Working with various disabilities - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 02-16-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Working with various disabilities

I have a few, nothing really serious, but one in particular is the shaking in my hands and arms. Some days like today I can't trust myself with sharp tools such as chisels and such so I leave them alone and find other things to fiddle around with. Other times I find different ways to work around the shaking. For example, chopping a mortise hole. I use chisels for the job, but one of the first order of business when I have a mortise to chop I first take my time and cut a shallow groove the size of the motise hole which helps keep the chisel from wandering one direction or the other as I shake . I also have quite a bit of pain in my legs hip in particular so I quite often work sitting down in front of the bench. If I have to work standing I just wait for the pain to pass then get back to whatever I'm doing.
I'm just wondering how others deal with their disabilities and if it effects your work.

I figured it's time to change my signature so hold your breath. This is it.
Impressive, huh?
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-16-2017, 09:48 PM
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No major disabilities, but I do have a pretty bad inguinal hernia that gives me a lot of grief, as well as frequent back problems. I too often work sitting down when I can. The hernia just hurts, but not much can be done about it, other than surgery (one day). I would have to say the thing that effects my woodworking more than anything isn't strictly physical. I've struggled with anxiety and depression for pretty much all of my adult life, severe a lot of the time. Some days, even getting out of bed feels like a monumental effort, so going out to the shop to work just doesn't happen on those days.
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-16-2017, 11:02 PM
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Yes I have 5 herniated discs in my back that don't allow me to stand for very long. I have chairs with rollers on them all around my shop. Most of the things I make are pretty easily done sitting down. I have also been having mild to severe migraine headaches for some time now. So far the doctors that I have seen can't figure out what's causing them. They do affect my woodworking. I was given some medication that helped but dropped my blood pressure to low so I had to stop taking it. About the only I can do is sleep them off. We think we have it pretty bad sometimes but we don't have to look very far to see others that have it a lot worse. We just have to thank the Lord that it isn't any worse than it is. I hope your problem gets better. Take care and keep on going as long as you can.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-17-2017, 12:59 AM
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I sort of know your issues. My hands have always been a little shaky but I just take my time on things.

I also have arthritis in my right hip due to a dislocation when I was 19 (28 now) and I have a taller than normal stool I sit on often while sawing and using chisels. I basically only stand when I absolutely have too.

Edit: cant forget about my bad back thanks to my last job. I have no advice on that. I am just stubborn and plow through it.

Measure 6 times, cut 3. Plane it down wrong and go buy a second board.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-17-2017, 07:04 AM
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I could easier list the joints in my body that do not have arthritis than list those that do not.

I am at the point that I do very little work of any kind until I have surgery or some other medical procedure that helps. I was scheduled for back surgery two weeks ago and came down with a sinus infection that put me on medications that prevented the surgery.

Will get that surgery rescheduled and then follow that with knee surgery.

George
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-17-2017, 11:18 AM
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I have rheumatoid arthritis in just about every joint, I still wood work but that is about it, it hurts like hell all the time and I have Afib so I am not SUPPOSED to take any NSAIDS but do, they help a little but the Vicodin they prescribe me does nothing except bind me up so I quit taking it

I used to work 45-55 minutes per hour and rest for 5-15 minutes now if I am ambitious I work 5-15 minutes and think about working for the other 45-55 minutes LOL
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-20-2017, 10:34 AM
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I have seizures and along with that at times I can get really dizzy but thankfully I can feel when these issues are gonna happen before they do. First off I'm very picky about how I feel before I even go to the shop, if I have the slightest bit of doubt I just don't go, it's just not worth taking the chance. I sit down to work as much as possible. I always have a bottle of water with me. My cell phone is always in my pocket and I have a medical alert button. All of my bench mounted tools and work benches are at height to where I don't have to bend over and my body getting overheated can make me have a seizure so my shop is air conditioned (I know, not the best thing for living in Louisiana!!!!) If I start feeling bad while I'm in the shop, I will just stop where I'm at, shut everything down and go back to the house.
So yes, I have health issues also but woodworking is a hobby for me and I'm not on a time schedule and I never put myself on any kind of time schedule.
The advise I can give is to listen to your body ( I can't tell you how many times I didn't and ended up at the hospital getting stitches) and like a lot of others always say, if you ever say to yourself "I don't like this" then STOP and find another way to do it. It may not be the most convenient way and may take a lot longer but in the end it's well worth it!!!!!
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-20-2017, 03:20 PM
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Just about all of the above. I work when I can and plan when not working in the shop. Or I read magazines or WW books for the information.

My wife gives sound advice. 99% sound and 1% advice.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-20-2017, 04:54 PM
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I have been undergoing some form or another of chemotherapy for over three years. The amount of nerve damage done by these treatments limits my abilities considerably. I suffer from extreme neuropathy in my feet and hands. This affects my balance and my ability to feel with my fingers. I also suffer from severe stiffness and pain in my joints as a result of nerve damage. To combat this I use a combination of pain medication and naproxen. I don't like the side affects of the pain medication so limit my use of them as much as possible. Due to some complications caused by an increase in activity from the cancer I have had to temporarily stop the naproxen. This has increased the pain levels and stiffness in my joints so I have stopped working in the shop for now. I have a number of tests and procedures scheduled for this week which precipitated the discontinued use of naproxen. Hopefully after the tests and what not are done I can start taking naproxen again which should alleviate the pain and stiffness enough to get back to work.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-20-2017, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerrys View Post
I have been undergoing some form or another of chemotherapy for over three years. The amount of nerve damage done by these treatments limits my abilities considerably. I suffer from extreme neuropathy in my feet and hands. This affects my balance and my ability to feel with my fingers. I also suffer from severe stiffness and pain in my joints as a result of nerve damage. To combat this I use a combination of pain medication and naproxen. I don't like the side affects of the pain medication so limit my use of them as much as possible. Due to some complications caused by an increase in activity from the cancer I have had to temporarily stop the naproxen. This has increased the pain levels and stiffness in my joints so I have stopped working in the shop for now. I have a number of tests and procedures scheduled for this week which precipitated the discontinued use of naproxen. Hopefully after the tests and what not are done I can start taking naproxen again which should alleviate the pain and stiffness enough to get back to work.

I hope your tests come out good, I have been there with chemo it ain't no party
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