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What to do when your health fails. And you can't work on your cars.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by hotrod--willys, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    :mad:Dumb ass ! Yea you. You in that monitor lookin back at me. If you'd gotten that knee surgery in July you'd be able to kick my ass by now. Instead you are in pain and taking crap that doesn't help much. Reschedule that surgery NOW! By January you'll be chasin pretty gilrs in thong bikinis and walkin around at car events.
    Three years ago I had two titanium hips. Each two months apart. I'm a chicken. Needles and surgery scare the crap outta me. But if I had another hip I'd go in tomorrow if I needed it. After the surgery your feet and legs will swell and hold fluid. Maybe only the one you get worked on. For days it's gonna hurt like hell. You'll swear you will never walk again. Each day it gets better. Believe me anything is better than waking up with that same ole hurtin.
    Like a dumb ass I didn't go get my water pills refilled. My body continued to fill with fluid. Not a good thing. I ended up over New Years Eve 20 10 in ICU for weeks and went into cardiac arrest. I am not religious. But that noisy cold room got very quiet and warm. All of those blinkin lights and buzzers stopped buzzin and blinkin. I saw a light. Don't know if it was "the light". But I felt calm, and pieceful. In a short time I was starin at a flock of doctors staring at me. A big dude told me I'd left them for awhile!
    I tell people heaven was full and Hell didn't want me!
    I was sent home with the info that my heart was only working partially. I would never be able to do much without being tired. Last few visits to my heart doc shws my heart is working like the heart of a 21 year old---in the body of a 98 year old who si nearly 74.
    The point is I was given another chance and I can walk without pain. We keep planning on buying a trike and finising my many car projects. For some reason, I recently got lazy and sit way too much on my ass. After reading these stories i see some of you truly can't do a lot. But the rest of us need to get up and get outside while we still can. Do what neds to be done to your own bodies and the junk in your garages.
    I expected to get old after I retired. just didn't expect it to be so soon.
  2. Lemonhead
    Joined: Sep 4, 2012
    Posts: 13

    from Virginia

    Let me offer one other thing here, it's my personal motto (had it translated into Latin):

    Muta, ordina, accomoda, sed numquam relinque

    Translation: Change, adjust, adapt, but never quit
  3. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,080


    Wise for someone so young, in HAMB years.
  4. i am 65 and still in pretty good physical shape, but I know the day is coming that I wont be able to build anymore, and quite frankly, I probably wont have the energy to. I think mentoring with a younger person who is really interested in cars would be a good way to give back and would help you to stay interested in the hobby and pay your knowledge forward...It (1) keeps you busy, (2) helps someone else who is interested, and (3) keeps the hobby alive and well.
  5. dad-bud
    Joined: Aug 22, 2009
    Posts: 3,884


    Hope you get well soon and can get back to doing what you want.
    In the meantime, trawling the HAMB for fun stuff will help pass the time.
    Enjoy and use it for inspiration.
  6. I understand your frustrations but you have to figure out something that will keep you from going nutso. A big change in your lifestyle due to disability, health probs will drive you to the asylum or grave.

    I'm only 55 and I'm not ready to quit building cars or pinstriping or living a full life. Since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 8 yrs ago my life has changed drastically.(out of 12 kids 2 of us got it and I was always the healthy one. Damn gene pool).
    The Diabetes was bad but the diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) in my lower exptremeties has completely stopped me from most things I took for granted including doing car show striping. It pretty much ended my striping career with exception of a few private jobs, one at a time. No more long lines of striping at shows. That right there sucks.

    As of last week, my Doc put me on insulin shots 4 times a day and now I monitor my GL all day. That right there is the big killa of your freedom. It really eats up your time but I dont let it stop me from doing other things which involves utilizing what brain I have left.

    I striped for over 35 years which has all but stopped. I can still stripe but not as much as before. I was used to striping all week for shops, dealers, individuals and shows and making serious coin and having fun. Not only that but in last few years I've had to change my way of life, leave a very nice place on 7 acres and move into a smaller apt. on my sons property. The wife is cool with it so no problems there.

