Thursday, January 22, 2009

Creative Again!

Whew! It feels good just to get back in the saddle again, you know? I was out in the workshop last night (for the first time in a month) working on a custom project for an Etsy customer - actually it's another pill box like the pair I'd made back in the summer for a couple of other Etsy customers - and it felt so good to be back in my element, among the feel and smell of the wood, the noise of the tools, and the silence between steps in the process that I use to evaluate the piece in hand and determine the best next step to take... It's all very relaxing, yet exciting at the same time, and always makes me ask why I'd been away for so long when I DO get back out there.

Custom Pill Box by Smile Moon Woodworks
Custom Pill Box

Unfortunately, the answer to why I'd been gone for a month was that in my haste to meet demand for toy wooden swords at Christmastime last year, I may have made a new friend in something lovingly referred to in the medical profession as carpal tunnel syndrome. I can't tell if my work methods were the cause of the symptoms or if they simply exacerbated something else that would've shown up sooner or later anyway, but using a heavy power sander to round off small corners on the swords may have been the culprit. My symptoms at this point are tingling in my thumb and first two fingers, especially when using them to grip something like my razor or toothbrush, or a power tool.

The good doctor suggested I try taking 100mg of Vitamin B6 twice a day because that seems to help about half the cases in the research he's read. I can tell it's a little bit better, but it's still not up to 100%, that's for sure. I'm going to have to look into gel-cushioned work gloves to help take some of the vibrations from the sanders out of the process and see if that helps any. In the meantime, I'm resorting to hand-sanding as appropriate and using my other hand to handle the tools that vibrate. We'll see how that goes.

In any case, it's good to be in the workshop again! I've got some ideas for new products for my Etsy shop that I'd like to work on this weekend. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

other lisa said...

OUCH! Good thing you are dealing with this now, before it gets worse. I can imagine how frustrating it must be though - I mean, if it were stopping you from doing, I dunno, data entry, that would be annoying, but not frustrating. But when it gets between you and your creativity...that's no fun.