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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

I've Got Some Really Bad News

I may already be too disabled to work.
However, I as well have some truly wonderful news
that I explain at the end of this essay.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,
mdcrawford@gmail.com

Friday, November 30, 2018

If really am so disabled, I'm quite confident I can come up with someone to sublet my desk until my lease expires on June 30th. (I have a $275 per month Permanent Desk.)

Commencing in May of 2010, I've been experiencing quite severe Neurological symptoms with increasing severity as well as with increasing frequency. I was in the Emergency Room Saturday night then again Tuesday night.

My Broca's Aphasia leads to my being unable to speak intelligibly. Every single time I've gone to the ER - usually aboard an ambulance - I always got a Cranial CT Scan - one time an MRI - as well as a physical Stroke Examinations in which I was asked to raise both my eyebrows, to shrug both my shoulders, smile broadly as well as squeeze both of my examiner's hands with each of my own.

Broca's Aphasia leads one to write as well as to speak with nonsensically substituted words; in my particular case, those substituted words always have the correct spelling, case and grammar form - always the right noun, verb or what have you. For example:

The quick red snail jumped over the lazy underwater dog.

There are plenty of times that I am completely unable to make sense to anyone.

Every last time, my stroke exam response as well as my brain scans were always completely normal. This whole time, no one has had the first clue as to what causes it, how to treat it nor how to prevent it. The Depakote (sodium divalproate) that I once took for Bipolar Mania should have effectively prevented Brain Seizures as well as Dissociative Fugues but did not. The Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) that replaced my Depakote sinces the Summer of 2014 should have effectively prevented my Mania and my Dissociative Fugues but did not, though it is completely effective for my Seizures.

(A few years after Lithium's FDA 1970 approval to prevent and treat Mania it was discovered that the Tegretol used for Epilepsy and other Seizure Disorders was effective for Mania as well. That led to subsequent and rapid discoveries that most but not all Seizure medications work for Mania to.)

From Wikipedia:

When I was nine and ten I frequently experienced Dissociative Trances in which I had my mother convinced I was stone-deaf whenever she'd walk right up to me then shout directly at my face: "No Mom, I'm not deaf. I just wasn't listening." Those Trances later returned when I thirty-four but persisted for only a few months:

Overview: Dissociative Trance Disorder http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095722242

I chuckled just now when I learned while searching Google for "dissociative trance" that such trances were once regarded as Spirit Possession!

As for that truly wonderful news:

Noted Neurologist Oliver Sacks emphasized in "Musicophilia", that in all non-fatal brain disorders that one's musical thoughts and feelings are always the very last to go, so much so that the very worst Amnesiac in all of human history - he came close to death due to a brain infection - remains able to compose for an play the piano.

I am quite certain that I qualify for Washington's Job Retraining Benefits - I live in Vancouver - possibly Oregon's as well because I work here, then before NedSpace, in Beaverton. I plan to apply that money to voice and piano lessons, then a year from now, guitar as well.

I told Chelsea but did not yet tell Mark that I sing on the sing for tips, not for the money but because I aim to be the lead singer in a rock band. I still perform on the street because some significant problems with my voice remain, such as choking then feeling forced to cough when I attempt to hit especially high notes. But I know very well that I can quickly fix that by singing vocal exercises every day.

Mick Jagger is well into his eighties but even he still sings scales! "Do, Re, Mi...".

I've had enough professional voice lessons that I know what to sing for my daily exercises. I also own a professional electric keyboard, an M-Audio ProKeys 88sx Lightweight Stage Piano that I purchased so as to be easily carried to Open Mics.

Still in storage in Canada are my Grandfather's Upright Piano as well as a Fatar "Controller". My Studio Logic 1100 Master Keyboard By Fatar doesn't make any sound on its own so I use an eMu Proformance 1+ Piano Sound Module. I happily blew fifteen hundred clams on my Fatar because its hammer-action keys feel just like playing a real Piano.

I once grew so furiously angry with a Nay-Sayer that I grew furiously angry, shouted "I'M GOING TO PLAY CARNEGIE HALL!" then stormed out. Upon mentioning that on a site I was once a member of, someone replied that he had actually done so, "Not as a soloist but as part of an ensemble. Carnegie Hall can be rented."

I am confident that some happy future day I'll be able to sell enough tickets so as to pay for the hall's rental. I actively plan not to sign with a record label: consider that Lynard Skynnyrd's band members were completely illiterate, and that they are quite clear that their name is pronounced "Leonard Skinner", Mr. Skinner being the Principal who expelled them all from high school.

Principal Skinner's former students went on to sign with their label at a highway rest stop after being completely unable to read their own recording contract, as well as not having brought anyone there to read that contract to them.

It was only just now that I was overjoyed to find that as I searched for the correct spelling of the band's name that I clued in to "Principal Skinner" being the name for the School Principal on The Simpsons.

Good Times.

It happens that there is quite a rewarding way to make a comfortable living as a musician. I long ago concluded that I'm never going to make it as a Rock Star, but a while back I learned that typical Session Musicians earn $100k/year. More commonly known as "Studio Musicians" as well as "Backup Artists", Session Musicians while not being part of te bands, often record and perform with them so as to add greater depth and orchestration to such bands' work.

Lyrically,

Mike

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