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When I had my carpal tunnel surgery last Friday I had to sign a lot of forms beforehand. On one was written what (maybe, eventually, not sure etc.) could happen during surgery. Among other things:  perpetual damage of the hand nerves. Means one cannot use their hands again as before. Maybe not at all. That made me think! What would I do if I couldn’t work with clay anymore because my hand is damaged? Ha! I don’t know. I really don’t know what I would do (except getting very depressed).

 

What would YOU do if something in your life went really wrong and you couldn’t work with clay anymore? Do you have a plan B?

 

Evelyne

 

PS: writing this text one handed (well, one fingered) took me the greater part of half an hour (big grin).

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Well, I kind of went through this myself. Three years ago I got my right hip replaced. could not stand, so could not teach high school. Could not walk without a cane. Could not sit at my Brent wheel.

I did a bunch of stuff-press molded planters, some slab trays, some collages. The time went, but it was not the same.Got my new hip that November. I was off work for a year and 3 months. Luckily, I was able to collect long-term dissability insurance. Unfortunately, with 3 teenagers at home, the 80% salary did not make ends meet.

One positive benefit of the surgery, is that I am not allowed to vacuum. I never liked it anyway. :D

My coil planters and handbuilt stuff still sit in my studio. People want the hand thrown pots that I am known for. Been back on the wheel these last two years.

TJR.

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Well yes I had a plan b as i went thru this 3 years ago when I had three bones (the 3 closest to wrist) in hand cut out and thrown out) called a PRC.

I wish I had only carpel tunnel at that point but it was far worse . I could not pick up a single piece of paper a month after surgery.I planned a 1/2 off from clay.

I took 6 months to rehab-started with clay about 5 months in-with small baby pots . If and when this wrist fails I will get it fuzed and will decide at thet time wether to step away from clay or just slow down even more. I could work as an electrician or plumber but do not want or need to and you need your wrists to work to do that.. As of now I throw wetter softer clay and work left handed as much as I can. I could retire anytime but love the lifestyle and only plan on a slow slowdown which is already in place.I'm down 9 tons this coming year as I place my annual clay order next week.My issue is babing one hand interferes with most of what I like to do.

Mark

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Tom: I think a hip surgery is much more dangerous than a carpal tunnel, and I am happy for you that everything went well (and that you don't have to vacuum anymore ;) ). About plan B: what would it be you would do if you really couldn't to ceramics anymore? Do you have another education?

 

Mark: cut and thrown out bones? Without replacement or some other alternative? Sounds crass. I would have the same problem as you, needing the wrist for other professions. I used to be a piano teacher, but that would be no plan B anymore with a damaged hand...

 

Still having a more or less functional body, I fear we take too much for granted...

 

Evelyne

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I do think about this sometimes. My mom used to tell a story of a concert pianist who was driving and something flew straight at her face through the windshield. She had a split second before it happened and she very deliberately put her hands in her lap, choosing to protect them instead of her face.

 

I don't have a Plan B. I don't work at a production level, nor do I plan to, so I'm hoping this won't be an issue for me. If I was no longer able to work with my hands I would be devestated. Such a huge part of me would be simply gone. But I would do SOMETHING creative, if I was a paraplegic I would learn to mouth paint.

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Hi, I was also disabled from throwing or any type of hand work with rheumatoid arthritis. I was deviated as I could not bend my fingers or my wrists or any other joint. Luckily I got a good Doctor that eventually put me on an injection that has now put the ra into recession for now, but I also have fibre myalgia so working on the wheel is done for short periods with sometimes a couple of days break.

 

I stopped entering sales. I now put a few pots into a shop on consignment & that's going well.

 

The backup was reading & pining for wheel throwing & exercising as much as possible. Lots of walking with my dog. Maybe back to watercolours painting?

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FYI my hubby had carpal tunnel release on both hands and it was a full fix and does not recur.

