Does tiredness affect your playing?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Seedhouse, Oct 3, 2005.


Does tiredness affect your playing?

  1. Yes

    37 vote(s)
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
  1. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Hi guys, have been feeling really tired over the past few weeks and my playings seemingly getting worse and worse, with little progress!!! Didn't know if anyones playing was affected by tiredness, and if so in what way?
    Perhaps a bit of a random thread, but would like to hear what people have to say ;)
  2. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    Hey Alex the main thing is your concentration goes and you need that when playing.
    Too many late nights - burning the candleat both ends doesn't work??????;)
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I have every sympathy with you, as tiredness impairs concentration and subsequently control and co-ordination.
  4. yonhee

    yonhee Active Member

    last year I started to stop concentrating and attempting to play hard stuff towards the end of band practise on a friday cause I was tired...
  5. MR WMS

    MR WMS Member

    As a brass player your body is the generator so obviously if you are tired it will affect your playing.If you're not relaxed the tendency is to work harder,creating more tension,and that's when the frustration creeps in.The best thing to do is leave it, relax and try again if you feel up to it.Remember you don't always need your instrument to practice,in a way it's just an amplifier.
  6. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Being a hardened bander you learn to live with it, if you are doing it right that is ;)

    Of course tiredness will effect playing as someone earlier said, it effects your body and mind which is as much a part of playing as the brass instrument you use is.

    I am also a strong believer that if you over concentrate on your tiredness being a cause, even if it not a prbolem now then it soon will be as you beome more and more conscious and concerned about it.

    Once had a conversation with someone about what effect physical conditioning would have on a brass band. A bunch of bass players who were 20 stone of pure muscle and a band with the lung capacities of Miguel Indurain and immense third finger strength. Bit of a bizare convo but such is life after a dozen pints.
  7. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member


    You should have heard me trying to play in rehearsal yesterday afternoon! Dave asked me to play a G for tuning purposes.. and I just physically couldn't!! I was far too tired. Had no strength behind me what-so-ever. It was worrying, considering I was going to have to play a solo without music in the contest in 2 hrs!!! But I took looads of caffiene and sugar which got me goin just before we went on stage! Had a sugar rush and then was shattered again about an hr later!
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... I forgot to mention how fatigue affects memory and response times as well. Short term memory is reduced and response times become longer. This is why the condition is considered a major health and safety risk for all sorts of activities that involve machinery or co-ordinated movements of the body where timing and execution of motor activity is crucial. (... next time you miss an entry, blame it on exhaustion).
  9. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Cheers guys for your answers, I suppose now would be a plan to ensure that I am no longer tired!!! If it is detrimental to my playing then it needs to be addressed!!!
    I suppose the answer would be to try earlier nights- look what time i'm on tMP now! (addicted!?) Lol! (this is a one off!), but could anyone provide any tips on relieving my "tiredness" other than caffeine and sugar! (Vicki ;) - glad to hear Hathern did well in the contest! )
  10. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    Yes I find I dont have a nice tone when I am tired and I find it hard to produce good quality notes or height.
  11. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I don't find it really effects me much. I regularly go for several days without going to bed. You just get used to it :biggrin:
  12. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Bit of an expert on this subject. I've had M.E. for the last 8 years and am physically exhausted all the time. Brass Banding and daily practice is the only thing I can manage, but I have to do absolutely nothing during the day so I can make it through band practice and then rest the whole of the next day to get over it. It takes me around 4 or 5 days to recover from a concert or contest! Concentration is the hardest part. During the day I practice for 10 minutes at a time some 4 or 5 times, just doing the harder parts in the music, so I don't have to try too hard at rehearsals. Still can't complain, as I was bedridden for nearly a year when I first developed the illness and couldn't even climb the stairs!
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... sorry to hear about that! 8 years is a long slog and I am curious about what sort of testing/treatment has been attempted to diagnose/remedy the symptoms in your particular case?
  14. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    There is no treatment for M.E. and no definite tests either. My illness is believed to have been caused originally by pesticide poisoning, through inhalation. (Too much cross country running). Basically the muscles can't replace the energy they use. The latest theory is that the immune system is working flat out all the time causing extreme fatigue.
  15. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one area that I really haven't kept up to date with since my student days I must admit. However, there are quite a few support sites online that try to unravel information about the condition and (for me) the costs of fully testing sufferers like yourself ....
  16. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I know. But the prefered name for my condition is M.E. not CFS as they appear to be two different illnesses with similar symptoms. As you can imagine I have researched it very thoroughly and seen various 'specialists'. The best research at the moment is from a Scottish University, but they are running out of funds.

