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Welcome to the ECB Blog, here you can find entries by members giving you a personal insight to the Band.
Entry No 3: John Colvine 16/03/17
I haven’t blogged for a few days due to the regional contest going on. It was a very strange experience for me, being there but not playing. Also very disappointed for the band as I felt that they played well on stage under the circumstances. An eighth place (from 8) was not what I expected but the loss of any player so close to the contest was always liable to have an unsettling effect on the band. That said I was extremely proud about the way everyone pulled together and worked as a team, especially the cornet section. If we can build on that team spirit it will only be a good thing. Another nice part about Saturday at the contest was the number of people from other bands who wished me well. Brass Banding is a great little community.
Meanwhile on the Bell’s Palsy front I feel that I am improving every day and hopefully I will be back playing in a few weeks. It’s driving me nuts not being able to play though, it’s normally just part of my daily routine. I get lots of twitches in the face at the moment, hopefully that’s a sign that the nerves are starting to get signals and the inflammation is dying down. It’s not happening quick enough for me though (patience is not one of my virtues).
Entry No 2: John Colvine, 09/03/17
Loads of good wishes from friends on Facebook, it means a lot. I didn’t write the post to get sympathy, I just want to share my experience in the hope that some other brass player who gets this condition might get some help from what has happened to me. However, seeing the level of support I have received from people I admire and respect has been a humbling experience. In the grand scheme of things Bell’s Palsy is not life threatening and there are many, many people going through much worse experiences than me but when you cannot do something that you love then it means a lot. Went to band last night and it was strange going there and not playing but I still have responsibilities as Band Manager. I hope that my face didn’t frighten too many people but, once again, the sympathy and support I got from a group of people who I consider to be my extended family was fantastic. The most disappointing thing was how well the band was playing without me in it! Well they say that out of adversity comes strength and I am so proud of my section and how, with Jonathan’s help, they have rallied round and all contributed to not making my absence an issue. What a team!
Update day 4 - Loads of face twitches on the right side yesterday evening and this morning, is this a sign that my face is starting to get nerve impulses again? It certainly feels a bit stronger. I do find that I am needing more sleep and seem to want more rest, the consultant did say that rest was a major part of the cure. I have a Doctors consultation later today so I'll see what he says. I think that I will get my fingers moving through some music today without doing any blowing, I think that it's important to keep the muscle memory and just have one issue to deal with when I start playing again. A number of trumpet forums (mainly in the USA) recommend the Warburton P.E.T.E to strengthen the chops. I might think about getting one when I am back to blowing.
Entry No 1: John Colvine, 08/03/17
It all began on Saturday while practising and I found that I wasn't playing very well. I just thought it was one of those things until band rehearsal on Sunday when I found that I couldn't play at all. By Monday morning, when I looked in the mirror I saw that my face had dropped on the right side. I rang 111, described my symptoms and they then asked to speak to my wife. At that point they blue lighted an ambulance over because they thought that I might be having a stroke. The paramedic arrived and checked me over, it wasn't a stroke but he advised me to go to A&E immediately. They determined that it was Bell's Palsy. The timing was not great, one week before the area contest and a test piece with a big solo in it. I told our MD and, after his initial shock, he and the rest of the cornet section have rallied round to make the best of a bad situation. What I am going to do is try and keep posting regularly on here with progress. Now I am in Day three and starting to get some movement back in the right side of my face, hopefully this is the start of my recovery. I have read several blogs by brass and woodwind players who have suffered this condition and I know that recovery varies from person to person. Hopefully my recovery will not take long. Watch this space, I will be back.