An Alternative Approach

Almost a week of no knitting and the prognosis /advice from my occupational therapist has not been easy to take on. I emailed some questions and got an honest reply. I am worried that returning to my passions of playing clarinet and knitting might cause the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to return even if abstinence now might help in the short term.  Which is also a question of “wait and see” recovery. Basically the messages is I am more prone to the problem now and realistically I have to think what I can do and how much in future. My initial response was devastation and despair. Those feelings are not entirely gone but I am trying to take an alternative approach to give myself the chance to recover and to return to what I love best without a flare up.

Worse still came the warning that soldiering on through symptoms could cause lasting damage and surgery.

As a trained musician, I have spent many hours on repetitive exercises required for dexterity and proficiently on my instruments. Plus it is just fun to pick up and play and being part of orchestras is a musical and social outlet. Principally I am a clarinettist but also experienced on saxophone, play piano and even percussion. I can’t remember life before music, can’t envisage a life without it, hence my fear and misery right now after only a week of my imposed ban (of indefinite length as yet.)

Now to the knitting. The best ever chance to study knitting at HV Skola full-time is now a bittersweet victory. I have one of only eight places to do something I am passionate about, also an activity that has helped me manage my long-term pain and fatigue with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ), only that very repetitive action may have contributed to this painful state I find myself. The wise words of the therapist says that listening to my body and a common sense approach will give the best chance to move forward. Obviously sound advice. But depression creeps in when my already measured and unspontanious life through pacing activity and rest with CFS has to now be further compromised and measured.

With these negative thoughts spiraling in my head I arrived at my parents’ house in Jämtland, northern Sweden to get some rest and rehabilitation on both hands/wrists/arms. My kind mum has begun a massage program despite not being well herself. My dear Swede has flown off to (escape to) sunny Provence to sing on a choir course in early music. Here it has not stopped raining and weather warnings outline risks for flooding. Ironically, great knitting weather but claustrophobic when both hands are literally tied.

Yes, the wrist supports are not easy to sleep in but are a must…

Through this bleak period I am trying to remain positive. I will continue the rehab exercises and massage and the terrible rains have encouraged my outdoor cats to come in for a cuddle. I also managed to climb the mountain that is near our flat in Stockholm (pictured) and the local church hosted a brilliant yoga meditation evening last week. The meditation happened on the same evening I was struggling the most mentally to cope with my physical frustrations. It something I have to work on but I was proud to have made it through an almost 2 hour session. Definitely will go back to the next one.

Well, all those books I have been meaning to read are now in focus and a means of escapism. I hope the downpours subside enough to allow a walk or two around the village.  Chin up and all that.

I will continue to read up on how better to manage Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. So far found a few articles online but any tips for this knitting musician would be most appreciated!

Take care, one and all.


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