Diabetes Hurts Your Playing Abilities?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Saxdragon, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Saxdragon

    Saxdragon TDPRI Member

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    Hey everybody.

    Any diabetics out there? I was diagnosed with Type II in 2004. Since then, neuropathy has destroyed almost all sensation in my feet, and now it's working on my fingers. I'm 69 years old now and I've noticed a tendency for them to drift off target at times, whereas before muscle memory kept them in line. I've been playing less often because of other concerns, so it may be i'm just really rusty. Do any of you feel your ability to play has been compromised by the effects of this disease? Do some of you feel your skills are being eroded by age or age-related health problems?
     
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  2. televillian

    televillian Tele-Holic

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    my feet are a mess but my hands and fingers still function. i try to play at least a few minutes every day in the hope it helps. my memory is becoming a problem but i don`t think the diabetes is causing that
     
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  3. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

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    I struggle more as each year passes with my feet and hands. I’ve been a type II for decades. Now it’s affecting my kidneys and eyes.
    I no longer play in public, I was never any good and now there are days I just can’t play.
     
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  4. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I have had neuropathy problems for 13 years, thanks to CIDP (chronic Guillain-Barre). My feet and legs have long been problems, and my arms and hands are a little unsure. Lately, I've had problems with fingers 2,3,4 drifting between strings 2 and 3, in certain situations.

    I've been working at music all day, every day for 50 years, and I've finagled my way through chronic pain enough that I am pretty calm and resigned when technical problems arrive.

    Whenever something broke in our house, my dad would calmly figure out how to fix it. I got some of that attitude toward problems. They are not to get stressed about if you can swing it. So, I just assess where my playing is at, and adjust my music time accordingly.

    I hate to say it, but there is also a feeling sometimes that this is the new reality. Then I set about trying to alter that for my musical purposes.
     
  5. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Holic

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    I have both type two and arthritis. No trouble with the diabetes but I can see a day when the arthritis will take its toll. Yes it can be painful but playing does help as a form of exercise. I have slowed down my playing some but that has meant I find I am a little more thoughtful about what I play. In fact this last year the guys in the band have said how my playing has improved so maybe there is a lesson in there.
     
  6. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    That’s typically one time where it’s hard to press the « like » button. However I like the philosophy you guys have of finding ways around.

    I’ve got Raynaud syndrome. It used to not affect my ability to play, but now each time I’m cold and I get a crisis, my fingers feel rusty for the rest of the day. It’s getting worse I’m afraid, and I’m only 39.
    I’ve never been a very fast player, so my style is less impacted thankfully.
     
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  7. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The only guy I know who is diabetic plays sax in a jazz band on the Gold Coast ,,,:)

    known him since teenage days and I traveled the world with him going surfing one time...and shared houses with him... he seems to be going OK..
     
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  8. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the attitude the Scottish comedian and folkie Billy Connolly has to his Parkinson's. It happens - I'm getting older. There are other things I can still do and new things too.

    I try to share that attitude. Arthritis has stopped me enjoying three things I've loved for 50 years and was looking forward to doing more of in retirement, walking, bicycling and motorcycling. It's hard to accept, but I did enjoy them very much for all that time.

    So far my hands aren't too bad. I took up slide as something of a pre-emptive strike, and I'm enjoying that as a compensation for some reduced ability playing classical guitar which was my main love. Julian Bream has been unable to play for quite a while, but feels more of a musician now through spending more time listening and studying scores.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/13/julian-bream-better-musician-70


    Stay positive everyone!
     
  9. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have had type 2 for over a decade. So far I take an extra tablet, as metformin is affecting my kidneys, but I've had no numbness in my feet, or hands, thank goodness. However, my sight isn't what it used to be, but that may just be age.
     
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  10. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Shrewd.

    I hope people read this. Making changes by choice to sidestep the inevitable is the way to go.
     
