November 2010

Never Give In

November 29, 2010 09:51

I am happy to say that my right hand is back to normal! The effects of the last Botox injection have worn off to the extent that I am able to use my bow-hand again with no sign of tremor and only some residual weakness. At this point I have no plans for further Botox injections. The upside is that I am playing better than ever.

The Handel A Major Sonata is coming along quite well, even the double-stops, which I dreaded if the truth be told. I realize that this is a period of growth which will undoubtedly be followed by a "flat" period where I seem to be just treading water; I think those times come when you are digesting new skills and letting things sink in. Of course I could be wrong, but for now I'm enjoying the progress I'm making.

One of the best parts of making progress is gaining confidence when playing for an audience. Knowing I sound good to others, not just to me, makes performing that much easier, even if I come across a difficult passage or if I make a mistake that half the audience probably won't notice anyway.

Another good thing about making progress is the sense of accomplishment it brings. When you've really learned a new or difficult technique or mastered a tough piece, it brings a sense of being able to do almost anything - at least it does for me. I think that it's one thing that keeps me going in spite of the daily challenges of living with a chronic illness. Knowing that I've had enough control over my body to be able to learn to play reasonably well has kept me from wallowing in self-pity. 

The temptation to give up has been strong at times. Sometimes I have felt as though I was merely spinning my wheels, getting absolutely nowhere, wondering if I lacked ability, or if I was just too old, or if MS had robbed me of the opportunity I had so craved. When the tremor took over in my right hand and made playing impossible I came close to despair, and I thought I had the perfect excuse to give up playing: after all, I hadn't asked to have this awful disease. No harm, no foul; no one could blame me, no one could accuse me of being a quitter.  No one, that is, except me. But I didn't want to quit. I'm just too stubborn, or maybe I just don't know when to quit, but I wasn't ready to pack it in.

Researchers are developing new therapies for MS all the time. Maybe they will find a cure in my lifetime. Regardless, I know that the more I yield to the MonSter, the more it will take from me. I am determined that music is one thing I will not yield willingly.

6 replies | Archive link


More entries: July 2010

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe