Some people who know me privately know I've been suffering with a hand problem from last year. I've been fighting it every day, all year and last week I had a diagnosis from a consultant at the London hand clinic. She confirmed my worst fear that I have focal hand dystonia. It's pretty rare in classical musician hand injury ( about 5%) and very rare in pop or jazz players ( me). It's only in my first finger and that's pretty mild I've been told but it's enough to make my right hand useless for playing. As I'm in my 40's now and been playing since I was 15 it's pretty hard. There are treatments but not a lot seems known about it although my consultant was very upbeat having she says treated classical players that have returned to their orchestras. Treatment which is tailored to the individual is also pretty expensive, a long way to travel and with obviously no promises.
I can play my saxes ( except straight sop), saxello and bass clarinet somewhat with no right thumb ( the pincer movement triggers it off) but it's very unsatisfying. Clarinet is impossible as is flute. My bass flute is not quite as bad but still very hard.
Fortunately financially I've always had another hat as a staff writer with a major music publisher who are very supportative but for years I've written so I can play with the bands and music I like usually for no money which didn't matter. I took it for granted that I'd always got my horns for solice.
After a short break to get my head together I'm going to have a serious go at treatment and beating it. I'm also going to get some tests to rule out nerve entrapment in my elbow which goes nuts sometimes.( I went to an Osteopathic healer who actually cleared it for a few days) I've never been a quitter but to date it's got me beat.
thanks for reading.
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