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bellowbelle

Play, Even With An Over-sized Thumb!

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I am keeping my practicre time light, since my thumb is still healing, but I found a way to play even with my big fat thumb.

 

A 'noodle' is one of those long, foam flotation devices that kids can use in swimming pools. I bought one for under $4.00.

 

The noodle has a hollow center, which fits my bandaged thumb just right. So, I cut a small section of the long tube, then cut away most of the outer section around the hole.

 

I attached this to my concertina strap -- took all of 1/2 a minute -- with some cord, and though it does put my hand temporarily out of the exact position it should be in, this method works enough that I can 'noodle' a little bit!

 

So, here's a pic -- the green thing is the noodle section.

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Hi Wendy,

 

I'm sure that other Forum members (more qualified than I, on English concertina) will add comments, and maybe photographs. Am I right in recalling that your current injury is just the latest of several? If so, did you have problems before you started playing the concertina, or have they developed since?

 

I ask this, because looking at the photograph, I can't help feeling that you are putting un-natural stresses on the hands, which could be the root cause of injury. I'm certainly no expert, but my hand alignment leaves me with the three fingers relaxed, and fairly straight onto the keys, with the little finger on the rest. As far as I can see, your thumbs (based on a sample of your left one!) are anchored in exactly the same way as mine.

 

[note: I had an accident, many years ago, resulting in tendon damage to my wrist, so I have to be very careful when playing.]

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Hi Wendy,

 

I'm sure that other Forum members (more qualified than I, on English concertina) will add comments, and maybe photographs. Am I right in recalling that your current injury is just the latest of several? If so, did you have problems before you started playing the concertina, or have they developed since?.............('snip')........................

 

First, I should say that since I took the photo myself and I am only 'so' good at slow-timing the digital camera, I had to do a fast grab to get my hands into place after pressing the camera button. So, maybe that's why my fingers look stressed!

 

I've been blessed with NO carpal tunnel problems, and rather nimber fingers in spite of arthritis being a family friend. Guitar playing years ago helped me develop my finger and wrist strength quite a bit -- I learned that's it's possible to do the most contorted finger positions imaginable.

 

I did deal with a lot of poison ivy rashes, and a bad bee sting, and a cut from a cat-food can....but nothing serious (though, I personally consider poison ivy 'serious').

 

HOWEVER....my problem has to do with the skin, and/or circulation (i.e., 'Reynaud's Syndrome' -- snake blood, I guess!). What happened this time is that I had an infection, didn't know it, played my concertina with abandon and for long periods, and for some strange reason my thumb got very infected, internally, and I ended up at the surgeon's office.

 

I'm taking antibiotics still, and still waiting for the test results that will shed more light on what's really going on with my skin condition.

 

I've gotten pretty good at using all kinds of elite little products that really help -- food handler's gloves (several each day), a camphor lotion intended to get rid of scar tissue, Dead Sea products (found some I really like!), Badger Balm, special soaps, alcohol wipes....teabags.....etc...!!!!

 

Anyway, enough said for now I guess.

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Wendy,

 

That really is a novel solution! And a very colorful one! I'm glad you included a photograph of it. Perhaps in a future evolution you can invent a quick-clip of some sort instead of the wire. I am amazed that you were able to take the picture yourself!!

 

I hope you have a speedy recovery!

 

Can you still do the block party?

 

Cheers,

 

Barbara

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Wendy,

 

That really is a novel solution! And a very colorful one! I'm glad you included a photograph of it. Perhaps in a future evolution you can invent a quick-clip of some sort instead of the wire. I am amazed that you were able to take the picture yourself!!

 

I hope you have a speedy recovery!

 

Can you still do the block party?

 

Cheers,

 

Barbara

 

Hmm...Well, that's doubtful. I already e-mailed the organizer and said so, and I never did hear from him that it's a definite thing, anyway.

 

Oh well, need to concentrate more on just getting over this.

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I am keeping my practicre time light, since my thumb is still healing, but I found a way to play even with my big fat thumb.

 

A 'noodle' is one of those long, foam flotation devices that kids can use in swimming pools. I bought one for under $4.00.

 

Wendy, you are a wonder! There's no way you can see it but there is a big smile across my face. Brava, Bravissima!

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Hi Wendy,

 

Better news then.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Hmm...there's no 'condition of my condition' forum, but I'll at least try to explain what happened to my thumb.

 

First -- my thumb is almost normal, now. Still feels a bit weird, may always feel weird. I'll probably still use my green-noodle contraption attached to my concertina for a while, since it's a good buffer against injury.

 

So, there's the good news and the bad. The good news is that the lab test for antibodies to sistemic scleroderma turned up negative -- I don't have scleroderma, at least not the serious kind. Yay!

 

The bad news (which is turning out to feel less threatening as the initial shock wears off, though) is that what showed up re my thumb infection is MRSA, the 'superbug,' which resists the usual antibiotics. I am just really lucky that they caught it, and that I got the right stuff for it (bactrim). It's potentially a serious 'disease' but it's mainly a threat to people that have become too weak to fight it off -- bed-ridden patients, etc..

 

There was a local outbreak of this, about a year or so ago. At a (kinda) local prison, several inmates and guards turned up with MRSA. I started wearing my plastic gloves at the gas pump, since I often have small open cuts on my hands due to the dry skin. But, whether from this area or from elsewhere -- who knows -- somehow I picked up this bug. Could have gotten it from an animal, too -- it can go between people and pets.

 

Anyway -- end of story. That's what happened!

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I've been adding some updates re my recovery from MRSA, etc., to my blog at my frappr site. -- So, I won't bother to add all that right here.

 

But, will say that I've still got the green foam-noodle thumb-saver piece attached to my concertina, and now I've added one to the other side.

 

This is just for practice, of course -- I'd remove them if I needed to impress anyone.

 

Both of my thumbs get very irritated after playing my concertina for as long as I like to (...several hours?). So, though I can easily still stick them into the proper, intended thumb straps -- the original thumb-holders are still intact -- I can now rest my thumbs in the 'noodles.'

 

I've noticed, it's best to just rest one thumb at a time. The hand with the thumb that is NOT 'resting is the one doing all the work -- all the pushing and pulling. When I try to keep them both in the green noodles, everything goes to mush.

 

So, too, a side benefit of using these holders is that I can consciously direct which side is to do the work, to see how the two sides compare.

 

I'd love to not have to have these ugly things on my concertina, but -- I have to deal with keeping my thumbs in working order, too!

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