    Mobility for me is the biggest issue. If you know what Diabetic Neuropathy is then you know how the pain can be very intense and prevents you from functioning a normal life. Diabetic feet and legs are amputated on a regular basis because of it. The nerve damage and pain covers 100% of my feet and is intense. No meds have helped, they just make me insane. My mobilty is so bad the VA gave me handicap scooter and I'm not even a veteran! I guess all those shows I did for them paid off. Thanks Kerrville VA hospital. So when you see me out there at shows riding it don't be critical because I'm cruisng a scooter.

    For me passing the time reading, writing and starting a new business that I can do without full time mobilty has helped. I will not take disabilty as long as I can still use my brain and at least do something with my hands.

    Although the physical and health probs has screwed my life up seriously, I'm still mesing with cars. I've learned how to use all sorts of roll around seating so I can maneuver. Whatever works, right?

    Just do something that works for you. Take up a new hobby relating to cars that doesn't involve so much physical effort, or start some kind of business you can do on the net or one that takes less physical effort. Don't let the pain and frustration drive you to an entitlement lifestyle because that will only increase your depression. Hot rodders dont take life free, we work for it.

    Old TV shows like Andy Griffith and Beaver really help me. Now get out that Blues CD and wail.
  7. hotrod--willys
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 524


    That is me having problems more and more as I get older. But some of you guy make me feel a little better. I have been feeling a little sorry for myself
  8. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,538


    I spent 3 1/2 hours in the hot sun today at the U Pull It. It was very painful. Down on my knees in the rocks, then couldnt hardly stand up, rusty bolts that wouldnt budge, didnt know what it took to get the coil springs. I wanted to quit and go home but I stuck with it til I got some Aerostar coil springs and 1954 Ford pickup front brakes. I was looking for other stuff but I dont pass up 53-56 Ford truck brakes when I get a chance. I was hot, tired, dirty and hurting. When I got home I took an hour long nap
  9. Goodlife
    Joined: Apr 12, 2010
    Posts: 181


    It has been interesting to read what some of the other old timers have written on this thread. Sometimes you feel like you are the only one who has aches and pains and can't get much done anymore. Had cancer a couple years ago and thought they got it in time. Well, it showed up again this spring so the summer was spent dealing with the effects of chemo so I have been moving slow in getting the 40 done. Went to the doctor on Monday and said he was going to do exploitory surgery next Tuesday as he saw more new growth at the tumor site. Not what I wanted hear for sure. I just hope I can get the car done and drive it before things get worse. They say it's not what happens to you that matters it's how you deal with it that matters.
    After going through the process of realizing this life is a temporal existence I find it amusing to see how up tight folks get on this board sometimes if something is mentioned that is inconsistent with their views or value system. In the long run it really doesn't matter if these younger fellows don't agree with your reality, being a drill sargent and rude just shows pure ignorance in my opinion. Ask someone in 20 years if it is traditional. Life is short and looking back is much more enjoyable if you have been a good person.
  10. Great thread. I've read every post. Some encouraging words...........
  11. This is one of the most well put posts that I have read on the HAMB, and Ive been here a while.

    Keep your chin up fellas, Im in the same boat too !!

    Never quit.

  12. firingorder1
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,147


    I'm going to be 67 in Dec. My knees are shot to hell. Inherited and I guess all the years of racing bikes didn't help either. I have been here longer than I'm going to be here. And that sucks. I'm still having fun but at a slower pace. The enthusiasm there but the body seems to have forgotten that. But God willing I'll be heading to Bonneville again next August. I just wish someone would come up with a "Do Over Again" button.
  13. SaltCoupe
    Joined: Jun 10, 2010
    Posts: 2,376

    from Indiana

    I'll be 54 soon and feeling it already. My knees and back are shot. I just pop a few
    Aleve and carry on but Im starting to realize that a time will come when that wont do it anymore. Hang in there man...we all reach that point when we have to slow down and take things easy.
  14. Getting old is not always fun, but that's life! I have had a couple shoulder surgeries since '05. I was pretty disabled before each, and was not back to full recovery for nearly a year on each one. Had a recurring skin cancer that required a good part of a year to treat, last year. Doing great on all fronts now except for a hip joint that causes a fair amount of pain, but I can do all I need to do now.