 

I have a lot of hand issues - Dupuytren's disease which causes scar tissue to form and curls your fingers so they won't straighten. Also arthritis.  I have had many procedures on my hands and just fiddle around with little stamps and such while recovering. or glaze with a paint brush.  I've had a broken tendon and all sorts of issues.  Its depressing sometimes but I just do what I can and keep at it. Its one reason I don't wheel throw.  

 

I don't really have a plan B - maybe do more painterly things on slabs - but for now I am making all the little goofy stuff I can.   and raku whenever I get the chance!     diane

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AS I told my son years ago, heroes are not always those that win battles, but those that deal with their adversities in a positive manner and come through the journey on the up side. He was studying in culinary school at the time, someone pulled in front of him while he was on his bike going to class. He flipped over the car, landed on his wrist, literally shattering 8 inches of bone. He had to quit school for while, eventually having major wrist surgery to break the healed area, and remove a length of bone along with having the wrist fused. Metal plates and screws held the thing together for a year. As it re healed. He was discharged from the Marine corp due to the injury.  He finished school, and worked as a chef and cook, but in our area where he wanted to be, little in the way of good jobs. He has ended up as a guard at a State prison, but is happy and doing well. It took him quite a while to reach plan B

 

Myself, I cannot imagine losing the ability to work in the clay, or to kayak, or bowl. I have had a few years of late dealing with arthritis in the right hand, and having to have my ball redrilled many times to get the fit right for the changes in the hand. Hopefully this last change will make the bowling work without pain. I told the bowling ball people where I have them drilled that if I could not bowl without having open wounds on my thumb and sore fingers, I would have to give up the bowling. They assured me they could get it fixed, we'll see.

 

best,

Pres

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AS I told my son years ago, heroes are not always those that win battles, but those that deal with their adversities in a positive manner and come through the journey on the up side. He was studying in culinary school at the time, someone pulled in front of him while he was on his bike going to class. He flipped over the car, landed on his wrist, literally shattering 8 inches of bone. He had to quit school for while, eventually having major wrist surgery to break the healed area, and remove a length of bone along with having the wrist fused. Metal plates and screws held the thing together for a year. As it re healed. He was discharged from the Marine corp due to the injury.  He finished school, and worked as a chef and cook, but in our area where he wanted to be, little in the way of good jobs. He has ended up as a guard at a State prison, but is happy and doing well. It took him quite a while to reach plan B

 

Myself, I cannot imagine losing the ability to work in the clay, or to kayak, or bowl. I have had a few years of late dealing with arthritis in the right hand, and having to have my ball redrilled many times to get the fit right for the changes in the hand. Hopefully this last change will make the bowling work without pain. I told the bowling ball people where I have them drilled that if I could not bowl without having open wounds on my thumb and sore fingers, I would have to give up the bowling. They assured me they could get it fixed, we'll see.

 

best,

Pres

Pres;

In Canada, we have 5 pin bowling. No holes in the bowling balls, which are smaller. you could always move up here. :rolleyes:

TJR.

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Tom: I think a hip surgery is much more dangerous than a carpal tunnel, and I am happy for you that everything went well (and that you don't have to vacuum anymore ;) ). About plan B: what would it be you would do if you really couldn't to ceramics anymore? Do you have another education?

 

Mark: cut and thrown out bones? Without replacement or some other alternative? Sounds crass. I would have the same problem as you, needing the wrist for other professions. I used to be a piano teacher, but that would be no plan B anymore with a damaged hand...

 

Still having a more or less functional body, I fear we take too much for granted...

 

Evelyne

I guess teaching would be my plan B. I have always taught art, so would not want to teach English or something else. Maybe I would retire.

TJR.

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(Without replacement or some other alternative? Sounds crass)

I did not really have a choice

http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/hand-wrist/news/print/orthopedics-today/{be400603-e975-4a27-8c6c-2f7fddea9794}/proximal-row-carpectomy-vs-four-corner-fusion-patient-selection-is-the-key

Plan B live life without wrist moving at all.

