So you can play Viola Zombies on Halloween of course!
It started at Interlochen while rehearsing Shostakovich #8. A pain in my left first finger, down at the knuckle. I thought that maybe I had over extended or otherwise strained my first finger playing that low C# for so many measures. My remedial action was to play the note an octave higher and then ice that joint and give it a rest. Several weeks later, that joint still pained me and started affecting simple things like picking up an empty sauce pan. It was time to go see a doctor.
It turns out that it wasn't an injury that would get better with time and rest. That pain I had been experiencing was arthritis. It was a diagnosis that surprised me. I had thought that something like that would come along slowly. But no, arthritis can come on very suddenly with a flip of the switch at any age.
My doctor luckily is also a musician (flautist), and appreciated my dilemma. She prescribed me a compounded cream that she swore would do the trick, knowing that quitting viola was tantamount to a death sentence and something I could use long-term without alot of risk. She called it "better music through chemistry".
It arrived today, along with my birthday present from my mother.
After reading through the instructions, I applied this cream to my knuckle and viola! My aches and pains subsided enough for me to practice like I did before. The only downside I see so far is that now I'm playing a few notes a bit sharp (rather than flat). I think I can live with that.
The next thing on my agenda is getting a new pair of glasses. Oh the joys of aging.
More entries: September 2013
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.