I see an occupational therapist three times a week. She assesses the health of my hands and gives me various treatments to reduce inflammation so that I can practice while I'm healing from my car accident. I am also taking NSAIDs 24/7 to reduce inflammation. In the morning and after long walks my hands are swollen and irritated. When I practice or type, my fingers, hands, and wrists get sore, irritated, and tired.
In addition, I'm going through some lifestyle changes that are causing some upheaval. I'm in the process of packing for a big move. I'm excited for my move, but the packing isn't good for my hands. In addition, the reason for the move - beginning my doctorate degree - has me anxious about practicing.
Also, I've decided, for ideological and financial reasons, to not get another car. It should be easy enough for me to get around in my new town, but where I live now, I have to plan for about an hour of walking and riding public transportation to get to work, the school, or my doctor's appointments.
Add to this that I'm having to live on a very very tight budget, and you might see why it's easy for me to get down, right now. I feel like I had just gotten to the point of daily practice as a habit and that has been taken away from me.
So, how can I deal with this?
Emotions. Lately when I feel myself getting down or I start to feel sorry about myself I turn it around and get angry instead. I'm not an angry person by nature, but in this case, the reaction is intentional. The anger gives me a little more energy and reminds me of my self worth - something I forget that I have when I'm not working or practicing. I just have to think about the negligence of the other driver for a few minutes and I'm reminded that my life (and my hands) have value. A few minutes later the anger has subsided and I remember my purpose and get on with things.
I know that this won't work for everyone. It's part of my nature to get depressed instead of getting angry. I don't want to be angry at other people. The other driver made a mistake that I have nearly made many times and it's a mistake that many other people will make. But if I talk myself into a little bit of anger, I'm driven to take control of my life and do what I know is right.
Time Management. You tell me. No really. Haven't figured this out, yet.
I can't practice at school at night anymore because it's not safe to walk. When I have more than one engagement in a day, I feel like I spend the whole day walking. My only consolation in that this is temporary. My new city's transportation system should be much much better and I'll be located more centrally. If getting around doesn't prove to be better there, I will be forced to get a bike or a car. But probably a car, because I have a bad history of falling off of bikes. I hope it doesn't come to that, though.
This time management issue is wreaking as much havoc on my practice as my injury.
Practicing. This is what it's all about, after all.
In some of the time I would have otherwise spent practicing, I'm studying for entrance exams. I feel like this is a wise use of my time.
I've been carrying my reed box around with me. When I have some idle time I either work on finishing reeds, or if I'm alone I whip out a reed and practice double tonguing. My double tonguing is getting more even and fluid, and just a little faster. It hasn't beat my single tongue, yet.
To make my little bit of practicing time I have at home more efficient, I've set up a program in my computer to record what I do. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while. This accident has had the silver lining of finally forcing me to do it.
Off I go to do some double tonguing.