20 December 2018

Looking for Personal Assistance: Got 3/4 Cello?

Hi all! This will be an unusual post for me here and I am a little embarrassed to be putting it up. However, I need some assistance with a decision I need to make so I am putting up an update on the healing of my broken wrist and the difficulties which still remain for me to resume some things which have been central to my prayer and "being myself" since I was about nine years old ---namely, playing music both in an orchestra and more importantly, in composing and in improvisational playing alone. In this latter I have always poured myself into my music and used it to express my heart's content. It allows a spontaneous expression of emotions, love, and so on; it is a dialogue with the God who moves me to stand alone and who empowers me to become an instrument of his own profound music.

My broken wrist  has mainly healed but there have been problems with tendons and ligaments as a result of the fall which caused the fractures in the first place. We have treated these with injections of corticosteroids and achieved significant relief from pain and inflammation but the pain on the ulnar side of my wrist continues in a way which prevents my playing violin. The cortisone is curative for the inflammation of the main tendons of my thumb, but not for those of the ulna; it is merely palliative and cannot deal with the problem here itself. And here is the point: because of the way my bones healed my ulna is now longer than it was before. That means the ligament which ties it to the radius (which is also healed but differently shaped) is being pulled and possibly torn some. It is a major source of continuing pain and lack of movement but it is keeping the joint stable and doing its job! The solution may be surgical if I want to play violin again and avoid degeneration down the line. If steroids are insufficient, the doctor (who is really fine!!) would need to go in, do an osteotomy of the ulna, remove a couple of millimeters and then pin and plate the bone together and back into position. arthroscopic debridement of the radio-ulnar joint (DRUJ) and affected TFCC (ligament complex) might precede or accompany the ulnar shortening.

There is a second "solution" here and here is where I require assistance. I could change instruments to one which does not require the serious rotation of the wrist necessary for violin. While my pastor suggested a comb and waxed paper the other night as we drove to a Chanticleer concert, my thought is that I could shift to a cello. (Combs and waxed paper tickle my lips too  much!) So, I am wondering if maybe readers could assist me in this. I need to find a playable cello which is less than a full-sized instrument, viz, I need a 3/4 or 7/8 instrument to learn on. (I would prefer either a small 7/8 or a larger 3/4 but a large 3/4 might be the best size for me.) I am hoping that someone somewhere has one they, or their children, have outgrown or otherwise set aside and would consider a long-term loan of such an instrument. If I can move to this solution I can avoid surgery, and continue playing music --- a very good thing! More over, I could use the cello as I have used the violin since grade school --- namely,  to compose and improvise, to touch into the "river of music" I know as God.

If anyone has a way of assisting me in this, or has questions and suggestions, I would be happy to hear them. You can write me at Sister Laurel M O'Neal, Er Dio, /St Perpetua Catholic Community/2454 Hamlin Road, Lafayette, Ca 94549, or you can email me at SRLAUREL@aol.com. I hope someone out there has an instrument they don't need and can loan me indefinitely; it will have great care. I have access to a fine violin shop where I can get the instrument additional care as needed. Bottom line, I am hoping folks have access to a playable 3/4 or smaller 7/8 cello that has rested in a closet somewhere and might love a quiet home. Thanks for your consideration! And may your Advent and Christmas be full of the peace of our God --- the God who chooses to make his dwelling place amongst us so that one day we might also dwell in (him) as God becomes all in all.

So thanks for reading about my problem and bearing with my requests and embarrassment. It is Advent and a time for preparing for surprise and newness, a time when we prepare to incarnate ourselves the Word of God in the midst of any personal barrenness. I am finding ways to create and pray and write and teach out of my contemplative solitary prayer during this time, but if it is possible to avoid more surgery as well as recover a major form of prayer, I would like to do that. If I can remain open to new possibilities I can and will be peaceful in a time of Advent. waiting and expectation. God surprises as he fulfills his promises. Thanks again!