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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Living in a State of Pain and a World of Hurt - Altered Knee.... Altered Reality

Well the 1-day recovery of my left knee lasted about....

1 day.

Basically, since my last hike on January 3rd, my left knee has left me in the worst pain I have experienced in my entire life.

Deep throbbing pain, Sharp knifing pain, Can't straighten my leg, Can't bend my leg, Can't put weight on it, Can't walk without a limp, Can't work out....

Can't.... Can't.... Can't....

Blah Blah Blah.

So what can you do Wuss?

Well - you can adapt, modify and overcome!

Now that sounds more like the Crazy Man I know!

So my day now starts with a sit-up in bed and 50 forced leg extensions off the edge of the bed before I even attempt to put weight on the leg.

I then hobble 1 legged downstairs for at least of 3 cups of float a horseshoe coffee which definitely gets the heart rate up and the blood pumping.

Followed by a 1 legged hobble back up the stairs to a boiling hot bath where I let the shower head water steam my tortured left knee into a state of half boiled submission.  I continue to force extension and bending while the hot water pours over it.

This usually gets the knee where I can put some weight on it so I do my standard stretching, active release with a piece of 4" PVC pipe and LaCrosse Ball and then my shoulder flexibility exercises with a 5' piece of 3/4" PVC pipe and finally 20 Overhead squats with the same PVC pipe.

Back downstairs to a round of 50 leg extensions, 50 leg lifts, 50 leg curls and depending on the knee pain and flexibility.... 50 air squats....

So I went to see the local orthopedic guy again.... Dr. Bair.  

Prep'd a PowerPoint file with images of X-rays and MRI's over the last 2 years.... thought the side by side comparisons might reveal something... which it did.... as I quote Dr. Bair....

"I can't do anything with that knee.... Just keep exercising it and maybe it will get better".

Wow - Thanks for that..... Guess I'm on my own - So what's new?

As I've said before, it's these setbacks in life that really define who you are.

And who I am is a Person who meets problems and challenges head-on.... No Rollover No Belly Up.

More like 2 middle fingers up!

So what's the Plan?

Well - for one thing you try new things.... you learn new things.... you push and pull and twist and turn and experiment.... till something gets better or worse and then you learn from that and then you try something else.

Like I've always said... You just keep moving.... You don't sit, stand or lay still..... You fucking move!

And just trust that your body will adapt, will learn to deal with the new problems and will reshape, remake and remold itself to address the crisis.

So here's my laundry list of changes / additions to address the left knee pain and immobility:
  • Hot shower treatment of knee as explained above.
  • Icing knee 10 - 15 minutes 3 - 4 times per day.
  • Stopped the hiking - Done.
  • Stopped the Praxis workouts for the time being - if you can't stand on 2 legs... can't do that workout... Find something else.
  • Despite the danger with the icy streets and slick surfaces, over the last week, I started riding my bike again, most recently a 20 mile Santa Fe circle yesterday.  The knee cried, the knee hurt, the knee rebelled and I just kept gritting my teeth and forcing the muscles to push the leg down against the resistance of the pedals.  It wasn't pretty... but today was better.  Remember.... always Remember.... if you have knee pain, try riding a bike.  Dr. Woods, my orthopedic surgeon at the Fondren Orthopedic Group, has always told me that they don't even understand fully why but there is something about the non-impactful rotary motion of pedaling a bicycle that does wonders for the human knee..... I agree.
  • Have continued the PIYO Strength group exercise classes - a combo of Pilates, Yoga, Flow and Body weight movements that are remarkably difficult and about all my knee can take for now.
  • Doing 3 - 4 rounds per day of the aforementioned 50 leg extensions, 50 leg lifts, 50 leg curls, 50 air squats.  
  • Started taking the following supplements - Turmeric (anti-inflammatory), Hyaluronic Acid (joint lubricant), Arneca (Homeopathic painkiller and treatment for arthritis)
  • Switched NSAID from Meloxicam to Dicloflenac and doubled the morning dosage.
  • When all else fails and the pain keeps me from sleeping I get up, drink a cup of hot decaf mint tea, take a 500 mg Extra Strength Tylenol, do 50 leg extensions and go back to sleep.
  • And next week I have an appointment with my "alternative medicine" doc - Dr Mavrick Lobe - - who basically healed my 40% detached left Achilles Tendon last May and June with 2 PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections -
  • And an appointment with a massage therapist.
So there you have it....

Is the knee getting better?

Not enough and Not long enough for me to wave the Victory Flag.

For now I live with the reality that the knee has changed and my reality has changed.

I can't do what I could 3 weeks ago.... and I may never be able to again.

But guess what -  I've never been very good at predicting the future.

But I'll tell you what I am good at....

I'm good at hard work and sticking to it...... and never giving up!

Reminds me of 2 of the sayings on my RockTape Manifesto Kneecaps -

"Pain is Temporary.  Quitting lasts Forever."

"Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit." 

Why do I relate this little Pain Experience and my Response to It?

Because it's important to know that Pain can be managed....

And Life with Pain is still Life.

And with every day of Life with Pain.

There is the Hope of....

Life without Pain.


  1. How about swimming or rowing?

  2. Yes. That is the next step.... I mean stroke.
    Will row at the Praxis workout and will visit the Chavez Community Center and try swimming. I hate to swim - swim like a rock - but will give it a try. Thank you Blonde and Beautiful One.