15 May 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding

While I'm not yet up to standing, walking or sitting for long periods of time, I can now see a vast improvement in the joint since having surgery almost a month ago. My knee is no longer hot to the touch; the inflammation is finally subsiding. I know that happens with time. I still credit the physical therapy and acupuncture for speeding up that process. My knee is now a bit warm to the touch. When it was touched last week, it felt like the knee had been lying out in the sun trying to get a tan. The stiffness was maddening. As I sit here typing right now, my knee is completely comfortable. I no longer have to sit with the leg extended. It is bent. While I can still bend my right knee so that my right foot is under the chair, my left leg now rests comfortably with the knee bent at least 90 degrees. Once I stand up, the pain will return. The stiffness will make its presence known. I can live with that now that I'm seeing the improvements.

As I'd predicted, last night was rough. I didn't sleep well. The pain kept me tossing and turning all night. I got up at 3 a.m. to pop an Aleve. I've decided to take as few Aleve as possible. No, I'm not trying to tough out the pain. My immediate concern is that Aleve, like Vicodin, could potentially do more harm than good. If you don't believe me, do a search on the long-term effects of NSAID use. It ain't pretty.

That leaves me with a last resort: marijuana. Yeah, I said it. Yeah, I said it on the internet for the world to see. I'll be more specific. I have taken to smoking marijuana for its pain relieving properties. As I said once before, I looked into medical marijuana. Frankly, the price for going through the motions to obtain weed legally was prohibitive. I decided to obtain it the old-fashioned way: I made a phone call to a friend who smokes weed. This was a big deal for me. I haven't smoked marijuana in at least 15 years. I don't find it enjoyable. I don't like smoke in my lungs. Nevertheless, I did some reading. Nowhere did I see anything about it causing nausea (Vicodin), causing constipation (Vicodin), or being addictive (Vicodin). Nowhere did I see anything about its somewhat long-term use leading to severe gastrointestinal problems (all or most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including Aleve). I've smoked it twice thus far. Last night, I took one or two puffs. My friend had said this stuff was strong, that since I hadn't imbibed any in over a decade I should take it slow. Well, I was a little too careful and felt a teeny tiny buzz that was weaker than an endorphin high. Tonight, I puffed a bit more. Perhaps that's why my knee feels rather good right now. I'm not high, just feeling less pain. This, then, is the optimal state for me with this substance. I don't want to get high. I didn't enjoy it much when I was younger. Age hasn't changed my attitude toward my personal use of the drug. I do support its legalization. If alcohol is legal, there is no reason why marijuana should be illegal. I doubt that I will use it every day. If marijuana were a man, I'd have to be blunt: "I'm just not that into you." However, I need something palliative on the days I go to physical therapy.

Come and arrest me now. There's not enough of it here to even get charged with anything. It is a pain relief option I'm trying. If it doesn't work, I will not look for anything else to relieve the pain. I'm done with having all of this shit, whether legal or illegal, in my system.


At 5/16/09, 5:37 AM, Blogger Bill said...

Excellent call on your part Sis
Prior to my surgery I was living on a daily dose of 1600-2400 mg. of Ibuprofen.....for years and years.
During my little stint in the hospital, I suffered 2 arterial gastric bleedouts, both requiring emergency surgeries to stop the bleeding.
"I am the Walrus
smoke pot
smoke pot
everybody smoke pot..."
for pain relief anyways LoL
word verification was "zednbong"
Keep on..
Surf on...

At 5/16/09, 7:15 AM, Blogger Retro hack said...

˙˙˙sʇɔǝɟɟǝ ǝpıs ǝɯos ǝɹɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ ʇnq ɹɐɟ os ǝɯ ɹoɟ pǝʞɹoʍ sɐɥ ʇod 'llǝʍ

As a pain reliever sure thing, as an after surf pain reliever, sure thing.
But two beers and I am going to bed.

At 5/16/09, 8:34 AM, Blogger tres_arboles said...

I adore your candor. These types of observations are so thoughtful and informative. I can't express enough appreciation and gratitude as I follow you down this path. Have a great weekend.


At 5/16/09, 1:28 PM, Blogger tango said...

Hey Surf Sister!

You da Woman! Keep up the Good Work!

I too am a Surfer and want to keep surfing into eternity!!! I'm from Central Coast, CA and have been surfing for 40 years now; I'm 54 years young, oh yea!

