Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Maybe I should add a BJ Knee Wall to accompany the BJ In Memorial Wall.

In the 1920s “the bees knees” was an expression that Flappers used for the equivalent of today’s “cool.” 

BJ retirees don’t have bees knees. They have store-bought ones.

Jane Snow, the best food writer in BJ history in my opinion, had a knee replaced in August. She reports today that “my knee is going great. I am getting around without a cane and my strength is coming back rapidly. Some days I barely limp. My exercise bike is helping. I add a minute a week. Yesterday marked Week 10.”
Retired BJ librarian Sandy Bee Lynn, who lives in Doylestown, may or may not join the Charge of the Knee Brigade. Sandy reports that her doctor “isn’t 100% sure that my kneecap is broken.” He put a walking hinge brace to help her knee.

The fall while entering the main library in downtown Akron sent Sandy to her doctor, who has handled THREE rotator cuff surgeries for Sandy.
Sandy’s a real trouper. She voted Tuesday before heading to another doctor appointment.

Retired newsroom copy desk chief Kathy Fraze may be in line for knee arthroplasty someday. She tore her meniscus in her left knee and is in physical therapy.

That’s how I progressed to a store-bought right knee in 2006. I dug up and removed five half-century-old evergreen trees from the front of my Cuyahoga Falls home … solo, stupidly. Digging under the roots and then lifting each tree 2 or 3 feet out of the hole to the lawn altitude did a number on my knee. So the doctor replaced the painful knee that my parents gave me at birth.

It works fine, except that I have to sit at concerts and on airplanes so that I can stick my right leg out into the aisle. If I don’t flex that sucker every 10 to 15 minutes, it stiffens up and makes me wince.
But I can and have walked up to three miles a day on my trips around the world with Paula and I am averaging 47 strokes for 9 holes in the 120 times I’ve played golf in 2016.

In February retired BJ reporter and all-round nice guy Jim Carney had his right knee replaced. 15 months earlier, Jim got a store-bought left knee. So he has a matched set.

Jim may be going for the world record when it comes to variety. He has had two back surgeries, broke his hip on a skateboard and did a header into a street sign on East Exchange Street returning to the BJ that required 21 stitches.

George Davis, retired BJ copy editor and Stark County reporter, has his left knee replaced THREE times. Just to keep things interesting, he had Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) staph bacteria infections that his doctors battled for three years, and nine surgeries.

Former BJ all-everything Stuart Warner, basking in retirement in the Arizona sunshine, chimes in with "Hey, I've got two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement. I get a lot of friskin' at airports."

The late Dick McLinden, copy desk whiz who wasn’t as curmudgeonly as some thought when he worked in Scouting, endured both knees replaced, triple heart bypass, carpal tunnel surgery, cataract surgery, heart failure, a Pacemaker and defibrillator.

Modern knee replacement surgery began in the early 1970s. In 1996, there were 245,000 knee replacements. In 2011, there were 718,000 knee arthroplasty surgeries.
There have been about seven million knee replacements in America, with women more than twice as likely as men to get store-bought knees, at a cost of $4 billion a year.

Ol’ Blue Walls escapees are doing their part to keep that number climbing.

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