About three weeks ago I had extensive pereodontal surgery way back in the lower left molars: gum resection and a bone graft (using some drilled out extra bone from an outgrowth mixed with pig bone). My dentist said I would be able to keep playing, as my embouchure wouldn't impact the area, but I quickly found that the wide frequencies of the tenor caused impossibly severe pain where he drilled the bone out. But I was able to play a limited amount of time on soprano if I was careful to keep my left cheek tucked in, so I practiced a bit and then rehearsed a night each with my rock band and jazz trio. Nontheless, I blew out the rear gum and at my checkup a week later when he removed the stitches, my dentist said I couldn't touch any sax for at least two weeks.

So for about a week and a half I've been in total sax withdraw and it's driving me crazy. I've fooled around on the keyboard a little as a kind of sedative, but it hasn't helped--there's just no replacing the experience of breathing out notes and music. When I start practicing/playing again (end of this week) I'm going to be very, very appreciative of the priviledge. I guess the lesson is, take good care of your mouth, your hands, and everything else you need to play; and love and appreciate every note you blow through your horn, because each one is a gift.