I was in desperate need of cardiovascular rehabilitation.
Physical therapy was the next obvious step for me, but I couldn't do it. Because of my problem with drugs and alcohol I had refused the oxy and vicoden, but now I was in too much pain to exercise. My muscles hadn't atrophied, but they had become full of lactic acid from disuse. The physical therapists were afraid to work with me. I was in too much pain.
If you picture a skull and crossbones, you can imagine where the bones flare out at the end with two knobs. This is where the tendons connect the bone to the muscle. That is the reason for the additional mass at the end of the bone; to support the connective tissue that allows our joints to move. I am missing a lot of that bone. No knobs.
My situation was spiraling downward, I couldn't move (intermittent paralysis) because I was sick; and I couldn't get better because I couldn't move. I had to get my blood pumping.
Along time ago, when mohawks ruled the earth, I sang. Singing is quite a workout if you're doing it right. I reasoned I could begin my cardiovascular rehabilitation singing. I brought this up to my Doctor and her gentle, pitiful encouragement really clued me in that she wasn't 100% on board with my whole "get better" scheme. Luckily for this Celtic warrior, fear rises to rage in just a short while. So now I'm motivated to get well to spite my Doctor. Fa-lalala-la!
I rounded up a few players to jam some tunes in a friend's house. Bossa's, blues and Bacharach in the basement. My ankles were too lifeless to step over the music cables snaking this way and that across the floor, I shuffled to a bar-stool (insert irony here), and sat in front of a mic.
Unlike riding a bicycle, elephants do forget and it took me a few trys to find my voice. I could feel this working.
The musicians came and went in a blur of dirty jokes and stolen riffs. Lyrics from the radio, chords from the web. I added voice lessons to my regimen. Pretty soon we had a group meeting once a week covering Otis, Aretha, Sam and Dave. And pretty soon I was well enough to go to the gym, my cardio rehab had begun.
"The Hep-tet" is now a nine piece classic R&B band, with a horn section!