I want to tell you about my new arm. I’ll try to make it brief.
One day when I was 19 I decided to show my friend how well my car fishtailed. My 1971 Chevy Nova was a lot of fun to drive. It was candy apple green with fancy wheels, fat tires, plenty of muscle, and air shocks that made patching out and fishtailing easy. As we came down a hill at high speed, I made a hard left at the intersection. The rear end swung to the right, I cranked the wheel the other way and the rear swung to the left. And then…. it kept swinging, all the way around into a backward skid. A car in a backward skid can not be steered and we rammed into a parked car.
My friend was fine, but my car was wrecked and so was my left arm. It must have been crunched between the door and steering wheel; the forearm was snapped in half and dangled limply as though I had another elbow midway down the forearm.
Metal plates were inserted to bring the bones back together and it healed and served me well until I was around thirty. Then it started bothering with certain weightlifting movements. I worked around it. After a while it bothered with other movements. I worked around those. About 10 years ago, just as I was really getting serious about music, it started bothering when I played the sax. I could not find a way to work around that and it’s bothered me ever since. Exercises, therapy, rehab – none of them gave lasting benefits.
As the years went by my arm progressed to hurting all over and numbness in the fingers. Pain was present most of the time. Finally I had to think about getting the plates out. Once the bones heal the plates are no longer needed but orthopedic surgeons don’t remove them unless they have to – things can go wrong. As a musician I can’t have something go wrong. What if a nerve is severed and my hand doesn’t work right anymore? One surgeon said the plates were put in so long ago he might not have the proper tools to remove them, “but don’t worry, we’ll get them out of there.” Scary!
Ten weeks ago I bit the bullet and Dr Salyapongse removed the plates. I hoped removing the plates would help and didn’t expect everything to be fixed, but it is. No pain AT ALL! I can do any kind of workout, and best of all, there is no pain playing the sax. I’m being careful not to overdo it, but its hard, it’s so nice to be able to work on technique.
In hindsight, I should have had this done long ago. I don’t dwell on that, though, I just think about how good my arm feels, like its completely new. Now I’m ready to really move my music forward. Thank you, Dr Salyapongse!