Relief from pain on the piano bench

This morning I sat down at my piano. I placed my coffee on the coaster, turned on the light, and took out all of my favorite books of music from the bench. I haven’t played in quite a while and it felt really good. Then I made an amazing discovery and have new hopes about my prospects for recovery.

I started playing early in life on a small electric organ. I loved that thing. I took lessons, learned to read music, and played from an old book – things like I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair, popular in the 40s. For my 12th birthday, my parents bought this piano for me. It is quite possibly the best birthday present I have ever received or will ever receive. Here I am 26 years later with the piano in my front room.

I took piano lessons from age 12 until I graduated from high school and left for college. For the last six years of that time, I had the most wonderful teachers. In college, I switched to the more portable guitar. Then for many years, I moved around a lot and it wasn’t practical to have the piano with me. I was stuck playing it only when I visited my parents on holidays. It was only four years ago that I decided it was time to move the piano into my house.

Music has always been a wonderful emotional outlet for me, stress relief, fun… I love to play. I love Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Schumann, Grieg, etc. I usually play classical, but I also like some musicals and more contemporary music. I’m not especially skilled or talented, but I do take great enjoyment. I can play and forget about the world.

In recent years, I started to have serious pain while playing. I could play three to five relatively short pieces and then severe pain would start burning and radiating from my low back. It would crawl up both sides of my spine and approach something like a seven or eight on my pain scale.  I wanted to play so badly, I would tough it out through a couple more songs sometimes. I would often have to quit. I felt so discouraged and disappointed.

I believed that the pain was from my fibromyalgia. The illness had robbed me of so many activities I once loved – skiing, backpacking, even water aerobics had been too much for me at times. I felt that I should at least be able to sit at a piano and play without the illness stealing that from me too, but fibro never cared what I thought was fair. I started to accept that was just the way things are.

Back to this morning.

I sat at the piano. I started playing. I got into my Chopin preludes. Oh, I love them. It brought tears to my emotions bubbled out. I played three songs, then five. I started to think that something felt a little different. And then I realized what it was… The terrible pain was gone! Not just less, really gone! Then I really had tears in my eyes as I realized how crippling it had been. How disappointed I was to be unable to really play. Three songs is just getting warmed up!

So I played on. I don’t even know how many songs or how long I played. The most important thing was that I was able to play as long as I wanted to! It felt amazing. I felt like more of myself again.

I no longer believe that the pain I felt at the piano was due to the fibro. I now believe that the majority of pain was from my severe endometriosis – from the giant cysts growing and pressing on everything, and the organs beings all fused together along with nearby muscles and tissues. I think that sitting on the hard bench upright aggravated those things and caused the pain. After surgery, that pain in gone. Dramatically and almost completely gone.

This makes me much more hopeful. I am hopeful that the surgery will prevent that pain from returning. I am hopeful that much of the pain I thought was fibro will turn out to have been caused by the endometriosis. I’m already experiencing the relief in my legs and feet, in my low back, and now at the piano.

This is some of the best news I’ve had in a long time. It’s some of the best, most dramatic relief from pain I’ve had. Now I can channel grief and anger here, anxiety and hurt, frustration, disappointment. I can release those feelings out of my body and into the air with beautiful music.

Now I can sit at the piano and play to my heart’s content, and that makes me happy.


Copyright Snowdroplets 2016


5 responses to “Relief from pain on the piano bench

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