Stroke recovery - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 38
Unhappy Stroke recovery

I thought it was probably time I fessed up and stated that I am currently recovering after suffering a stroke last month (left hemisphere) which means my guitar playing has been sidelined to say the least.

My strength and everything is now coming back slowly and I have tentatively picked up the guitar but find it difficult in ways I can't describe... depressing to say the least. Also, some aspects seem to have changed drastically - somehow my 'musical ear' is better even though my speech is crap?

My doctor and consultant are unable to advise on guitar playing (no surprise really) so the real reason for this post is to ask if anybody have any specific advice or practise disciplines that may help? Or maybe any knowledge of how other players have coped and returned to full capabilities?
shenks is offline  
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 07:06 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hilversum, The Netherlands
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Re: Stroke recovery

All the best for a full recovery (including the better ear).

I have nothing to add except to play slowly and not think you can do everything right away, that you could do before. Don't lose faith
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 38
Re: Stroke recovery

Thanks for the kind words... frustration is certainly the name of the game at the moment.

I think that I'll be in the market for a new lightweight combo amp in the near future since strength is going to be an issue for some time - might also be an incentive or something to look forward to.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 10:10 AM
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Re: Stroke recovery

Wow, I'm sorry to hear that.

Here's to a speedy recovery. I've known a few people who had some major strokes that really ended up making a miraculous comeback.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 10:55 AM
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Re: Stroke recovery

Best wishes to a speedy recovery.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 12:09 PM
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Re: Stroke recovery

Sorry to hear that. Hope you recover well and quickly.
Remember all the music is in your head. Even though limitations mught be placed on someone's physical ability for one reason or another music begins in the mind.
That said I have never underestimated the ability for a human being to make a comeback. Best of luck for a fast recovery.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 38
Re: Stroke recovery

I've been reading about other guitar players who have been hit by a stroke and their own road to recovery... whilst short of detail it does give me hope

Either way, I'll be searching for more specific advice on how to make progress.

Remember all the music is in your head
- that's a good point so thanks for reminding me of it!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 01:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Yorkshire,UK
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Re: Stroke recovery

Really sorry man , hope you make a full recovery and that your playing improves.
I had a customer who had a stroke last year and can't believe how quickly she's getting back to normal.

Zoot is offline  
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 01:44 PM
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Re: Stroke recovery

Wow--get well soon, bro! Be thankful that you're alive and keet recovering.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 02:04 PM
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Red face Re: Stroke recovery

This is a story I wrote about my Uncle which I had submitted to the Jemsite Blog...

I have a Great Uncle Jack, who back in his day was a fantastic piano player. As a musician one of his jobs was as a piano tuner, which he continued to do for a long time. He also owned a coffee shop, during the fifties and sixties in Greenwich Village, NY, where he performed. He also gigged all over the East Coast. He was a jazz player and as such his style was that of playing big chordal patterns with both hands, rather than single note/interval comping bass lines with his left. So intricate were his abilities that I used to marvel at how, not only he could do it, but get that big sound as well. He is my Grandfathers’ brother, and the last of his generation. He has always made music, and that has been his passion for as long as I can remember.
A number of years ago, he suffered a stroke, which crippled him from being able to do even the simplest of tasks. His brain could not figure out how to work his hands to feed and dress himself, let alone play music ever again. The doctors explained, that this kind of thing was common with severe strokes like the kind Jack had, and that his family shouldn’t expect too much in his daily progress.

All attempts to play were met with wild frustration, at the difficulty of the task that at one time seemed so easy. He all but gave up trying to play and concentrated on other rehabilitation. About six months after his stroke, he asked to be taken to his beloved piano; his wife by his side was amazed as he launched into all his old routines on the instrument. He still did not have the ability to do easy everyday normal things for himself, as his brain didn’t allow it, and he only had enough strength to be out of bed for a few hours a day, yet somehow his hands remembered what they had to do. It was as if the memories were locked inside the muscles and tissues of his hands rather than his head. The music was inside his very soul, and would not be put down like a wounded beast, to rot away with nothing but unforgiving time.

He is still alive, and though he’s only good for about 3 hours a day, they are a joyous music filled three hours, where once again he touches all those around him with his gift.

So, whether you are a guitarist, or a pianist, let no one tell you that music is not bred from deep within, because I am here to tell you it is…And it is good.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 02:10 PM
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Re: Stroke recovery

That's a great story--I hope everyone can get something out of it--thanks for sharing!

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 04:17 PM
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Location: Blackwood, NJ
Posts: 9,689
Re: Stroke recovery

Sorry to hear! Continue getting better man, we'll keep a good thought for you
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK/Ireland
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Re: Stroke recovery

Sorry to hear about that. Here's wishing you a quick a complete recovery!!! Hope it works out okay for you.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 01:15 AM
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Re: Stroke recovery

I truly believe in your ability to recover Shenks!!! In the meantime, close your eyes and imagine a good place.......then just let the notes flow in whatever way they can!!!!

Like DT said......the music is WAY deeper inside of us than the physicality of our bodies.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: philippines
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Re: Stroke recovery

you can still be better, just positive attitude. my father suffered the same fate, it was frustrating for him since he could not run anymore, it took him time to get back running, even though he could not go back running 20 0r 30 km, he could only go as much as 10 but his positive attitude led him to recover from his predicament. dont lose hope..
i would suggest do some exercises that can regain that muscle memory when playing.
and never give up positive attitude is the key..
VAustin89 is offline  

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