surgery scheduled


SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

It's been a long few months of pain and not playing my instruments, but I now have Carpal Tunnel surgery scheduled in a couple weeks, for my left hand/wrist. I have done all the things and this is the only option left.

The pain in my fingers and palm and wrist have been really intense and there are a growing number of things that are too painful to do, like cook and do dishes. I will be so glad to get this over with.

The dr thinks 4-6 weeks of recovery and after week 6 I should even be able to play again.

I have been making some lemonade out of these lemons though. I have been playing my ukulele with my good hand and writing music (etudes) for just the picking hand. I wrote 10 of them and have painted corresponding paintings for each one. So now I'll be working on actually self publishing a book of them. The sample one I played in my weekly Zoom uke group went over really well.

I was hoping to work on my guitar fingerpicking skills as well but it's too difficult to tune the guitar with my left hand. So...it just sits for now. I may start back up with my electric guitar when I can physically play again.

At first I was really dismayed by the prospect of surgery but now the pain is so bad I'm just ready for the relief. (Assuming it works!) It should work though as the steroid injection worked for about a week and the surgery will follow parallel to that and have the same effect, but permanently.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 1
matonanjin2
Registered User
Joined: 08/11/17
Posts: 357
Originally Posted by: SusanMW

I have been making some lemonade out of these lemons though.

Susan, best wishes for a quick recovery and your getting back to playing as soon as possible. As one who who has been dealing with chronic pain (and its effect on playing) I can relate to what you're going through.

Your "making lemonade" clearly demonstrates your committment to playing and learning and your passion for it. There are some other constructive pastimes to consider while you're on the bench. One is studying theory. I have to confess I wish that I had sudied this more after my surgeries. Another is listening, very carefully listening, to the songs you want to play when the guitar is back in your hands. Study the chord changes, tempo/key changes etc. I don't know why this works or helps, and a psychologist friend or mine tried to explain it, but it does.

Please keep us posted on your recovery.


[u]Guitars:[/u] 2014 PRS Santana, 2013 PRS Paul's, 2009 PRS Hollowbody, 1972 Gibson ES-325, 2012 Fender Strat American Standard, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica, Martin M-36, Martin 000-15M, Seagull S6 Classic[br][u]Amps:[/u] Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Line 6 POD 500X, Quilter Microblock 45

# 2
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Thank you so much! That reminds me...I have a book I started reading called the Inner Game of Music. It is fascinating, written in the late 80's I think but a classic. I will definitely work on some theory while I'm down and out. :)

As I was writing the ukulele music, I feel like my ears really did get a workout when I was listening so carefully as to what sounds go best together. It was so much fun and I will definitely be writing more, hopefully for the guitar eventually, too.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 3
snojones
Full Access
Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

So sorry to hear you did have to go to surgery. Making lemonade is a lot easier on the outside than on the in. The good news is that you still have options.

Make your PT your own personal Rational Adult. Let them control your return to playing after the surgery. Make it clear on your first vist that you want them to activly control your return to playing. Having a good PT on your side is a real help with you start back. They are trained to watch for untoward events and how to deal with them. They are objective and not emotionally attached to returning to the instrument too fast. Too fast can be disasterous in this kind of recovery. I went through massive PT to be able to return to guitar. I am playing again because my Rational Adult was the one who led the way.

I have seen that you are very motivated to master the insturment. That is great, as long as your don't exceed your body's capacity to safely do. So when you start back, get your PT on your team from day one. Let them control "how much, how fast". That is the most direct line to mastery of the insturment after a set physical setback like surgery.

Good luck, hope to see you here again soon after the surgery.

PS. Steve Vie is broadcasting a segement on his web channel, and accoring to


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 4
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

That is grea advice thank you. I have already gone through 5 visits of PT pre-surgery which they said will help the recovery after. I have a great PT team and they know how important playing is to me, so I feel like I'm in good hands.

I'll have to check out that video of the guitarist....


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 5
snojones
Full Access
Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

Be very specific that you want them to activly set limits for your return to guitar. Keep asking about those limits every time you go into the office. Many people just sit there and don't activly participate to get what they want, so the PT will likely jus run through their usual speal. Be spacific. This will help your PT anticipate your questions and so they will be better ready to provide you with this spacific need.

Good Luck, go get em Tiger.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 6
ddiddler
Full Access
Joined: 05/13/20
Posts: 327

Good luck. [br]as you still have a couple of weeks to wait have some more lemonade, why not tune the guitar with your r/hand

maybe slower/awkward but once done it should hold a while

Dave


# 7
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Surgery was today and went well. It's a pain to do everything with just one hand but at least i have neighbors to help with certain things. I'm on round 2 of pain meds.

I am looking forward to studying my lessons along with theory for the time being. I'm also getting a digital piano soon so I'm really excited about that. Ive always wanted to learn the piano but once i found out how helpful it is for guitarists i was sold. I'll just have to play one handed for awhile.

I have an image Ive been keeping in mind.... of me plaing my guitar (and ukulele) on my front porch on a warm summer evening. I'll be healed by then! Happy thought, happy heart...


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 8
snojones
Full Access
Joined: 04/17/13
Posts: 675

It might be difficult to play guitar and ukelele at the same time. But hey, I admire the grand ambition. I have seen saxaphone players play 2 saxs at the same time. Maybe duck tape rides again....

Glad you are in the Recovery Phase.


Captcha is a total pain in the........

# 9
matonanjin2
Registered User
Joined: 08/11/17
Posts: 357

Susan, thank you for keeping us up-to-date on the recovery.


[u]Guitars:[/u] 2014 PRS Santana, 2013 PRS Paul's, 2009 PRS Hollowbody, 1972 Gibson ES-325, 2012 Fender Strat American Standard, 2012 Yamaha Pacifica, Martin M-36, Martin 000-15M, Seagull S6 Classic[br][u]Amps:[/u] Fender Blues Junior III, Boss Eband JS-10, Line 6 POD 500X, Quilter Microblock 45

# 10