Apologies if you have just eaten, in which case it's probably not a good idea to look at this photo...... which is how my left hand 4th finger looked 6 weeks ago!
As well as swelling to twice it's usual size, the heavy bruising eventually went down after about 4 weeks, but it still hurt like hell and my knuckle now is definitely not the shape it used to be. (I'll never be able to get a ring over my knuckle again!)
Although I had movement in it, there was no strength in it - I could just about pluck a string on my little clarsach but it couldn't cope with the tension of my Salvi.
Needless to say, I've had a pretty stressful time ever since it got busted going through all sorts of emotions whilst waiting to see if my finger would ever get better.
I've spent the last 6 weeks not playing on it all, despite having gigs in the diary which I couldn't cancel. This past week though I have finally started tentatively playing on it again, although it's still not yet back to full strength. But at least I know now that it works.
Luckily, it happened just after a big run of work whilst I had 5 days off, during which time my finger went through all the colours of the rainbow. It was a lovely vivid green when I had some children's concerts which I had to explain away to the kids as my Shrek finger. I managed to somehow get through 2 flute and harp recitals, and have just finished doing 4 performances of Berlioz Symphony Fantastique with the RLPO.
The big solo scale down in the Berlioz was the first time I've used my fourth finger since it happened, but I still had to do all the left hand octaves using my third finger and thumb. Not ideal.. But I have some time off now from playing, so a chance to rest it properly for a couple of days and then build up the strength doing some slow technical exercises.
Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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