we have played actual venues on this tour. Yes, I understand that these performances are necessary for the promotion of Dia's new album, "Red", but all I'm asking for is one good night's sleep.

Trying to look "awake" for our performance on KSL 5 Morning News in Salt Lake City
After the news taping, I spent the entire day tucked away in my bunk with my electric blanket, (which has been a godsend this tour.) I could hear people in the front lounge talking about "sound check" and "pizza" and "set times", all words that immediately made me want to throw up AGAIN. 

Of course I had to have food poisoning on the night before our show in our home town. 

I played and sang what I could during soundcheck. I play "shakers" during "Billy the Kid". I tried to pick up these two pound shakers that felt like bowling balls. I managed to shake through a verse and half a chorus. Then I hung onto my keyboard stand for dear life. How could I possibly play a set in this physical state?

After sound check, I went straight back into my bunk. I slept for a few hours. Nick popped his head in to let me know that Andrew Allen had just started his set, and that I should probably start getting ready. I put on a few more layers of clothing, pulled myself out of my bunk, and began applying make-up to mask how terrible I felt.

Our intro music started playing. We did our pre-show chant, "Salt Lake City, It's bobsled time!", and we made our way to the stage. 

The first song felt…o.k. Hey maybe I could get through this!

Photo by Jessica McAllister. Courtesy of Flourish Photography

You know how people always say, when you aren't quite feeling top notch that you should pretend like you are and continue doing all the things you normally do, like go for a jog maybe? Well, that's how playing the show went for me. I found myself shrugging off my aching bones and my nauseous stomach. The energy of the crowd's dancing and smiling rubbed off on me.

I actually had a pretty great show...

O.K. I promise that all my blogs aren't going to be me whining. I'm finishing up this blog from Dia and my hotel room in Salt Lake City. We are just about to catch a flight out to Seattle to perform on another morning news station. I ate some mexican food across the street. My stomach is finally able to handle solids. I am feeling much better.

Today is another day.



  1. Say, I'm catching a flight to Seattle now! Hopefully it's not raining there.

    I couldn't even tell that you were sick, killer show. Feel better soon, being sick sucks.

  2. Glad you are feeling better Meg! Let's hope the rest of the tour is illness free for everyone! Having just had food poisoning myself I know exactly how you felt and I give you tons of credit for playing through it because I didn't even have the strength to call my momma to come save me!

    1. That's so funny because I was DYING for my mom's korean food. She makes this amazing Korean turnip soup that would have fixed me right up.

  3. Meg, once again you have overcome adversity. I have so much admiration for you for being able to suck it up for the band.
    I hate to hear this news that you got food poisoning or stomach flu, because for me this one of my worst fears I have. Having gone through a stint of food poisoning, it made me want to never go through that again. Making it worse for me, I have my degree in Microbiology, and let me tell you, studying the microorganisms that cause disease has turned me into a virtual bubble boy. When I understood that the band would be living basically out of bus in winter, my first thought was how are they not going to be sick. Shared bathrooms, road food, thousands of fans; all sources of illness waiting to happen. Obviously, these are all hazards of the occupation, but sounds like the opening to "Contagion" to me. I hope this never happens again, but Seattle is known for Grunge. Be safe.

    1. Ha ha Tim. We will try. Coming from a "microbiology" background, any tips on how to keep ourselves healthy all crammed together on a bus?

    2. ohpshaw1 seems to have beat me to it and has some pretty good suggestions. So I will just add a few common sense suggestions.
      General Hints:
      Hand washing with hot water and soap is the key. Hand sanitizer (alcohol based) is a good alternative. Try to make sure you don't touch public door handles, armrests, toilets, etc. If you do wash again and always try to keep hands away from the face. Regularly use Lysol wipes on the common surfaces on the bus especially food areas. Probably, good for Green Rooms too.
      You are kind of at the mercy of others, but
      avoid eating foods or drinking beverages purchased from street vendors or other establishments where unhygienic conditions are present.
      Don't eat anything that's been sitting around too long or picked over by everyone.
      Avoid eating raw fruits (e.g., oranges, bananas, avocados) and vegetables unless you peel them.
      Properly well-cooked and packaged foods usually are safe.
      Tap water, ice, unpasteurized milk, and dairy products are risky.
      Safe beverages include bottled water, carbonated beverages, hot tea or coffee, beer, wine.
      Stay a safe distance(36 inches or more)from anyone who is sick.
      Get a Flu shot or even better FluMist at a local pharmacy.
      Continue washing hands.
      Hope I don't sound like Howard Hughes, but I just hate if you guys got sick again.

