On Saturday, I had a freelance gig and encountered another horn player whom I had not seen for quite awhile.
He had been absent from playing for five months this year due to a herniated disk in his cervical spine. I asked him all sorts of questions about what the herniated disk felt like, what treatments he underwent, and most importantly - did he need to have surgery?
It was amazing to hear how long it actually took for his HMO to bump-up his treatment regimen. Three long months before something stronger than Ibuprofen was recommended for the excruciating pain. Ouch!! Eventually he was given steroids and narcotics before being sent to consult with a spinal surgeon.
“Prednisone is nasty stuff,” he says.
“I agree!! Any time I’ve had to use steroids, I curse them and thank them at the same time.”
Our conversation eventually came around to - “I have Multiple Sclerosis.”
“I didn’t know that. I’m so sorry,” he says. “Did you know that ‘GS’ has MS?”
“What? No way!! I haven’t seen her in forever.”
“Yeah. She was the top freelancer in town before it just became too difficult. Eight or nine years ago she was struggling so much that she simply stopped playing.”
Damn. Another USED TO BE...
One morning after I was officially diagnosed, a woman at the swimming pool introduced herself to me. She has MS too.
“I used to be a cellist, but I can’t control my left hand any longer.”
A friend of mine who is a school teacher told me...
“I used to perform much more, but now I don’t have the endurance.”
When thinking of famous people with Multiple Sclerosis, I am drawn to Jacqueline du Pre, the extraordinary cellist whose career was cut short by MS.
As for me, I used to be much more shy, reserved, and private. MS has taken that from me, for which I am truly thankful.