  11. Mr. Neutron

    Mr. Neutron Tele-Meister

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    I've done the same thing for my Rheumatoid and Osteo Arthritis. I figured it's better to play slide than to not play at all. A positive about that is it's gotten me out of a "fall back on the pentatonic scale for nearly everything" habit, and made me think more "vocally and melodically". :cool:

    As far as non-slide playing goes, I still do that, but its mostly to keep my fingers somewhat flexible and moving.

    I've noticed the last coupla years my picking isn't near as precise as it used to be, and my fretting hand can't play as cleanly or precisely as it used to be able to. The connection from the brain and through the muscles and nerves seems kinda "messed up". Getting the fingers to do what my mind thinks they should be doing has become challenge. That's meant less playing in public, and more at home with the volume down. My wife has unfortunately become my audience, bless her heart, but says my playing has improved. So I dunno....... :confused: :rolleyes:
     
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  12. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    So far I can still use my fingers reasonably and supplement the slide on my little finger with the other left hand fingers. Also it's been years since I've used a pick regularly so that's another skill I'm revisiting. And it's been a great excuse to add a resonator (or two) to the collection.
     
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  13. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I’m nearly 20 years in with type 2 diabetes. I’m having some feet issues but it is unclear if these issues are being caused by diabetes or nerve issues in my spine. So far hands are good to go. Good luck to all the guys who have diabetes.
     
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  14. Dr Improbable

    Dr Improbable Tele-Meister

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    I was diagnosed type II about 5 years ago. hands seem fine, feet are good too. I really go out of my way to take good care of them and keep the circulation going. My wife is a Massage Therapist so she works on my legs from time to time.

    I do feel a bit more forgetful lately, but it could be age creeping up on me...
     
  15. elihu

    elihu Poster Extraordinaire

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    Inspiring stuff here, fellas.

    I use to play in a band with a 92 year old diabetic who played steel guitar. Not pedal steel, mind you but a 1948 Fender double neck. It had a solid ash body with the 3 metal legs that screwed into the bottom and everything he played sounded like a Hank Williams recording.

    TJ used to tell me "You have to take care of diabetes or it will take care of you."

    He was right.
     
  16. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I was diagnosed 32 years ago. My feet are a little numb or tingly. My hands are OK. Alpha Lipoic Acid helps mitigate the neuropathy with no side effects except on my wallet. My hand problems have more to do with arthritis. I’ve pretty much confirmed that the pain is arthritis more than neuropathy because it responds to the prednisone eye drops my wife got for cataract surgery. My doc said the hand pain in two index finger joints was likely neuropathy but now I have evidence to the contrary. I’ll finish the eye drops and try to find a good rheumatologist. Meds can be challenging. I remember when my father in law was alive that his doc told us that he couldn’t make something better without making something else worse and that his goal was giving the old guy the best quality of life possible for as long as possible. Chronic degenerative diseases can be managed, not cured. It surevsucks getting old but that beats not getting old.
     
  17. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Tele-Holic

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    I've been Type II for 20 years, and my playing isn't getting any worse than it was before, LOL.

    Actually, my sugar is pretty well under control with diet and some medication, so it hasn't affected my hands.

    However, I need to sit down a lot due to deterioration of the discs in my lower back, but that's another issue.
     
  18. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah neuropathy took probably 20 % of my guitar playing facility and agility away.

    I learned to compensate in various ways, and frankly I'm grateful to be playing at all, at one point I couldn't operate a doorknob

    We're all dying *shrug
     
  19. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I should add, for me it happened very suddenly. One gig I found I couldn't keep hold of a guitar pick. I quit altogether for maybe 9 months or so, and then when I started trying to get back into it my PT told me to not bother, I'd just frustrate myself.


    I was like, **** that
     
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  20. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

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    Diagnosed as pre-diabetic about 10 years ago and on meds for type 2 for about 7 years now. It hasn't affected my fingers or playing but my feet do tingle from time to time when i sit stI'll at work for long periods. They also tingle for most of the day after a gig due to me standing there for 3-4 hours without much movement. I also have Achilles Tendonitis in both ankles so with neuropathy and tendonitis, my feet are a mess after a gig. I've been thinking of buying one of those padded mats to stand on while gigging.
     
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