Wheeling along

Got my PM on Jan 20, this year.  Every thing as far as I know is going great.  I need to get some exercise, but I can't walk very far because of intense knee pain, can't ride exercise bike because of really bad balance. I use a walking stick even in house because of it. Well  that and my stupid Boxer dog, Bo, can get in my way -- only kidding about Bo -- I love him dearly. 
SO I got the bright idea to get a wheelchair.  I figure to get out and about for fresh air, sunshine and obviously exercise. 
I can also use WC in my garage as a "shop stool" and at my desk for a comfortable chair.  
my question is: I figure I won't do any damage to PM by springtime. I'll build up gradually so I won't screw up my 76 year old body. 
Anybody see any foreseeable problems/concerns??

Anything I should be aware of???  
Speak now cause I don't wanna come here in a couple months and have to type with my nose cause my shoulders don't work. LOL!!



wheeling along

by new to pace.... - 2023-02-14 21:07:46

Since you use a walking stick in the house you should be able to use it outside.  You do not have to walk  far  only until the pain gets to you.  I got my pacemaker at 79, 

The only thing you need to be careful of is lifting anything heavy with the arm on the side of your pacemaker.  Like a milk jug until the doctor says ok.  using a wheelchair will make you lazy.  If you have pain in your knee will have a hard time getting out of the chair.

If you have any questions you should ask your doctor as I am not medically qualified.

You need to keep moving that arm otherwise you will get frozen shoulder.

new to pace


by Tracey_E - 2023-02-15 09:07:07

Confirm with your doctor, but using a wheelchair before you are fully healed (4-6 weeks) should be fine. It's not lifting or raising the arm, the two main restrictions we are given. After you are healed, anything goes.

Have you considered a rower for exercise? PT for the knee? 

They make walkers that have a seat so you can take a break and sit down. That will give you more stability than a cane but more exercise than a chair.

Your primary should be able to do an assessment or refer you to a PT to help you figure out the best path to take. 

rower for exercise? PT for the knee?

by Persephone - 2023-02-15 10:32:45

Yes to the PT if it's available to you - check it out if at all possible.

I'm intrigued by the rower suggestion - what about getting down to the machine and then back up - are there machines that accommodate those with physical challenges? There are also seated exercises with stretch bands that can simulate the rowing movement, but wouldn't be full body exercise.

A treadmill with handrails could be considered as well.

Glad you're feeling ok with your PM.

More of the story

by docklock - 2023-02-15 14:55:15

I certainly thank those that commented back, thanks for taking the time to do that. 
When I was in my late 30s and early 40s I used to run about 5 miles every day and biked probably 30 miles a week.

In 1988 due to a congenital defect a blood vessel began to grow around my spine. I was becoming paralyzed.  Went for what turned out to be an 8 hour operation.  Surgery involved picking out blood vessels from around nerves. A few nerves got nicked and I wound up paralyzed.  
Dr. said I would never walk again. About 6 months of daily therapy, sometimes twice a day I went from parallel bars to a walker to Canadian crutches to two canes, then one cane. Then nothing. 
It left me with a total drop foot, neuraphy in both feet and a huge imbalance issue.  
My body adapted to all the problems but because I can't feel my feet I have to look where they are.  
Add in Vertigo and I'm lucky to bring out my trash to the curb. 
I believe all my running has greatly injured my knees, I've had a disc removed as well. 
The problem is I can't balance to ride a stationary bike and can't get down/or up to use a rower.  
Also I live on Social Security so money is tough to come by. (I drive a 2005 SUV). If I could use a treadmill I'd just walk with two walking sticks. 
Don't get me wrong-- I'm not complaining about my lot in life --- I've adapted and overcome the obstacles in my life. 
I certainly don't plan on living in a WC -- just thought it would get me out of house and a little exercise for 15 minutes or so.  
Your heart doesn't care what you're doing as long as heart rate goes above doing nothing.  Exercise is exercise.  
I am very cautious around my dog and he seems to sense I have difficulty walking so he generally stays out of my way. I ALWAYS look before I step.  
I guess I should have specified: Are there people that have gotten a PM that use a WC?  
Again thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions.  


by AgentX86 - 2023-02-16 01:19:58

Have you considered a recumbant stationary bike?  How about a rowing machine?  Balance or knees shouldn't be much of a problem with either.

I don't have a problem walking (10mi/day) but my balance isn't great. I have no neropathy, or vertigo, just a problem with balance.  I know what you mean about looking at your feet.  I look down because I need to use the ground as a reference. A few of weeks ago, I was in the street walking when a car was coming each way so I tried to get in the grass and tripped on the curb.  I didn't fall but I really screwed up my left glute.  I'm just recovering fully, now.

When I'm outside walking, my neighbors sometimes think I'm ignoring them because I don't see them until we're 10-20' apart.  I  have to explain that I'm just making sure I brought my feet with me (sometimes...).


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A properly implanted and adjusted pacemaker will not even be noticeable after you get over the surgery.