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I may be done

by richgreer
posted 01-30-2015 12:50 AM

38 replies so far

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1186 posts in 4529 days

#1 posted 01-30-2015 12:52 AM

Never give up, you never know what tomorrow might bring. Take care.

-- “When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” ― Thomas Sowell

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27 posts in 2281 days

#2 posted 01-30-2015 12:52 AM

Prayers for you! Don’t give up yet!

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807 posts in 3449 days

#3 posted 01-30-2015 12:55 AM

Our thoughts and Prayers are with you!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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807 posts in 3449 days

#4 posted 01-30-2015 12:55 AM

Our thoughts and Prayers are with you!!

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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656 posts in 2775 days

#5 posted 01-30-2015 12:55 AM

I’m sorry to hear that Rich. Is there any possibility of working wood differently than you’ve done in the past?

You’re in my prayers.

-- Billy

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32 posts in 2272 days

#6 posted 01-30-2015 01:00 AM

Rich, I am a Physical Therapist Asst that works with people who have had strokes all the time. DO NOT GIVE UP!!!! I have seen patients make amazing progress/comebacks. The most important thing is YOUR mental attitude. All of my patients “want” to make progress…. but the most successful patients are those who are DETERMINED to progress.

Wishing you all the best success…


-- Live to dive.... dive to LIVE!

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14940 posts in 3740 days

#7 posted 01-30-2015 01:30 AM

Rich, Very sad news indeed. Most neurologists say that you won’t know what you’ve got for 24 months post stroke at a minimum. Keep up the rehab and don’t sell your tools yet!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Tim Dahn

1625 posts in 4615 days

#8 posted 01-30-2015 01:38 AM

Aw Rich, dang it! Hang in there and keep up the rehab, +1 to what Andy said.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2818 days

#9 posted 01-30-2015 01:40 AM

Sorry to hear it Rich. As everyone has noted, give it some time and take baby steps going forward.


View jmartel's profile


9168 posts in 3200 days

#10 posted 01-30-2015 01:44 AM

My condolences. My grandfather had a stroke a few years back that left his entire left side paralyzed and unable to speak.

Perhaps you could do wood carving? With a bench that has a lot of clamping abilities, it might be something that you could pursue.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3725 days

#11 posted 01-30-2015 01:51 AM

Sorry to hear of your setback.
Please, don’t go throwin’ in the towel just yet….

Seems Richard & Andy may just know what they’re talking about!!!

Positive attitude, determination & hard work….
have gotten many a people where they want to be….Good luck!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Kazooman's profile


1540 posts in 3003 days

#12 posted 01-30-2015 01:55 AM

Hi Rich,

Don’t give up. My wife and I are currently on vacation in New Zealand. We took a day-long guided city/cultural/winery tour in Nelson on the South Island. During one stop I was admiring some local woodworker’s display and the tour guide asked me about my interest in woodworking. He said he had a good friend who was a woodworker and he suggested stopping by to see him.

This fellow was in the middle of a move from a very large shop to a downsized setting. The reason for the move was that he had been involved in a major automobile accident a year ago that cost him his wife, daughter, the use of his right arm, and some other residual impairment. He is still actively working in his shop, using some special jigs and techniques he has developed. He showed us many very nice pens he had recently turned form local wood species. He has an apprentice who works a few hours each afternoon in the shop and he is passing on his craft to that individual.

A very nice visit and an inspirational story. Give your own situation some time before you decide to totally give up your woodworking. You may need to cut back on the scale of projects you work on and may occasionally need some help to accomplish a specific task, but there has to be some aspect of woodworking that you can continue to enjoy.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4354 days

#13 posted 01-30-2015 02:06 AM

let this brew in your mind for some time, if i could i would help you go into this slowly, if you can after a period of time and you dont feel good about it, then take a week pretending what its like to be without it…just be sure….when my time comes, i will ask my sons what they would like, maybedo a closed bid….or i might sell it all and spend the money on my grandchildren,my, when one door closes another door opens, and you can scale down and move on…if you want any help, just ask,,,,i know how this is making you feel i really do.ive had this diccussion with my self, and if my sons want itthis coming christmas will be a good time to go out to the shop, get the wood stove going and hash it to me the kee of it all is im done with it, and i want my boys to be happy with what they get from dad…and the same time i can see if i can help them get more proficient with it…the gola is to be happy, every one.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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63 posts in 3079 days

#14 posted 01-30-2015 02:47 AM

Hey Rich. SO good to hear from you as I’ve been worried as to whats going on. I told you once that i always just wanted read what you had to say because its always interesting. I hope you recover well not just to work wood, but to be better. Do what makes you feel good. Drive tractors and hug grandkids! Remember that if it weren’t for the bad days, you wouldn’t know when you’re having a good day. PLEASE let us know whats going on with you and woodworking or not, stay on this website please.


-- I'm him

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21387 posts in 2907 days

#15 posted 01-30-2015 02:54 AM

Bummer. I would say there is hope. Don’t sell me your tools yet. Perhaps you will find a niche that you can do safely. My wife’s uncle suffered a severe stroke years ago. He has lost use of his right arm, but he still does neat carvings with his left.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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125 posts in 2403 days

#16 posted 01-30-2015 03:28 AM

If you still find enjoyment in the shop, don’t stop. My guess is you’ll find a way to enjoy some time out there.

