Jan. 19th, 2010

terriko: (Default)
I take part in a weekly photo challenge, and this week's topic was Something With Meaning. I liked my photo and decided that I might as well share the story I wrote to go with it here too.

Clarinet wasn't my first choice of instrument, but my very small little fingers left me unable to fully play the flute, and my teacher convinced me to switch. I was lucky: one of three students selected to do extra music training early in my elementary school, and although I resented being different, those small-class music lessons were something I looked forwards to every week. I became an avid musician, even when my tiny school could barely support my interest.

I continued to play through high school... then destroyed my ability to use my hands right near the end of my high school career. I could barely open doors, or brush my teeth, and I was told I couldn't keep playing. I refused to give up clarinet, giving up instead my ability to take notes, and a lot of pride as I had to ask people to do a lot of little things for me. I got a neck strap and practiced only in small spurts with a lot of pain. I went on tour to the UK with my high school band. I played bass clarinet for the school musical a year later in part because I couldn't handle the upper clarinet parts. But it seemed like I'd always be in physical pain.

But anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, changing behaviour, and a lot of time can make a huge difference in a repetitive strain injury. I made a full recovery. No loss of motion. No pain. And I still play with a neck strap, but I still play.

So this is my clarinet, the one I bought part way through high school that saw me through the worst of the story. And I'll be bringing it to rehearsal on Wednesday, just like every week.

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terriko

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