Using Power Tools with Medication - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Default Using Power Tools with Medication

This may seem blindingly obvious but I'll say it anyway.

I'm, 'disabled', for whatever the term means. It's a verbal indicator, not a lifestyle.

When you're in a lot of pain, you're body very obviously tells you, that today wouldn't be a good day for hammering through lots of stock with a 1/2" bit.

It's sometimes a lot harder to appreciate that, when you're using drugs to control pain and other such stuff.

You can feel great, even euphoric. "Wow, today I'll start that new project I've put on hold for weeks".

The next thing you know, you're trying to hold onto several pounds of very fast moving cutting machinery, kicking back towards you.

As I said at the beginning, it's obvious. "Do not drive or operate machinery, whilst taking this medication". It says it on the bottle - take notice. It can save you from scars, losing an eye or losing your life.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 09:35 AM
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I agree with you 100%. That said...if I followed that advice I would never get anything accomplished. I have to take 23 pills in the morning and 14 at night! Some day when I get fed up with it I will stop taking them at all.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Smokey, we're both on the same page. Good luck to you.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 12:24 PM
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I treat pain meds, other than aspirin, just like alcohol and both are banned in the shop.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Couldn't agree more, Gene. There seem to be so many people who treat prescribed meds with care but view across the counter pain killers as having no side effects whatsoever. I remember working with building firms a few years ago, who had strict alcohol = fired rules on site but seemed to pay passing attention to illegal drugs and none whatsoever to prescribed and shop counter medication.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JanP View Post

When you're in a lot of pain, you're body very obviously tells you, that today wouldn't be a good day for hammering through lots of stock with a 1/2" bit.
Great thought-provoking post. I can shape the curves on an electric guitar neck from beech (hardwood) in about an hour or so with a spokeshave, during which time the spokeshave gets quite warm from the work, and yes- it is sharp, for the funny guys. But the day after...oh, my elbow hurts!! So your body does tell you when it's time to stop. As we get older, we put in our 10,000 hours and we get more skilful, but the moving parts wear out faster. Eight years ago I didn't have glasses, now I can do nothing without them and my prescription gets a little stronger every time I get it checked. Even with prescription glasses I can't read very fine stuff like my traditional vernier calipers or micrometers.
Still - I get a kick when my super-healthy super-fit army officer son asks for help doing things!

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 08:24 PM
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Ian I can appreciate that some may not be able to do anything at all without medication. I have days when I can't either. If this is the case it means that you need to plan your jobs that much more than others do and really carefully assess the risk level in your plans. Especially develop good habits like having good task lighting, having push sticks for saws handy, never having a saw blade higher than necessary. For handheld routing maybe a little smaller router would be in order. There are lots of strategies for doing work more safely.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 12:02 AM
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Disability is a state of mind. Many members face limitations on what they can do and that is why I suggested this section of the forums. If you can't stand at your router table them lower it to a height where you can sit at it. If you have difficulty lifting your router out of the table to change bits then use an aftermarket lift so you do not need to. When medications are involved common sense must come into play... most people know their limitations.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 01:52 AM
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"Pain let's me know I'm alive." I only tell myself this because I live with it every day. No choice about that. I have an open prescription for pain pills for the rest of my life... that I modestly try to avoid whenever I can. I want to do things. I want to live my life as I want. I don't feel in control or "right" on pain meds.

Pain management. I ignore the pain or distract myself with something else. Woodworking is one of those passionate distractions for me. When I can't distract or ignore the pain, it is at a level where I can't really work or concentrate effectively anyways, so then I have to take care of myself. I'm talking about 9.5-10 on a scale of 1-10. I also know if I do focus on the pain, that is the wrong direction for me, because then I just feel "the pain" and everything else goes out of focus.

If I choose to take my pain med's, I don't feel safe around machinery or things that require my full faculties. I really don't need any new disabilities.

Just my thoughts...

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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Every disability is different, every individual dealing with a disability deals with it differently. As I said in my original post, I simply use the word, 'disabled', as a commonly understood communication marker, not an expression of my own, or anyone else's, mindset or lifestyle.

I, like so many others, including many I am sure on these forums, have seen and dealt with the consequences of people making unwise choices about what they were or were not capable of doing, when under the influence of, amongst other things, prescribed medication.

Being now disabled myself and, like others above, facing taking a large amount medication every day, I thought that from a perspective of having been on both sides of this fence, and not seeing the topic covered elsewhere, I would simply post a quiet reminder of an easily too often occurrence.

I am not for one minute suggesting changing ones lifestyle, nor am I unaware of the aids and techniques available for making ones life easier, when, in this case, woodworking. I use them myself.

The vast majority of people are indeed sensible of the effects of medication, for the vast majority of the time. But we are still all just human.
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