Brace Yourself!

To look at me, you’d probably guess I’m fairly healthy.  And, in fact, as far as real diseases go, that’s the case.  But the truth is I’ve been struggling with assorted injuries for years now.  Don’t get me wrong–I’m not complaining; I just thought in the spirit of candor (the hallmark of the Ironicman blog) I would let you know that physically, not everything is hunky dory.

Almost all of the aforementioned injuries are tennis related.  For the most part, they’re not serious and the truth is, if I didn’t want to continue to be active and was content to just sit and watch TV (or god forbid, read a book) I’d be just  fine.  But being that sedentary would almost certainly affect what’s left of my mental health.  So I find that I’m in a mostly constant state of trying to ameliorate the restraints that these injuries have on my athletic life.

To that end I’ve accumulated more orthotic devices than anyone should rightfully own.  I have gizmos for Achilles heel tendonitis, ankle problems, calf and hamstring strains, groin pulls and just in case you think I’m biased toward lower extremities, a nice assortment of aids for rotator cuff injuries. But my real specialty is a huge collection of knee braces. Because, in what seems to be a contradiction in terms, for some years now, my (right) knee has been my Achilles heel.

Tennis Anyone??

Tennis Anyone??

My kneemoania has been well-documented here. Now, in an effort to avoid knee replacement, I have been relentlessly trying new, often heavy-duty, knee braces. To such an extent that the customer representatives at are now my third and fourth best friends.  I’ve found some relief but it seems that I’m at a point where I either accept being a lesser tennis player, spend more time watching TV or move on to bionics.

There’s a quip that I’ve often found very appropriate: minor surgery is when it’s on the other guy.  Well, knee replacement isn’t minor; and, although I know it’s well-meaning, I find the advice I get from people in my life (by the way, not my friends at BetterBrace) to just go ahead    and “get a new knee” rather facile.  Although it’s just four words, Get-A-New-Knee it’s a big deal.  Very big.  Pre-op testing, surgery, post-op rehab, months and months of physical therapy and when all is said and done I’m still stuck with the same crappy backhand.

And there’s the psychological part.  I’m attached to my knee . . . in more ways than one.  I guess I’m just  not one to discard body parts that easily.  And then, of course, there’s that business of alarms being set off by the metal in my new knee as I pass through the TSA scan at JFK.   I need that like a hole in the head. Or a new knee.



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5 Responses to “Brace Yourself!”

  1. It's a very big deal! Says:

    Hi Neil,
    I was going to leave a sad face, but didn’t know how to do it. Then I realized it’s not that hard. I’m now up to 2nd grade computer skills. :((

  2. It's a very big deal! #2 Says:

    PS: This is a real cautionery tale for me. Just the othr day I was thinking I should start playing tennis again, but wondering how my body would feel about it.. Well uh oh!

    • iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

      Rich…. no need to be so cautious. I made up the whole thing. But if I haven’t remember whosever knee that is probably played for 3-4 times a week for 40+ years.

  3. David Yudin Says:

    well if you had learned to play tennis from a pro, rather than from me, this would never had happened!

    (I know we’ve been out of touch for a long time, so I thought I’d weigh in)


  4. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    Dave… I’ve been wondering who taught me. Now I have a real bone to pick with you. We’ll have to figure out how I can berate you in person.

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