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i bid adieu to playing for 4 to six weeks...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by joebar, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    well i have my first of two carpal tunnel surgeries booked for tomorrow at noon on my right hand.
    the other hand gets operated on two weeks after.
    has taken almost a year to get these surgeries approved by Worksafe and i cannot wait to get it done and over with; i have so much life to live...
    i have a new band waiting for me when i return; i have a new bass i haven`t really explored yet; and my work needs me but are supportive.
    of all the thing i worry about, it is if i will play better or worse than before.
    mind you, i have been in a compromised state of pain and discomfort for so long that i am betting i will have a new lease on life.
    i know that both hands got damaged over a lifetime of hard physical work; i am only 42.
    one thing i learned along the way-life is a marathon and not a sprint...i wish i would have paced myself better over the years but i am an all or nothing kinda guy...
    take care of your hands folks; do not ignore the signs. your body will tell you when to shut it down or take a step back.

    wish me good fortune on my road to recovery and i will never take playing my bass for granted again.
  2. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    Good luck! fwiw, I had surgery on my left pinkie back in December of 2011 to release "Dupuytren's Contracture." Amazingly, I was back playing after four weeks. It took some time to get back to 100%, but I got it back. I'm sure you will too!
  3. Best of luck Joe.

    I almost had both done about 10 years ago but discovered just in time that it was as a result of a using a PC mouse too much at work (I used to swap hands to try and alleviate the pain). I retired and it started improving almost immediately and now only bothers me slightly if I spend stupid amounts of time holding a mouse.
  4. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Best of luck. I had both of my hands done at an even younger age, 26. It unfortunately didn't work for you but I hope it provides you relief.
  5. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012
    My sincerest wishes for a speedy and full recovery. Just think...you'll be able to play without pain! Yes...you WILL be able to play for many years to come. That desire is not going to go away and it is that desire which will drive you to recover and play again!
  6. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    so i had surgery on hand number 1 at noon yesterday
    five minute procedure;just a local anesthetic, and felt bulletproof with a fully frozen hand
    once the freezing wore off later that eve i become incredibly sore. felt the full brunt of the surgery only had over the counter tylenol.
    kept fingers moving to alleviate stiffness but hand was swollen.
    i think i actually passed out from the pain last night, but slept pretty well
    i feel a million times better this mornand fingers are moving way better now. i thnk over all i am making a textbook recovery.
    i may even be able to rehearse with my band in 9 days; they seem to think i should be able to most things by then.

    at least i kn0w what to expect for the other hand in two weeks time.

    its liberating when you conquer your fears.
  7. ChessTiger


    Oct 26, 2012
    Good luck my bass brother!! You'll be back on the frets b4 you know it. While you are recovering and unable to play; just listen to your favorite player and enjoy the beauty of playing on the low end.
  8. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    for me, it was more an inflammation and rapid fatiguing rather than a pain.
    i was told that it could be the carpal tunnel causing the inflammation in th forearms and the palm because they are so interconnected.
    intermittant numbness, nerve damage to the thumb and a general discomfort due to the tightness of the tunnel.
    in my case it makes sense; years of hard physical work causes all of your tendons, muscles and ligaments to atrophy; the problem is the tunnel doesnt grow larger to accomodate the enlarging of everything that passes thru the tunnel. this causes the nerve to choke off and cause numbness.
  9. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    an update-
    well it has been six days since the surgery and i am recovering awfully quickly; started to pluck a few notes two days ago and should be good to play most things by the weekend. i would never have thought this surgery would be a minor inconvenience at best.
    i can feel some relief already in the hand; the restrictive tunnel is gone and i sure hope that the absence of it solves a multitude of problems
    cannot wait to get the other hand done; a week today...
    4 to 6 weeks?
    no way-more like 10-14 days...
  10. Glad to hear everything is working out for you Joebar. I've got another 6 months to go before I get a hip replacement, can't wait. Haven't been able to play a whole gig standing up for 2 years, been forced to play sitting down solely for the last 6 months, even that is getting to be too much. So looking forward to prowling around the stage again bugging my guitar player.

    The joy really does start to get sucked out of playing when you have pain/physical problems that affect your ability to do what you love.

    Really glad things are looking up for you.
  11. rapidfirerob

    rapidfirerob Fusion rules!

    I am so thankful for music, both playing it and listening to it. I had a tumor in my right calf last year. I had surgery and radiation. My other love is tennis and I can now not run hard any longer. I can hit balls hobbling around and am hoping for more mobility at least at some point. Music and my family have kept me going. I am hoping for a full recovery for you.
  12. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    thx for the support people-

    another update...
    had the second surgery done on left hand yesterday morning. had a rough evening as expected-lots of pills and rest. feels good at the moment.
    the doctor looked at the right hand and said it was an abnormally quick recovery; said it was remarkable really. he went on to say that i shouldn't expect the left hand to heal as fast;when i asked why, he said "because they don't always heal as fast as my right hand did.
    within 8 days of the surgeryi had played bass for 4 hours and the next eve went to band practice and played for 6 hours with nary a pain. keep in mind that before the surgery, i couldn't play for 5 minutes straight...
  13. joebar


    Jan 10, 2010
    another update:
    doing rigorous physiotherapy on right hand -it is day 22 since the surgery. kind of hit a plateau with the healing with the right hand-my therapist had to remind me that i did significant damage to the nerve in the thumb and it might take a little longer than usual to rehab my grip/squeeze. able to pluck string better than i could before the surgery.
    it has been 9 days since the surgery on my left hand-i feel that it is a day or two behind in the initial healing (compared to the right hand), but overall, is feeling better than my right hand does and it is two weeks behind.
    tried playing bass today; i knew that fretting would be harder to do than plucking. i can get by but it is still tender. can play some chords but the pinky and fourth digit are causing a little discomfort. my therapist said i can go ahead and play bass as i see fit.
    overall, i can play longer than i could before the surgery even in this delicate state.

    this doesn`t seem to be a popular thread but i am documenting this for others that are having similar issues with their hands. i know there are a lot of players in pain and/or contemplating surgery for this common ailment.
    i feel it was worth it; even at this point the chronic numbness is gone and taking a break and rehabbing the hands was a good idea as well.
    the only real pain i experienced was the first four hours after the freezing wore off. that was hard but then it subsided to a managable level thereafter.