During the many years I've been active in this newsgroup, we've touched on
just about every subject even remotely related to woodworking. There is one
subject, though, I don't recall ever seeing mentioned, and it's becoming
more relevant to me, with each passing day - arthritis.
About a year ago, I started feeling pain in my hands. That pain became
steadily more acute until, one day, it was so bad, I had to take time off
work and go see my doctor. Yesterday, I received the formal diagnosis that
I've got osteoarthritis. It's funny - yesterday, I couldn't spell the word;
today, I'm one of the one in ten who contends with this most common form of
arthritis every day.
It doesn't seem to be the end of the world. There are good days and bad. On
the good days, I have no pain, and no problems working in my shop. On the
bad days, working in the shop is out of the question. Fortunately, the good
days far outnumber the bad days. My doctor gave me some good advice on how
to manage this disease (I'm still not comfortable with the thought of
actually having a disease), and you can be damned sure I'm going to do all I
can to minimize its impact on my life.
That's why I'm telling all of you about this...
If the statistics are right, there are, perhaps, hundreds of people reading
this newsgroup, dealing with exactly the same problems I am. I'm surprised I
haven't seen it come up before. I'm not one to moan and feel sorry for
himself, and I, certainly, wouldn't say I shy away from pain. I was raised
playing football and hockey at high levels. I played in pain - often!
Frankly, I liked it : ) I'm hoping some of you can share insights into how
to be a woodworker, contending with arthritis. What do you do to stay active
in the shop? I want to continue being a woodworker - I just need to figure