The new issue of Rolling Stone is absolutely worth picking up. It features Eric Church (one of my personal favorite artists) on the cover, talking about all kinds of things that have been happening in his life in the past year.
Church talks about his new music (out this fall), losing the Entertainer of the Year award (to Garth), his feelings on lip-synching (he's not a fan)....as well as his home improvement projects, politics, and a near-death experience that caused him to reevaluate some of his priorities.
The article is absolutely worth the read, but the part that really got me was his medical emergency last year. To summarize, Eric was home at the end of his tour last year, and noticed his left arm wasn't working properly; it was tingly and swollen. He went to the doctor and found out he had a massive clot that was blocking blood flow to that arm. He was transported to a hospital several hours away (it was the closest hospital that was able to perform the surgery he needed), and the clot was removed. His doctors told him that if the clot traveled to his heart, lungs, or brain, he'd have been dead. Apparently, that particular type of clot doesn't usually show any warning signs, and patients die suddenly and unexpectedly, so Eric was luck that it was caught in time.
During the surgery for the clot, doctors found another issue: Church later learned he had a birth defect in which his topmost rib was too close to his collarbone. “It’s called thoracic outlet syndrome,” he says. “There’s a major vein that runs through there, and when I would raise my arm, it would pinch it and damage the vein. The clot was where it tried to heal. But it kept backing up, backing up. And like any clot, when you get enough pressure, it’s gonna blow.”
So a week later, he had that rib removed, and he spent several months in rehab and physical therapy. He never told anyone outside his close circle of family and friends about the surgery or therapy...until this interview! Fortunately, none of this has inhibited Eric's ability to play guitar or perform, but it explains why he disappeared from the public eye for about 8 months, until this summer. Wow!
If you want to read the rest of the article, click the link below. Fair warning: there's definitely some adult language in the original article.
Eric's new album, Desperate Man, comes out October 5th.