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20610 posts in 4726 days

#17 posted 01-30-2015 03:47 AM

Sorry to hear that Rich. Keep on keeping on. We can over come serious set backs.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3887 days

#18 posted 01-30-2015 04:49 AM

Rich – I haven’t been on this site for over a year but occasionally, I get emails about friend’s postings.

I’m sorry to read your post – but as everyone has previously stated, don’t give up hope. Have faith in the prayers we are all sending your way. You have given a lot to your church (I remember the pews +) so I know you have faith, hope and charity. God has already blessed you…

Yes… do work on physical therapy and don’t sell your tools. Even if you have to face the ugly reality of not ever being able to work the way you have in the past, your tools may still be of some value to you and your skills. Last week, I had 6 cub scouts in my shop. They were building marshmallow shooters. They are not allowed to use power tools, but I had fun answering their questions about my tools and explaining the usages. Sometimes I get Boy Scouts earning their “Woodworking Merit Badge” and I often get local towns folks wanting to build something so I mentor them. I am presently mentoring the son of the minister for a local church… he’s building a sewing cabinet for his new bride.

You may have to deal with the loss of your mobility but you haven’t lost your knowledge. Use this very valuable asset and teach others our passion. Yes, there are legal issues involved to protect you from accidents, but these issues are surmountable. Check with your insurance co and lawyer. And of course there is always the internet. Get active with this site and there are others. Lots of new woodworkers looking for advise on lots of topics. I know your woodworking knowledge is valuable to lots of people…

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View thiel's profile


410 posts in 4342 days

#19 posted 01-30-2015 05:34 AM

Having suffered some minor injuries to my dominant hand this year, I feel for you—and I’m going to stop complaining about my own minor problems.

That last comment makes a great point: why not take on a student or protege? I bet you’d get a ton of enjoyment out of someone else being (most of) the hands with you being the big brain in the shop.

-- --Thiel

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704 posts in 4121 days

#20 posted 01-30-2015 06:31 AM

Rich, sorry to hear of your misfortune…and talk about hitting close to home; I’m less than 2 hours from you and I’m half tempted to take you up on thiel’s offer to work as your apprentice.

As the others have already said, don’t even think about giving up! Whether or not you regain full use of your right arm, anyone can become a lefty with a little practice. Maybe you can come up with some great new techniques and jig ideas. (Edit: I just read Kazooman’s post and it sounds like you’ve got some competition in the one-armed woodworking arena.) At worst, you can try carving or some other area of woodworking like Bill suggested.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

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4883 posts in 3563 days

#21 posted 01-30-2015 01:35 PM

Rich, so sorry to hear this sad news and I hope you recover as time goes by and are able to continue your adventures in your shop, prayers out to you. This is a hard reality to us all and to life we never know what awaits us each day we wake, I say to everyone, do and enjoy as much as you can now don’t wait, I was fortunate to be able to retire at the early age of 50, now 55 and I do so take advantage of all the time I’m still allowed in the shop.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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7741 posts in 3057 days

#22 posted 01-30-2015 02:27 PM

I’ve got nothing to add to what the others have already said except that we will add you to our prayer list. Keep the faith and God Bless

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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1588 posts in 4117 days

#23 posted 01-30-2015 02:56 PM

Hey man, thoughts and prayers with you, but keep going to therapy you might be surprised! Keep the faith & the tools.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View moke's profile


1754 posts in 3827 days

#24 posted 01-30-2015 05:40 PM

A good Lutheran is never down….keep your chin up and keep working…If you need some help, PM me and I can help you. Just because you are hampered in the shop, doesn’t mean you can’t stop by here….

-- Mike

View Edwardnorton's profile


203 posts in 2977 days

#25 posted 01-30-2015 07:03 PM


I have not suffered a stroke but I do have a terminal illness that allows me to feel your frustration to it’s highest degree.

I was sent home just over 2 years ago to die by my local hospital. The wife and I were told that there is nothing medical science can do for me to prolong my life much more than a couple of weeks, well I am still here.

I used to love working with my hands and I have almost every wood working machine and tool one can think of in my shop (although not as nice as yours). I do have days when I can mess around with small projects but those days are far and few between let me tell you but I am still alive so I am most thankful for that.

I would suggest if I may, going out in your shop and rather than thinking about what you used to do and cannot do currently, think about how nice your shop is and how well your tools helped you do what you did. Slowly & day by day your enjoyable memories and the quality of your tools will allow you to do a bit more and more. At least this helped me make a come back.

I do not know you but I wish you all the best in your attempt to get back where you were before the stroke or as close as possible. I have seen a miracle in myself and am now waiting to see yours as well. I will keep you in my prayers my unknown friend.

