A Gift for my Doctor(s)

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
A Gift for my Doctor(s)
My cancer adventures and battles began back in 2013 and it all started out with a bang! I'm not going to lay out every last little detail here, but the basics go like this.

Late in that year, (2013) my doctor set me up for a CT scan for a completely unrelated issue and that's when we discovered a rather large mass growing on one of my kidneys and not long after that the mass and the kidney were removed. That's when my two blessings kicked in, the first blessing was the discovery of cancer before it spread to anywhere else in my body and the second being when my treatment plan didn't require any chemo or radiation of any kind after the kidney and the cancer were removed, and so then life moved along quite calmly until late in 2017.

That's when my two SuperHeroines came out to play! :cool:
First came my Family PA, Vanessa Kearney, She has been taking care of my wife, Kay, and me for many years and she has always kept me headed in the right direction, making sure that I got all my tests and scans in a timely manner and it was one those scans that found my cancer in the very early stages as it came back in my kidney bed and lungs late in 2017. That's when my Oncologist, Dr. Heather Shearer, came onboard and it's her diagnosis and treatment plan that has kept me above ground and breathing all this time since then. There is a third SuperHeroine on my team of course and that's my wife, Kay, because as a retired Nurse she knows a thing or two about medical care so her guidance and advice have kept me safe through the years.
Side Note: Like many, or most of you know, drug prices are crazy high and some are astronomical! The cancer drug that I'm on costs so much (about $7000 per Mo) and the co-pay so high ($895 per Mo) that I simply would not be able to afford it except for the fact that Dr. Shearer's staff was able to find a grant for me that covered the co-pay.
Whoops! I just received a notice (10/8/19) that the funding for my grant has been used up, so now we have to start working on a new source.

So, enough of the back story... let us get on to the woodturning.
It has always seemed more than obvious to me that these two ladies deserve any display of gratitude that I can muster and my wood turnings seemed the best way for me to show them how much they mean to me and also to my family. So, I wanted the gifts to be based on something vintage, or historical that was also related to something that they would be using in their everyday medical practice and during my research, I came upon the perfect medical tool... the stethoscope!

Back in 1816 a French doctor, René Laennec, tried using a rolled-up paper because he didn't feel comfortable placing his head on a woman's chest to listen to her heart and the rolled-up paper worked OK, so he then designed the first stethoscope as a hollow wooden tube. At first, I was going to base my turning on that first wooden tube, but during further research, I found a design with a bit more personality and style.

Before moving on to the finished turning I made a couple of prototypes to test my design ideas and to build up my skills which were sorely out of practice. This one is made from a piece of SYP from the BORG and while it's a bit rough and unfinished it helped me get ready for the real thing.


And the finished Stethoscope.
Purpleheart, 2"x7", finished with 40-50 coats of thin CA.




And the Big Payoff!
Vanessa received her gift back in May 0r June and sorry to say my phone died and took any pictures of her with it. It has taken me this long to work up the energy to finish the gift for Heather.
BTW... she tried it and it works.




Thanks for looking... Ken.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
Thanks for sharing. Healthcare givers are truly special folks. Very nice gifts
 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
Ah! That's a good question Dave for which I don't have a good answer. It works, but nowhere close to the modern-day stethoscopes that doctors now use. As good as the original versions from the early 1800s? I really doubt that because the walls are too thick and the center hole is very narrow in one spot.
 

tarheelz

Dave
Corporate Member
Ah! That's a good question Dave for which I don't have a good answer. It works, but nowhere close to the modern-day stethoscopes that doctors now use. As good as the original versions from the early 1800s? I really doubt that because the walls are too thick and the center hole is very narrow in one spot.
This is very interesting. I know I would be drawn to compulsive experimentation (19th century style) and keep making those suckers until I figured out just the right proportions (or my wife dragged me away).
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Ken, Fantastic story and an incredibly neat project for some deserving people in your life.


I”ll echo Dave and say that I may be interested in copying your ideas on these.

Most of us have (or eventually will have) some special caregivers involved in taking care of our loved ones or ourselves, and this really is a neat gesture of gratitude.

Thanks
 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
This is very interesting. I know I would be drawn to compulsive experimentation (19th century style) and keep making those suckers until I figured out just the right proportions (or my wife dragged me away).
In earlier years in my woodturning life, endless tries and retries would have been in order for me as well! My wife began to give me dirty looks and fearfully look at my hands to see if I was bringing something new in from the shop! hahahahha

For this project, though the process was interrupted and delayed many times due to my health issues, so much so that it took me almost a year to do all of the prep work of research, ordering the purpleheart making the prototypes using the BORG 2x4's and then finally the two copies of the stethoscope from purpleheart. After the first purpleheart stethoscope was finished it took me another 5-6 months to finish the second one.
Thankfully both were well received, so it was well worth the effort. :cool:

BTW... in case anyone wonders, I have no complaints about my condition or the adventure that I've been on these past few years because I consider myself blessed throughout this journey. Because of the good care from my wife, my doctors and many others in my RL Family and Friends I've been blessed with early detection, great treatment, and my health and mobility is actually really good except the occasional hospital stay and frequent drug conflicts. The drug conflicts are what gets to me most of the time and that's what slows me down with the shop time.
 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
Forgot to say... to anyone who is inclined to do so, please feel free copy away and no credit to me is needed! After all, my turnings are copies of what those 17th-century doctors were making. :cool:
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Forgot to say... to anyone who is inclined to do so, please feel free copy away and no credit to me is needed! After all, my turnings are copies of what those 17th-century doctors were making. :cool:


Ken, Thanks for the generous offer.

Did you create any dimensioned drawings for these?
If so, is it something you’d post here?
 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
No dimensioned drawings, sorry.
The 2"x7" for my design was based on my available purpleheart wooden blank that is 2"x4", I didn't want to have any glue up's as part of the design. Also, I didn't actually measure the finished turning, but the finished diameter is likely about 1/32" or maybe even a 1/16" under two inches. As for the shape, that came from me trying to loosely follow the historical designs and keeping the Fibonacci sequence in mind. My eye for a pleasing shape is surely not rising to an artistic level, but a pleasing shape to the eye was my goal. :cool:
 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
It has been a while since this topic was last active, but hopefully, there is some interest in hearing the "rest of the story".

A few days ago I was finally able to get together with my Family PA, Vanessa, and we posed for a pic as she held up her stethoscope. She loves it and keeps it on her desk for all to see.


BTW... in the OP I mentioned that my co-pay grant had expired, so while thrashing around trying to find new funding it was learned that the co-pay is now $1918.82 per month!!! In the meanwhile, as we were chasing down leads on various possibilities my existing grant from Cancer Services was able to secure new funding so I'm good for the next 12 months! :cool:
 

bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
glad you were able to secure the grant money. Nice work on the stethoscopes, they look great!
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
Ken, Thanks for posting the photo and update.


I found your stethoscope project to be very interesting. I was quite surprised to learn that Dr. Laennec was a woodworker who made flutes!



I hope you don’t mind my adding a link about him it to your thread. There’s also some great information on original stethoscopes along with dimensions.

 

Ken Kimbrell

Ken
Senior User
Ken, Thanks for posting the photo and update.


I found your stethoscope project to be very interesting. I was quite surprised to learn that Dr. Laennec was a woodworker who made flutes!



I hope you don’t mind my adding a link about him it to your thread. There’s also some great information on original stethoscopes along with dimensions.

Thank you and thanks for the link.
 

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