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Discussion Starter #1
Well, not exactly. Doctor says, "I won't say stop, but it's probably not a good idea". It seems I have developed a tear in a valve, and depending on the results of some tests, may have to have it repaired. Doc says playing the saxophone, or, exerting "pressure" on the chest is a matter of concern.

Coincidentally, and maybe or maybe not related, during a gig over the weekend, I thought I was going to pass out at one point. This was before the diagnosis, I didn't even know anything was wrong with me, but it really scared me. However it was the last song of a long set, I was featured soloist, it was outside and in the 90's, and I was dehydrated and tired. I have some important gigs coming up that I want to play.

I went into the basement to practice this morning and felt it in my chest, but it might just be my imagination and paranoia induced by doctor's visit. However, I recently switched to harder reed, and noticed today that when I switched to a softer reed the feeling in my chest was much relieved. I'll have to get used to the sound of the softer reed, which feels less thick. Anyway, so now when I play, I am hypersensitive to physical observations, which may be all in my head.

Anybody want to trade some soft reeds for my hard ones?
 

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Forum Contributor 2008/Distinguished SOTW Member
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What are you looking for and what have you got? Also, a smaller tip may help as well. Anything to reduce "resistance" and if it helps you to feel better, then do it. It beats the alternative, I hope.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I play a 7* EB STM. Here is what I have, in boxes:
1 box of 4 sealed Java Reds 3 and a half strenght
1 box of Roberto's RW reeds with four 3M and one 3H
1 box of Rigotti reeds with two 3M's.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2014
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If the doc says "You've got a tear in you heart," blowing the horn might cause you to go Kaput!. You best learn piano or something.
 

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Just a guy who plays saxophone.
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Sorry to hear about your medical condition, and I would think it to be smart to take the advice of your doctor on this one. Perhaps repair or replacement with a pig valve or plastic valve is an option...a generally successful surgery technique. The plastic valves are more open to infection and blockage though, as there are no natural microbacterium present to keep it clean, and the plaque tends to stick to it.

On the bright side: Even if you play a middle of the road/ nothing special saxophone, you can afford a top of the line guitar or keyboard if you end up having to sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Doctor said, his words, "I'm not going to tell you not to." His concern is undue pressure on the chest, but he admits he has no experience with the physiology involved in playing the saxophone. Main thing now is I just have to work a little harder, because the heart is working harder.

I did notice a lessening of pressure with the softer reed. I'm going to keep playing until conclusion of tests and follow up procedure (if found necessary) but with a careful watch of symptoms. I am not in danger of dying suddenly, and believe me, if I start feeling weird and its scary, I'll stop. Pending the results of some tests, if necessary I intend to have the valve replacement (pig valve) that SW Perry suggests - it seems to be the best route and common procedure, and it has been discussed with my cardiologist.
 

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Personally, I'm surprised your doctor didn't tell you stop outright until your condition can be repaired. Sounds like an incompetent doctor to me!
My antennae would have immediately gone up if a doctor told me 'it's just not a good idea', or even better 'I'm not going to tell you not to'. Did you see a specialist or is this guy a GP?
You may want to get a second or even third opinion.

Playing sax shouldn't be a life and death issue.

What is it with this forum when people have health issues and they ask for advice here. Unbelieveable!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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What is it with this forum when people have health issues and they ask for advice here. Unbelieveable!
To be fair, Leon isn't asking medical advice here like some people do. Just saying that the doc said playing is ill advised, so wants to trade hard reeds for softer ones. If he had asked medical advice I think most people would have said exactly what you did.

It now seems totally his choice having been warned about danger by the doctor.

I'm just imagining what would happen if I was in that situation, I say to my friend "the doctor advises me not to play due to a tear in the valve, however I'm gong to carry on playing, can you swap me some of your softer reeds as that way I might possibly be less likely to die".
 

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I know I was generalizing but who cares about being exact because it's the
significance of the thread that's in question. This guy is asking us, or some, to condone his health issues.
To be fair? I personally think the guy has some reality check issues. Fair enough? He apparently wants us to possibly go along with his nonchalant attitude much like his doctor apparently is.

Okay, let's be fair....Go right ahead and find a reed suitable that puts less strain on your heart like we moonlight as doctors and we have good advice!
Ridiculous thread!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not trying to start any controversy and not asking for advice, though kind of wondering if anyone else ever dealt with this. My physician, a cardioligist, had not dealt with saxohponics, and that might be why he said what he did, that he wouldn't advise it but wouldn't say no. I've had this this condition for several years, according to my cardiologist who compared echos, and it hasn't killed me yet, it's just that it has become more severe and the time has come, pending test results, to do something about it.
 

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Hey, I simply thought that my posts should be a bit abrasive. I don't know, just maybe
it could have got you thinking along a different route and just maybe it could save your life.......Just maybe.
It was worth a shot.

I truly hope you get this thing fixed!
 

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Your health, and life, are more important than playing saxophone. Period. You might look into getting an EWI, that takes hardly any pressure at all.
 

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Actually, I'd say get a second opinion -- preferably from a Doc who plays or has played a woodwind instrument.

Andy Rooney said something a few years back that I thought was cool. He said if you break your leg and get help from a doctor who's never broken a bone before; he can help you get better, but you understand a few things about broken legs that he doesn't. It's probably the reason why male gynecologists are a dying breed.

A doc who hasn't played an instrument before might intellectually understand what's happening when one plays the saxophone -- but he doesn't know what it feels like, how hard you have to blow and how much pressure it puts on your chest.

I understand this is a serious matter, and I hope you consider following your doc's advice -- but so many of us (me included) grew up believing that the doc's word is gospel. But really, it's good to question and get second opinions...especially when it concers something so important (I'd be pretty devastated if someone told me I couldn't play for medical reasons).
 
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