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No Re-writes Found Here…

I wanted all my readers to know about a situation that is rampant within the Internet world. People are paid to find articles and re-write them. These articles, in turn, are posted to other websites to make it appear as if all of the work is original. It is not considered plagiarism since the wording is changed. Besides promoting laziness, it is an insult to those who actually develop their own ideas and words. It is disgusting, in my opinion.

Anyways, please know that all of my blog posts are my original wording and work. NOTHING IS A REWRITE. When I post information from another location, I state where it is coming from. Credit is given where due.

Thanks for reading….:)

Ban the Hockey Ice Girls

Bah hum bug, I say. On today’s NHL Live!, broadcast on the NHL Network and XM/Sirius Radio, Don LaGreca and Special Guest EJ Hradek touched upon the subject of having ice girls at hockey games. LaGreca does not go for it, while Hradek likes it. “It rubs me the wrong way,” LaGreca lamented. “It rubs me the right way,” replied Hradek. It was entertaining, to say the least. 🙂

I wrote a blog post about the subject matter of having “ice girls” a while ago, and today’s show brings up the necessity – I believe – to write about it again.

Background: Cheerleaders were a part of football and basketball when I was growing up. I kind of accepted that fact at the time. Plus, I was in the band and didn’t give them much attention. I had other things to concentrate on during the games. Then, during high school I saw the shenaninghans of being a cheerleader (I’m not saying anything else negative, ok? ;? )…Anyways, I didn’t like cheerleaders. I didn’t see the purpose of using women to shake pompoms, be scantily clad, attempt to rally the audience, and shake their butts all the while holding those phony smiles. I don’t need a scantily clad woman to tell me it’s ok to cheer about my team. They’re kind of like cue cards for television audience tracks, in my opinion. Enough, all ready.

Fast forward to current: When I found out that SOME (including BOSTON??!!!…an ORIGINAL SIX??!!!) hockey teams have “ice girls” (aka cheerleaders)…COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a grip. What?…management doesn’t think their team is good enough to have fans enjoy the sport of hockey? Do they think fans are so shallow that shaking womens’ butts are all it takes to incite the crowd?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for everyone having a job in this day and age. I just thought the day of scantily clad women being used to excite crowds belongs to other sports. Sports that are known for huge player egos, more outside-the-sport spectacles, more dumbfounding athlete acts. Not the highly specialized team sport of hockey.

If the day ever comes when my beloved Detroit Red Wings choose to have these hockey-style “cheerleaders”, that will be the day I stop watching hockey.

Personally, I say Ban the Ice Girls. They serve no purpose other than to demean the sport of hockey. It’s an insult to both the fan and the sport.

End of commentary.

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Why Comparison Is Not A Good Idea For TKR Patients

Even though it is a good idea to read about other tkr patients and their experiences, please remember that we are all different. Everyone recuperates at their own pace. And, everyone went into their total knee replacement surgery with a different background, different experiences. Some have experienced trauma, some have experienced aging, and some have a combination of the two (like me).

My tkr is the result of a car accident which happened 33 years ago. There was trauma to my knee and entire leg. The main leg injury was a fractured femur (thighbone). At the time, the doctors said I had arthritis in my knee as a result of my knee smashing against the dashboard. I was told then that I would not really have any problems until 30 years down the road. As a 21 year old, I thought…”Yeah, ok. That’s when I’m old.” So, here I am 30 years later. And, I’ll deny being “old”. 🙂 Funny how that works, in my opinion.

I’m mentioning this since my tkr recuperation has added concerns as compared to the typical osteoarthritis (aging) concerns. That’s the way it is and I accept that. I don’t compare myself with others. What’s the point in that?

Recently one of my patients suggested having a flexion contest among the tkr readers/patients on my blog. I love that competitive spirit and found her enthusiasm refreshing. However, I would not stack up at all, and I’m not going to try to. While other tkr patients are striving for 115-135 flexibility range (kudos to you all!), I am not in the same ball park. I’m not your average bear.

Even though gauging yourself against other tkr patients will give you a general idea about experiences, comparisons between flexibility and activities is just not a good idea. That’s my opinion, anyways. For instance, I know that to “graduate” from physical therapy, 95 was the flexibility target goal for me. I saw other tkr patients, at the same time period of my surgery, with 115-120. I started to feel inadequate since I was struggling to reach 95. And, that was with my physical therapy lady pulling and pushing on me so hard I could have screamed loud enough for Asia to hear me. 😕

The only comparison you need to make is with yourself. All you can do is keep bettering yourself. Remember your pre-tkr flexibility and activity level. Then, compare it to how you are after your surgery. In my case, my flexion and activity level have both increased remarkably. Yet, I do not have more than 100 degrees as of today. And, I may never have more than that. My doctor told me to be prepared for that based upon my prior medical experience. Prior to my tkr, though, my degree of flexibility was probably around 75. It was not good.