    This may describe it better, but will take some reading.

    What is ME/CFS?

    Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS*) is a distinct severe acquired systemic illness that manifests symptoms predominately based on neurological, cardiac, immunological and endocrinological dysfunction.

    It can occur in both epidemic and sporadic form. The severity of symptoms varies unpredictably from week to week, day to day, even hour to hour. Some symptoms can be extremely severe, and sometimes ME/CFS can be fatal.

    Is ME/CFS a new/modern psychological illness?

    No. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis has been documented in medical literature, in epidemic and sporadic forms, since 1934 (and is thought to have also been around centuries earlier than that too). ME has also had a formal classification with the World Health Organization (whose job it is to categorize all illnesses) since 1969. The ICD-10 classifies ME as a neurological illness with ICD code G93.3. It clearly lists ME (and CFS) as an organic (physical) illness and unequivocally not a psychological one. It is very clear on this point. (McLaughlin)

    ME/CFS has nothing to do with ‘fatigue’

    The so-called ‘fatigue’ felt by people with ME/CFS bears no relation to any sort of fatigue that anyone without personal experience of this illness has ever felt at any time in their lives. It’s not just that it's more severe than fatigue, it’s that it's a completely different problem altogether – not fatigue at all in fact. Fatigue is not even a symptom of ME/CFS - let alone the worst one.

    Having ME/CFS is like having bits of Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, Alzheimer's, the flu, Arthritis and Epilepsy all thrown together at once, with some extra stuff thrown in that's all its own. It's a living hell that has nothing to do with fatigue.

    Well why is it called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome then?

    The name CFS replaced the long-standing name for the illness (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) in the US as a political ploy to hide the severity of the illness (as well as the fact that it can be contagious) from the public during a US outbreak of the illness in the 1980's – all to save the government, insurance companies (and some others) a ton of money by implying that it is both psychological in origin and not that serious anyway.

    Then they broadened the definition of CFS to include all sorts of completely unrelated ‘fatiguing’ illnesses so that nowadays the definition has become so muddied that it means completely different things to different people. This has meant that almost all of the shamefully tiny amount of money given over to research into ME/CFS is being completely wasted doing vague studies about fatigue that have nothing to do with ME/CFS at all but can claim to be about ME/CFS because of the ridiculous name the illness has been given and the many misthruths that have been spread about the illness.

    It's a big huge mess, that is for certain - but it is not an accidental mess, that is for certain too.

    Are ME, CFIDS and CFS the same thing?

    There are now at least 9 different definitions of CFS and some definitions are so broad they really are only talking about fatigue and not the illness ME/CFS at all. So the terms ME and CFIDS refer to the same illness, but CFS sometimes definitely does and sometimes definitely doesn’t, depending on which definition is used. This is why most people with true ME/CFIDS/CFS prefer the terms ME, ME/CFS or CFIDS to the now impossibly muddied term CFS - to avoid being categorized with a group of people who are merely tired and not seriously ill at all.

    ME or ME/CFS is the term patients generally prefer in Canada, the UK and Australia.

    Those in the US usually use the term CFIDS instead, (a term designed in the US to stop patients being lumped in with merely fatigued people by making reference to the immune system dysfunctions in the illness) although the name ME or ME/CFS (with the plan being that the CFS bit will be dropped at a later date) is fast gaining popularity there too (because of its greater accuracy and its World Health Organisation listing - which the term CFIDS does not have).

