During my career as a musician, in September 2000, I have been struck by a neurological disease called ‘ focal dystonia’ together with an acute epicondilite both to the sight and left arm, so that I felt myself on the point of giving up my concerto activity.
I do not know if this has been a disgrace or a fortune instead. Probably as Hegel used to say, “ the meaning of the historical process is visible at the end of the process itself ”. This process is not concluded yet, but if I consider the results that I have obtained since the beginning of the disease up to these days, perhaps it is not inappropriate to state that positive facts weigh more than negative ones.
All began with a light bother to the forefinger, which within one month’s time turned into the inability to use it for any kind of movement on the guitar. The finger remained closed inside the inner part of the hand and any attempt to move it required huge efforts and zero results.
As far as dystonia is concerned (avoiding going deep into medical details about which you can refer to the site of the Institute of medicine and Arts of Barcelona: http://www.institutart.com and http://www.fcart.org/distonia. I can briefly say that it concerns an iper–automation of the movement which does not allow the brain to tell contraction movements from stretching ones. For this reason, it is impossible to pluck the strings of the guitar because the two types of muscles – the contraction and the stretching ones work at the same time.
It took me two about two years to understand what the problem was and to have a complete diagnosis. I spent two years travelling in half part of Italy searching for a solution. During these two years I spent a few thousand euros without obtaining any results. I experienced the worst moment in my life when the doctor, who had diagnosed the dystonia invited me, in a air of self-importance , to give up my occupation and find another one. Probably, some doctors from the top of their scientific knowledge, have forgotten that the patient is a human being before being a ill person. The disease can be cured not only through medicines but also thanks to an emotional and spiritual approach to the problem above all. (A hundred of publications, either scientific or not, deals with this feature in the cure of diseases). I wonder if it is possible that a chief physician was not aware of this.
Anyway, after the experience of this visit, I went back home with the promise of being contacted again further on for a treatment made of botuline toxin. However, I have never received any phone calls anymore. I only remained with the prophetic sentence of the end of my career. I won’t suggest any musicians to undergo this type of treatment as it doesn’t lead to any positive results. No one has ever started playing music again after this type of treatment.
The strange thing was that after that hard hit, I arrived home with the certainty that I wouldn’t have stayed still and see what was going to happen next. The opportunity to express myself and the ability to realize my being through the sound were going to suffer the consequences.
First of all, I decided to phone my harmony teacher, (maestro Renato Gava) to get some music composition lessons immediately. My wish for writing music had revealed itself when I was 12, but it had not been nourished enough at that time and so it quickly disappeared. So it seemed to me the right moment to start again as it meant to me the only way to keep in contact with alive music. My theories regarding the relationship between sound and colour sprang at this very stage. The theories deal with he association of pictorial elements to musical elements, the pictures and their transposition into music, the compositions for trio and the cooperation with the Trio Nahual.
The second thing I decided to do was to find a way to heal up. However, music composition was insufficient to fill my wish to create music. So, after several help requests and thanks to the Spanish musician Juan Francisco Padilla, I got in touch with the Institute of Medicine and of Arts in Barcelona. There I found some professional people who were able to give me the right amount of courage and hope to face the disease. First of all I was treated as a human being, who was lacking the core of his own existence, and only later on I was treated as a patient.
It is useless to report the iter of the healing; it was not easy at all but full of secondary problems not linked to the dystonia. It is sufficient to say that I daily did exercises for 4 hours (job and duties apart) which could allow my brain to create a motor programme anew in order to be able to start playing again. I used to wake up at seven a.m., to do exercises until noon and then leading the kind of life musicians are familiar with.
At the end of the cure, thanks to my being constant and persevering, I was able to play again. Then it was necessary about another year of efforts to be able to play a whole repertory again and still nowadays I keep on noticing little improvements.
A address a special thanks to the entire medical staff of the department of Terrasa. In addition to this, I wish to ssay that I wouldn’t have succeed, but with the help of my family and of the people who believed in me. It was important to me to accept my condition completely as a starting point from which one could anything but progress. Any results would have lead to better conditions than the ones I was in. After that, it was extremely important to me the awareness, built during the years, of my existence as a unique human being, the result of his own experiences and aware of his own abilities. My self-determination revealed to be broad and my wish to manage to play again was enormous. When hunger is stronger than the grief that eats you up you can only die or your will turns into acting so that you are able to solve your problems completely. I won the highest competition of my life against myself, against my disease and against my brain and its own rules. I showed myself how the will-power can take the opportunity and modify the course of events. I have been the judge of myself and I have decided that the recovery would have been a complete one. And this was the way it happened.
What follows to this experience is contained in the following pages and in the ones which still have to be written.