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Getting fast tracked to see a neurologist.


bonzoboy

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My family doctor-bless her heart has pleaded my case to the province's top neurologist and told him about the rapid deterioration of my condition. The neurologist agreed that my case was exceptional and required urgent attention,with that he as agreed to put me at the top of his 14 month waiting list and see me in the very near future.Please God,after 2 years of what was at times pure agony,I'll finally get a proper diagnosis and treatment.Then the hard work will begin with getting my atrophied hands back in playing condition and getting my chops up to a satisfactory-for me-level,as I set a high standard for myself.Fingers crossed.

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Bonzo,

 

My prayers are with you and for a Positive resolve to your illness. God Bless you & dang that, and our country, for taking peoples health care into that kind of mess. In the USA we are just a little over a year away from the healthcare mess you've been having to deal with for years.

 

Take care & GET BETTER FAST!!!! [thumbup]

 

Aster

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Thanks ever so much guys,just to know that there are people out plugging for me really lifts my spirits-God Bless You All.

 

BTW:If I ever get this properly diagnosed and treated I will definitely be having a monster jam on my garden patio and you are all invited-time and place TBA.With 30 guitars,a dozen amps,3 keyboards and effects pedals coming out of the ying yang,there should be plenty of gear-except drums -I'm working on the missus about that by telling her that drums would be very therapeutic in helping me in getting back my coordination and sense of thythym...lol.It's so crazy it may just work.

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A lot of people are really beginning to become more and more disgusted with our health care system and say that it's dropping more and more to 3rd world standards every day. Population wise we are the second smallest in Canada(500,000)-even though we have a landmass greater than that of Texas-despite that fact we have the highest paid provincial politicians in Canada,even more than those in Ontario which has about 20 times the population of Newfoundland.Our provincial premier is even paid more than the Prime Minister yet she was never elected to the premiership but was handed it from the best premier we ever had-Danny Williams,when he resigned.We have a very hard time recruiting new physicians here because of the tremendous workloads they face and the poor wages.A doctor coming out of med school here could go into private practice in the US or anywhere else in Canada and easily earn 3 times the pay and at least 1/2 the hours and workload,so it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out why our young med school graduates are leaving in droves.What we end up with here are doctors from 3rd world countries with much less stringent criteria for gaining an MD and a lot of them have such poor English that it's impossible to understand them and where we have so many dialects it's also practically impossible for them to understand a lot of people from here.

 

Anyway I found out a bit more good news this morning and that is that the neurologist I'm seeing has the highest patient recommendation of any other neurologist in the province-so I'll be in good hands,get gigging again and hopefully will be set upon by hordes of adoring fans in no time...lol-of course.That's what I miss -the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd.

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That's great news that you are seeing a good neurologist. I have many doctor friends and I have seen their colleagues while I visited them during their college days. It's scary to me that some of them passed and are practicing now. But like they say "what do you call the person who graduated last in his military class...SIR!"

 

Keep a record of everything. Get a copy of every scan. Take notes and don't be afraid to ask for second opinions. Good luck and I hope all goes well.

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Hello, bonzoboy, and Fellow Babies,

Hey, Buddy, I wish you the best of luck, bonzoboy. I have been dealing with a similar aggravations for years. The good news: things can improve... sometimes in spite of the doctors. In 2004 I had a fall while crossing an intersection. I broke my fall on my left forearm, but unfortunately my elbow hit the curb. I thought I was lucky to avoid a broken bone, and after about two weeks the pain went away and all seemed normal. But the damage was to the joint and the nerves.

As months went by, I thought I was just tired of playing the same old stuff.... seemed like I was getting lazy, and I wasn't enjoying playing... and it seemed like my left hand was getting tired... Eventually it really came to my conscious attention, after all the years of playing, why would my left hand get tired!? Over a year, the muscle slowly disappeared between my finger and thumb... and suddenly, One day I found that I couldn't play bar chords! Suddenly the years of teaching myself to play finger style was just gone!! I don't need to tell you how upsetting that was. Somebody who hasn't spent years, thousands of hours hours, learning a skill that even becomes part of your personality will never understand.