    *Note: in this text, when I refer to CFS (as in ME/CFS) I am referring to the type of CFS that is otherwise known as ME (or CFIDS) and not the 'fatiguing' kind (as is probably fairly obvious at this point).

    What are some of the symptoms of ME/CFS?

    ME/CFS can leave you unable to read even a few lines of text, write, watch TV, or have the radio on. You can be unable to speak, or to understand speech in any way, and this is every bit as terrifying as you can imagine. Your throat, glands and muscles can all hurt beyond the reach of medication as you go in and out of fevers, unable to sit up for more than a few minutes because your heart just wont beat properly. Your heart can also beat erratically at random moments, sometimes for hours. You can be lying down resting and your heart-rate can suddenly jump to 170 beats a minute or more. You can have difficulty breathing and need CPR. The room can spin with constant vertigo and you can become allergic or sensitive to almost everything. You can have seizures or experience paralysis. You can lie awake with insomnia all night, completely exhausted and so so ill, but totally unable to sleep.

    Symptoms include (in no particular order): Neurally Mediated Hypotension, recurrent flu-like illness, low blood pressure, blind spots in vision, vomiting, fainting or blackouts, sleep disturbance, paresthesias (abnormal sensations in peripheral nerves), word-finding difficulty, blurred vision, dyslexia, nausea, severe muscle and joint pain, memory problems, extreme sensitivity to light, noise and movement, severe exercise intolerance, tinnitus, inability to concentrate, seizures, paralysis, spatial disorientation, difficulty swallowing, alcohol intolerance, thyroid and adrenal dysfunction, cough, constant low temperature, feeling hot or cold, headaches, hypoglycemia, tremor, involuntary movements, severe muscle weakness and nystagmus (involuntary rolling of the eyes) papules (elevated red bumps) and vesicles (which resemble blisters) in the back of the throat and lining of the cheeks. (Berne p. 316 - 320)

    "A list of CFIDS symptoms is misleading. At first glance it appears that almost every symptom possible is part of the list. This is another reason many physicians have not accepted the reality of CFIDS - there are simply too many symptoms. But a patient relating these symptoms does not list them in a random manner. They fit a precise pattern that is nearly identical from one patient to the next. The pattern of symptoms is so reproducible in the usual case that patients are able to diagnose CFIDS in others in an instant." (Bell)

    For a more complete symptom list go to:

    What can trigger ME/CFS?

    Most commonly, an acute prodromal infection (a flu-like illness, sinusitis, gastroenteritis, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis) but also immunization, anesthetics, and exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals. Physical trauma such as motor vehicle accidents, surgery and blood transfusions are all thought to be able to trigger ME/CFS as well. (Note that these are triggers of the illness not the cause, the cause of ME/CFS is thought to be a virus). ME/CFS onset can be sudden or in some cases gradual.

    What causes ME/CFS?

    "The theory that currently holds sway is that a virus causes CFIDS. This point of view is supported by history (CFIDS epidemics have followed polio epidemics), incidence (correlation with a flu-like prodromic illness), symptoms (swollen lymph nodes, low-grade fever, sore throat), and similarities with other viral ailments, notably mononucleosis and post-polio syndrome. A viral cause is also indicated by research". (Verillo & Gellman p. 19)

    But there is so much more funding needed; "It is as though researchers can find only the tracks of the beast, while the quarry itself evades capture". (Verillo & Gellman p. 20)

    ME/CFS is NOT synonymous with depression

    Dr David Bell MD, an expert in the field, asks:
    "If CFIDS is mental illness, why does it occur in epidemics? Mass hysteria is an inadequate answer because the symptoms of mass hysteria are random, whereas the pattern of symptoms in CFIDS is remarkably consistent. [...] There is a simple way to prove that CFIDS is not somatisation or malingering. With these latter two conditions there may be numerous variable symptoms, but they are random. In CFIDS the symptoms are not random- they form a specific pattern. The statistical odds of any two patients describing these symptoms in an identical way are astronomical. Yet patient after patient describes the same symptom complex in CFIDS. [...] If I were to choose a single diagnostic test for this illness, I would give a patient a standard dose of a cyclic antidepressant and observe the response." (Bell, p. 163)

    People with depression do not typically have this type of negative reaction to standard antidepressants. In fact, depressed patients and those with ME/CFS have very little in common: The only thing that people with ME/CFS are sometimes depressed about is having ME/CFS.

