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My efforts at learning to play the banjo again.

Posted by Dave Gregory on Sunday, October 4, 2015


I've been home from the hospital for about near a month. I've added three videos into the inter tubes hoping to show what it is like to try to play again a banjo after a Traumatic Brain Injury, or a (TBI) for short. I know I'm just at the beginning of this adventure, but, it already seems like it's taking far too long to achieve a sense of I'm getting better at playing an instrument. The problem is the tactile sensation of playing is so different. I'm sure some kind of change in the way I expect to sound, or feel while playing will come, in the future. 

There are a lot of unfortunate distractions that come with this (TBI) situation. A complete lack of smell, and now taste are intrusive. I'd give good money to be able to smell anything. I'd be thrilled to smell any aroma from a cat box. Anything would be nice. Losing the ability to know if I personally stink, aside from my banjo playing, is more trouble than you'd guess it would be.

Dealing with the insurance company, here in Manitoba, Canada, is a bit of a trouble for me. Since I've made my living as a musician for so many years, I barely rate as much more than a street bum, in the eyes of the bean counters. Another aspect of my self employment, is doing masonry as a private contractor, it does not seem to rate ether.

There is a thing called no fault insurance in place here in Manitoba, it prevents me from directly suing the person responsible for hitting me with his/her pickup truck. I'm at the mercy of a corporate system that only wishes to protect it's bottom line.

I didn't intend to get all wanky about the hardships of having everything changed in ones life, by the actions of an irresponsible driver, but I just did. (Sorry about that.)

There are many more things that have become very hard to do, as well as, coming to terms with my new reality, but I'll save them for another time, when hopefully, it will be easier for me to portray this (TBI) adventure in a more positive light, after all, this is a Banjo Hang Out, not a boo hoo!, I got a boo boo hang out.

Thanx for the many extremely positive thoughts, and words you have all given to me so far, I'll try and keep it light, for all who look into this dark room I'm describing, . . . . . . . I just have to remember where the light switch is.


6 comments on “My efforts at learning to play the banjo again.”

n1wr Says:
Sunday, October 4, 2015 @1:58:33 PM

Dave: Sorry to hear of your misfortune. We are pulling for you. Stick with the banjo - I'm sure its good therapy. It will come back - the brain sometimes will amaze you at its resourcefulness.

Good luck and keep us up dated on your progress.

Torben Pedersen Says:
Monday, October 5, 2015 @2:14:17 AM

Hello Dave. I`m so happy every time you upload a video. I know it won`t come, from one day to another...But go on. You`re on the right way....Many hills on the road you shall pass...But i know you can.

guitarman8491 Says:
Monday, October 5, 2015 @6:54:22 AM are making great progress, take it a day at a time and we will all celebrate with you your achievements. You have come along way in a short time witnessed by your postings and the blog above.

We are all here for you..keep on ..keep on!

Dave Gregory Says:
Monday, October 5, 2015 @8:27:46 AM

Thanx every one for the kind words, Mr Wayne, Torben, and Doug. Just now, I've managed to carry this coffee I'm presently drinking, from the kitchen, to here at the computer without spilling any of it this time. A small victory, but I'll take it. Coffee spilling is something I've got now, as result my recent brain development. I usually get most of the coffee where I'm trying to place it, just have to keep a mop within reach, to keep the socks dry.
Thanx for stopping by, I'll keep your good wishes in mind while I'm at the physiotherapy gym getting phyisiotherapized.

RB4picker Says:
Thursday, October 22, 2015 @6:35:40 AM

Dave, for what it's worth, I have a friend that suffered a severe head injury as well. It involved trying to load a helicopter onto a flatbed truck, but that's another story. He was near death due to the accident, lost one eye and motor skills and speech were affected. It's been a few years now but slowly he is recovering. He went back to work and is able to drive himself to his jobs. He still has a slower speech but his sense of humor is still there and he's functioning and contributing now. Seems to continue to improve ever so slightly each time I see him.
Bottom line, hang in there, it will get better.

Dave Gregory Says:
Thursday, October 22, 2015 @9:14:03 AM

Thanx for sharing your buddies experience Mr David. I'm glad to hear he's getting on with things.
I'll do my best to stay away from helicopters, just in case. And, I'll "hang in there" as you suggest.

As far as the getting better with time bit, Yesterday I managed to run on an elliptical exercise device unit, at the physiotherapy gym, for 3 miles, or 4.828032 kilometres as we say up her in Canada land. I'm aiming for ten kilometres as soon as I can do it. ......... Then maybe a 1/2 to a full marathon, I could fulfill a secret fantasy by doing so. It's not banjo playing, but it might help with it.

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