Turning and Stroke

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by James Lee, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. James Lee

    James Lee

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON,Canada
    I am a stroke survivor living in Ottawa ON and have been turning for a few years. I was wondering if there might be some interest in starting a discussion about disabilities related to stroke. Wood turning has been very meaningful to me after stroke. Its helped me with my recovery and helped to provide a new beginning. I am on long term disability and I am interested in developing my turning as an art form. I have some lower right quadrant blindness, but most of my issues are cognitive and relate to memory, fatigue, and multi-tasking. I have been steadily developing my skills as a woodturner and have really enjoyed the support of the Valley Woodturners Association here in Ottawa. However, I get discouraged sometimes when my progress seems so slow. I wonder about the possibility of a simplified learning curriculum or strategy relative to the cognitive disabilities I've mentioned. Woodturning Fundamentals has been great. The importance of shop safety and organization is heightened for those like me -it is easy to lose concentration. It helps to follow routine. I am grateful for the AAW and all those who encourage accessibility in turning. Jim Lee
     
  2. Malcolm Zander

    Malcolm Zander

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Ottawa Canada
    Don't have an answer to this, Jim, but keep bringing work in to the club meetings, which I would be happy to look at one-on one, or else for show-and-tell. This will give you a goal each month to aim for, and something to measure progress by.

    Hang in there,

    Malcolm
     
  3. James Lee

    James Lee

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON,Canada
    Review Woodturning Fundamentals

    Thank you Malcolm. I am thrilled with your offer of support and would definitely appreciate your help at the monthly meetings.

    An idea for this discussion thread might be to look at each publication of Woodturning Fundamentals and pick an item to reflect on regarding any disability concerns. Would there be any interest in a review from this perspective?

    Stroke touches every age group. I would not be surprised if there are many seniors in the AAW who have been affected by stroke or have experienced a TIA (" mini stroke)
    Thanks, Jim
     
  4. Jon Murphy

    Jon Murphy

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Englishtown, NJ
    Jim, I had a mini stroke about eight years ago, but it doesn't affect my cognitive or memory abilities. However, being within a few months of eighty years they are affected by those normal products of aging. The stroke affected the "psychokinetic feedback" on my left side, so I'm not sure how hard I'm gripping things with my left hand (or where it is unless I'm looking at it). I also have a prosthetic right leg, and weakened muscles in the left leg from "post polio syndrome" so tire quickly when standing to the lathe. Our ailments aren't the same, but I think they are parallel so I'll offer my suggestions.

    i wrote a "tip" published in the AAW Journal a couple of years ago, the thrust was that a cut isn't finished until you have followed through. It is like a golf swing, if you quit the swing when you have struck the ball it won't be a good shot. The follow through on a turning cut is removing the tool from the wood - sort of like a pianist raising his hand from the keyboard (forgot that tonight and caught a catch with my skew and had to re-size the piece). The other night I ruined a double cone with a mental drift, I had an extra line drawn on the workpiece that still showed up after erasure and I automatically went at it with a peeling cut, my double ended cone (for a streptohedron) became a single cone for a different one - and I wasted a bit of wood. I also went into my bathroom earlier tonight with a need to empty my bladder, but on the way saw the cover picture of Springett's book on twisted shapes and was thinking of turnings, on arrival at the toilet I did the normal starting things for a male, then turned around as if to sit (as the seat was down). Luckily I realized what I was doing before I had to get a mop. For all, pardon the details - but these are the normal things that happen with aging - it is not a loss of cognition, it is a loss of the ability to concentrate on many things at the same time. My wife worries that she is getting senile dementia or Alzheimer's, I point out that it isn't a loss of ability, it is that the aged brain is full of many years of memories, each of which may be triggered at any time. Concentration is easy for the toddler, he only has a few things to think of as he is learning from scratch.

    OK, I got on a diatribe, but that is why my domain name is Murph Says. My advice is to separate each operation in your turning, including each cut with the skew (no problem with the roughing gouge or other rough shaping). Put a nice high stool by your lathe and stop now and then to sit and view your work and where you are going. Make templates for complex work that has to fit (a compass and a straight edge ruler and some poster board and a sharp knife and a review of your HS Trig and Geometry), no need for that on bowls as they are free form. Double the old carpenter's rule of measure twice, cut once - think twice, mark and measure, then do it again.

    It takes a bit longer to work this way, but it is worth it. Recognize your specific disabilities and separate them rather than trying to treat them all at once. You will be able to make the art forms that you want to make. You are welcome to email me directly (jon@murphsays.com) if you would like to chat, I'm afraid I can't make a meeting in Ontario as I'm in New Jersey, but my father was from NWT, then Assiniboine, then Saskatchewan without moving from Moosomin. On my wall is a print of Philemon Wright piloting the first lumber raft down the Ottawa River in 1806, a print from a painting commissioned for the Bank of Toronto for it's 1929 calendar. I was named Jonathan Wyman Murphy after Jonathan Wyman Wright - Philemon's father. I'm glad that my parents chose not to use Philemon <g>. The Wrights and the Wymans were early settlers in the Massachusetts Colony, around 1640. They were quite prolific and had many descendents. There was a bit of an altercation in Massachusetts in 1776 that was settled by about 1781 - a certain number of those descendents had chosen the wrong side and found it expedient to move north ahead of the tar and feathers. The settlement of Hull, across the river from Ottawa (and the larger town at the time) was settled by them. Wow, got off on a tangent, but that is what happens when you age.

    Best, Jon
     
  5. James Lee

    James Lee

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON,Canada
    Step by step

    Jon,
    Thank you for your reply in this forum. It's a small world isn't it. I actually lived in South River, New Jersey for a few years as a young child. I have many fond memories from those formative years.

    I appreciate your kindness in sharing your health concerns and strategies to adapt. I think your advice to concentrate on one thing at a time is particularly helpful. We should all do this regardless of disability.

    For example, I sometimes find it challenging to read and follow instructions from the American WoodTurner Journal and really appreciate it when the steps in the project are clearly laid out. It helps to mark up an article, colour code, or make notes.

    I recently tried the Wave-Rim Bowl project from last month's journal(Feb 2015). The experience made me think that it's great to read about a project, but we learn so much more by doing it. My Wave Rim Bowl looks good, but I'm sure a lot of improvement will come with practise.

    A big challenge is to have the humility, patience, motivation, and determination to stick with it. In my life I have placed so much emphasis on perfectionism. Now, I want to be more about having heart. It helps to realize that its the process of learning that really matters. Can you think of someone who turns with heart? In our club there are many members who are excellent turners, but more than this, their work and their art is an expression of heart. How truly wonderful!

    Jim Lee
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

Share This Page