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2010 Olympics Team Canada Announced

As per a broadcast on the NHL Network, the announcement for team members partaking in the 2010 Olympics are as follows:

Coach: Mike Babcock

Goaltenders:
From:
Montreal Martin Brodeur
Quebec Marc Andre Fleury
Montreal Roberto Luongo

Defense:

Ottawa Dan Boyle
London, Ontario Drew Doughty
Penticton Duncan Keith
Crambrook Scott Niedermeyer, C
Garden, Ontario Chris Pronger, A
Tsawassen, BC Brent Seabrook
Sicamous, BC Sean Weber

Forwards:
Sillery, Quebec Patrice Bergeron
Nova Scotia Sidney Crosby, C
Saskatchewan Ryan Getlaf
Calgary, AB Dany Heatley
Edmonton, AB Jarome Iglina, A
Saskatchewan Patrick Marleau
Saskatchewan Brendan Morrow
Brampton, ONT Rick Nash
London, ONT Corey Perry
Kenora, ONT Mike Richards
Thunder Bay, ONT Eric Staal
St. Thomas, ONT Joe Thornton
Winnipeg Jonathan Toews

Series starts February 12, 2010.

Happy Holidays to All….

Wishing everyone a joyous and fulfilling 2009 holiday season. 🙂

Driving & A TKR

Truthfully, I am getting nervous about some comments that have been put on this blog about wanting recommendations for driving after a tkr. I have written other posts about driving, but need to write more now in order to clarify.

Please remember, everyone is different. What may work for me, or someone else, may not work for you. This is a form of liability waiver, but must be mentioned. There are time frames put into place by the medical profession regarding post-tkr activities. There is a reason for that.

For instance, the medical profession recommends not driving for six weeks after a tkr. I find this totally understandable. Here’s why…

At six weeks post-tkr, my leg was still not functional enough to handle an accelerator efficiently and safely. I could not have quickly moved my leg from the accelerator to the brake in a manner required for effective driving. My quadriceps were not strong enough at that point to move my leg. My reflexes were definitely not fast enough to handle driving.

My tkr was on my left knee. I definitely could not have driven a clutch before six weeks. I could not have pulled my leg up and down as needed to drive a clutch. My leg was difficult to get in and out of a car without experiencing pain. The flexibility was poor.

What I am basically trying to say is….before actually driving your car post-tkr, practice the maneuvers. Turn it into a therapy session, if you will. Get in and out of your car. Get yourself into the driving seat. These movements alone will require intense fortitude (if you are like me). Place your tkr leg into a comfortable position.

If your tkr leg is the left one, you will probably need a pillow or support of some kind. If you drive a clutch, practice using the pedal. Push your seat backwards. Pretend you are using your clutch. (It is much easier said than done. Driving a clutch requires strong leg muscles). You must perform this maneuver in an efficient and safe manner prior to actually driving. In my case, this maneuver took me about six weeks post-tkr.

If your tkr leg is your right one, here are some suggestions. Without starting your car, practice using the accelerator (this is far more difficult than it sounds here). Push your seat back so that your foot is not on the accelerator. While in this position, move your foot up and down as if it is on the accelerator. This maneuver will be the equivalent of ankle pumps. Now, multiply this maneuver by 100 times. I say this because when you are actually driving, you will not have time to think about using your accelerator. It becomes an automatic movement. Do not take this for granted, if you value your safety.

Practice, practice, practice before actually getting behind the wheel of your car after your tkr. Your car is a legal weapon, not a toy. Be safe, not hurried. It’s totally understandable to want to become independent. Just don’t do it at the expense of your proper recuperation. Not only will you be benefiting yourself, but other drivers.

Please place safety first.

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Wishing For Changes in Hockey Announcing

No sooner was I going to write a blog post about being impressed with a NHL announcing team, then things changed. I thought it was great that there was a perfect blend between play-by-play announcing and color announcing. There was excellent, entertaining banter between the two. It was totally impressive. It was a joy to watch the games. I thought I had finally found the perfect NHL announcing duo. Who am I speaking of?

Randy Hahn and Drew Ramanez (may be spelled incorrectly). The San Jose Sharks were such fun to watch with those two providing their commentary. Hahn is superb with his play-by-play announcing. And Drew would add his touches to complete the picture. There was no talking endlessly while the game was being played. Then, the Sharks took four days off. Now….just as I was getting excited about watching the Sharks…

Last night’s game (Thursday, December 17) had the addition of a third color announcer. This person is the “on-ice announcer” who provides “needed insight” into the game. Bull. Yes, he is a wealth of information. Yes, he is well-spoken. However…HE TALKS DURING THE GAME. So, I’m back to listening to announcers talking as if the hockey game is a backdrop to them. It’s so disheartening, it’s hard to describe.

Can there be anything done to bring televised hockey back to the pure enjoyment of the sport and not some nonincessant verbiage? It’s tiring and frustrating to someone who just wants to enjoy a hockey game.

As another example, I started watching a women’s hockey game the other day on the NHL Network. The color announcer, I swear, did not shut up more than a few minutes the entire game. She was not talking about the game being played, either. Insight into the players? Yes. Insight into the sport of hockey? Yes. However, I didn’t learn anything about the actual game being played that day. That is a shame.

It has reached the point where I’m considering simply turning the sound off during televised games. That’s too bad, too, since I’m sure I’ll be missing some relevant insight into calls.

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What’s Up With NHL Live!?

I’ve been hoping that things would straighten out, so I haven’t said anything. It’s reached the point, however, where it is affecting my hockey news. That has to stop.

WHAT IS UP WITH THE NAUSEATING TELEVISION VIEWING FORMAT OF NHL LIVE! ON THE NHL NETWORK?!

