It has been a long few months, lots of setbacks, challenges and difficulty with motivation.
Started off last summer with a lot of drive to really improve my woodworking skills and increase my productivity. I dove into a Roubo project, and was progressing really well with it. I had hoped to get that done, and possibly a smaller bench for my basement, so that I wouldn’t have too much time off during the cold months of the winter (No heat in the shop).
Unfortunately part way through the summer, I started to experience a lot of back pain, which progressed and progressed until I found myself totally unable to head out to the shop. A trip to the MRI machine revealed that I managed to get 4 severely bulging discs in my lower back, all of which are also severely herniated and fully displacing the spinal nerve roots. Painful? you betcha.
Anyways, long story short, I’ve not been allowed to do any lifting, carrying or physical work, and I’ve had a really low tolerance for sitting, standing or pretty much doing anything. This has pretty much kept me out of the shop since August, and unfortunately stalled my progress with my Roubo, and shelved a number of other projects with it.
Now, after months of rest and therapy, i’m finally starting to get some relief from the pain, and with that, some desire to dust off the tools and try to get back to my hobby. Unfortunately, there are still some hurdles to clear. While I’m not in quite as much pain as I was in, it is still there, and i’m still fearful about getting too physical and hurting myself. Secondly, it’s still cold in the shop (averaging around 10 deg F), and finally, I don’t know where to start. I’m not sure i’m ready to just get back into the Roubo, I’m thinking of doing a smaller project to get my head in the game to sharpen up the skills after months of rust.
My questions for my fellow lumberjocks:
How do you deal with woodworking with major back pain? Any tips/hints to avoid hurting myself while still bing productive?
Also, what do you do to get back into the swing of things after a long time away from the shop?
Look forward to your suggetions, thanks!
-- Will, Ontario Canada. "I can do fast, cheap and good, but you can only pick two... "