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  • Writer's pictureGreg Fulton

Living with Focal Dystonia: Part 2 - time-line.

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

Hi! Welcome back and thanks for reading. I’ll pick where I left off with my Focal Dystonia time-line

2011 - after establishing lessons with teacher Jerald Harscher, I felt relieved. However, the work towards recovery was initially very slow and confusing. Jerald was very patient as we addressed my own (faulty) body map.

2012 - trust in body-mapping increased as I started to recover some motor control. By late in the year I was finally able to hold a pick with more confidence. Although my dexterity was nowhere near what it used to be, it was a joy to have this experience.

2013 - sympathetic movement of the fingers becomes smooth and uninterrupted by FD. This was the first step towards recovery of motor control.

2014 - was able to perform in theatrical productions for the first time without any props or help me hold a pick. Picking arpeggios became easier thereby giving me a reliable tool to use play.

I entered massage school in January 2014. Became licensed in 8/2014.

This year was also the year I broke up with my ex. A very stressful time from 11/14 thru 10/15. Lots of uncertainty and financial worry.

2015 - breakthroughs start to slowly occur. Simple arpeggios start to become stronger and more reliable. As was typical of my mind set at this time, I would typically rush from one movement form to the next without spending enough time with the first. This desire to rush impeded progress.

2016 - a true breakthrough with fingers. Gained more finger differentiation. Tendency to rush still present. Frustrated by slow progress as the possible restrictions of my age come into view. What will I do for a career?

2017 - flat picking has become much easier. Dexterity improves as do my movements with the pick allowing me more artistic freedom with tone. Started using metronome more frequently to increase speed. Jealousy towards my fellow successful musicians starts to take a toll on my mental states.

2018 - after huge financial troubles I had to quit lessons all together. My financial situation is weighing heavily. My anger has increased and I find myself in states of petty jealousy. I’m still experiencing this today.

Still, breakthroughs continues to happen. Finger independence and differentiation has increased. Picking speed has increased. I love my tone. A lot. Still, with my fingers I am not able to play safely at any speed without symptoms. This is still frustrating as I feel like time is running out. My biggest question is what if all of this is for nothing? I’ve already given up playing the organ (which I loved). Will this all be for nothing?

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