I've been following your blog for a little while now and I appreciate it greatly as I've made the decision to finally get my knees replaced....yes knees >>>both knees>>>at the same time on July 27, 2009!!! (details below).

But first I have 2 solutions for you:

(1) For Motivation: My wife and I would like to give you a one (1) week stay in our 3 bedroom condo in southern Nicaragua in the surf zone where the wind is offshore over 330 days per year and water is warm; on golf course and steps to beach!!! (just pay minimal operating fees). Check out the websites: http://www.NicaraguaSurfCondo.net In the photos on the site, that's me surfing with the 2 knee braces, the golfer in the red hat, and my wife and I on the beach! (November 2008). My family (3 kids, wife, and I) loves Nicaragua and we're planning on being there half the year as soon as I can make it happen. >>>More Playa Iguana, Nicaragua Photos and Videos at bottom of this comment<<<

(2)For the pain, swelling, strength, energy, state-o-mind, and just better recovery:http://www.BeWell123.com (MaxGxl-a Glutathione accelerator)>>>Glutathione is the #1 antioxidant/cellular inflammation reducer and it's already in every cell in your body...you just don't have enough of it. I've been using this patented product since February 2008 and have not taken Celebrex for pain since (no more potential liver issues with Celebrex)!!!. Take your time and check out the science, there are over 60,000 articles written about the benefits of Glutatione. I'm am a Geologist, so scientifically have thoroughly researched this stuff!

Alrighty then. So here's the deal with my knees:

While in Nicaragua last November, I played in charity golf tournament then surfed 4 days in some awesome waves (with 2 custom knee braces), but then hobbled out the surf and up the stairs to our condo. My right knee had swollen and was now unstable again. Went to the local medical clinic where they pulled 100 mils of fluid (that was interesting). Went to Doc back home (December 2008); said fluid probably from arthritis and over amping; but, appears that my ACL which I thought was gone again, officially was history: hence the unstability. After looking at my xrays; the Doc said that I had worn out about 1 CM of bone on both knees from inner medial compartment and that I should not wait longer that a year of he may not be able to perform knee replacement. Went back to the Doc 2 weeks ago; he agreed to replace both knees at same time because I was in good shape. Bottom line, I've had bi-lateral surgeries several times before and just want to get the whole process over with!

Current Knee Condition:

Severe osteoarthritis (bone on bone)with unstable right knee (shot ACL) and weak left knee. Knees are bowed. right.

Past knee history:

Original full meniscus removal in 1970 on right knee from football injury; Meniscus removal both knees 1984; Tibial Osteotomy right knee 1985; bilateral ACL replacement with Gortex in 1985 (tweeked my left knee from jump); Gotex wore out, so bi-lateral ACL replacement with cadaver ligaments in 1998 with meniscus trimming.

So Aloh y Saludos for now.

You have encouraged me to start a blog during my surgery and recovery period.

Peace and God Bless! To your speedy recovery and return to the Surf!!!


Tom Bauman

PS: Here's some more Nicaragua websites Youtube videos and Surfermag article from Playa Iguana:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QgHaj31Qv8 (pictorial);

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcrh3pA7tuc (video);

http://surfermag.com/photos/flash/nicaragua-grant2/ (surfer Mag Photo Session of Corey Lopez and posse surfing Playa Iguana - Colorados and Panga Drops - with photos of the local culture)

At 5/16/09, 2:23 PM, Blogger Retro hack said...

Thats sweet of you Tango, but can you skip the pictures of your knee operations?
Best of luck to you!

At 5/16/09, 9:59 PM, Blogger rebeccajane said...

Nice post.

Good story.

Thanks for telling it.

And I'm glad to hear that your seeing and feeling improvements already. Must make the light appear a bit brighter at the end of the tunnel - even if it is still a bit of a distace!

At 5/17/09, 6:46 AM, Blogger Alan_M said...

There are edibles from the collectives as well. No lung harshing and the relief is more even sustained. Just a thought.
Heal on!

At 5/18/09, 9:39 AM, Blogger pabs said...

Yeah...like Alan said, "There are edibles..."; this might be a better way for you than the smoking, but you'll have to find someone who likes to bake with green butter! :-)

At 5/19/09, 1:36 PM, Blogger couponqueen said...

My dad got knee surgery a couple of years ago and I remember him telling me how much pain he was in. Although it's an over-the-counter pain reliever, he was taking Aleve everyday to help treat the pain. Believe it or not, the Aleve helped and my dad wasn't complaining of pain so much. I would recommend Aleve to anyone!


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