I believe it is important to mention this since comparing yourself with others can make you doubt your own accomplishments. What good is that? Anyone diligently working (doing their exercises) after a total knee replacement surgery needs to be proud of what they have accomplished. Don’t doubt yourself.

So, when you hear of or see other tkr patients with their desirable activity level, impressive flexion degrees, and other aspects you want to have – remember we are all different.

Good luck!

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Stairs, Laundry, and A TKR

I never gave it much thought about my going up and down stairs while handling the task of laundry. I did not enjoy doing it, but it had to be done. So, why complain? (Well, actually I’d complain, but no one could hear me. The secret’s out. :?) Anyways, that changed recently when I read a story about what one of my readers went through during this process. It was an unfortunate experience that prompted me to write this blog post about my own experience regarding this subject area. Here is how I successfully handle these tasks while recuperating from my total knee replacement.

Clear view. Make certain to have a clear view of where I am walking. If I cannot see the step area on which I am to put my foot, I do not take a step. This is common sense, yet imperative in not hurting oneself. Safety first.

Empty. Make certain there is nothing else on the steps/stairs, “empty steps”. Small items such as toys, bundled up towels, or rocks can cause a loss of balance with the end result of injury.

Laundry basket. I find this an imperative item to have while doing laundry. Rarely do I go without it.
Downstairs. Going downstairs, I either slide the basket downstairs or carry it with one hand. My other hand is holding onto the railing.
Upstairs. This takes more creativity. Upon filling my basket with clean laundry, I stand at the bottom of the stairs and lift my basket up to a comfortable level – usually three steps. I use both hands to hold the basket. I put the basket down by bending over (that’s innovation…:)). Then, I stand up, grab a hold of the railing and walk up to the laundry basket. I repeat the process. Bend over, pick up the basket, put it up three steps, use railings, etc. There is no strain. It takes awhile to accomplish the fun task of doing laundry, but so be it.

Railings. These are a necessity, especially for a tkr person. I just described how I use them. You may find the same will be helpful to you.

Footing. Firm footing is essential during this process. I make certain my entire foot is on the stair before raising myself up upon my leg.

Walking aide. During my first three weeks after my tkr, I used a crutch as a cane. This was under one arm while the other arm held the railing. Upstairs: I’d put the basket on a stair, stand up, use cane under one arm and hold on to the railing with my other hand. I’d walk up the stair to the basket, etc. Same process, basically, as mentioned above.

Well, I hope this information helps others enjoy the fun-filled task of doing laundry while having to tackle stairs during a tkr recuperation. Consider yourself a multi-tasker. 🙂

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George Kell, baseball legend, Dies at 86

I am very saddened today after hearing about the death of George Kell, the longtime Detroit Tigers announcer. He died yesterday, March 24, 2009. He had just a distinctive voice and fun-filled personality. I will always remember the way he’d say “TIIIIIIIIIGGERRRRRRRRS”. (You had to hear him say it to get the full appreciation of it). He had a way of instilling loyalty and proudness into Tigers fans.

His commentary and play-by-play announcing was always informative and entertaining – both at the same time. He taught us not just about the Detroit Tigers, but about baseball. In my opinion, he was Detroit Tigers broadcaster. Even though he is a Hall of Famer, I was too young to remember that. He made listening to and watching Detroit Tigers baseball a total pleasure. I can still hear George Kell with his unique way of saying “Tigers” and “Tiger Stadium”. I will never forget it.

I searched the Internet in an attempt to find an article that does justice for the passing away of this baseball legend who touched so many lives. Mine began as a kid and continued throughout my adulthood. I believe that the Associated Press does the best job, so I am including their article within this blog post. Also, the picture of George Kell is how I remember him – in his later years as a Detroit Tigers broadcaster. So, I’ve included it.

The link to this article is found at: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4011970

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — George Kell, the Hall of Fame third baseman who edged Ted Williams for the 1949 American League batting title and became a Tigers broadcaster for nearly 40 years, died Tuesday. He was 86.

Jackson’s Funeral Home in Newport confirmed the death but did not give a cause. The Hall of Fame said he died in his sleep at his home in Swifton. Kell was severely injured in a car crash in 2004 but was able to walk with a cane about six months later.

