Friday, July 24, 2009

Post Surgery Day 9

I think I will move to a weekly post about my knee recovery unless there is something exciting to talk about.  Right now I am progressing each day and do not have a lot to report on.  Today I went to the gym and got on the exercise bike for 20 minutes.  I felt great and it was not a problem.  The hardest part of this recovery is doing everything at 5%.  I always go 110% at everything I do or I just don't do it.  I have been told to put no resistance on the bike and just turn the pedals at a moderate pace.  This is going to be mentally challenging because to sit on a bike and really not feel like I am doing anything is going to be hard for me.  I would like to get my heart rate up and sweat but I am going to have to use swimming for that right now.  Speaking of I got in the pool today for the first time and it was a great reality check.  One my stamina sucks and I could only do about 10 laps but part of the problem was my shoulder just flat out hurt doing some of the strokes.  I have bone spurns in my shoulder restricting motion in my AC Joint.  I knew I was going to have surgery on this in the Fall because it has been bothering me since October.  The orthopedic surgeon felt like the knee was more serious because I could do further damage to it where the shoulder really can't get any worse because it is bone not ligaments.  So I have more fun to look forward to in October.  Well I will keep you posted on any other developments.

Post Surgery Day 8

My second day of physical therapy got me started on a exercise bike.  I was quite surprised when I got there that my therapist told me to get on a exercise bike for 10 minutes.  She told my range of motion looked good enough to give it a try.  I honestly didn't think I would be on a bike for at least 4-6 weeks so this is really great.  I know they are not going to let me run or get on an elliptical glider for 2-3 months so I was concerned how I was going to stay in shape during this recovery.  I knew I was going to heavily rely on swimming because there is no resistance on the knee.  I can swim okay but I am no Michael Phelps when it comes to my strokes so getting on a bike is very encouraging.  I took up spinning this year because my knee was getting worse so I was already getting into biking before the surgery.  My wife and I have been talking about taking our bikes out on the silver comet trail for a while and I think this is a great excuse to do that.  Just need to build up my strength and stamina and then head out.  Here is the link to the Silver Comet Trail Trail for anyone who is interested. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Post Surgery Day 6 (Physical Therapy)

I had my first session of physical therapy today and they thought I was ahead of the normal recovery.  I can bend my leg a considerable amount and now just have to keep working on the flexibility and my strength.  I think I might even be able to play my kick drum within a few days.  My only concern would be the pounding down on the bass drum pedal.  Most of my playing is heel up which is pretty strong motion but I could easy back in with playing heel down.  I was cleared to drive and go up and down stairs and I can trying swimming.  

They had this really cool ice pack at the physical therapy place.  It is a machine connected to a wrap that goes around your leg.  You put ice cubes in the machine and it then pumps 40 degree water in to the wrap around your knee.  Feel like a blood pressure cuff when they pump it up.  It gets super cold.  Check out the  link -

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Post Surgery Day 4 (Finally A Shower)

I has been 4 days since my arthroscopic surgery and everyday I can bend my knee a little more.  The surgeon wants me to keep the immobilizer cast on for must of the time but when I have it off I have started to gently stretch my range of motion.  I am waiting until Monday when I see my physical therapist to see what I should be doing for exercises.  I am hoping see also clears me for swimming because i think it is the only cardio activity I will be able to do for a few weeks.  I think the bike my be a week or 2 away until a have good rotation of my knee.  It is frustrating not being able to do the things that I take for granted like giving my son a bath, or taking him up to his bedroom.  I should be able to handle stairs relatively soon but kneeling down for baths or yoga dog position my be out of my reach for a month.  I know in the end it will all be worth it because I can already tell that the bump I used to have on the inside of my knee is no longer there as well as it is not sensitive to touch.  Just have to work hard through the rehab and make sure I do everything they tell me too.  

I finally got to take a shower tonight.  I can tell you it was a glorious event that I did not want to end.  My sharpie markings and the iodine from the surgery are still on my skin around the knee because I did not want to scrub to hard.  I have been icing my knee 3-4 times a day trying to get the rest of the swelling down.  

Right now everything is feeling good and I am getting around pretty well.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Post surgery Day 3

I slept pretty well last night and had no pain in my leg or knee.  I have a 9:45 AM appointment with the surgeon to remove the cast, the bandages and the stitches.  He thought everything looked good except I still had some swelling on my knee.  He told me to keep ice on it and the swelling would eventually come down.  The surgeon could have drained it with a needle but wanted to wait for the swelling to go down on its own.  I have included 2 photos from my office visit.  I was quite surprised that I only had 2 incisions below my knee and a needle hole on top where the drain was pit in.  You can see from the photos that my knee is still very swollen and bruised around where they went inside.  You can also see where I had to right YES to denote which leg they were doing surgery on.  What a fail safe system.  The surgeon wants me to keep the immobilizer cast on when I walk and thinks I can start my therapy on Monday.  I can put weight on the leg but the main thing that I need to work on is getting my flexibility back.  He doesn't want me driving until next week and just wants me to take it easy.  I also still have to wait until tomorrow until I can take a shower.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Post Surgery Day 2

Sleeping in my bed last night wasn't to bad but I did wake up a few times feeling like my body was in awkward position.  I normally sleep on my left side and to sleep on my back with a pillow under my leg is very weird.  The leg seemed to be a little more stiff this morning but I think it is because I have not walked yet today nor have I sat down and had it bent a little.  

