Playing with injuries/knowing your limits

I’ll probably never be more than a serviceable player. For one thing, I started in my mid-50s and never had played anything with strings before.

But also, two major injuries limit my strength and reach. In 1996, while working in Washington, D.C., at an office building with marble floors, I slipped on a wet spot and fell while I had a glass bottle (Snapple) in each hand. The resulting serious cuts (and some shards of glass) led to a lot of pain, a handful of stitches, several weeks of therapy, and minor nerve damage in the ring finger and pinky of my left hand. My reach and feel are limited on the fretboard, so I’ll probably never be able to play a guitar or perhaps even a baritone uke. I also have some difficulties fretting cleanly chords with a long reach.

Ten years later, living in Denver, I slipped on an icy patch and all my weight wound up on my left wrist, shattering it. That necessitated surgery, including several screws and a metal plate (all still in there). I don’t experience any lingering pain, but my range of motion is limited slightly (maybe 15 degrees or so), and I’ve never regained full strength in that wrist. Both of these issues will limit my ability to do funky things on any fretboard.

Even so, I love playing the uke, restrictions and all. The more I play, practice, and do the few exercises I can, the better I get and the more I enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s