    ...but I have always tried to spend about a half day or more in my shop six days a week regardless. I worked on model cars when I could not do much more. ... and now i am working on full sized cars, and more than happy. There are always some things I can do and some things I can't do. I just do what I can and am grateful to get a little bit done every day.

    My suggestion is to just figure out what things you can do on various projects, given your current health problems, and do what you can. If some projects will not be possible now or in the future, start planning new projects based on what you can do and will be able to accomplish. Sell or trade what you can not use anymore, or figure a way to get help doing what you most desperately want to do. Don't give up a hobby without a fight.
  15. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,457

    from Michigan

    I'm 55 and had a heart attack in May. Took a couple of months, but I'm feelin' much better now.

    When the time comes that I can hardly move anymore...and I'm gettin' there...I'm gonna do more gardening with my wife. Wait...that's harder than workin' on the cars!

    Much respect to the OP and all you guys dealing with aches and pains and issues WAY worse than me. Bless ya all.

    And to the younger attention. Don't dilly-dally! (like I did) Move yer ass, and accomplish your goals as early as you can...while you can. Work hard, live good, and love as much as you can. It comes sooner than ya think it will.

    I like Goodlife's take...a "temporal" existance. If we believe that we'll all meet up in heaven, then we can better accept all the pain and suffering...regardless of our inability to understand it right now. Again...bless us all.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
  16. eppster
    Joined: Jan 26, 2011
    Posts: 223


    I don't post much. It seems like the couple times I have some Dude with a few thousand posts destroys me. I want to say , I was there ,I did it and I got the T-shirt! So now I just read what interests. I say this because it mirrors what I'm going through and I find it inspirational that there are so many others going tru this too and the way they are beating it . Pain takes away your spirit and your posts inspire me to fight it!!! Thank you.
  17. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    Been there done that while healing up from surgery alittle over 5 years ago. Although I was not supposed to bend wrenches I did manage to rewire and start my delivery sedan. I had my middle daughter who has always been my shop helper do any wrench bending or lifting anything over a couple of lbs. which there was little to do. After that when peple stopped over to see me I could atleast take them to the shop and let them listen to the four banger run. I for the first time in years had completely cleaned off my bench also. I didn't manage so well while going through chemo though.

  18. Old6rodder
    Joined: Jun 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,529

    from SoCal
    1. HA/GR owners group

    I'm not there yet. Only 66, and in decent enough health (likely due to lucky genes, and to keeping it up & working all along), but if I manage to continue evading a quick death my slow days'll come as well.

    I'm one of those insufferable idiots that plan for multiple possibilities, both in my projects and in my life. To that end I've kept a passing hand in other hobbies over the years, for later consumption.
    My two favorite are model railroading (of course an arcane corner of it {Sn3} rather than the mainstream), and music (writing and playing, not just listening).
    They could've been anything from basket weaving (seriously) to art painting (rods, perhaps? :cool:).
    Just havin'em is the goal.

    My point being that living (in any targeted form, not merely existing) IS the point of life after all.

