Brazer

I had a major stroke

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Hi everyone.   I had a major stroke a day after my 71 birthday. I just got out of the hospital today. I have lost the use of my left hand use and left leg.

I don't know how I can do any more forging with one hand, standing on only one leg. Big decision of what to do with all my stuff, like anvil, hammers, post vise and 2 gas forges.      Any ideas, please be civil in any replies.

I had a major stroke eveyone

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Hi Brazer,

I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. It may be worth keeping hold of your stuff for now with physiotherapy you may be able to regain some of your mobility. My Grandad had 3 strokes and 2 heart attacks and always got told he wouldn't get back to normal but managed it everytime doctors really don't know everything.

And it may be possible for you to forge I have seen on YouTube a young boy who only has the use of one arm and he is forging it will be awkward but it is still possible.

I hope things improve for you.

Best wishes,

Zeroclick 

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Sorry about your bad luck mate, hang onto your gear, grab a chair, use a hold down and forge one handed. Might have to get help to rearrange your forge/anvil set-up but it is do-able.

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You are in my prayers Brazer. I can't imagine how horrible that could be. Hang on to your stuff if you have the determination to try to forge again. 

I met a guy at a blacksmithing meet that had explained that he had had a stroke years ago and he was up around that age. His hand shake grip before he had told me was impressive. He explained that his determination led him to try every day to get his hand and arm cooridination back by constantly working at hammering nails into boards. He said he was all over the place at first but kept at it and now is able to forge again. 

Im not the best story teller but that was the gist of what he told me with other therapy of course as well. 

I don't know the extent of the loss of your mobility but I would say to not give up and have determination. 

I pray for your strength health and recovery. 

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Brazer,

I, too, believe you should keep your equipment.  I hope you take the advice already given and keep working at it.  The community here on IFI will gladly go along with you and help with support, encouragement and ideas for getting you back onto the saddle.

Lou

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Brazer, the advice above is very good. The only thing I would add is not to make any irreversible decisions before you have to. 

Keep us posted as things develop. 

JHCC

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Brazer: You aren't alone there are a number of folk on IFI who have had strokes and TBI, a good TBI is one of those things a doc can't distinguish if you don't tell them. I suffered an intercerebral bleed of major proportions. It was better than a year before I started to realize how badly I was hurt.

Don't be discouraged, modern medicine is doing stuff that was "impossible" when I was injured in '09. Brain and nerve tissue DOES regrow and they're figuring out how to help it. Right now you're going through the stages, same as grief and heck losing brain is something to grieve over. Denial lasted me a couple years it can take your brain time to learn what happened and devise ways to work around problems. It will, believe it or not your brain can't really believe it's not what it was a few hours ago and like a map with a water drop blurring a couple streets, there are side roads. Your brain WILL find detour routes and turn them into highways. I'll link you to some new medical info for rehabbing TBI should work fine for a stroke too.

The first link was sent to me recently and talks about effective methods of therapy for aiding the brain to fix itself.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523095027.htm

This next link is a Ted Talk but Dr. Taylor's book is a great read, she knows what she's talking about from both sides. It'll help, honest.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight

Right now you're depressed, don't let it turn to despair, don't give in, don't surrender.  Never give up. 

Hang onto your stuff, you'll be using it again before you know. Use it to blackmail your brain into healing itself. Sounds like a joke but it isn't you can literally tell your brain to do things you THINK it just does whenever. It takes practice but you can tell the left side to shut up, tell the right side to get real and take care of business. etc. etc. No foolin it works. Doctor Jill talks about and tells us how.

Hang in there Brother we're pulling for you and the IFI gang covers half the planet. That's a LOT of pullin. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Brazer your post made my heart jump into my throat.  I am near your age I have one and a half good arms and can not forge worth a darn, but I am not giving up my tools, and I don't want you to either.  For one, I think you are going to get better and make some wonderful things. 

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Brazer, you and your family are on the list. 

As other have suggested, give your body and brain time to adjust.  One small step at a time, and one victory at a time.  If you need help, ask.

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I had a life altering ailment in 2010. And to this day I'm still recovering, but heat up some iron time to time. So don't throw in the towel so soon! Sure you have to slow down,and learn how to accomplish thing that were easy to do before, but as long as you give it an honest go, any thing can be done. God's speed on your recovery. Be Blessed, jimmy.

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I fell again today...... Never give up, Never give in. Keep your stuff.