I have loosened the soft cast and removed it this morning in order to let my leg breathe as well as to put some ice on my knee.  I can hardly feel the ice because from my thigh to my angle they have wrapped me like a mummy in ace bandages.  I was told not to touch those bandages so I will just keep the ice on top of the bandages and make the best of it.

Post Surgery Day 1

I was wide awake until 3:00 am last night probably due to being groggy for most of the day from the anesthesia.  I decided to sleep on the couch last night so I could elevate my leg as well as not wake up my wife if I was uncomfortable.  Got up around 7:00 am and felt pretty good.  I didn't have any pain but my leg was very stiff.  I have a feeling it is going to be stiff until the cast comes off on Friday and I start physical therapy.  I sat on my couch must of the day to keep my leg rested while I was taking calls from Sister Hazel fans across the globe.  

The one challenging thing has been putting on my right shoe and changing my clothes.  I feel a little helpless because I cannot bend my right leg to put my shoe on nor can I reach down to change my shorts.  Its kind of a drag and cannot wait to get this cast off on Friday.  It has also left me to take sponge baths because I cannot get this cast and bandage wet.  All I need is some dread locks, a few hemp necklaces and a pause at 4:20 and I would fit in with the cool crowd.  

I have been able to get around my house without crutches and I try to walk with all my weight on my left foot.  I can put weight on my right foot without pain but I am trying to avoid any extra stress on that leg until I see the surgeon.  

This evening I will sleep in the bed since I have been feeling pretty good.  I have not really needed the pain medication at the moment because most of my uncomfortable feeling is not pain but rather stiffness and itchiness.  

So far I am happy where I am with my  recovery and things are going well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Arthroscopic Pictures From My Surgery

Picture 1 - What looks like icicles are bone spurs on my knee cap behind my patella.

Picture 2 - Is what the same area looks like after bone spurs have been shaved off.

Picture 3 - On the right hand side between the 2 bones is the meniscus tear.  On the left hand side is the cyst that formed from the tear.

Picture 4 - This is after the meniscus tear and the cyst were removed. No more loose cartilage.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Surgery Day

It was a long day at the hospital today but everything has turned at well so far.  I finally was taken back to the operating room around 1 PM today.  Within minutes of arriving in the operating room I was out cold.  This was a new experience for me because when I had my wisdom teeth taken out and when I had an endoscopy done it was a different type of anesthesia. On those 2 procedures they put you to sleep but you are breathing on your own and it is not a deep sleep.  Today they put something in my throat to help with my breathing and it was a very deep sleep.  

The procedure took only about an hour but I was in recovery for about 2 and half hours.  I was probably a sleep for 1 and half hours in recovery.  When I woke up I was very groggy and was starving since I had not eaten since the night before. Fortunately I was not in a lot of pain and they did a good job of managing it for me.  They had given me the option of a nerve block needle (similar to an epidural) to help with pain but I was hesitant to mess with my legs and nerves so I just took the morphine and percocete.  The pain was not that bad so I felt good with my decision.  I remember the orthopedic surgeon coming in and talking to me but I could not tell you anything he said because I was not not completely awake.  So he had gone in and talked with my Dad and explained what they found and what they did.
The surgeon removed the piece of torn meniscus and took out a cyst that had formed from the torn meniscus.  He gave my knee a thorough inspection and also found bone spurs on the knee cap behind my patella.  We had talked about this prior to the surgery and thought that there may be some there.  So he went in and scraped them off as well.

They put a leg immobilizer cast on my leg from my thigh down to my angle.  It is a neoprene wrap with a 2 inch metal rod on the back to keep my leg straight until Friday.  I am scheduled to go in on Friday to have the stitches removed. Right now I have no idea how many incisions were made and where because I have this cast on.

Overall I have been pleasantly surprised not to have a lot of pain.  I had no idea what to expect after surgery but I am crossing my fingers that the worst has passed and I am moving forward now.  Wearing the immobilizer has been more annoying than any pain that I have because it is cumbersome and itches. I took 1 vicodin this evening at 7 PM and I plan on taking 2 when I go to bed just in case I wake up with pain.  If I don't have any pain in the morning I probably will not take anymore unless I need it.  I do not like to take drugs if I don't have to.

Stayed tuned for my progress and thanks for all your thoughts and prayers today.

