Don't Mess With My Glasses

I was thinking about my vision and how important it is to me when I remembered how it began. So, I thought I’d write about. Hope you enjoy..

My love affair with my vision started when I was a young tot in third grade. That’s when I got my first pair of glasses. They were the attractive ones (tongue in cheek) with beige coloring and diamond cut inserts on the sides. I loved my glasses since I could see clearly when I wore them. Go figure. Anyways…here’s a true story:

It was a beautiful summer’s day. My friend and I were out catching pollywogs at one of my favorite places..the pollywog pond. The pollywog pond was a housing development gone bad since it never got further then a bulldozer digging up dirt and leaving a big hole in the ground. When it rained, the water gathered. Hence, it turned into a pond. With time, the pollywogs came. It was fun catching pollywogs in a bucket and taking them home. I’d keep them in the backyard. I loved watching these swimmers sprought legs and begin the maturation process into reptilehood. My mom didn’t like it, though. “Get those filthy things out of here. Put them back where they belong,” she’d say. Sometimes she could be a party pooper.

Back to the story…as my friend and I were checking out the new batch of pollywogs, a voice came from nowhere. “Get out of here. You don’t belong here. This is my property.” I looked up and saw Stinky, the brat from the next block. Stinky’s real name was Billy. He got his nickname since anyone with a sense of smell would know he was around. He could never sneak up on anyone. Stinky and I were enemies. I used to beat him in baseball all the time and he didn’t like it. He would tease me mercilessly in front of others which I didn’t like. We couldn’t stand the sight of each other.

I stood up. “This isn’t your property. It’s my dad’s,” I replied. “I said get out of here,” he said as he moved closer. “No. Make me,” I retorted. So, with that, he started pushing me. He made the first move. I pushed back. Then, a couple pushes later, my glasses flew off. That did it. You can mess with me, but don’t mess with my glasses.

If anyone is familiar with Curly and the “Pop Goes The Easel” skit…that was what I was like. (Every time Curly would hear the song ‘Pop Goes The Weasel’ he’d go insane and start flinging his arms and punching anything/everything in sight). Stinky and I were fighting when suddenly he got a bloody nose. He turned and started yelling, “I’m gonna tell my mom on you!” He was running home. “Oh yeah! Ya big sissy!” was my response.

Then, my friend and I went to find my coveted glasses. We found them. It was a joy. As I put my glasses on, I remember thinking how nice it was to see clearly. It’s the simple things that matter. Ahh…childhood memories.

Holiday Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadien readers!

Happy Columbus Day to my United States readers!


Weights & A TKR

Some readers have asked me lately whether I used weights during my tkr recuperation. I have written articles about this before, but thought it was time to discuss it further. The answer is “yes, I have”. Weights were used in a variety of ways. I will discuss how they were used as a straightening device in this post.

One exercise involving weights was done by sitting in a firm chair. I’d have another firm chair directly in front of me, about three feet away. I’d extend my tkr leg onto the other chair. My tkr knee would be in the center portion of the separated chairs. Or, I’d sit on my sofa and extend my tkr leg onto my coffee table with the same space underneath my tkr knee.

Then, when my knee was as straight as it would be, I’d put a towel over it. Then, I’d put a two-pound ankle weight on top of the front of my tkr knee. OUCH! It needed to be done, however. I started with a two-pound weight, but gradually increased it to five pounds. And, I do mean gradually. I never did more than five pounds since I received great results with only five pounds.

Once the weight was on my tkr knee, I’d keep it on for about one to two minutes to start with. This would be increased to ten minutes (but only after about three months post-tkr surgery).

This is one way in which I used weights to help straighten my tkr leg during rehabilitation.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Holiday Wishes

Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadien readers!

Happy Columbus Day to my United States readers!


Knee Braces & A TKR

Prior to my total knee replacement, I tried everything I could to avoid the pain. One thing I did was wear a knee brace. It was painful and I didn’t understand why. That is, until I saw an x-ray of my knee.

I had bone spurs on each side of my knee that had developed due to my knee being bone-on-bone. I have written other blog posts about my bone spurs. They just need to be discussed in this article since they play a major role.