  4. I was at the Salt Lake City show last night and I absolutely loved it! You had such great energy on the stage, I would have never guessed you were so sick. I hope you continue to feel better. I am a huge fan. Thanks for the great show!

    1. Oh good! I'm so glad to hear this. Dia and I were talking to Nick's parents, and we were like "You guys have seen us a thousand times. How was the show". They said as long as everyone is dancing and having a good time, that's all that matters. It looked like everyone was having a good time to me:)

  5. You guys were fantastic last night. We had a great time, and can't wait to see you all again soon...after some solid sleep and 순두부 찌게. Travel safe!

  6. Ugh, food poisoning is the worst! Nick's a great guy for helping you get through it. And y'all are such troopers for putting on great shows when you'd rather be in bed.

    I'll be seeing you guys at the morning show tomorrow. I'll be in the audience!

  7. Phew!...when I was reading the post I thought that something horribly wrong was going to happen while you were on stage! But thank goodness you were alright.

    Hopefully you and the band stay nice and healthy for the rest of the tour! :)

  8. Oh oh, now that you've told us the secret pre-show chant, Dia is gonna want to "off" us! ;-)

    You guys really embody the old show-biz phrase, "The show must go on." I hope you folks recover your health quickly. Please know that your fans really appreciate all that you do to connect with us (Facebook, tweets, blogs, meet & greets, Youtube, TV, etc.).

    Sensible health tips I've heard: Don't touch your face (especially eyes/nose/mouth) before washing hands thoroughly. Use hand sanitizer. Get vaccinated for flu & hepatitis. Cough or sneeze into a tissue (or your elbow, not hands). No raw food, veggies or otherwise! These precautions won't eliminate all risk of infections, but can reduce the risk. Consult your doctor about additional vaccinations if you will be touring overseas (reputable bottled water or boiled water only, no ice!). Watch out for loose bottle caps (might mean the bottle has been refilled after someone else's use--yuck). Read precautions before using something like a Neti Pot for nasal/sinus relief. I hope I didn't gross you out...

  9. You know Dia is right your body needs lots of rest in times of sickness, which doesn't sound like you're getting much of. I really have to give you credit your performance at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor MI was outstanding, you played, sang, smiled, laughed, put on a great show. And then find out after the show you were sick, wow my heart goes out to you.

    It's tough enough to be sick at home but being on the road ouch! Well thank you Nick for taking care of our girl, get feeling better soon I want to see you healthy next time. And don't get any ideas about making a puking Chandler!

  10. The show was so much fun last night, I was with a group of girls that have been avid Meg and Dia fans for lots of years and we loved every second of it. You did a great job of covering up the fact that you were sick! So sorry though that you had to deal with that, the last thing anyone wants to do when they're sick (especially nauseated) is get all dressed up and dance around on a stage, I think. So props to you! Hope you all get well soon!

  11. "sink or swim", show must go on, right? guess thats what makes us love you more, maybe you can try and write a song about it =) WOHOOO!!! and btw, rest and frequent hand washing might do the trick o_O

  12. hey meg, i don't know how you and dia do it perform when you're sick! props on that! i was sick for the past 3 days and all 3 days I ran a fever! I had a sinus infection! my head was spinning every time i tried to sit up or stand-up..! and i couldn't sleep at all even though i was in bed like 95% of the day. :(

    On the positive note, today was the first day this week I felt better. I finally got approval to share the pictures from the Fairfax, VA show. I'll release it tonight :).

  13. If it makes you feel better, i had no idea you felt off. I'm also impressed Dia could get through a whole show with that scratchy throat! You girls are troopers.