Surgery Morning

I was supposed to be getting up at 5:30 am for a 8:30 am surgery.  Well I got a call from the hospital last night saying that they had to move me back until 12:15.  Have I mentioned that I hate hospitals.  So now I get to starve from midnight until somewhere around 4 pm the next day.  That is going to be hard for me since I love my food.   
I am not looking forward to possibly being restricted to crutches for a while and having to take it easy.  I love to be active and that is why I am getting my meniscus fixed in the first place.  If I want to continue to run, play tennis and go snowboarding I needed to get it fixed.  Plus my orthopedic told me it was only going to get worse as I got older.  Hopefully they can fix the tear and clean out the cyst without to much trouble.  If everything goes as plan I am supposed to have the stitches taken out on friday and can start physical therapy on Monday. Probably will be swimming a lot in order to get some type of cardiovascular workout in.  I think I will not be allowed to run for a few months to make sure I have completely healed and that I have built up enough strength in my knee.
I will post again tonight when I get home.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My New York Mets Are Spiraling To The Cellar Again

Ever since I was 7 years old I have been a die hard New York Mets fan.  I have been waiting for another world series title since their 1986 one.  The 2000 loss to the Yankees in the world series hurt and the to get so close to the World Series in 2006 was just not fair.  

Right now to see the current team self destruct year after year is killing me.  Everyone thought replacing Willie Randolph was the problem but here we are again with the team spiraling down in the middle of the season.  The problem with this team is Omar Minyaya the general manager and the cohesiveness of the players he has assembled.  He has brought all these big names in but these guys can't play as a team and there is no leader in the clubhouse.  

Across town there is no denying the leadership role of Derek Jeter but these Mets just don't have that guy. Everyone thinks it should be David Wright but he has just not stepped up.  No one seems accountable on this team nor does there seem to be a tight bond between all the players. Even though this years team is decimated with injuries is time to change direction with the team and general manager.  The owner should let go of Omar at the end of this year and try to find a better guy who can really judge talent in the farm system.  I also think its time to let Beltran and Delgado go.  These guys are just not consistent and I think younger players are the way to go.  This will also help David Wright be that leader.  Personally I think he has lot of the same issues that Tony Romo has had in Dallas.  When there are other players on the team vying for attention and the spotlight it is hard to lead a team and be respected.  At the same time the leader needs to perform on the field and lead by example.  His hitting has not be solid and there have been to many errors in the field.  Maybe because he is trying to hard with all the injuries but they need to get some other young guys in there and start playing like a team.  There doesn't seem to be that hunger to get back to the playoffs and win a World Series.  

Hopefully changes can be made this year after they have another dismal season.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What Makes A Good Salad

I had lunch at Walter Payton's Roundhouse today and had a very good steak salad. It had the perfect amount of ingredients and they all worked well together. Most people think that salads are easy to make and you can just whip one up. But that is not really true if you want a good one.

Of course most salads have greens but after you make that decision, you have to 'top' your salad. But too many ingredients on a salad is exactly like to many toppings on a good New York pizza; it will suck. As the saying goes: there can be too much of a good thing.

I like a lot of the basic vegetables in my salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions), usually with steak or chicken for some protein. After that I usually will allow 1 or 2 odd items to add a different flavor or texture - like avocado, cranberries, mandarin oranges, pecans, pine nuts. But again, too many flavors or textures will ruin the pot.

So you have a salad. Done, right? Wrong. This is the point where everything can go horribly, horribly wrong for some people and restaurants. I personally do not like heavy dressings like ranch or blue cheese with cheese added to the salad - and if you are going to add one, the salad doesn't need to be drowning in the dressing. Heavy dressings turn the greens into something that rivals that quarter pounder and large fries in terms of health benefits and is almost as heavy. I lean towards vinaigrettes and, if I'm going to top my salad with cheese, I prefer a goat cheese or crumbled blue cheese. They work well with the vinaigrettes and I like that they stick to the lettuce and other ingredients like glue. So as you stick your fork in you are able to get lots of the ingredients at once do to the cheese acting like a glue. Shredded mozzarella and cheddar don't achieve that effect.

Lastly make sure you mix it all up before serving it. Who wants a salad with the meat and cheese on top and the dressing on the bottom with the lettuce?

Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery

I have decided to write a daily post to follow my progress of my arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery.  I have had problems with my knee when I run since 2002.  I saw an orthopedic then and they said I probably tore my meniscus but to lay off running and that it might get better without surgery.  Well  last year it started acting up again and has not stop hurting when I run. After getting an MRI it was confirmed that I had a torn meniscus as well as a possible cyst.  My band was in the middle of recording a record this past year so I have put off the surgery until this Tuesday July 14th.  I am excited that I am finally getting this taken care of and I am looking forward to working hard through the rehab. 

The Beginning

I have decided to jump into the social world of blogging. Hopefully this will give everyone insight into my life with Sister Hazel and my life at home.

Most people think I am a quiet person but I think that is a misconceived notion. You see I have lots to say and many opinions but it really depends on the topics and whom I am talking to. I love to talk about music, sports, food, movies, electronics and I hate to talk about politics. Lots of people think I have no sense of humor and that I am always serious. I think that comes out because I really take a lot of pride in the things I do in my life and that I care about people. A lot of people in my life now are really into that slapstick type of humor and its not really me. I am rudolph and I don't participate in those stupid moments. So I will try to write as much as possible and keep you up on the things that might be interesting to you.