CRPS can be exceptionally crippling, both physically and emotionally. One of the most important things that any pain patient can remember is that having fun and things to look forward to is just as important as doctor appointments, rehab exercises and medication dosages. Music can be a wonderful escape and a brilliant emotional outlet and going to see live music is about the most enjoyable thing I can think of.
The moment I let my CRPS stop me from planning my life, I lose. What I must keep trying to do is incorporate my pain into my life in a way that still allows me to function so that I can return to work or study. I go through periods when flares cause me to cancel on a lot of social engagements, usually followed by a period of me refusing to make any further social engagements so that I don’t have to go through the stress and disappointment of canceling them. Doing this from time to time can be a good thing, because it gives me time to rest and recover. Taking time out can be a valuable part of my rehabilitation, however, an even more valuable part is the time I spend being involved.
Wherever possible, I try to adapt going out to have fun so that I can enjoy it with minimal pain. I love going to see live music and, whilst the vibration of the performances (you mean you’ve never noticed that musical performances vibrate? Think about it for a second…what is sound?), usually leaves me buzzing afterward, so does the thrill of the show. Depending on where the musician or band is performing, I have to consider whether the shows will be physically possible for me. If something is playing in an arena, for example, I need to book disabled tickets and go in a wheelchair. I have learnt that regardless of whether I am flaring or not on the day, I cannot survive a) the walking (from car to seat can be kilometres), b) standing during the show (if it’s that type of show) and c) being bumped around in the crowd. If I go in a wheelchair, I almost eliminate the threat of all three and can enjoy myself. A, B and C also apply to going to a pub gig, these don’t always have good disabled access (hello, grotty yet ever popular Corner Hotel) but I have leant that most venues will provide a seat on request. How well you can see from that seat depends on the kindness and understanding of the staff on duty that night (FYI Melbourne, Northcote Social Club is awesome at being accommodating!).
My favourite type of gigs are the ones played in theatres. Theatres usually have good disabled access, closer parking so that I don’t need the wheelie and are less likely to attract acts that draw rowdy crowds. On Friday night, I was lucky enough to go and see Regina Spektor play at The Palais in St Kilda. I love The Palais – sure, it’s a little run down but it smells and looks like old and pretty and even the back seats all have a pretty good view. The last time Regina came to Melbourne, I saw her at The Regent Theatre, which is by far my favourite with those big comfy seats. I love that an artist whom I absolutely adore has only played venues that I can attend in relative comfort!
(click photo for source)
Regina Spektor live is amazing. The only artist I have had the privilege of seeing live who compares in pure talent is Tori Amos (and if you’ve ever watched Tori singing whilst playing the piano with one hand and the organ with the other, you know that’s pretty a pretty big call). Regina is adorable. Her voice is magical, her humour insightful and her demeanour refreshingly shy. It was fantastic to see her playing with a band, a very different experience to the intimacy of seeing her alone with her piano. The solo moments were still there though, along with cute little numbers never heard in her recordings – an aspect that a lot of performers don’t seem to realise can improve their show by gazillions. In this age where we can watch anything on youtube, it’s a treat to see something new. I loved the track she played called ‘The Ballad Of A Politician’ (if memory serves correctly) and a sweet little ditty about hearing the neighbours getting down and dirty to one of her songs. Yep, Regina can even make crude things sweet. She must have candy insides.
In the spirit of making plans and things to look forward to, I have been on a ticket buying frenzy in the last few days! Luckily for me, both the fun spirit and opportunity have been working together here. I now have amazing, third row seats to see Ian McKellen in Waiting For Godot in less than two weeks. I was shocked that I could get such good tickets so late in the game, but I guess not all of Melbourne is as theatre nerdy as me (in my life before CRPS, I dreamed of running my own theatre company). The idea of watching such an amazing actor, live, right in front of me is as exciting as a visit from Justin Beiber would be to a 12 year old girl. I’m pretty sure, for the entire show, part of me will have to hold back another part of me from screaming “It’s MAGNETO!” but I shall do my best.
I’ve also managed to score some pretty good seats to see Sarah Blasko at The Palais in October. That’s a lot of time to look forward to it and I like looking forward to things! I missed her last tour and was rather sad, the only time I have seen her live was at A Day On The Green and she was stunning, even across a paddock. Can’t wait to see her indoors!!
Today was for resting and recuperating, my body is still adjusting to my having attended an inspiring Feldenkrais workshop on Saturday. I learnt oodles, but things take a while to physically settle with my system. I shall write more about it next post, for now I am going to continue to revel in the sweet memories of Regina and bubble with excitement for my upcoming outings.
Love & Music,