Friday, January 27, 2012

Food for thought: global warming

Today's WSJ has a strong editorial cosigned by 16 scientists regarding global warming. I'll just say that it asks a number of important questions and it would be very worthwhile to have a deeper debate on this issue.

Whatever your stance is on global warming, this article is worth a read.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Carticel implant recovery @ 6 months

In connection with yesterday's post celebrating my first post-knee surgery bike ride, I thought it would be worthwhile to post a six-month post-surgery update.

In general, my knee health is good and improving. Knee strength in my surgery leg has reached the levels of my "good" leg (as measured by knee extension and leg press exercises), and I haven't walked with assistance of any kind in more than two months. I have also reduced the amount of time wearing my unloader knee brace from all waking hours to half time (plus during any physical activity.)

I would not say that I am walking normally, but probably @ 80% of a normal gait.

I am a little concerned about two things that may be related:

1) the bruise on the interior of my repaired knee continues, though it is somewhat less intense than when presented to my doc two months ago.

2) I do not have any persistent knee pain - even during demanding activity, like climbing stairs, but I do have intermittent pain on the inside of my repaired knee when I put mild torque on my repaired knee. (i.e. when I turn on this knee, typically counter-clockwise, even when wearing the knee brace.)

#1 and #2 are probably connected.

I am very conscious on the condition, so being smart I am only likely to experience this sort of pain once or twice a day, and the pain goes as quick as it comes. It does make me wonder if the implantation has some sort of flaw (or if the doc missed a spot), which is mentally challenging, but still too early to tell.

I seem to avoid or minimize this torsional knee pain when I take the precaution of mildly "popping" my knee into alignment, which is accomplished by taking all weight off of my leg and performing a very slight clockwise turn of my leg.

I have increased the attention I pay to lateral knee exercises (of which there aren't a lot), and I'll check in with my Doc again next month, and I'll be eager to hear what he thinks about this.

In general, though, I am still improving, and experienced my first totally pain-free day last week. I do find that their are daily limits to the amount of activity that I can handle, but this has been on a continuous upswing since getting rid of my crutches in early November.

(I really only experienced this on days with substantial walking, such as touring in Europe late last year, and moving between business meetings in Boston this month.)

Looking forward, I am really, really excited about biking season, and have told my baseball team that I aim to be playing with them again this summer, which means my recovery is right on track, though right now, the thought of running is painful. (Maybe that's my age, and not my knee speaking.)

Please feel free to get in contact via email or the comments section if you have any questions about life with Carticel, or the recovery process.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1st post-surgery bike ride

Even though it is mid-January, it is 62 degrees here in Virginia, so I closed my laptop early to hop on my bike for the first outdoor bike ride since my knee surgery 6 months ago.

I never left the low gears on my bike but that might have more to do with the extra weight around my belly than the knee surgery.

~10 miles in ~ 45 minutes - 13mph versus 16-17 pre-surgery pace, though usually over much hillier roads.

(I should mention that I was cleared to ride outside a month ago, but between the cold weather, and the doctor's order that I stay off of hills, I didn't get to ride until today.)

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous