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whentaniatalks: Physical Supports Made It Possible...

Friday, 17 April 2015

Physical Supports Made It Possible...

Hi Everyone!

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in a while. As you’ve seen from my Exciting Announcement video, I have begun to reduce my medication so Dan & I can try for a baby. We’ve also been on holiday, which you can read about here. Something else happened & that is what I’d like to focus on in this post.

Before Dan & I went on holiday, I took part in a concert with one of the local orchestras. I went to music college to train as an oboist but, because of a shoulder injury I had not been able to play for more than a year - this is the result of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type. This was really tough for me & I was initially terrified at the prospect of playing again! As a result, I put off practicing because I was scared to further hurt my shoulder. Once I did pick up my oboe I was only able to play for 5 minutes (rehearsals are 3 hours long, with an additional rehearsal on the morning of the concert!).

My physio suggested me finding something to support my my arm outward. I remembered that my Dad had a support that he had to wear when he had his shoulder operation. He still had it, so I gave it a try! I can’t describe the support properly, so it’s probably best I show you…

This worked really well for playing my oboe, but my part in one of the three pieces included a second instrument - the core anglais. Unfortunately, Dad’s shoulder support wasn’t practical for this as I was unable to reach the reed to play!

My physio was amazing! I turned up with everything in tow! I showed him how the oboe worked with the support but not the core anglais & we worked together to find a solution. We devised a sling that I could use when playing the oboe but take my arm out of to play the core anglais & kept the section of Dad's support that my arm was able to rest on.

For a number of years I have also used a Koiman thumb rest - this is an ergonomic thumb rest that distributes the weight of the instrument across the whole of the thumb, rather than at just one point. Getting this changed my playing ability dramatically, so I thought I would share a few pics of this too!

This allowed me to do something I’d not thought I would be able to do again - to play in a concert. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to my physio!

Things may feel impossible, but you never know what the future holds!

Have you ever received support that’s allowed you to do something you didn’t think possible?

Tania Xx



At 22 April 2015 at 16:32 , Anonymous Nia x said...

Ahh such an inspiring little post :) I never knew you played the oboe; that's awesome. xx

At 22 April 2015 at 17:04 , Anonymous Tania Jayne said...

Aaww!!! Thanks you so much! I play(ed) oboe, flute, clarinet, saxophone & bassoon. My EDS & TMJD has had a huge impact on me being able to do this though! Xx

At 12 May 2015 at 17:55 , Anonymous Leese said...

This is utterly utterly brilliant. I'm a clarinettist with EDS3 and I've been struggling dreadfully for years with pain, especially in the wrist and thumb. Compressive gloves and splints haven't done the trick so far but this might just be it. Thank you so much for posting about this. I'm going to try one of those thumb rests too.

Do you mind if I ask where you're based? I know it could be anywhere in the world but on the vague offchance you're in or near London, I'd love the name of your physio. I've really struggled to find one who'll work with me on the musical stuff.


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