In our thoughts and prayers,

Robert and Sheila Taylor

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There are so many good wishes from this truly global community - I will add mine from this part of the world. I wish you every success for a complete recovery and hope you are back forging soon. Don't even consider getting rid of your stuff.

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It is possible to work sitting down.  It's better for small work, knifeblades not swordblades, bottle openers not battleships (I do know there is a one handed knifemaker out there doing good work).  Back when I lived in Ohio a SOFA member built a number of very small powerhammers that would mount in the hardy hole and use the anvil as their anvil (under 10# ram weight). He did this as he was having problems hammering as he aged IIRC.

Also bringing in an apprentice to help and learn from you might work.

Best of luck

Thomas

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Thank you all for your input. I was hammering on a piece of metal in the house earlier, got to hit a few times before the hammer flew from my hand.

I'll try duct tape to hold the hammer in my hand. I'm glad I have my first railroad anvil in the house. It's better than any therapy I have been getting. On the lighter side, I'm happy I can still cook one handed, and eating comes naturally. Now if I can get one of my home care nurses to hold the iron on the anvil, I think she might like it. Seems like I got nurses and therapy ladies here 5 days a week, now that's what I call home health care.

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EXCELLENT Brazer! Back at it right away is the best way to heal the brain! No sweat about throwing the hammer, that's what lanyards are for. . . Literally. ;)

Your therapists especially will do anything they can to assist you forging. I'll bet they'll jump on the chance. Anything to exercise the damaged parts is worth doing.

I had to learn to: swallow, drink, hold things, talk, walk, etc. They said I was pretty excited and really happy when I learned how to use the TV remote. The nurses have NO idea of what GOOD TV is.:blink: Taking my first solo shower is still a Kodak moment in my life.

What are you going to use to heat steel? I'm thinking it wouldn't be hard to come up with a clamp that'd hold a project and swing from the forge to the anvil. Heck, some rod, a couple clamps, pair of Vise grips, some wing nuts. Piece of cake and something to keep you off the streets. ;)

I can't tell you what a smile you put on my face. Thank you.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'm real happy that you picked up the hammer to try.  Duct tape will work till your grip improves. :) Even a few hits is excellent.  keep that determination and humor. You'll have those nurses and therapists signing up to IFI in no time. ;) 

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

Taking my first solo shower is still a Kodak moment in my life.

Now that image is going to scar my mind for  life + 216 years!

Brazer, repetitive motion drills like hammering are supposed to be good for you; so keep it up.  One thing I have done for times when I couldn't work the big stuff is I made a single soft firebrick micro forge that ran off a common plumber's propane torch and besides small steel projects I forged copper and silver for jewelry---this was in my basement, sitting down with the anvil stump between my knees. I didn't have a garage as that would have saved the stair climb...

Steve you have quite the stutter there.

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Braze,

Hang in there!

Keep at it.

Lots of repetitions,

And sheer Bl**dy minded determination over time, will work wonders.

Anti-oxidants also help.

Bonne chance, mon ami.

SLAG.

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Getting old and failing body parts is tough. I have a stool I set between the forge and anvil now. And we thought our twenties would last a life time!

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11 hours ago, Frosty said:

I had to learn to: swallow, drink, hold things, talk, walk, etc.

Frosty can you whistle? I've never quit - sometimes I can get off two consecutive notes!

My point being, the brain and body  will continue to heal: we can reach plateaus, experience doldrums, but keep pushing through, keep commanding your equipment to push the limits - don't settle for. I have my limitations. But I have to presume that I can continue to push beyond them, if even just a bit at a time.

Robert Taylor

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Brazer, don't forget that you have something to offer others.  Teaching people what you know can not only be rewarding emotionally, but it can push you to explain things you know which is a great mental workout.  Lots of kids are willing to try something that doesn't cost them much.  Collecting tools is a long process, having everything on hand to give a kid some experience is a wonderful gift to them. 

I've found that helping people with their limitations helps to put mine into perspective.  Helping someone to where they can out-perform me gives me something to be proud of.

There are all kinds of people in physical therapy.  Maybe your therapists know somebody who'd benefit from some forging time?  It might be a way to connect and do some good on several levels.

I wish you the best and I hope you overcome this challenge.

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I can now Robert, I couldn't for some time after the accident. One evening a few years later I was feeding the sheep and something was making them spooky. When they started calming down I realized I was whistling a little tune to them. Nothing you'd recognize just some soothing melody I invented on the spot like I used to before.

My whistler came back just like that. I'm pretty sure it was because I just did it, I didn't try, just did. It's been back ever since.

Frosty The Lucky.

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