Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Thursday, February 02, 2017


There's swelling most of the time in the left knee. After a workout, it throbs for a couple of days. I went to the hotshot orthopedic surgeon who replaced the knees of a couple of my friends and close family. He ordered an MRI, and I went in yesterday to have him explain it to me: "Your knee is borked. You will need a total knee replacement."

I asked when, and he said that he'd like me to try to hold off a few years, because the service life on these things is only about 15-20 years for an average person getting them, of average weight, of average physical activity for a person receiving them... who are generally much older than me. I am well above average in most of those categories.

In the meantime, he wants me to use ibuprofen (which I'm responsive to) to keep the swelling down, and drop 50-100 lbs. (The last time that I was 100 lbs lighter, everyone asked if I had end-stage cancer or AIDS. I'm not going that light again for a LONG time.)  50 lbs would put me at about 242, which isn't a bad weight for me. Of course, running and walking to get my cardio are out, and he's not big on elipticals trainer machines, which I have been using. Maybe bicycling, and definitely swimming. There is a natatorium in the  town next to my town, and annual passes are $125.

I'm looking at bicycles in the 22.5" frame size.

So, I've got some stuff to do, and a body fitness level to trice up.

Of course, that very evening, a "CPR In Progress" call came in. I drove quickly to get to the scene, out in the county. The mobile homes at the site were scattered with no rhyme or reason, and most were not marked. I got out of my cruiser, and ran to a house, which the residents declared to be a different address. Seeing the engine and the ambulance pull up and block my cruiser, I ran south, down the hill toward the next house 100 yards away, and upon finding that address on the porch (please post your address in very large, reflective numbers), I sprinted another 50 or so yards to the next house, and found the appropriate mobile home behind it. I ran in and made patient contact, bringing in the ambulance and fire guys. Once we had the patient buttoned-up in ambulance to go to hospital, a couple of firefighters laughed and said, "Dang, Matt G, we haven't ever seen you run like that before!" I let them know that it does happen, from time to time, though it was amusing that it should happen the same day that a fancy orthopedic surgeon told me not to.

The next morning, the knee was throbbing, some. Eh.

So, less food. More pushups. More coffee (obviously, because that's usually the best answer when you don't know what else to do). Less (I won't say "none at all") beer.

To paraphrase an internet friend of mine who is rapidly recovering from a hernia surgery with post-op infection: Getting fit isn't complicated; it is merely hard.

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At Thursday, February 02, 2017 12:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a total knee replacement in my right knee in 2015. I was told that there is some reason to believe (but no proof yet) that it might well last 20 or 25 years. I was 55. I am kind of counting on it lasting 15 years.
Note also that if you read the literature, there is actual controversy about what behavoirs do or don't cause joints to fail - some things long presumed to cause failure cannot actually be statistically shown to be causes.
That said, it's big time surgery with big time recovery, and the different between 292 and 242 will be huge regardless.
Good luck.

At Thursday, February 02, 2017 8:06:00 PM, Blogger Sevesteen said...

It's very difficult for me to hear anyone talk about wanting to lose weight without recommending Joel Fuhrman's books, either End of Dieting or Eat to Live. I'm a fan of Penn Jillette's podcast. Penn recently lost around 100 pounds over a very short time, said on the podcast that he was writing a book about how he did it...but for those who didn't want to wait, Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to Live was a good start although slower. I bought Fuhrman's book, wound up losing 85 pounds before Penn's book came out. First 50 pounds took me 4 months, the whole 85 in about 10. I'm now back down to my high school weight, and within the Metlife max longevity range for my height.

Fuhrman's diet sounds like it would be really hard (low-fat, low salt low carb vegan, no limits on most fruits, beans and vegetables)--It is a little difficult to figure out logistically at first, but it is surprisingly easy to stick with. The upside is that I didn't need much willpower--less than I was using before the diet. I didn't have to go hungry at all. His claim that it reduces cravings was very true for me. Now that I'm at my final target weight (the target kept going lower as I was more successful) I go completely off diet a couple days a month. I don't look forward to those days nearly as much as I thought I would, and even though it's a full day of no restrictions I still eat about half of my usual salad and fruit.

