31 days of a new normal {day 18} effects on me as a musician – part 2

This post is part of a month-long series.  You can read the rest here.

Much of who I am is tied up in music, even down to the rhythms and melodic contours of my speech.  I can’t help but wonder how these symptoms (man, I really wish I had a definitive name for it right now!!) are going to affect my ability to play and create.

You know that what if? game where you have to choose between two awful scenarios?  I’ve always said I’d choose not being able to play as long as I could still sing, but as I type this, I’m hoping I haven’t wasted much time on imagining that.  Stupid.

A six-part fugue from The Musical Offering, in...

I know things are changing, but I’m still able to do what I need to.  Sometimes my wrist is stiff and painful, but I haven’t missed playing a Sunday yet.  Today, I reached out during a lesson to demonstrate something and got a shock through my hand, but the student had no idea.  I tried the intro for “Stairway to Heaven” on my guitar the other day, and it wasn’t so hot, but then again, it’s been so long since I pulled out my guitar that I don’t even have callouses anymore.  One time I couldn’t play a passage in “The Entertainer” that required my hand to be open and jumping with accuracy.  Another time I couldn’t play a Bach prelude with as much speed.  Eh, speed was never my forte anyway.  (Music nerd joke!)

Will things progress to the point where I can’t play at all?

I’ve been reading a great 31 days series by a musician who has had a very unusual disease for years that involves joint and muscle pain.  She plays her guitar daily, even though her hands and fingers already hurt. I wanna be like her when I grow up.  (Okay, I think I’m older than her, but you know what I’m sayin’.)


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