Hi again, Nigel
Thanks for posting again Nigel, we’ve all been thinking about you and praying for you. Come here often, because we know and we care about what you’re going through, and we’re here for you.
Some more of my thoughts (bear with me):
When you play the piano now, are you playing tense or relaxed?
Set your fears aside, just concentrate on recapturing your joy of the music. Your brain is rebuilding a lot of connections, so be good to yourself during the healing process.
Some days I can do a lot, other days it’s too much for me. Lately, I’ve been pushing myself to try to learn some pieces I’ve always loved:
“Baker Street”, and some songs by Enya. Bar chords are hard for me too, but on an electric guitar, they’re smooth and easy with the right touch and technic. The amp does the work. If scale-work is too much right now, why not try some 5 finger position exercises, and let your brain redevelop these connections. Have patience…it’s happening, though we can’t see it.
Also, I find that I’m better when I’ve been eating lots of protein regularly.
My concentration and strength improve then. So when I’m feeling weaker than usual I eat ground beef meals, whole-grain cooked cereals & breads, scrambled eggs, and my strength goes up in a little surge which lasts for days.
Truth to tell, the first year of my GBS, I hardly touched my piano; I could hardly bear to sit down and fumble my way around on it. I could still play a little, but then suddenly my concentration would vanish and everything would be clumsy and shaky. I keep my hymn books on the piano rack all the time, and some of my favourite pieces and songs with meaning.
Nowadays, although my skill has diminished, at times there is actually more depth and feeling in the actual expression of the music than before. So in that way, adversity is good for the soul and for the soul of a musician.
Just the other day, I was able to play a more difficult piece, which is encouraging. It’s been 2 years of GBS for me too; I got the flu shot mid November 2007, and the symptoms started a couple of days later, the cramping a couple of weeks later, and by Christmastime it was full-blown.
Just be sure to take good care of yourself; we all deal with the mental and physical strain of coping with this condition, but like a wise teacher/musician once told his class and his audience….”We never, ever, ever, ever give up!”
Blessings be upon you for your well-being and for continued improvement!