‘This thing was trying to dismantle me’: Mark Lanegan on nearly dying of Covid
In this extract from his new memoir Devil in a Coma, the alt-rocker recalls how Covid-19 put him in hospital for months this year – and gave him a series of hallucinogenic visions
I had been feeling weak and sick for a few days and then woke up one morning completely deaf. My equilibrium shaky, and my mind in a surreal, psychedelic dream state, I lost my footing at the top of the stairs. Head over heels over head, I knocked myself out on the windowsill as I crashed down the narrow staircase at my house. Bang. My wife was out horseback riding for the day, and I came to hours later still unable to hear a thing, unable to move, two huge opened welts on my head and my knee not supporting any weight.
For two days I tried to get from stairwell to couch, with no success. I could not move, nor could my wife support my 200lb body, so I lay suffering on some blankets on the hard floor. My ribs were cracked, my spine bruised, battered and sore, and my already chronically messed-up knee gone again, as if some tendons were ripped or a ligament severed. My leg was useless. Every attempted breath was a battle, no matter how hard I tried to take a natural one. Though I refused to go to hospital my wife finally called an ambulance behind my back and I was wheeled out of my yard on a gurney. I eventually ended up in intensive care, unable to draw oxygen, and was diagnosed with some exotic new strain of the coronavirus for which there was no cure, of course. I was put into a medically induced coma, none of which I remembered.
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