Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Found Us!

Back in 1995 about three months into our courtship, Alan put his arm across m shoulders one evening and told me it was time I learned about his birth anomaly.

(I held my breath)

“I was born with both knock knees and bowlegs.”


“What?! You can’t have both! That’s weird, Petersen!

Nevertheless it was true. When I first saw Alan in swim trunks I could see that his thighs were jammed together like those of a knock kneed (genu valgus) person and below the knees – shure ‘nuff, he was bow-legged (genu vargus). (Does that make him a genu-valgus-vargus?)

At any rate, a few army docs tried to fix those strange knees as did a couple of civilian podiatrists – “from the feet up” they approached the problem. To no avail. Tall people weigh more, and everyone knows that poundage is the enemy of all weight-bearing joints. And of course, Alan’s weight gain over the years just added insult to injury – literally. Surprisingly, x-rays show no arthritis (unlike my own knee x-rays) – just bone-on-bone – causing groan-on-groan -- in the medial (inside) portion of both knees. Ouch, ouch, OUCH!

Alan’s knee pain wasn’t quite this bad last September when the original surgery date was set. He postponed because he didn’t want to be laid up over the holidays. But it’s gotten so much worse that he finally became convinced of the necessity of joint replacements. And this past week, off his pain drugs per surgeon’s orders, he was barely able to get around.

Alan was pretty grouchy yesterday – understandably from being nervous, he finally confessed to me. I truly empathized with what he was facing this morning.

In a little over an hour, one old knee was gone and a new one took its place. Dr. Rosenberg reported to me promptly and showed me some lovely photos. Alan’s knee had both bone destruction and inflammation and his bones are very very hard. That’s good. No danger of osteoperosis for this guy!

He’s had a miserable day of pain, of course. Hard to get the meds just right:

We sure lucked out with this room. It’s a PRIVATE! There are eight privates and 28 semi-privates. All beds full. We didn’t ask for this room with its lovely view of the snow-covered Wasatch front, but gosh, it’s nice. I have a sofa here and who knows? I just may spend the night!

6 PM
Alan ate a good meal awhile ago then the PT guy came and made him get out of bed and walk to the toilet. He did so well! Alan has been on the constant passive motion (CPM) machine all day. His doc is different than most orthopods. He insists on 8-10 hours a day vs. the 3-4 hours that the other docs require. Pretty aggressive guy! We really like him. More about him on a later blog.

Th-th-th-that's all folks!
Tune in tomorrow for some more STUFF!



  1. One hour! That's amazing! I often thank Heavenly Father for modern medical and technological advances and to live in a time when we are so blessed. Glad to hear things went well, and if it just the same with you guys, I don't really care to see the pictures...Day one down..only a few more to go ;)

  2. I'm glad Alan is doing okay! Personally I'd like to see the photos. Fascinatin'. ^^

  3. Hey, it sounds like surgery went very well. Now for the 'patient torture' of the PT guy.
    It'll seem like an eternity but will all be over soon enough. Then we can focus on the important stuff, right? -- fishing, golfing, you name it!

    Alan, here's a recent philosophy I've adopted from Mark Twain (as I have bad knees also):

    "There is no use in your walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home."

    Get well soon! BK