-- EdwardNorton

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5849 posts in 4635 days

#26 posted 01-30-2015 08:03 PM

You will improve slowly then remarkably so.I have quite a few friends who have had bad strokes losing speach and half of their bodies paralized.The specialists said keep the faith.Then slowly but surely they came back and one of them died many years later in his eighties.They were all smokers.Damned cigarettes.Alistair I sincerely wish you well brother.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3537 days

#27 posted 01-30-2015 08:25 PM

OK, I’ll catch hell for this, but here goes…..

Get off your ass and do something.
Whether it is cleaning the shop, playing with a piece of wood that strikes your fancy or whatever.

You most likely won’t die from this little setback. With my problem I will at some point in the next few years.

DO what the docs tell you, they probably know better, but I am sure they will tell you to keep on keepin’ on.

3 times in the last two years I’ve had to close my shop. twice I got it back with no problem, although it isn’t set up right yet.
The third time I was diagnosed with terminal heart failure.
No recourse, no going back, no chance.
I held a pity party for myself for about a year and was bored stiff. I went back in the shop, can’t work much more than an hour a day, (much better than the 10 minutes I was doing), and I have turned out a few projects. Not much, just projects of love, but, projects nonetheless.

We are all pullin’ for ya’, but you have to pull for yourself. We can’t help you with that. We can’t give you motivation. We can’t do anything for you until you are there for yourself.

If you want to talk, PM me, I’m willing to talk early every morning. (I don’t sleep much at night and after take the morning and noon drugs, I am about done for the day).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5269 days

#28 posted 01-30-2015 09:06 PM

Rich, I’m sorry to hear about this. I think Dallas is on the right track, though. Get out there and putter around, and get a feel for what you can still do. I’ll bet if you put your mind to it you can come up with some different ways of doing things. Even if you never get full use of your arm back, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’ll bet there are some pretty good one-armed woodworkers out there. Hang in there!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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138 posts in 3710 days

#29 posted 01-30-2015 09:16 PM

I hope you are wrong. Good luck

-- - Dave ; Austin, TX

View Rob's profile


320 posts in 4037 days

#30 posted 01-30-2015 09:24 PM

Rich, use this as inspiration. It’s from the last Rocky movie. It has given me inspiration on more than one occasion when things in my life threatened to keep me down.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!

View Mas's profile


72 posts in 3313 days

#31 posted 01-30-2015 09:32 PM

I’m sorry to hear of your current situation also. I agree with others that you should give rehab some more time. and just try to tinker around what you can. I hope you can still enjoy your tractor rides, and maybe even the 3 day WHO one.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3343 days

#32 posted 01-30-2015 09:58 PM

Everyone has covered what can and should be said. My only addition would be to share a mantra I’ve lived by since my late teens: “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.” Hang in there, and never give up!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Patch2020's profile


97 posts in 2291 days

#33 posted 01-30-2015 09:58 PM

Don’t give up Rich. Give it time and see what comes back. See what you can do with your left hand and some jigs. Another thing is use your mind. Find a young person with some interest, maybe a grandkid, and have them help you in the shop. You will still be creating and hopefully inspiring a new generation of woodworker.

-- Patch2020, Tennessee

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4125 days

#34 posted 01-30-2015 10:04 PM

Thanks to all for your words on comfort, support and encouragement.

I would have liked to do a personalized response to many of your posts. However, I type with one finger on my left hand and, therefore, I don’t write a lot.

I have not given up! I continue to take therapy and follow doctors orders. I remain hopeful that I will be able to drive (car, truck and tractors) in the spring. I will look for ways to make jigs and other accommodations that enable me to work in the shop.

Thank you again for your kind words.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3854 days

#35 posted 01-30-2015 11:11 PM

Gosh Rich. I’m so sorry to hear about this. Don’t throw in the towel yet my friend. Be as strong as you can. My prayers are with you for a speedy, and healthy recovery. +1 w/John up above as well.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3537 days

#36 posted 01-31-2015 08:03 PM

Rich, I can’t speak to your thoughts, but I do believe that you don’t have to wait until you start rehab or anything else.

This is all up to you.

I was watching a feller on TV the other night, 89 years old, had his first stroke at 86 and couldn’t do much more than walk with a 4 legged cane.
Even during rehab they told him he didn’t have a chance of working on cars again….....

Guess what? He is rebuilding a 1965 Studebaker Lark Daytona from the frame up.

From my experience, waiting for something to happen has been the worst thing I could do.

We are all pullin’ for you. If you want to do wood working again, do it now, don’t wait. No one can tell you what you can do and no one can teach your body to work again. This is all in your ball park.

Go for it!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4513 posts in 4159 days

#37 posted 02-01-2015 04:02 AM

Just keep trying. I retired last October. At the time, I was having trouble with balance and energy. Now that I have time, I can work on those things, and have gotten better on both. Just keep trying, is all I can say, and good luck! I was wondering why I hadn’t seen any recent posts from you (while I don’t post that much, I still look at the projects).

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View RyanB's profile


2 posts in 2261 days

#38 posted 02-01-2015 04:46 AM

Rich, I am local to you (north liberty). If you ever need any help around the shop let me know. I am relatively new to woodworking and would gladly trade some manpower for some of your knowledge.


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