You Won’t Believe What Happened Me!

It’s funny what a day will change. I take that back, it’s funny what can change in a moment. Just a moment. A day is a bit lofty.

As many of you have heard, I am thankfully recovering from the worst asthma attack I’ve ever experienced. I have fought asthma my entire life, spending long periods of my youth in & out of emergency rooms. For those of you with asthma, you know how unpredictable it can be & when breathing is the subject, unpredictability is a MF!!!

Over the past 3 years, I’ve had a few of the most severe attacks of my life. I’ve passed out in hospital parking lots trying to get into the ER, had my street looking like Christmas in July from medic lights flashing against the night sky.

I’ve had sobering moments where drawing breath was so hard I’ve simply surrendered. Back in September of 2016, I had a similar but not as aggressive attack while in LA on business. I remember parking wildly in the ER lot and forcing my way into the back after the triage attendantsĀ  repeatedly asked for my insurance information. “Um, first things first fella”. I remember laying on the hospital bed as they worked on me. I stared at my family’s photo on the home screen of my phone. It allowed me to focus my fight on one thing, getting back to them.

By GOD’s grace I walked out of there and continued this thing called life. The experience shook me so badly that it has made me hesitant to travel far from home. I would causiously weigh every gig with “my asthma” in mind. My travel bags are filled with nebulizers, prescriptions & merchandise of course – I gotta get this money to pay for all this bullshit. But, on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, things changed. I had taken a quick two hour ride up to Philly to tell these “Good Ass Jokes”. I felt fine and the thought of anything severe happening was far from my mind.

Before leaving I made my boys dinner, gave them a bath and got them off to bed. I kissed my wife and told her I should be back home by 2 A.M. Nothing out of the usual. I hopped in my comedy car, sent out a tweet announcing my impending descension upon Philly and pulled off.

Traffic was non-existent and I made the trip in record time. I got a great parking space in a crowded area. The audience was packed in and I sat in the back near the bar watching the other comics go up. I was just waiting for my turn on the mic, ready to hit the crowd over the head with this FUNNY! Everything was right in the world. I was given the signal and I hopped up ready to do what I do. Little did I know that the universe had a plot twist for my ass.

 

Anyone who knows Weems, knows that no two shows are alike (imagine a snowflake). Every single show is custom made and tailor fit to that exact crowd. So, I’m up there riffing, talking all types of shit & out of nowhere, I felt a very familiar and terrifying sensation in my chest. I knew this unwelcomed visitor all too well. I prayed that it would pass and I hoped I was overreacting. I still had the crowd’s attention, but now I could hear my shallow breathing over their laughter. I felt alone in a room full of people and panic began to slowly set in. I took a moment during a laugh break to pull out my inhaler and take two puffs. A few words into my next thought I could feel no repreive from the medicine. Finally, I did something I have NEVER done in my decade of standup — I walked off stage without finishing the show.

Do you wanna hear what happened next? Well, you’re in luck. Documentary filmmaker, Tally Abecassis, spent an entire year following that night in May. Subscribe to the First Day Back Podcast to hear the full story.

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