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Laurie Trlak

Playing the violin and coping with MS

September 17, 2010 at 3:03 AM

For the first time in almost two months, I was able to play an entire page of music today. I'm still not back 100%, but it is getting better. I was worried there for a while, really afraid that the Botox-induced paralysis in my hand would prove to be permanent, but the strength in my hand is coming back little by little, so maybe by the end of the year I'll be able to play again. Unfortunately I won't be playing the Vivaldi this weekend for my music club, but that's a small loss.

I have decided that I won't be getting another Botox series anytime soon. It seems they are no longer necessary. I did see my neurologist, and she agrees. Actually, I saw her because I'd had a nasty fall and she wanted to check me out, although I was going to call her anyway about the Botox, so I took care of both issues at once, but I digress.

It appears that the tremors in my wrist and arm have subsided, at least for now. I hope and pray that it stays that way. The most frustrating thing about MS is the unpredictable nature of the disease; you never know from one day to the next how you're going to feel, so you just have to take each day as it comes and be grateful when you get up functioning normally. After about 30 years with this disease I feel particularly blessed to be functioning as well as I am; aside from having to use a cane for balance I do very well and can do most things that I was able to do before. I do have to deal with fatigue and heat sensitivity, and those things affect my cognition and functioning negatively, so I have to be aware of that fact and plan accordingly. But as long as I can play music and sing, I will be happy.  

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 2:45 AM

I am so glad to hear good news from you.  May your recovery continue, and may you always have music to make you feel happy.

From Michael Felzien
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 2:45 AM

Thank you for sharing about your particular challenge.  I found this very heart warming and a bit sad.  It seems that a lot of violinists have problems with their moving parts over time.  I know I can't hold or lift heavy things with my left hand, the knuckles are and muscles start to give too easily.  I also currently have a reoccuring problem with my right hand, tendon problem I think.  It's just from too much static tension and too much practice with that tension.

I believe everyone will wish you the best and say how inspiring the violin (and violinists) can be.   Keep up the "violin love" and practice those 'darn' etudes (Safely)!

Mike F

From Tom Holzman
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Glad to hear things are going better.  Your efforts are an inspiration to all of us.  Keep us updated and may the progress continue.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

 That's great news, glad to hear you are playing again!

From Christina C.
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Wonderful news Laurie. Thanks for sharing & keep up the music making.

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