I never thought I’d be that person who forgets to eat or gets sick without realizing it. Or both.
Thankfully my classes have been light, because I’ve been spending the past week in the practice room. From Monday to today I clocked 20.5 hours in rehearsals and performances. That doesn’t count practice time, which was an average of 2 hours a day. Grand total is roughly 32.5 hours behind a piano over the past 6 days.
I felt a little achy on Thursday, but figured it was due to all the time on the piano bench. I wasn’t very hungry or thirsty on Friday, but I attributed it to the heat.
Last night I accompanied a string bassist for a DMA recital. The pieces were long with a total of five cadenzas. A little endurance needed, but I’ve played for longer and harder. However.
I didn’t expect a wave of lightheadedness to come over me every single time I stopped playing at each of those cadenzas. It was like my body was saying, “well, now that you don’t need this reserve energy I’m feeding you to play the piano, I’m going to take it all away.” It was the first time ever that I felt like I may faint during a recital. The air conditioning in the hall was broken and the thermostat read 84. I had barely eaten or drank anything all day. But I didn’t realize it because I was so focused on work. I should also mention that I tend to have low blood pressure.
I made it through the recital, went home, and ate a huge bowl of mashed potatoes thinking that I just needed some carbs to give me some energy. I also drank a gallon of water. I still felt a little woozy in the morning and decided that I was dehydrated, a condition brought on by the heat and negatively enhanced because of it.
I played for two dress rehearsals this morning in the same hall with the same heat. I still had to grab the sides of the bench when I wasn’t playing. This worried me because I had another recital to play in a few hours from then. After a break at home, I ran and got some salty food for my low blood pressure – Arby’s and goldfish, plus a gatorade for the electrolytes. I wanted to make sure my body was chock full. As I was practicing, yet again, this afternoon, I tried to think through all of my symptoms over the past few days to try to figure out what was wrong with me. Then, in the middle of stuffing my face with a handful of goldfish, I figured it out.
I have the flu. Oh.
So this was the weekend that I successfully survived two recitals in no air conditioning while having the flu. I am now going to sleep for a very very very long time.
Note to self: don’t ever commit to accompanying four recitals in the span of eight days.