    MYTH: There is no evidence of physical illness in ME/CFS

    You hear this so often but it’s completely and utterly untrue;

    "Many startling abnormalities have been found in CFIDS patients in almost every bodily system- such as extremely low blood volume, enzyme pathway disruptions, cardiac disturbances, and malfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. . . One remarkable study, utilizing specific brain scan techniques, found the effects of CFIDS on the brain to be strikingly similar to AIDS dementia. Earlier research discovered punctate lesions in CFIDS brains resembling those of Multiple Sclerosis patients. Dr Paul Cheney found that in dual chromatography analyses, many CFIDS patients actually had more derangement of the brain, on a biochemical level, than Parkinson's or Alzheimer's patients. Dr Sheila Bastien, who studied a group of educated patients, was stunned to realize that patients who initially appeared very lucid had suffered tremendous drops in IQ points, so severe in some cases that "a few performance IQ's were startlingly close to the legal definition of idiocy." (Munson P. p. 1)

    "SPECT scans have demonstrated decreased cerebral blood flow, PET scans have shown decreased brain metabolism; MRI scans have shown the presence of small white matter lesions. These abnormalities have been shown to correlate with clinical status. The abnormalities in M.E./CFS patients most closely resemble those seen in AIDS encephalopathy.

    Neuroendocrine abnormalities have been found in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Hypothalamic dysfunction causes decreased cortisol; thus patients react extremely adversely to stress. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction includes orthostatic intolerance, neurally-mediated hypotension and postural tachycardia syndrome. Many patients have low blood volume.

    The immune system abnormalities mimic the immune pattern seen in viral infections. Specific findings include increased numbers of activated cytotoxic T cells, low natural killer cell function, and elevated immune complexes. A large University of Miami study found that the array of immunological defects suggest that M.E./CFS is a form of acquired immunodefficiency.

    A more specific immune system abnormality has been discovered in M.E./CFS of increased activity and dysfunction of the 2-5A RNase-L antiviral pathway in lymphocytes. The dysregulation of the RNase-L pathway supports the hypothesis that viral infection may play a role in the pathogenesis of the illness. Patients with CFS/M.E. were very different from patients with major depression, Fibromyalgia or healthy controls.

    Sub-optimal cardiac function and abnormal cardiovascular responses have also been demonstrated. One study found found left-ventricular dysfunction following exertion and orthostatic stress in patients with M.E./CFS and that the heart failed to pump enough blood following exertion and upright posture. Dr. A. Martin Lerner discovered persistent viral infection in the heart, causing left-ventricular dysfunction, resulting in exercise intolerance. (Exercise, in turn, worsens the cardiac dysfunction.) The disease in the early stages is consistent with a dilated cardiomyopathy that in later stages might result in progressive, end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure.

    Abnormal laboratory values do occur among M.E./CFS patients. These may include: Immune complexes, Immunoglobulin G, low level Antinuclear antibody titer, Alkaline phosphatase, Cholesterol, Lactate dehydrogenase, Atypical lymphocyte count. These tests may support a diagnosis of M.E./CFS although they lack sufficient sensitivity to be considered diagnostic tests, but can be used as objective markers of illness to support disability claims.