    This's hoped to be motivational, not preachy. I hope it came off that way. :eek:
  19. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    i know EXACTLY how you feel and what your saying. in 05 i was building cars and custom harleys, from bobbers to prostreet to choppers.i was 49yr old and could work all day and nite and fight a 25 yr old and win may of 05 i had a 71 yr old woman make a left in front of me while i was riding a fresh up custom bobber.i didnt go over the handlebars i went thru them and slid across the hood with my knees bent under me and the cback of my head bouncing on the hood. then i slid off the hood and contiuned my journey in the road in the same position.i died right there in the street while they were trying to load me up. they brought me back. then i was in a helicopter and died again. again they brought me back. i was in a coma for a month. stayed in icu for a month.then a nursing home for a month. my wife sold our BIG waterbed and bought a electric hospital bed for our bedroom. she sleep in the floor next to me for almost 8 months.i have brain damage, rebuilt hips and kness and severe nerve also knocked me cross eyed.!i had to learn how to do everything allover again. from walking and talking to feeding myeslf without pokin my eyes out with a fork.i had to learn how to go to the bathroom all over again. i didnt know how to make all those muscles took me almost a yr to do most of that.since the nerve damage is so bad the pain is outrages. it can and does make you suicidal. i know because my wife had to hid all my guns for along time.she wouldnt l;eave anything in my reach that could help me go to a different world, including my meds.i started buildin a ot nova while i was still in a walker.the bike that i was riding when this happened i also rebuilt while still in a walker.pain, my god im hurting so bad this very min. its all i can do to type this. quess what.when im done here im going out in the shop and work on a car.or bikei HAVE to. not for money but my own sanity.i cant do what i once could. not by any means of the imagination. but im going out thetre. and i WILL get something done.i can walk with a cane , not fast or even very good but i can walk and get up and down its funny to watch me get off the floor but i do it.pain, yep its still thete and BAD but with the pain meds ill survive for addicted to narcotics once again. i dont care as long as they keep them coming.they are what has helped me get going .and keep going.without them i would have shot myself along time energy level has never been so low but i force myself to get up and go out thete. 7 days a week i go.i have to.workin on cars and bikes is just another narcotic to me. that is what i need to do to live not survive but live.with the brain dam,age i now have to read up on what im doing, even the firing order for a sbc has to be looked up every time i need it. can not remember anything or sometimes comprehend what im reading but i do make it thru it and im still good at what i do. ( but my son does have my back if i fuck up.)i quess what inm trying to say is i get up and go to the shop even when id rather just sit and cry because of the pain.i force myself out that damn door EVERY morning but i go! im with you brother,i know were your at and where your going. just make yourself go out there.any one need a guy whose almost blind cant hear worth a shit and is crippled work on their ride or need paint work done. im still doing it and pretty good at it still lol
    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    Adapt Remember the mechanic on "The Road Worrior":)

    Attached Files:

    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    Get some casters for the old lazy chair. Carpet your garage then you could roll around on it. Shit, make your bedroom into a garage. You sound like you might have options.

    Get Healty, ese.:)

    I do feel for you homeboy
  22. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,197


    My dad retired from Boeing at 62 after working there for 33 years. He spent most of the next 20 years coming up with lame excuses for why he couldn't do some of the things he had planned on for years. His health was good up into his late 70's and he always had a good car but he would rather watch daytime tv or read old westerns rather get out and explore the places he was reading about. I don't want to follow in those footsteps.
    My left index finger doesn't work very well as I smashed it about 7 years ago and tore it up pretty good, I fell and dislocated my left shoulder last summer and just now am getting to where I can do things then I dropped a hub and axle on my right hand in August getting ready for vacation and it doesn't want to work right. We won't discuss the left hip that often hurts like all hell or the knees that pop loud enough for others to hear when I walk across the room. I don't things done as fast as I used to and I don't spend near as much time working on the hot rods as I did 30 years ago but I try to make the time I do work on them productive. Lately though it seems that I spend more time looking for things than I do working on something. That may get improved if I get the garage cleaned and organized this weekend.
  23. We should start the HRSC...Hot Rodder Sickie's Club to keep each other swingin'.

    Every comment on here inspires me to keep rockin' through Diabetes, nerve pain and mental hell. It has been tuff since I went from one Insulin shot to trying to regulate multiple shots daily plus pricking my fingers every 2 hours for GL readings plus before and aft meals, then Insuln shots. It's crazy and not quite the life I expected at 55. Maybe it's time to get out the ol' Winchester and see if it works.

    My glucose got down to 45 last nite while at home alone because my Doc said to increase the "fast insulin" shots. (he's experimenting with my life here). Lows like that for me means I'm close to stroke. I couldn't move, see much of anything and the head was in flames. I love flames but not in my head. This was around 10pm and I tried to call for help but since I was disoriented and could not move I was fading. Fortunately my son decided to come over, got some sugar/carbs in me and got me up to spec. Scary.

    In the last few years about 10 hot rodders I know passed away in ages from 40 to 80. Most were diabetics and they pretty much ignored their health and what needed to be done to maintain.

    We all have to hang in there, look at each day as our last. Listening to experiences from fellow hot rodders like you guys here help us all. This is a bunch who know how to overcome hardships despite themselves.