George Kell

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

George Kell was the 1949 AL batting champion and a 10-time All-Star, as well as a Hall of Famer.
Kell outlasted Williams for the 1949 batting crown, hitting .34291 while the Boston Red Sox great finished at .34276. Kell played 15 seasons, hitting more than .300 nine times and compiling a career average of .306. He was a 10-time All-Star.

“I grew up idolizing Stan Musial and George Kell,” said Brooks Robinson, another Hall of Fame third baseman from Arkansas. “I played a lot of baseball in Swifton and Newport, where George is from. … He was a hero to me on and off the field.”

Kell played from 1943-57 with the Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles. He topped .300 each year from 1946-53.

After he retired, Kell broadcast Tigers games from 1959 to 1996 — every year except 1964. Longtime Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell and Kell became close friends while working together in TV and radio. “He had a very laid-back style,” Harwell told WWJ-AM in Detroit on Tuesday. “He was easygoing and an expert on the game. He brought the field to the booth because he played and played well. He had a conversational style that people took to.”

Al Kaline, a Hall of Famer for the Tigers, was also a broadcasting colleague of Kell’s. “George was a great friend and like a big brother to me,” Kaline said Tuesday. “When we broadcast together, I was a rookie, and he was a veteran and he was a great mentor to me.”

Kell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983 by the Veterans Committee. “There’s no one who loved and respected the game more than George,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “Not only was he one of baseball’s true legends, but he was a fan, too. He loved coming to Cooperstown and sharing in the camaraderie with his Hall of Fame family.”

Kell played for the Tigers when he and Williams waged one of the closest batting races in baseball history.
“I beat him out, but not many people beat him out,” Kell said years later. “That’s why it was so fascinating. But it happened.”

Kell was always proud of the way it happened. Cleveland pitched Bob Lemon in the finale against Detroit and then brought in Hall of Famer Bob Feller in relief. Kell was in the on-deck circle in the ninth inning.

“The manager said he wanted to send a pinch-hitter in for me, but I said, ‘I’m not going to sit on a stool and win the batting title,'” Kell told The Associated Press. “What Feller was doing in there in relief on the last day of the season I’ll never know. They should have been trying some minor league prospect in there.”
The final out was made before Kell had to hit, preserving his slim margin over Williams.

Kell reached the majors in 1943 and hit .268 in 1944, his first full season. He went from Philadelphia to Detroit in 1946. A’s manager Connie Mack called Kell to his hotel suite and told him he had been traded to the Tigers. “Mr. Mack said, ‘It’s going to be the greatest break you’ve ever had,'” Kell recalled.

Kell grew up in Swifton and had a unique arrangement that enabled him to live there while broadcasting for the Tigers. He kept an apartment in Little Rock so he could catch flights to games.

“I don’t know anybody else who lives 1,000 miles away from their job and gets to commute back and forth,” Kell said with a laugh. “The owner said, ‘You can live in your beloved Swifton, but don’t you dare miss a game.’ I had a few close calls, but I didn’t miss any.”

Fittingly, Kell was joined in the Hall of Fame’s 1983 class by Robinson. The two were teammates with Baltimore as Kell’s career was winding down and Robinson’s was beginning.

“He was a class act through and through,” Robinson said. “The crowning moment was when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. I went in with my hero, George Kell.”
Funeral services will be held Friday at Swifton United Methodist Church.

Survivors include Kell’s wife Carolyn, brother Everett “Skeeter” Kell, daughter Terrie Jane Lawrence, five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren.
Kell’s first wife, Charlene, died in 1991 of cancer after 50 years of marriage. They met as sixth graders in Swifton and were sweethearts at Swifton High School.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Quick & Healthy Eats

Standing up for an extended period of time is difficult for the tkr patient during the first couple weeks after having surgery. The first week post-tkr it is highly recommended to have someone else prepare and serve your meals. However, after that you may be on your own. What are you supposed to do to feed yourself without causing too much discomfort? If you are not lucky enough to have someone serve and prepare your meals, here are a couple quick feed ideas:

Cottage cheese. Have a serving of cottage cheese (usually about ½ cup) combined with some chopped tomato and pineapple chunks. For an attractive place setting, place the cottage cheese in the center of the plate and surround it with the tomato on one side and the pineapple on the other side.

I also like mixing some tuna in with the cottage cheese and sprinkling it with garlic powder. Combined with the tomatoes…yumm. Of course, the pineapple is eaten separately. 🙂

A friend of mine enjoys just placing some cottage cheese onto toast and sprinkling it with cinnamon. She likes that for either breakfast, a snack, or a quick pick-me-up after exercising.

