Recently I had what I call a ‘life event’. And I spent most of those months lying on my back, wishing I wasn’t.

Sure, I got to digest a huge amount of Netflix, Stan, and catch-up TV of all channels, but I’m a physical ‘get up in the morning and start the day with fury’ sort of bloke. So it wasn’t an easy hit to take.

What stopped me dead in my tracks?

I was in Melbourne for a Grand Final Essendonians’ Ladies’ Comedy Luncheon and to play two concerts at the wonderful Hamer Hall at the Melbourne Arts Centre – The Playboys and I had audiences of nearly 4000 booked for that Monday after the AFL Grand Final.

It was going to be big.

But I woke up in the early hours of the morning, three days before my shows, feeling extremely ill. As I got up to head for the bathroom, I felt my left leg collapse under me and I all but face-planted into the floor.

I started writhing in pain and feeling desperately like I was going to throw up.

Then I noticed a white circle on my left calf and the beginning of what was to become a very red, cellular-infected leg. The doctors called it ‘cellulitis’.

I’d never heard of this before, but I was amazed to hear how many people have experienced cellulitis.

It can be precipitated in a number of ways, but always begins with the breaching of the skin and the entry of very aggressive bacteria. After reading and viewing many accounts of spider bites, I’m convinced mine was caused by a White Tail Spider.

And believe me, I have never experienced so much pain in my life.

It was radically challenging to my stoicism – and I believe I’m quite stoic when it comes to handling everyday aches and pains, but this was another thing all together.

And after dealing with it for as long as I did – two months of zero energy, intense pain and lethargy – what can I say? Um, ah yes… it was certainly “character building”.

Even the smallest of tasks required a lot of planning. Like how to get to my crutches, how would I stand long enough to get to, say, the bathroom, and then get back while withstanding the agony of it every hobble of the way.

And I’m not deluded to the fact that there are people living like this every single day.

And I’m not deluded to the fact that there are people living like this every single day.

I can now totally empathise.

But it’s not until you’re rendered ‘useless’ – or at least feel like you are – and you can’t go about your day as you’d like to, that you really begin to realise just how precious your health is.

Never again will I take for granted how good it feels to wake up in the morning, be able to get out of bed on my own and go about my day – whether I’m getting up on stage with my guitar or pottering about the backyard.

Anyone who doesn’t appreciate how lucky we are, is a fool.

And if it wasn’t for the medical staff who provided such great care, I would never have been able to show up and go through with those concerts (even if it was with the aid of a wheelchair and stool!) and make a pretty good fist of it as well.

I’m so grateful for my beautiful family, the staff at Hamer Hall, my colleague Ric Evans (Australia’s Joe Cocker) and all who came to my aid when I needed them most to make this happen.

As they say, “the show must go on”.

And the support kept flowing once I got home – meals and flowers arrived, friends called and left facebook messages, and people came to visit and check up on me constantly.

Once the right antibiotic was finally prescribed, I started to heal exponentially – but thank God that I was born in Australia and that I live here. We truly are a blessed country.

That’s one of the things that I realised the most throughout this experience – how lucky I was to be born in Australia.

There’s only a short list of countries in the world that would be able to deal with this immediately, which seems a simple little thing – a spider bite and infection – but if that had happened in Papua New Guinea, or in remote parts of Turkey or even remote Canada, and I wasn’t anywhere near a hospital, I could very easily have lost my leg or even died.

The doc told me we all carry an infection marker of around the number 5, and my marker was 389. He said he’d treated people with a marker of around 400 with pneumonia who did not make it. A scary little spider that White Tail.

And I just thank my lucky stars that I’m as healthy as I am at this age, and this whole experience didn’t go south.

If it wasn’t such a painful ordeal, I’d wish you all could have an event like this so you could truly understand how blessed you are – if you don’t already.

I know it sounds a little melodramatic. But the longer I live and the longer I live in Australia, I realise that I really did win the lottery just by being born here.

Whether you’re lucky to be healthy, are battling big health problems or just dealing with the niggling pains of growing older, we all have this to be thankful for. Don’t you think?