A knee brace stabilizes the knee joint by compressing the muscles. I can see how a brace would work for many people with knee concerns. However, the muscle compression caused my bone spurs to dig into my nerves more than usual. That is what caused the pain from wearing a knee brace.

Knee braces may be great for others, but they sure did not work for me. It just goes to show that everyone is different.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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People Think the Detroit Red Wings will "fall"?

Get a grip. I have been listening to NHL interviews with various sports writers, announcers and analysts. There is a hub bub (speculating talk) about the Detroit Red Wings being the team to watch since they lost Hossa and other key players. “The Red Wings may fall” is the statement. Apparently, these “hockey news” individuals need something to talk about to fill air time.

Spare me with the negative speculating. The NHL season is only a few days old. Sure, the Wings were swept by the St. Louis Blues. So what? As much as I love watching hockey, I don’t place much credence in the first half of the regular season. The teams are still working bugs out.

And, as far as Marion Hossa goes. I think he’s overrated. A 40-goal scorer typically shines during the playoffs and Stanley Cup finals (if their team makes it that far). Hossa did not do that at all for the Wings. He wimped out. And…he was not injured at that time.

Geri Hudler went to the Russian league. He’ll do a great job, I’m sure. I also believe he’ll be back in the NHL when the time and situation is a match for him.

Mikael Samuelson, another former Wing who was a key player during the 2008-2009 season, will be missed. He’s not indispensable, however.

(The Wings let the above-mentioned three players go since the salary cap would have been exceeded. Apparently, the top five players of the team take 90% of the allowed salary cap. Woah…)

The Detroit Red Wings have far too much depth and experience to sit by idly and let their team rely upon a handful of players. It is a team effort in the franchise. It always has been and always will be. The sport of hockey, in general, is a team effort.

And, the Wings’ “older players are getting older” philosophy? Spare me. I’m so sick and tired of hearing others stating the Wings are too old for their own good. Every year it’s the same thing. Get over it.

Yes, the Wings lost the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh. It was a great series, though. And…it did not lessen my belief in or loyalty to my favorite hockey team….the Detroit Red Wings.

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Stairs & A TKR…19 Months Post-Op

The past few days I have needed to climb up and down stairs that have a wider than 6” depth. (6” is the depth of a typical step or stair).What an experience.

The second day I was totally pooped. I was so tired, in fact, that I fell asleep during some of the Detroit Red Wings’ game against the St. Louis Blues in Sweden. That’s a first. It was kind of funny, actually, because when I started to snooze the Wings were up by two. No worries. When I woke up, they were losing. Bummer.

Anyways, back to my knee. It has been swollen for the past two days. My ankles are swollen, also. The first day sleeping was tough due to my tkr leg hurting so much. It was similar to how it was back when I was still stretching out my hamstrings. My tkr leg was having difficulty stretching out. Ouch..

The nerve on the outside of my tkr leg has been reminding me that it’s there, also. It usually is painful to just stand up. I have to wait a few seconds to get everything in place prior to moving. (I just re-read that sentence and ….that would make a good YouTube video).

I’m staying in an older house now, while watching a cute labrador, and my mind views it as interesting to see how these older houses are built as compared to the newer ones. My body doesn’t think it’s too interesting, though.

It could be much worse. So, for now, I’ll just sound like life is tough when it really isn’t. Just an update about the thrills of stairs and a tkr….19 months post op.

NHL News…Retirements, Signings and Updates

Mats Sundin announced his retirement from the NHL after 18 seasons of playing. His NHL career includes 1,346 games and 1,349 points.

He has played with Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks.

Theo Fleury announced his retirement after playing in the NHL for 15 seasons. His career accomplishments include 1,084 games and 1,088 points.

His career included playing with Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and the Chicago Blackhawks.


Other NHL News includes:
* Cam Ward signed 6 year contract with Carolina Hurricanes valued at $38.7 million.
* Ryan Hollweg has signed a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.
* Ryan Bayda signed a one-year contract with the defending Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins.

* Manny Legace has been released by the Atlanta Thrashers from try outs.
* Randy Jones has been put on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers.
* Adam Hall and Ryan Craig have been put on waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
* Rob Schremp, formerly of Edmonton Oilers, has been signed by the New York Islanders.
* Dan Hinote and Matthew Dandenault are released from try outs by the San Jose Sharks.