    More recently, the University of Hawaii discovered the occurrence of an endogenous lipid, similar in structure to ciguatoxin, in M.E./CFS. The chronic phase lipids (CLP) may be comparable to "acute phase proteins" such as C-reactive protein, which increase in diseases such as inflammation and trauma. The test for CPL may be used to confirm the diagnosis. The testing procedure is on the NCF website at "(McLaughlin)

    David Bell, MD takes issue with reports of 'normal' physical examinations as well stating that "Virtually all (CFS) patents will have abnormalities on physical exam."" (p. 57)

    How common is ME/CFS and who gets it?

    ME/CFS is very common. It's more common then MS, lung cancer or breast cancer, or HIV (in women) with an extremely conservative estimate of 2 million sufferers in the US (Bell p.231) 250 000 in the UK and around 36 000 in Australia. Children and teenagers are not immune either, children as young as five have been diagnosed with ME/CFS. One hundred thousand kids are estimated to have CFIDS. (Munson, M. p. 198)

    All ages are affected but most commonly sufferers are under 45 at onset. Women are affected around three times as often as men, a ratio common in autoimmune disorders. ME/CFS affects all races and socio-economic groups indiscriminately and has been diagnosed all over the world. (Victorian CFS/ME society)

    ME/CFS can occur in outbreaks as well as sporadically

    "In 1959 a comprehensive review paper was published by Dr. Donald Henderson (a CDC epidemiologist) and Dr. Alexis Shelakov (an NIH epidemiologist) in the New England Journal of Medicine describing several outbreaks. Dr. Henderson noted: "The pattern of the epidemic, the absence of any common exposure factors and the high incidence among medical and hospital personnel were consistent only with an infectious disease transmitted from person to person." (McLaughlin)

    "There is a history of recorded outbreaks going back to 1934, when an epidemic of what seemed at first to be poliomyelitis was reported in Los Angeles. This was the first of no less than 52 recorded outbreaks from various parts of the world, up to the present time." ( Macintyre p. 11)

    "Many outbreaks occurred right after polio epidemics pointing to a relationship between the two illnesses. An idea supported by the fact that post-polio syndrome and ME/CFS symptoms are strikingly similar. The CDC has recently placed CFIDS on its "Priority One; New and Emerging" list of infectious diseases, a list that also includes Lyme disease, hepatitis C, and malaria. . . While the historical questions of how, when, and where CFIDS originated may be debatable, the question of its current status is not." (Verillo & Gellman p. 19)

    Despite all this, people with ME/CFS (and asymptomatic carriers of ME/CFS) are not always exempt from donating blood or organs, and these donated products are then not screened for ME/CFS in any way. Reports of people developing ME/CFS after blood transfusions are not uncommon, but still our Governments choose not to protect our blood supply from the illness or to conduct any sort of research into transmissibility. It's astounding negligence at best. (Johnson)

    ME/CFS is NOT difficult to diagnose

    It is completely untrue to say that with ME/CFS ‘tests will always come back normal.’ This is only the case, as with any illness, if you do completely THE WRONG TESTS! Although so far there is no single test that can diagnose ME/CFS there are a series of tests which can confirm a suspected ME/CFS diagnosis. Abnormalities are also visible on physical exam. If a doctor is familiar with the illness, it is not at all a difficult illness to diagnose as there is nothing else even remotely like it.
    "Contrary to popular belief, CFIDS is a distinct, recognizable entity that can be diagnosed relatively early in the course of he disease, providing the physician has some experience with the illness." (Verillo & Gellman p. 21)

    In other words, ME/CFS is NOT a diagnosis of exclusion but a distinct illness in its own right that can be easily recognized if a doctor is familiar with it.

    Similar Medical Conditions

    "M.E./CFS is similar to other illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Lyme disease, Mononucleosis, Gulf War Syndrome. CFS may overlap or co-exist with Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    "However, these may co-exist with other conditions as well and are viewed as separate entities which stand on their own, regardless of whether a person has other medical problems. Even though there are similarities or overlap does not mean that they represent the same etiological or pathobiological process" (McLaughlin)

    Can ME/CFS be fatal?

