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Old 01-20-2017, 06:31 AM   #9
Pppiper
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 982
Default Re: Playing while having a cold

On the one hand, I've been fortunate to have the experience of having a great many paid gigs over the last several years. On the other hand, it also means that I've had to endure quite a few situations where, within reason, I had to play a gig whilst feeling ill.

No doubt about it, it's awful. And depending on what ales you, in my experience, playing highland pipes can make your condition considerably worse.

I distinctly remember a particularly nasty head cold I had a couple of years ago, and it hit during a series of four days in a row where I needed to play for extended periods. It was a 3-day holiday weekend (Columbus Day I think) plus one more event on Tuesday. For all four days, I played usually half hour stints, 4 to 5 times each day. Whenever I felt like I was improving (headache, body aches, fever, sore throat, etc), I of course would again need to play, after which I felt worse than I did in the first place.

By the start of the third day, the lymph nodes in my neck (just below my jaw) started to swell severely. The swelling became so bad that I had difficulty speaking (granted, I'm sure some people prefer me that way), and it was becoming nearly impossible for me to chew/swallow solid food.

I honestly don't know how the heck I survived all the way through the fourth day. I pulled it off, but I certainly wasn't the happier for it. I called out sick from my regular job for the remainder of the work week, as I had another full two days of playing that coming weekend.

By Friday, I felt mostly recovered, but the playing from the following weekend brought it all back. All-in-all, that illness stuck with me for the better part of a month.

That was probably the worst experience I ever had to deal with, but whenever I'm sick, playing highland pipes has proven to be one of the worst things I can do to my immediate health. So if you can avoid it, for your own sake, it's best to wait until you recover.

Cheers, and feel better soon!

Last edited by Pppiper; 01-20-2017 at 07:03 AM.
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