I finally consulted a hand specialist - about a year after falling on my arm -his testing revealed that my nerves were damaged in the fall, and the signals to my hand weren't getting past the elbow joint; so I could squeeze the guitar neck, but all the muscles weren't participating. And over time the muscles atrophied because they weren't getting the signals to flex and work. The hand specialist assured me that I would never get better without his operation, okay fine, let's do it, but, no, he wouldn't operate until the heart specialist guys throughly checked me over, because I have CHF. I lost my heath insurance back in the 90s( long unrelated story) so I'm out-of-pocket; and those %umb-@ss heart specialists weren't able to establish to their satisfaction that they thought I might live through a hand operation until their tests had amounted to $20,000 and change... I never got the hand operation...

The most amazing news --- I am slowly getting my hand back, in spite of what the surgeons said. Good luck for me, and all that; I'll spare you my happy thoughts, religious feeling, etc. By improving I mean, my hand is very weak, but I recovered the ability to play single strings, and I can play open chords. Speed is coming back, and I can even do some lead stuff and bends. Really got to work on my pinky though.

Now here's the hard part for you; as near as I can see, most of your therapy will depend on you, and not giving up. If the muscles of your hand can be restored to normal functioning, you may have to get creative in figuring out exorcises for your hand, because the hand therapists may not have any special exorcises for musicians or guitarists in particular.

ball exorcises: I have regained some strength by squeezing a ball between my thumb and fingers, but part of the problem is that particular exorcise doesn't affect all the weakened muscles. I also try to squeeze a smaller ball between my fingers: between my first and second, my second and third, the third and forth. Also, stiffening all the fingers of my left hand straight and resisting my right hand as I push against the back, front, and sides of the fingers of my left.

guitar stuff: also I struggle to play my old acoustic with regular guage strings. I tell myself, " It's toughening my fingers overall, and it's good exercise..." But I can hear myself, it's damn hard, unimpressive beginner sounds (read sounds like crap), embarrassing,and I don't enjoy it. On my electrics, I spend time trying to squeeze a proper bar chord at the first fret -- no dead strings. And I use my pinky finger a lot to strengthen it up, and because I can't seem to "feel" where it should go. Of course, I'm cheating using light guage, but if not for light guage, I couldn't play at all.

But aside from the occasional word of encouragement, you're gonna have force yourself. I know it will be dispiriting to try to relearn and play stuff you know damn well you could play beautifully before. If your friends talk you into playing at a gathering, and somebody makes a rude, critical remark about your playing, call me, I will be a the biggest, sympathetic juror at your aggravated homicide trial. I will speak in your favor cause I've already been walking in your shoes, and I know how that would make me feel. I've been on the verge of tears of misery and exasperation...

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Thanks again for the support guys,it's very empowering to me and gives me more determination to beat this thing.Yesterday I took out my Les Paul and it was the first time I'd played guitar for over 6 weeks because I've been so down and discouraged.My left hand is still very atrophied and I can't bend the strings or have near the speed and dexterity that I used to have,my skill level has deteriorated at least 90% and I can hardly feel the pick in my right hand. I'll just have to make a more concerted effort to keep at least some semblence of dexterity in my mitts and get back to playing daily,even if I can only tolerate a minute or two.Thanks to your encouragement I will try and get back in the saddle again.

 

Over the rainbo,it's very uplifting to read your post and to read your kind words of support.Just to know that someone can truly empathize with what I'm going through makes a tremendous difference to my resolve to get this malady long put behind me.God Bless You and all the others for doing such a great job of keeping my spirits up and encouraging me to press on regardless.

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Whatever malady befalls you, attack with a passionate positive attitude. I have MS, and it made me stop playing for over 20 years - freinds encouraged me to pick up a nylon string guitar 10 years ago and it was the beginning of a whole new learning curve, but now I play everyday, even get the occassional invitational gig and its been fun, all over again. Smile Fierce !!! We're all gunnin' for ya.

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