Not quite what you were expecting from the title of the post, huh?
Yep, this is what I get to wear to bed for the foreseeable future thanks to years of intensive piano practice and too much typing. I apparently do indeed have some minor carpal tunnel syndrome, according to my new doctor. I've been having pains in my hand, arm, elbow and wrist for some time now. I've also been waking up at night for a couple years now with my hand and fingers being tingly and numb from falling asleep. When I was pregnant, it was really bad, which apparently is fairly normal. I have some classic symptoms and seem to have caught it fairly early. The doctor thinks that using the splint at night will help stave off any surgery, which sounds just fine to me. I just hope he's right.
Anyhow, I've suspected it since my sophomore year in college, when I spent the better part of the year working on what still remains one of the most challenging pieces of music I've ever had to play. I was asked to play for the senior recital of a clarinetist. This is a big deal to a music major and I was honored and in way over my head with this particular piece of music. I can still vividly remember the hours upon hours a day of practice that I did, punishing both hands, wrists and arms, but particularly the left one. Guess which wrist is afflicted now? Yep...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess the left one. I started having pain while doing things like turning doorknobs and of course, playing the piano and typing, but being a music major myself, far from home and my normal doctor, being somewhat invincible and too busy to find time, I just suffered through the pain, knowing that eventually I would finish this job and be able to take a break for the summer.
I did finish the job. I played my little heart and hands out for a solid 30-minute long Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. It was good. I'm so very proud of the work I did on that song. It's one of those rare moments as a musician, when I know that I could not have done any better and that my best was pretty darn good. I have a recording to prove it...but because it is on cassette tape, I can't prove it here.
Then again, the above picture proves that there was a time when I was really good at playing the piano, and I have the injury to prove it!
By the way, my darling husband has affectionately termed my new splint, "The Club". I figure it could come in handy, as he has a habit of stealing the covers and kicking me in his sleep. Yes...this might be a very handy little tool....