    Keep the Hot Rodder Sickie experiences coming, we all can use them. Now where's my Insulin pen?
  24. Trichop
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 219

    from Eaton,Ohio

    I know what'you're saying..
    If you're like me,you've built many cars in your lifetime
    Ya got nothing to prove
    I am "Car-less" at the present time
    After building a bike, and restoring an Ultralight over the last 6 years,I don't think I could do another "Ground Up" Hot Rod
    I'm Slowing down on steam
    Years sneek up on ya....
    I'l just buy the next "Hot Rod"
    Might be easier for you to
    JUst get in and drive
    and..enjoy the people
  25. barryvanhook
    Joined: Jun 17, 2011
    Posts: 625

    from Mesa, AZ

    I understand ... I'm 70 and have my own set of issues. I found a good shop with nice folks who do my heavy lifting, like rebuilding the front end in my Fleetline. But I do what I can when I can ... the last two days I spent screwing with the 57: wired up a license plate light: polished, painted, and mounted my HAMB tag topper; and I just now finished crafting up a set of blue dots for it. Like I said, what you can, when you can. And one of those little Harbor Freight creeper stools may be a new best friend.
  26. Bad Eye Bill
    Joined: Sep 1, 2010
    Posts: 841

    Bad Eye Bill
    from NB Canada

    Jesus, after reading through this thread I realize I have absolutely nothing to complain about, tough buncha bastards around here. To steal a phrase from Jerry Jeff Walker, "A Man Must Carry On".
  27. hotrod--willys
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 524


    Well I'm in my lazy chair thinking of all you guys that have real problems compared to mine. Thank God I will live for who know how long. None of us knows. Today was a memorial for one of my old friends that never made it to 70. He was one of the guys that was put to bed wet to many times. As most of us...It looks like as long as I take my eight meds. I will do ok. Not great but ok. I would like to thank all you guys for your support. And I support you. As some one said...If I had known I would live this long. I sure as hell would have taken better care of myself. Good night. HRW
  28. Gigantor
    Joined: Jul 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,825


    My good friend has fibromyalgia so bad he can barely move some days, but that doesn't stop him from doing SOMETHING in the shop every day, even if it's just "putterin" on the really bad days.
    It makes me grateful for my health and also makes me feel like a pussy for whining about a headache or a backache. As he says, "I could feel bad inside on the couch or feel bad outside in the shop." That is what I call true grit.
  29. When you can relate to a thread you seem to follow it. I realized something 4 years ago when my granddaughter was born in the neonatal care unit at Morgantown WVU Hospital. As I would walk back to see her it took me a whole 2 seconds to see someone else had it worse. ....And by no means do I feel that I have been worse!

    1 year ago oct.15 I had a seven and a half hour on the table back surgery. I had a couple of organs that did not wake up. 2 days later my kidneys and intestines joined me for 7 days of hospital stay at Hopkins.
    The day before my surgery my wife and I covered a couple of cars with blankets and car covers. Cleaned my garage to the point that my wife said "your not dying".When I got home I had friends coming over with car magazines in triplicate ,an talked about old times. I watched my DVD'S of Hotrod American Graffitti and Hollywood Knights over and over. It all contributed to when I was able to walk by my self I had the state of mind I was going to beat this and enjoy my cars again.

    I had built a car,but had not drove it yet. So I set a goal to drive it on New Years Day. New Years day we rolled it out of the garage and I drove it. I can't do what I use to do. No twisting , bending or putting transmissions in. Work bench with stools and bring the work to where I'm comfortable.....Never give up! :D

    A friend told me
    Golden Years
    fabulous forties
    filthily fifties
    shitty sixties
    and he hates to see the seventies
    I plan on eighty with the grand kids

    Hang in there Hot rod -Willys

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  30. hotrod--willys
    Joined: Dec 15, 2009
    Posts: 524


    Well today is a good day. I'm out in my shop sitting in my 51 chevy with my radio tuned to oldies music. I'm looking forward to getting back to my projects. As I sit here I think of all the fun that we had when we were ut's. How many of you do the same thing? How many of you have a car that you had when you were young and cruzin the Ave? It's just another beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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