I am finally feeling like I'm on the mend. Julia's mucus is finally clear, though there's far too much of it for her comfort. Kristin is continuing to slide downhill. If she's not showing drastic signs of getting better tomorrow I'm sending her back to the doctor.

Since Julia has been having such a hard time sleeping, we've resorted to the lullaby tape. It turns out that Julia loves music, and as long as something sweet and high-pitched is playing, she will relax her way to sleep, or just hang out not-quite-sleeping. The only problem is that the lullaby tape, while not as bad as other tapes of the same genre, is still pretty insipid. The only reason we even have it is that it was a gift. I only put it on out of desperation. Now we've listened to it over and over until we're all (except Julia) SICK of the thing. I want to go to the store and find something (or, preferably, several somethings) easier on adult ears for her to listen to. We haven't made it out of the house, yet.

This afternoon I could not stand the thought of listening to the lullaby tape again. So, I dug through our CD collection (still nicely organized from my organizational spree in August) until I hit our classical collection and there found a CD of Mozart Concertos. Light, sweet, high-pitched, perfect. Except I haven't listened to this CD in years. It has a recording of the bassoon concerto that I used as my audition piece for the University. I never did feel like I perfected that concerto, but it was so damn fun to play. I think I've only listened to this CD once or twice since I was forced to stop playing. Each time I have cried as if my heart were made of salt.

But I'm older now, I thought. That's all behind me.

I was ok through the clarinet and oboe concertos. I used to play those instruments, but I never attempted those pieces.

It's snowing here. The flakes are slowly coating our cars, covering up the raw wounds in the mud field that should be our lawn, fleshing out the skeleton of our garden. The trees are iced, and each note of the bassoon is alternately feathers and needles. My fingers and the corners of my mouth keep twitching. Julia loves Mozart. I'm worried that if I turn it off she'll wake up. This pain is preferable to the lullaby tape.

The track has switched back to the clarinet concerto that opens the CD. When I put the CD in I pushed the repeat button so the music would play for as long as Julia would sleep. If she stays asleep I have 35 minutes before my nerves flare back to life.

Or I could be a coward and push the skip button.

I will not be a coward.

Posted by Trista @ 12:53 PM

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I read this twice before it registered that you said you were forced to stop playing? Why? It must be agonizing--I can only imagine how hard it would be if I could no longer play the piano.

Have you found more music with which to lull Julia to sleep? My nephew used to go to sleep to Joe Sample, but it's low and soothing, not high and sweet.

Posted by Blogger Faith @ 8:28 AM #

My median nerve runs right thought a small muscle in my forearm that is crucial for fine control of the fingers. With the rigors of playing in 3 orchestral groups, combined with all the practice time and the private lessons necessary to major in music, that muscle got extremely developed (as it should) and clamped down on the median nerve causing carpal-tunnel-like symptoms. My hands went numb, I lost the strength to hold my instrument (the bassoon is pretty heavy). After months of very painful tests, the doctor discovered the problem. The only way to fix the problem is surgery. The muscle must be cut, the nerve moved, and the muscle stitched back together. (at least this was the only solution back in 1994) The possible complications of this surger are nerve and muscle damage resulting in the loss of fine motor control and strength that the surgery was supposed to correct. Recovery from the sugery also required an extended period of rehabilitation and re-training of the muscles and fingers. I was 19 and I had no health insurance; the surgery wasn't really an option. I also never owned my own bassoon (damn thing are fucking expensive!) I always played an instrument on loan from whichever school I was attending, so if I wasn't going to be able to play for the school then I wasn't going to be able to play at all.

Normally I don't let myself get all maudlin about it. After all, I'm obviously not the kind of musician that would be destroyed if I didn't have access to my art. In fact, by the time I stopped playing it was kind of a relief. After a few weeks I was no longer in pain. Yes, there is a hole, but normally it's not quite so large and aching. Just with that particular CD, that particular concerto that I spent so many hours playing over and over drilling the memory of the notes into the fibers of my fingers, do I have a hard time these days.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 11:21 AM #

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your music. :(

I can, however, offer you a CD that you will probably ENJOY at the same time that Julia is lulled by it. Putumayo has a CD called Dreamland, and Cait uses it in her classroom at rest time. Which means she hears it ALL THE FREAKING TIME. And she still likes it. It's world music, and it's soothing without being aural pablum.

Posted by Blogger Jen @ 2:51 PM #

A few years ago my friend Lisa's girls spent the night (they were 4 and 7) and from bedtime around 9 until way past the "adult" bedtime--11-ish--they talked and laughed and giggled incessantly. I had to take them to their soccer game at 9 the next morning, so they (AND I) HAD to go to sleep, so I put in a classical CD. Didn't work, so I searched my collection for what relaxed ME, and I came up with Emmylou Harris's "Wrecking Ball," which zones me out almost instantly. I put it in the CD player, turned it way up, set the timer, and within 2 tracks both girls were sound asleep. Worked like a charm.

Posted by Blogger hd @ 6:21 PM #

hey i can help you beautify your site whenever ya want to...just let me know.

Posted by Blogger Jil @ 6:58 PM #

Wow! I never had any idea that you were a musician. That is really, really cool. I'm sorry you had to stop playing.

Posted by Blogger StateShift @ 12:01 PM #
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