I've read several of Fuhrman's books, and Penn's book Presto. End of Dieting is essentially the revised edition of Eat to Live, either one is a good guide to his weight loss philosophy. Presto is more a narrative of Penn's weight loss--Some nuggets of good information, but not as useful as a guide. Penn's diet guru Ray Cronise is also writing a book that is supposed to be more of a guide, I've pre-ordered it.

I won't clog up your comments with all the details, if you're interested the last few posts at cover my progress with before and after pictures, and thoughts as they were happening.

At Thursday, February 02, 2017 8:08:00 PM, Blogger Sherm said...

I blew a knee 45 or so years ago, got a rebuild, and proceeded along. Twenty-five or thirty years later they told me it was bone on bone but I was too young for replacement surgery. A pill of glucosamine something something has been my morning and evening regimen to keep me walking. I've had orthopaedists tell me it doesn't test well but it seems to work. I've even managed multi-day back packing trips since being told I should be in agony. Okay, so I start taking pain killers two days beforehand and pop them until long home but I make the trips.

At Saturday, February 04, 2017 2:10:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

"It's very difficult for me to hear anyone talk about wanting to lose weight without recommending Joel Fuhrman's books, either End of Dieting or Eat to Live."

Eat to Live sucks. Seriously.

At Saturday, February 04, 2017 8:55:00 AM, Blogger Sevesteen said...

I'm genuinely curious why you think Eat to Live seriously sucks? Medically risky, ineffective, difficult or something else? The book has a lot of claims I was dubious about, but so far everything I can personally check has been accurate for me.

At Monday, February 06, 2017 8:50:00 AM, Blogger Glen said...


You might seek out "Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy". The clinic where I currently work has referred about a dozen people with knee problems for that in the past two years. All had significant relief. Since it is available down here in Midland/Odessa, you can problem find it it in your part of Texas. Cost seems to be fairly moderate, and it is covered by some insurance.

The procedure is basically taking your blood, centrifuging out certain fractions, and injecting the platelet rich fraction into the joint. There are more than one providers of the equipment for the procedure, so a few different names will show up in a google search. It has not been around long enough for long term studies, but a few years delay is surgery is usually a good thing.

I've never actually met the doc here that does the procedure, but drop me a note if you would like his office information-he could probably give you names of docs up in your part of TX.

Glen in Odessa

At Monday, May 01, 2017 2:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the glucosamine suggestion. I've used glucosamine/chondroitin for years due to arthritis-like symptoms in my hands, and there is a noticeable reduction in pain when I remember to take them. (When I forget, my right index finger is kind enough to remind me.) It's not pricey; I've tried a few different brands and even the cheapest ones seemed to work fine.

At Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:49:00 AM, Blogger LauraB said...

Sorry for a belated response to this - was revisiting old Favs today.
My husband (DPS) was referred to a cardiac doc by the Dir. That changed his life. Nutritionist helped guide proper food, amounts (critical to his gut sensitivity) and we then pulled the trigger on the Peloton. Ignore the media frenzy - it is perfect for the LEO schedule. Silent - doesn't matter what shift you work, no one hears you. You WILL sweat - from endurance to HIIT to just fun DJ rides there are 5k non-live as well as scenic vistas avail 24/7. And no joint impact as long as you don't try to go nuts on it too soon. Worth every single cent. He lost 40 lb in 3 months. With the new fitness req's he is fortunate to have started early.

If you choose to go that route, let me know - I can get a $100 credit and you a $100 discount. I advise you just go all-in - buy the shoes, heart rate monitor, headphones and annual subscription all at the same time. BTW, the headphones - you will never keep inside the ear types in - too much sweat. The Urbanears Hellas have removable foam covers so you can rinse them clean of the copious sweat. You can also have I think 4 IDs on one bike so anyone in the family can have their own ID. If you'd like to chat with Himself about the doc/food/bike just let me know. It has changed his life.


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