I’ve mentioned before that I have been having adventures with back problems. After waiting a year for my insurance company to decree I was worthy of a needed surgery I had said surgery this past March. There were some complications and recovery was not as advertised.
Two months ago I was feeling about 75% back to myself. I was working in the shop a little more each day. Trained professionals told me I could expect a full recovery within a year and that seemed very likely.
Six weeks ago I started noticing my legs would tire more easily than they had a few weeks before. Then I started having some numbness, pain, and cramping.
An MRI revealed another vertebra was jealous that it didn’t get to play with the surgeon during the previous operation so it is now yelling for attention. “Hey, what about me!” says vertebra L-4. “Why couldn’t you cry for attention before the last surgery!” says Doug.
So friends, I will be having another surgery on November 14th.
I did not know an MRI could be taken while I played the dulcimer. Here is the MRI the surgeon will refer to while operating:
Here are some of the tools the surgeon will be using. Or are these my tools?
It would be dishonest of me to deny that I have had moments of frustration during the course of this adventure but in general I remain optimistic.
I have been organizing the shop and getting materials together to make it easy to begin making dulcimers after I recover from surgery. Depending on how things go I could be working on a limited basis within a month though it may take longer. I’ll keep you posted.
I have some beautiful sets of walnut, curly maple, Adirondack spruce, sassafras, and butternut ready to become dulcimers. I’ll be sharpening tools and getting everything ready so I can easily work a few minutes here and there as I am able.
I have not been able to work as much during the past few weeks as I had the weeks before but passion always finds an outlet.
I have been studying construction techniques used by those who make classical guitars, romantic guitars and other instruments. These luthiers often use just a few hand tools and rely on skill more than tooling and jigs. This is the direction I lean towards and I am feeling an inner growth spurt that I imagine will express itself in the instruments I make after recovery.
My study has also included musical explorations, primarily while playing mountain dulcimer. Here again I am finding joy in deeper simplicity. Perhaps I will record and upload some music during recovery as I am able.
I have a loving wife and a community of good friends near and far. I love making instruments and playing music. I live indoors and eat every day.
Life is good.