Info provided by the NHL Network and NHL Live!

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Brendan Shanahan no longer a New Jersey Devil

Seasoned NHL veteran, Brendan Shanahan, has parted ways with the New Jersey Devils. According to the NHL Network and NHL Live!, Shanahan decided to not play with the team any longer since he would not be playing in the top three lines for the upcoming season.

I admire Shanahan for not just playing for the money but realizing that if he couldn’t play at his best, he wouldn’t play. Kudos to him.

I have been a fan of Shanahan since his Detroit Red Wings days. He was part of the Stanley Cup championship teams in the late 1990’s. 🙂

As of today, 10/01/09, Shanahan is still under contract with the NJ Devils, but is a free agent. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires.

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Book excerpt: After Effects of A Fractured C-1

Here is another excerpt from my upcoming book:

One of the injuries I sustained during my car accident was a fractured C-1 (broken neck). The C-1 is the first cervical vertebrae. In many cases, fracturing his vertebrae results in paralysis. Luckily, I did not experience this.

I was initially treated by having to lay flat with sand bags on each side of my head. My head was immobilized this way. This treatment lasted for six weeks.

After my immobilization period, I needed to wear a soft collar whenever I was up moving around. I did not need it when I was laying down. (Seeing that there was a velcro closure in the back, it would have been too uncomfortable wearing this while in the prone position). My soft collar was foam rubber incased in a cotton stretch blend. I needed to wear this for about two months.

Ever since my C-1 injury, sudden movement of my head causes me ill health. I can experience headaches, nausea, confusion and vision problems. I’m not a lot of fun to be around when this happens (that’s an understatement).

This is one of the main reasons I end up driving most of the time. Not many people are good drivers and I am tired of finding that out the hard way. 😕

New Development in TKR Strength

Hi everyone,
After previously mentioning how I was not able to lift my tkr leg up onto my toes as much as my non-tkr leg, I’ve been working at it. My lifting up onto my toes has been strengthening my calf and hamstring muscles. Nice…
Now…about a couple of weeks after my original post regarding this concern, my tkr leg can lift almost as much as my other leg. That is a vast improvement that I am so happy to see. 🙂 Whew…had me concerned for a while there.
Keep truckin’ ! Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) Anthem 09/25/09

Prior to today’s NHL preseason game between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators (on the NHL Network), I saw and heard something quite interesting and ..what’s the phrase?…spare me?

Traditionally, prior to NHL games broadcast from Canada, we’d hear the Hockey Night in Canada theme played with musical instruments. It was great and very pleasing to listen to.

Now…there is an electronic band named “Simple Plan” playing the tune. The cameras shoot to the drummer, there are bright laser brights and electric guitarists playing the melody. A rock and roll band is playing the HNIC theme. The guitarists are good, don’t get me wrong. That is, I guess they’re good…anyone can sound good on an electric guitar.

Hearing the HNIC theme put into electronic format is not my cup of tea. The melody sounds like what we’re used to. But…electric squealing and drum pounding? Spare me with the rock and roll version (and I usually love r&r)…

The new version is probably geared toward the 18-25 year-old market place in an attempt to gain their dollars. Last thing I heard was that the NHL was focusing its publicity campaign on that age group in an attempt to increase exposure and sales. Oh well….

During television breaks, I noticed, the traditional sounding theme was played. Interesting….

Oh oh….Pierre McGuire’s back with color commentary. I heard him on a couple of other preason games. He is good at what he does, I was just hoping he’d get a coaching position for this season.

Another NHL Lingerie Stop

I forgot to mention something else about the 1965 Vintage Game I previously wrote about…

There was a lull in the previously-mentioned 1965 Stanley Cup semi-finals game when Glenn Hall, Hawks goalie, needed a “lingerie stop”. His suspenders broke.

“Whenever there is a lingerie seems to involve goalies,” stated the announcer. As Hall went to the bench to have his suspenders repaired, Bobby Hull shot a rubber ball into the goal. The crowd went wild. 🙂

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