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Does anyone know of resources, etc. concerning the effect on a playing career of a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?
My daughter, who is a trumpet player, had one yesterday.
About 40 years ago, I had one as a senior in high school. Mine went untreated for a month and a half. Before it happened I was a pretty serious tuba player. In those days, I was told not to play at all for six months (I actually took about 4-1/2 off) and not to play more than an hour a day total (both practice and rehearsal). That, of course, was the end of any serious playing career for me. I did play all through college and now play again, but on an amatuer basis.
Trumpet (and singing) is my daughter's life. So, I looking for any information that would help us figure out what the effect of this may be for a playing career (in the longer run) and how long she'll have to be off the horn now. And how it will affect her playing over the summer (she's slated for Tanglewood).
Thanks in advance!
Personally, I would say in the long run, things should be OK. Trumpet playing (tuba too) is relatively high volume, low pressure and shouldn't be a problem. Just tell her not to take up the oboe, glass blowing, or scuba diving. I think perhaps since your lung collapse, the advice for activities is a little more liberal. I personally don't believe the airway pressures involved in trumpet playing, or tuba playing for that matter, should be a big issue, but I'd still use caution and be wary of any symptoms that develop.
Seriously, since you and your daughter (hers at a young age) both had a spontaneous pneumothorax, there is likely something genetic here: alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or familial spontaneous pneumothorax. The alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is probably the most common of these. Some things to consider to help with the long term: avoiding smoking; good lung health through regular exercise; getting flu shots, pneumonia vaccines to avoid lung infections, etc.
I would highly recommend going to talk with a pulmonologist or thoracic surgeon about options here. If she never has another pnemothorax, then great. But I'd be careful of high pressure things: oboe, glass blowing, plane rides, scuba diving. If she has another one, then assuming it's the alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, there are surgical options to resect the blebs that rupture and cause lung collapse. With new minimally invasive surgical techniques, this is becoming a better option for these people.
Here is a resource that I found. I hope it helps.
The Spontaneous Pnuemothorax Patient Network
Well, dig you, Dr Pugh. Very nice! BTW, good luck in DC.
Clearly home diagnosis ain't it in this case. Just as clearly there are folks with many different precipitating causes for the condition who are capble of all sorts of things. Your thoughtful approach here would appear to be spo on.
The classification of the trumpet as a low pressure instrument is simply not true though. While one may play the trumpet with moderate pressure (as opposed to the oboe which almost always causes a purple contenance) playing with any enthusiasm makes the trumpet a real, real, real high pressure instrument. A common factor from Dizzy through James, Chase, Ferguson et al was badly strained/ruptured cheek and throat structure. Roy Eldredge and Armstrong both had to give up the trumpet because of heart conditions. Chamber music aside the trumpet is up there with the air guitar as an athletic endeavour.....
My friend (trumpet player and singer) also had a collapsed lung over the summer. He recovered fairly quickly and was able to continue playing, marching band during the fall!, and band and chorus in school. He would have probably made All-State Chorus if he had practiced his Region Chorus music.
Thanks for the help on this one. When I made that statement, I was thinking to myself, what about those guys like Dizzy, etc. Like you say though, one can play the trumpet with moderate pressure and keeping a mind on not over-doing it will probably be the key here.
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