Hope this helps.

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Reasons to Use Walking During a TKR Recuperation

Walking is an all-around great exercise that can be used in a variety of ways to help during a total knee replacement recuperation. Here are some reasons:

Cost. It’s cheap and economical. There are no added costs to enjoy walking. All you need are good walking shoes.

Pace. Walking can be done at your own pace. You can walk as slow or fast as you want. I was walking so slow after my tkr, a turtle could have beat me in a race. No complaints, just facts. I didn’t care, though. I was glad to be able to walk without the excruciating pain like I had before my tkr.

Leg straightening. Walking correctly helps straighten your leg. By walking heel to toe, your gait will start to swing. This helps loosen up the hamstring, which in turn will assist in straightening your leg. Walking was a miracle for me during my tkr reecuperation. I loved feeling my leg swing and my hamstring “open up”. Sometimes, though, there was pain prior to this happy feeling. 😦 All part of recuperation, in my opinion.

Cardio. Walking can provide you with a good aerobic workout. It’s amazing how little needs to be done after a tkr that will produce a sweat. In my case, anyways.

Socializing. If you walk on community trails where dogs are allowed, you can meet a variety of dogs and talk with their owners. Or, you can walk with a companion and enjoy a nice conversation. Either way, it’s fun.

Weight loss. Regular walking can be a benefit to either weight loss or maintaining your weight level. That applies unless you choose to finish off that cheesecake after returning from your walk. 😉

Easy. This is if you are over the hump of a tkr surgery. Once that hurdle is over, walking is easy to do. Actually, this time period didn’t come until about three months after my total knee replacement surgery. My knee surgery recuperation takes longer than your average bear due to it being caused by trauma 30 years ago.

Rest. A good walk, in my case, results in a restful night’s sleep. That is until the pain of the tkr kicks in. 😦

I swear by walking as one of the best exercises for a total knee replacement recuperation.

For more technical information, here is an article from the AARP (American Association of Retired People). Enjoy! Retrieved from: http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/walking/a2004-06-17-walking-numerousbenefits.html

The Numerous Benefits of Walking
If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases — from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they’re backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:

Managing your weight. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity is key to any plan for long-lasting weight control. Keeping your weight within healthy limits can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.

Controlling your blood pressure. Physical activity strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort and with less pressure on the arteries. Staying fit is just as effective as some medications in keeping down blood pressure levels.

Decreasing your risk of heart attack. Exercise such as brisk walking for three hours a week — or just half an hour a day — is associated with a 30% to 40% lower risk of heart disease in women. (Based on the 20-year Nurses’ Health Study of 72,000 female nurses.)

Boosting “good” cholesterol – the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Physical activity helps reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, which can cause plaque buildup along the artery walls — a major cause of heart attacks.

Lowering your risk of stroke. Regular, moderate exercise equivalent to brisk walking for an hour a day, five days a week, can cut the risk of stroke in half, according to a Harvard study of more than 11,000 men.

Reducing your risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study also links regular activity to risk reductions for both these diseases. In another study, people at high risk of diabetes cut their risk in half by combining consistent exercise like walking with lower fat intake and a 5% to 7% weight loss.

Avoiding your need for gallstone surgery. Regular walking or other physical activity lowers the risk of needing gallstone surgery by 20% to 31%, found a Harvard study of more than 60,000 women ages 40 to 65.

Protecting against hip fracture. Consistent activity diminishes the risk of hip fracture, concludes a study of more than 30,000 men and women ages 20 to 93.

The list goes on and on. Many other studies indicate a daily brisk walk also can help:
* Prevent depression, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, and impotence
* Lengthen lifespan
* Lower stress levels
* Relieve arthritis and back pain
* Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
* Improve sleep
* Elevate overall mood and sense of well-being.

Keep it Steady
A steady routine is the most important factor in getting the most out of your exercise program. Walking for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 or more days a week is recommended.

Use these tips to keep you on track:
* During your walks, you should be able to maintain a conversation. If you’re breathing too lightly, increase your pace. If you can’t catch your breath, slow it down.
* Walk around the local area after lunch or dedicate 15 minutes to walking up and down stairs. Climbing is an excellent way to strengthen your heart.
* At night, trade a half hour of TV for a brisk stroll around the block. Take a friend with you for company or get the whole family involved.

The Best Medicine
Any amount of walking is good, but for the best health results, set a brisk pace and walk for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week. Be sure to check with your doctor on the level of exercise that’s best for you.