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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter #1
I am headed towards a wheel chair as many of us are. I use one now (part-time) but will I be able to continue when it gets worse? I don’t know. It would be nice to read what others are contemplating on this sensitive issue. I’m totally convinced my shop keeps me alive. I don’t want to lose it? Any ideas (or rants)?

TonyM
 

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Tony, Hi, I am up in Turner (over the hill in back of Willamette Valley Winery). If there is anything I can do to help let me know. You are in my thoughts. If you need to have wheelchair access to the shop, let me know, I am retired and would be able to come down and help arrange tools, etc. to allow easier access if that would help. Keep your chin up and things will work out. ken
 

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As a physical therapist I am pretty familiar with adaptive issues for a lot of different disabilities. How you adapt to the changes in your body varies a lot by activity. What kind of wood working do you do now? Large or small pieces? I have seen whole gymnasiums converted to W/C use. A shop wouldn't be much different. Just some creativity. Some times my legs are tired enough that I would like to sit and finish a project. I see patients all the time that complain about having to stand to iron clothes without ever thinking there might be a better way. They do it standing because its been done that way for years. Work benches can be made so a W/C can roll under them. Drill presses and router table would be easy. Table saws are more of a challenge but a lot could done with sleds and clamps or hold downs/toggle clamps.
I think the biggest issues would be milling the rough lumber if you are using huge pieces. It wouldn't take much tho to put a planer on a stand at W/C height.
 

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Just read Kens post that came through as I was typing. I am in Salem. Maybe we could get a few of us together and come up with some solutions. Give us some more info about what you need and what you have to deal with.
 

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puffessional Scrabbleist
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
not sure yet

Thanks. A glance at my photos (only 6 or 7) shows I work on all types of things. But...these are what I will miss if my hand tool use is curtailed. Just not the same. Cabinets and big pieces should be no problem.

I'm on the west side of the river between Corvallis and Albany. A short drive thru Buena Vista and the ferry and I'm in Salem. I have some time, at least my doc thinks so. I'll never refuse help from a generous offer. Thanks. This should be addressed before spring.

TonyM

for some reason I cannot upload pix right now. It's in my photos. Hard to miss the cars.
 

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Tony, sorry to hear the arthritis has gotten so bad. I have a lot of problems, but nothing that I think will get me into a wheel chair. (last Aril I was in a motel on Amelia Island, florida. I had just got over a two month hiatis from exerise because of an elbow operation. I played a round of golf and the next morning I had to take a wheel chair to my car.)

The elbow operation came about because of a treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis that had caused a minor staf infection to to really bad.

I decided to try acucupuncture to combat the arthritis in the lower back, which had caused the problem I had at Amelia Island. I needed some type of relief so that I could get back to my exercises that I had done for many years to control back problems. Accupuncture did the trick. I do not claim that it cured the problem, but it did give me sufficient relief that I was able to get back to a more normal life. Normal life includes specific exercises that build my core strength in the back and abdominal muscles.

I still hurt when I get out of bed in the morning. Some mornings more than others. However, after a short time I get around much better. My recliner is like a pill to me. If I am hurting I can sit in it for 10 to 15 minutes and feel much better.

And yes, I take the several of the advertised arthritis remedies and have tried many more.

My message, exercise in the end is the most promising help with back pain. And, accupuncture, for many people, proviedd relief that enables you to continue with normal activities.

Good luck, and I hope you find something that keeps you out of the wheel chair.

George
 

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I do all my work in my wheelchair. Everything in my shop is set up so I can reach and operate it. I spend my days there. I am a disabled plywood plant worker. Worked at that job for 30 years. I became severely depressed after I had to leave my job. But taking an ambulance ride watching my wife and youngest son driving behind me I realized life not over. We bought another home. Had my shop building built. Had concrete sidewalks made for access.
Life is not over. I can stand but only for short periods of time. You can do just about anything in a wheelchair that you could do standing. You just have be a little creative. And believe it or not this I learned from my wife. She told me once I can do anything a man can do I just have to do it a little different.
Cutting a board on a table saw at eye level is not the most pleasant feeling. So you learn more about safety issues. You have to be very alert to what is going on around you. I never work when somebody is in shed with me. Unless it is some kind of assembly or maybe just planning a project.
Adjust your cabinets and work stations to where you are comfortable. May be awkward for somebody else but you are the one using them.
I too have to get in my recliner daily. Sometimes for a little while but sometimes as much as two hours because of back pain.
Bottom line is I will work in my shop as long as I can drag my butt out there. My wheelchair and my little woods shop has kept me going for years now. It takes longer for my projects than I would like but I still do them.
Just get your shop set up the way that you are comfortable and keep on working.
LIFE IS HAPPY IN YOUR SHOP
 
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