Mark

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I guess teaching would be my plan B. I have always taught art, so would not want to teach English or something else. Maybe I would retire.

TJR.

 

Yeah, I was once asked by an administrator to go back to school as I was only a few courses from having an English degree. Hmmm I told them that I was teaching because I was teaching Art. They got the point. This was in the days of budget cuts, and staff layoffs, I didn't have to make the decision.

 

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I came up with a plan B about 6 years ago when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  The disease you don't know which part of your body is affected, I had been seeing gourd art at different sales and found it interesting.  Most of them are shaped like pots  and you can stain, paint and carve them, I even bought one at a estate sale that the owner had purchased at a gallery in New York.  They are easy to grow and light weight, I grow them every year dry and store them.  I hope I never get the chance to work with them.   Denice

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Well...I'm kind of facing that right now. My axial psoriatic arthritis has crippled not only my joints, but my pottery production as well. My back is totally hosed, too, having a whole slough of things wrong with it. I try the best I can, but it's slow going. Though I was blessed as a person of many talents, art was what kept my heart beating. I was trained as an opera singer, but that fell short when I experienced the nastiness in the music field first hand.

Alas, I digress.

What I would LOVE to do is go back to school and study geology or possibly astronomy. As a ceramic artist, our planet and its celestial beginnings really intrigue me. Alas, education in the USA is far too expensive and I have a fat sum of loans still to pay off from getting my art degree.

Sometimes, I think I was born in the wrong country... :D

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Life is pretty amazing when we stop and look around……...life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.....

 

Eventually, if i had to go in for Plan B ....."Medium could be changed but creativity will keep flowing "....... ..painting,sketching,gardening, trekking,nonetheless(still stuck up with plan A)….

 

Cannot take more than one step at a time…..

 

 

Vinks!!

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well I summarized that with potentially crapped up hands is to do as much as I can while I can and do other stuff later. it may be femo clay or some tiny stuff. so be it.  i am trained as a silversmith but I can't do that if I can't do clay.   I will keep making goofy stuff where the message is more than the craftsmanship.   keep trying to learn techniques that are easy on my hands - like my new obsession for obvara.   I have a great hand pt and may have her do a seminar for us artists on how to protect our hands.  meanwhile, do what I can and live for the moment.   I can always do crosswords when I am beat to heck and in a wheel chair.    my brothers are still working. my younger one told me I was the smart one to quit my business career and do the art I always wanted.  true enough. I don't regret it for a minute.  My only issue is I do  a lot of little cutesy stuff that is salable but should so some bigger serious stuff even if no one buys it.  I guess plan B is to lie on the beach and read books and write letters to the editor.   rakuku

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Art is such a big part of my life, that if I couldn't focus on clay, I could do so with another medium. Buuuut, if something stopped me from doing Art all together, I'm not sure what I'd do. An inability to do Art, limits my capability as an Art teacher...

 

To make ends meet, I would probably try to be a celebrity on a reality TV program. Since I wouldn't be able to do anything, might as well get a job, where get paid for nothing...

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have been thinking seriously this summer about retiring.  but i did that in 1986 when my company said i was out on permanent disability.  it didn't work, i still limp around making pots when i can.  it is getting to be less fun and more like work since i make things that sell well but i really want to make other kinds of pots.  there is a show next weekend and i only have 2 shelves of work to glaze and fire.  no interest in doing an outdoor sale again this year.  

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If I could not make pottery any more, I would teach pottery making so at least I could still see, smell, and hear it being made.

Maybe I would finally write a book about colored clays or get that video made.

 

A few years ago, after a conversation with another potter, I decided it was time to make the pottery I wanted to make rather than market driven wares. This change revived my creativity and has led down new exciting paths I never would have found if I had kept on doing the same things. So I guess I retired from wholesale and went on Plan B already.

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