    Yes. Most deaths from ME/CFS, are due to organ failure. Death can also occur as a result of secondary infections in a similar way to AIDS, or be due to severe cardiac irregularities or problems with maintaining breathing.

    Recovery in ME/CFS

    It is completely untrue to say (as so many do) that everyone will recover from ME/CFS eventually: in fact the rate of complete recovery is very low, many doctors say it’s non-existent. ME/CFS is a lifelong problem. Some people certainly people do improve somewhat over time to different degrees – many may still remain quite disabled however and there is often also a relapsing/remitting pattern of illness. Others become steadily worse over time and extremely disabled, and in some cases the illness becomes so severe that it causes death.

    "When asked on CNN how many of his CFIDS patients had fully recovered in fifteen years, Dr Peterson equivocally and chillingly stated, "None."" (Munson, P. p. 5)

    (*If you're newly diagnosed with ME/CFS however, never lose hope that you will be one of the lucky ones that never has the severe version of the illness and that you will experience some level of recovery. It does happen, just not to everyone unfortunately, but as long as there's a chance, and there is, there should be hope.)

    Severity of ME/CFS

    Although some people do have mild or moderate versions of the illness symptoms are extremely severe for many of the people who have ME/CFS.

    Among many other symptoms, people with severe ME/CFS can experience: grand mal seizures, severe cardiac dysfunction, paralysis, loss of ability to chew or swallow food or water, problems maintaining breathing, an inability to speak or understand speech, an inability to read text, nystagmus - a rapid involuntary oscillation of the eyeballs (eyes rolling back in your head), extreme pain requiring narcotic painkillers, inability to sit up or stand at all - even for a few minutes a day (people can become completely bedbound), involuntary muscle tremors and patients can also be in a comatose state (where the brain/body cannot maintain consciousness) for 23/24 hours a day.

    Many of the severely ill are housebound and completely bed-bound; unable even to manage a visit to see a doctor. Dr. Paul Cheney stated before a FDA Scientific Advisory Committee: "The worst cases have both an MS-like and an AIDS-like clinical appearance. The most difficult thing to treat is the severe pain. Most have abnormal neurological examination. 80% of cases are unable to work or attend school. We admit regularly to hospital with an inability to care for self." (McLaughlin)

    In a recent study it was shown that: "CFIDS patients [experience] greater "functional severity" than the studied patients with heart disease, virtually all types of cancer, and all other chronic illnesses. An unrelated study compared the quality of life of people with various illnesses, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or hemodialysis, as well as those with HIV, liver transplants, coronary artery disease, and other ailments, and again found that CFIDS patients scored the lowest. "In other words", said Dr Leonard Jason in a radio interview, "this disease, this syndrome, is actually more debilitating than just about any other medical problem in the world." (Munson).

    Studies have shown that ME/CFS can cause more dysfunction than Multiple Sclerosis, more impairment than in end stage renal and heart disease. Only in terminally ill cancer and stroke patients was the sickness impact profile higher than in ME/CFS. An infectious disease specialist and head of the AIDS and CFS Clinic at Oregon Health Sciences University, testified that a CFS patient, "feels effectively the same every day as an AIDS patient feels two months before death."
    But in ME/CFS, this extremely high level of illness is not short-term (it does not always lead to death) it can instead continue uninterrupted for decades.

    Truly ME/CFS can be one of the most severe and horrific illness there is, yet many with ME/CFS are subject to repeated medical abuse and neglect and are also forced to deal with extremely severe illness without the support of friends, family or the wider community or governmant services (and indeed often they suffer abuse at the hands of these as well) and all because of the many mistruths being spread the illness.

    This just has to stop. Such severely ill people deserve better treatment than this. Dogs deserve better treatment than this. This sort of treatment is inhuman and has already gone on far too long.

    Please help to spread the truth about ME/CFS.

    Written/compiled by Jodi Bassett, 2004

    Bell, David S MD 1995, The Doctor's Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Perseus Books, Massachusetts

  17. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ...well, that clears up the problem of definition then! :oops:

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