Today I sit on our back porch, savoring a gentle breeze and warm, spring-like weather.
A careful reader might notice that I haven’t posted anything since December.
We had a long, snowy winter here in the Boston area — and at the end of February I managed to fracture the bottom surface of my left humerus (upper arm bone) by tripping over a very enthusiastic 18-month-old student who got behind me (without my realizing it) during one of my Music Together classes.
Six titanium screws later, my left elbow is mostly functional — and a few more months of painful therapy may, in frustratingly small increments, restore full functionality.
We shall see…
One of the blessings of my recent encounter with the world of Western medicine is that I found a great surgeon — the head of orthopedic medicine at Tufts Medical Center! — who was willing to screw the various chunks of my humerus back together again. He is also a terrific listener who makes unwavering eye contact during conversation.
And the anesthesiologists who took care of me during my surgery were also willing to listen to my request that they NOT intubate me. Instead they used an alternative device which didn’t poke through my larynx, bless them.
So I experienced no inadvertent bumps or scratches on my vocal cords while I was under anesthesia.
Now a very patient and sweet-tempered occupational therapist is helping me persist in my quest for a fully functional left elbow.
Through this entire process I have been blessed with music — healing tracks by Libana, Bobby McFerrin, Annie Bethancourt, and Bill Glassco (to name a few) — as well as a very soothing guided meditation by Peggy Huddleston to help prepare for and recover from surgery.
Although my left arm aches 24/7 — especially after I have done my stretching exercises — listening to music, practicing music, learning new songs, performing music, jotting down new musical ideas, and leading my Music Together classes all, thankfully, distract me from the sensations in my arm.
I have included a fun version of the Gershwin Brothers’ song “I Got Rhythm” (originally debuted by a very young Ethel Merman in her star-making performance as part of the Gershwin Brothers’ musical Girl Crazy) at the beginning of this blog post.
I recorded it with Doug Hammer on piano at his studio on the North Shore. You can hear him laughing at the end of the take because he didn’t know I was going to hold a particular note as long as I did in a spontaneous homage to Ms. Merman…
It sums up my outlook during this recovery period, and it certainly fits the mood of today, as birds swoop through our back yard and bees of all sizes diligently gather pollen from the flowers blooming around town.
Thank you, as always, for reading my blog entries!
Very gratefully yours,