I broke my arm in late January, right below the shoulder. You don't ever want a shoulder injury they take forever to recover from. I'm just now starting to play again. The playing is coming back faster than I thought it would. But it made me think what anybody else has been through that has stopped them from playing?
After having been an avid guitarist in my teens and 20s, I put down the guitar for around 15 years in the 80s and 90s. Through neglect, I had just let my old Harmony go to pot and playing it was just no fun. So, I just stopped playing pretty much all together. On top of that I developed "trigger finger" in my left hand that caused my middle finger to lock when I formed certain chords. My younger brother, remembering how much I used to play encouraged me to get a new guitar and that's when I went out and bought my Seagull S-6 ... wow, what a difference. Along with my sweeet new guitar, I got some treatment for the "trigger finger" and I don't think I've missed a day since. I now play 1-2 hours every day!! I came back with a vengence!
Two weeks while on vacation (though a fellow traveler on the cruise let me strum his Ovation travel guitar). Ironically, tonight I bought my own travel guitar (Little Martin LX1) so I will never go two weeks without playing again. Hopefully!!!
6 months..Had a crushed spinal cord and lost the left hand use. Gave my Ovation to my son..thought I would never play again. Then surgery and feeling came back to about 85%. Got my Seagull Mini Jumbo and love it. Now at 68 am considering lessons after banging about for 50 years. Came to get the "Trans Blue" and like it a lot but the neck is not a good fit so I will sell it and maybe get a "slim" Seagull.
Most recently tore a rotator cuff start of December 2011 on my fretting arm, shoulder still not fully recovered but regaining motion as time passes.
For the first couple of months could not use the arm for anything at all.
Alan is right, stay away from shoulder injuries!
I lost the tip of my little finger on my fretting hand and it took 3 years before I could use it again. I also had the opportunity to donate a kidney to my brother a few years ago and as I recall it was a month before I could stand the guitar against my stomach. A they say "absence make the heart grow fonder" and I appreciate the joy of playing every day now.
January 1986 Car fell off jack & onto left hand. At the time, guitar was the only living I had. All fingers & thumb fractured. I had never played much acoustic, I was in a "hair band" I used an acoustic to rehab the hand after almost 8 months of Healing/operations. I took almost 2 full years to regain the same level of playing, But with an acoustic & the down time, I actually learned how to play the guitar. ( Imagine that) Now, at age 52 I am a solo artist & play acoustic almost exclusively & find it far more fulfilling than any rock band I ever played in, so something good came from something very, very bad!
The proverbial "silver lining" ... great story!
About 10 years ago I was renovating our house, and was throwing the old toilet in the dumpster. I didn't notice when removing it that the bottom flange on the basin must have been cracked, and apparently a big piece of it remained stuck on the floor. When I threw it in the dumpster the sharp edge of the porcelain almost cut my fretting arm off. Severed all the muscles running down the wrist, nerves, tendons, everything. Looked like the inside of Luke Skywalker's robot hand at the end of Empire Strikes back. I remember thinking in the ambulance rushing me to Boston (Medflight couldn't fly in the storm that day) that I'll have to sell my guitars and learn how to play drums one-handed like that Dude in Def Leppard!
Surprisingly, after sugeries and rehab, I was playing again within 8 weeks and have recovered full use of the arm (except feeling in my wrist due to the severed nerves). Was a long 2 months, but I managed to finish all my renovations with one hand and a little help from my friends!
Damn those old toilets! At least you got your chops back a lot quicker than I did.