Ed’s back is in bad shape. It’s such that back surgeons don’t want to touch it. Back when I still worked at the Public Library and had health insurance he finally gotten to the point where he stopped resisting the idea of back surgery to bring relief to the sciatic pain and atrophied right leg. (It was truly alarming to watch the once strong muscles seem to melt away.) An MRI had three different specialists shaking their heads, each tellingd him the MRI and his atrophied leg just don’t match: the messed up nerves from the degenerative bones and slipped discs should have caused the sciatic pain and atrophying in his left leg. Appeared that his nerves were switched around. Too risky.
He picked himself up and pushes on, mind over matter, the best he can. It does work but there comes a time when matter gives way despite the strongest will power. He’s started carrying a cane when he knows there will be lots of walking involved. I’m usally the driver. Sometimes when he’s driving, he literally has to grab his jeans and lift his leg from the gas pedal to the brake. (The seat in his old Toyota pickup makes it easier for him to drive than my Focus both of which are manual transmission.) Occasionally he’ll have a day when his leg collapses several times while he’s working, after the third episode he quits for the day.
So it was while he was at the wood store in Portland looking to see what interesting woods might be available he spotted a Lathe. Not an ordinary lathe but one which can be operated from a wheelchair! We discussed the reasonableness of the investment. A few days later he went back up to Portland and bought it.
That evening after supper he went for his daily neighborhood stroll to see how everyone is doing. It wasn’t long before several followed him home to help him offload the new lathe and take away the old one which was going to the happy young neighbor standing to the right on the trailer below.
But if the day comes when he needs to sit and turn it will accommodate a chair just dandy.
He’s thrilled with it. It’s a heavy duty machine that should be able to withstand full-time usage. He added a choke and our s-i-l will be making a tool rest to Ed’s liking.
Ed is a man who loves working with wood and hopes to be able to all of his life.