It is difficult to read anything. Whenever someone is either in-studio (Bill Daly of the NHL) just finished an interview. (By the way, he was asked what the scoop is regarding Versus, DirecTV and the NHL. Answer…they’re working on it. Give us something more useful. The situation is unacceptable to us hockey fans who are paying extra to watch hockey!) Back to the preposterous screen format of NHL Live!…I could not read his (Daly’s) name or title on the screen. IT IS SO UNBELIEVABLY SMALL!!!!!! I, luckily, knew who he was. Viewers who were not aware of that, however, would be STRUGGLING to read what is printed on the screen.

The three players of the week were mentioned at the beginning of the show. I wanted to be certain I got the name spellings correct. I COULD NOT READ THE INFORMATION!!@??!! This is so obnoxious.

What is the purpose of having a SMALL in-studio screen surrounded by ridiculously distracting sidebars? What are we supposed to be doing? Reading the information or listening to the hockey talk? Can’t do both. One takes away from the other. Recently, there has even been LONG quotes printed on the right sidebar. WHO CAN READ THEM????!!!! WHAT THE BLAZES IS GOING ON??!!

Plus, what’s the purpose of reading hockey stats and news if we are trying to listen to what is being said by the in-studio personnel. Today, it is Don and EJ. I was thrilled to find out the two were together today. I was thrilled, that is, until I saw the screen format. Now I HAVE A HEADACHE!!!

If anyone has any insight into why this totally user-unfriendly format is being used, kindly share with us.

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22 Month Post-TKR Update

I’ve been getting comments from recent tkr patients who say they are sorry for undergoing the surgery. We (tkr vets) all understand the initial negativity. With all the pain and frustration, it’s easy to not see the big picture. I hope my update helps….

Wow, it’s been that long already. 😦 There’s a saying that time goes faster the older we get. It must be true. Anyways, I thought I’d give an update on my tkr deal.

Positives:
Joint pain. I have no joint pain in my tkr whatsoever. It’s probably because I don’t have a joint. (I’m chuckling to myself here.) This brings back memories of when I had my initial follow-up doctor appointments after my tkr. “Do I still have arthritis in my knee?” I asked.
“It’s hard to have arthritis when you don’t have a joint” was the chuckled response I received. If looks could kill, he wouldn’t be here today. Now, I can chuckle about it. At the time it didn’t strike my funny bone.

Walking aides. I don’t have to carry crutches around with me. I am not concerned about my knee locking up on me.

Walking. I can walk without pain. Period. That alone is worth the tkr and all the recuperation it takes. I absolutely love walking. (I was going to say “simply walking” but had to change the wordage since it’s not simple when you cannot do it. We have to build ourselves up to do it).

Drugs. I am not taking any medication. The only thing I do take occasionally is some aspirin.

Weight loss. I have lost 20 pounds that accumulated while I was unable to do continuous aerobic exercises.

Flexibility. My tkr leg can be fully straightened, which is no small feat. It feels great to be able to sit and stretch my hamstrings.

Flexion: I estimate my flexion as being 110-115 degrees. That’s better than before my tkr.

Stretches. I can do a variety of stretches and yoga poses which benefit my entire body. That was not possible until months after my tkr.

I can touch my toes (and floor) and have the stretch feel wonderful, not painful.

Body stretch. I can usually do a full body stretch (like a cat) prior to getting out of bed on most days. This was impossible until just a couple of months ago. It feels wonderful.

Pain. There is no sharp or dull pain surrounding my tkr from exercising.

Sleep. My sleep is much more sound than during the initial eight to twelve months post tkr.

Not negatives, just concerns:
Even though I am grateful for all I have, and do not want to come across as griping, there needs to be some items that are not totally positive. So…

Stairs. Stairs are not my favorite thing. When I’m going both up and down, a slug would win the race. Going upstairs seems to be more difficult due to my “good” leg taking more of the brunt (my body weight). Going downstairs is slow, but doable.

Nerve pain. There is still the nerve pain from a previous bone spur. That is always going to exist, so it’s not that big of a deal to me. Sometimes sleeping on my tkr side makes the pain worse, so I just shift positions. Remember that joke, “Doc, it hurts when I do this?” “Don’t do it” replies the doctor? (Changing sleep positions was NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE due to the pain level during the first year post-tkr.) The pain seems to get worse after my walking exercises. Strange how that occurs. It does not happen after riding my stationary bike.

Tightness. There is still some tightness in the front of my tkr. It usually takes me a couple of minutes to loosen up on my exercise bike until I can pedal 360 degrees.

Dressing. Dressing can be a drag or bummer. Putting on pants and/or socks, especially, is a pain in the patoot (slang for butt). My tkr does not bend enough to make the process easy. Same with pantyhose. Still, it’s not painful like before my tkr.

Shopping. Clothes shopping is a bite. Even though I’ve never really enjoyed clothes shopping (I used to make all my clothes in my school days), it is dreaded now. Trying pants on is not fun at all. Oh oh….I am griping.

Swelling. After exercising for longer than 45 minutes, my tkr swells up. The swelling is much less intense than previously, however. And, the pain is not there like during initial phases of tkr recuperation.

Well…I can’t think of anything else now. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.
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Falling Snow

Hi everyone,
I’ve added the WordPress extra known as “falling snow” to the home page here. The sight of snow flakes is pretty, but the thought of driving in the stuff is not the least pretty. So…let’s think of the prettiness of the season.

The snow angels, snow-capped mountains, snow people (yes, I said that, so political correctness rules..:) ) and snowball fights are all fun this time of the year.

For those in warmer climates, well…you can make bubbles and pretend they’re snow. (That was done while I was at Disney World one year.)

Enjoy!