Giving Props Where Props Are Due
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to make one bionic. The people below made it—my new state of bionicness—happen.
I am very particular about the professionals I see with regard to my well-being. Let me be more specific: If I sense any kind of negative energy or funky attitude from someone who will spend an inordinate amount of time touching me, I move on. Thankfully, my "spider sense" was working overtime as soon as I realized the knee was dying. By ten minutes into the first meeting with the orthopedist, I knew he was the person I wanted to perform the knee replacement. The oriental medicine practitioner is a long-time surf friend who exudes all kinds of positive, healing energy. There was no way I could physically survive the recovery without her help. My physical therapist, the same one who tortured Soul Brother #1 back to good health after his rotator cuff surgery, is more talented and knowledgeable than I suspected; she got this knee straighter than it's been in decades. Finally, the massage therapist is just plain getting it done—breaking up scar tissue and pointing me in the right direction in terms of maintaining the health of my joint.
How many doctors introduce themselves by their first names? I still can't get over that.
Okay, I'll admit to the internet that I have a bit of a crush on my orthopedist, Dr. Kevin Ehrhart. He's easy on the eyes, has a no-nonsense attitude and he's an athlete. What more can an athletic osteoarthritis patient ask for?
I just plain like him. He's good at what he does, yet he's not consumed by his job. When given the choice between several surgeries back-to-back or taking a break to ride his bike, he'd rather go ride his bike. That tells me that for him it's not about the money.
She and I are the two female goofy-foot surfers in the crew. God help you if there's a left. Get out of our way!
She is indescribable. I've gone to her for various ailments over the last six years. She listens. She cares. She wants you to feel better.
Needles. Moxibustion. Good, calm, nice person energy.
Inner Chi Traditional Chinese Medicine (310) 663-3963
I've spent so much time on this blog complaining about my physical therapist that I need not say much more here. I will say she knows her stuff. I don't mean she's good. I mean she's exceptional.
I don't know how many times our therapy sessions had to take a temporary break because we were both laughing too hard to continue. Look, the physical therapists know they're hurting you. They have to hurt you. You cannot recover well from something like this unless you're willing to endure some extremely painful moments in therapy. You need to find a physical therapist in whom you can put your trust.
I trusted her not to damage the knee (although there were times when I truly believed she was going to force the prosthesis to pull out of the bones). I trusted her to get me back on a surfboard. Since I've already started surfing again and the knee remains solid, I would say I put my trust in the right hands.
Orthosport Physical Therapy
Painful. Painful. Pain-to-the-f-u-l.
Dennis is now the anchor leg of this relay team. Kevin no longer wants anything to do with me. Leah sent me packing. Now Nicole tells me I'm about to get kicked to the curb. The only one who still loves me is Dennis. Granted, he's got a funny way of showing that love. I do a lot of screaming while on that table and believe you me they are hardly screams of ecstasy.
Nevertheless, that Active Release Technique massage works wonders. He and I are on a mission to get this leg to bend further than it has in 29 years. I think we can make it happen. Hell, if I only get 10 degrees more than I had, I'll be ecstatic. He knows exactly how to attack the scar tissue. It hurts like hell. No, the fires and tortures of hell cannot possibly hurt as much as this ART stuff does. Since it's working, I have no complaints.
The best thing is that I've now found a massage therapist to address all of my ailments. Once the knee is feeling much better, I'll start having him work on my shoulders and lats. At this point, I'm too old and too active not to spend some time on the massage table. I've spent years breaking down this body with physical activity. I want to stay active, but I realize I've got to give more attention to maintenance now that I'm no longer a young pup. (I won't need that awful ART massage for my surfing muscles; I'll just have him loosen them up with normal massage.)
L.A. Sports Massage
None of these people asked me to write about them or give them free advertising. I truly appreciate what they've done. I believe in them. Therefore, I'm giving them their props.