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What a difference a day makes. Sure, I still cannot put weight on my foot, but I'm no longer contemplating life without it. The constant pain was brutal, but is now a memory. I'm still on crutches, I hope to be walking around without them tomorrow. We'll see.

The supreme irony is that I may be on crutches again if my left ankle goes out. I could be that guy who sometimes is on crutches for a few days here and there, but always changing which leg has the limp. Awesome.

I'm still working though - got quoted on Ars Technica.


I'm stuck on my couch. Yesterday, I finished my last shark cartilage injections. The last couple of days have been extremely painful as we have had slightly cooler, wetter weather. So I looked forward to the last batch of shots which are supposed to give me relief.

I think they injected me with shark teeth by mistake.

5 hours after the injections, my ankle really started to hurt. Alot. After an hour, I could no longer do any work, so I moved to my couch (I was working from home after having a good meeting with a MN Leg. Representative). I read for a bit to distract myself - a fascinating book from my parents' for my birthday that I'll post about eventually.

The next time I got up, my ankle couldn't bear my weight. This is the ankle that I called my "good" ankle months ago. The right ankle has totally failed me. So I actually had to perform a circus act - finding furniture and door jams to lean on to get to the crutches I keep in the bedroom (how pathetic is that?). A few hours later, I realized it would have been more sensible to crawl. Lesson learned.

Made it through the night by trying to ignore by watching the awesome 70's movie "Convoy" which was great. Watched Ironman with Kim and Michelle. Spend 3 hours in bed not able to sleep due to the pain before I moved to the couch and found a better position. After a few more hours, I moved back to bed and took some heavy duty painkillers. Slept for 2 hours and woke up, moved back to couch.

I started using the heating pad - because I was told that arthritis should be avoided by keeping the ankles warm. Today I was told to ice them - so I wonder if I made it worse? Brutal. At any rate, the pain has been intense - worse than being between painkillers in the week after post-op for the my left ankle.

As I post it, this is 24 hours of constant, throbbing pain. This is what they called chronic pain, I guess - and it is crazy. I got some sleep today - which has helped, but despite taking painkillers constantly, my head hurts.

My biggest fear is that this won't be a one time event. I have been dealing with light chronic pain for years, but this is something all-together different. I can only imagine what I'll do if I get a spell like this when I am away from home. I'm hoping to be better tomorrow morning as good weather has come through and supposedly that will make me better. It better - I'll have missed 3 soccer games I hoped to shoot this week due to the pain as well as at least 8 hours of telecom work.

Things that have kept me sane - Harley sleeping with me on the couch and Honey Crisp apples - my favorite fall fruit!

No Surgery ... For Now

Got the results of my MRI today. The right ankle also has a lot of cartilage damage - quite similar to the left. However, I think it is not as bad. Given the annoying potential of surgery, I decided to try a series of injections into both ankles that should help. Got both ankles injected with a goopy substance that apparently has shark cartilage in it.

This should lubricate the joints for awhile - at least that is the theory. I'll have three more injections over the next 3 weeks and the pain should be lessened. They have credible studies showing that this helps but have no idea how or why. Voodoo apparently. If it works, I'll take it!

So for now, I'm going to plan on avoiding surgery unless the pain becomes unbearable. The surgery should raise my quality of life but offers no long term solution. So I'm hoping the shark cartilage helps. Looks like I won't be an Ironman finisher anytime soon. Not that I'm jealous. Much.

Support Kimmi

Hey all - Kimmi is again raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as she trains for the Madison IronMan race. If you can help her meet her goal, I would greatly appreciate it. You can donate online here.

It's a good cause and the amount of work she has put into her training is insane. Through injuries, pain, and frustration (and some ice cream here and there), she has stuck to her goal and will give it her all.

Bound to Happen

I have been rock climbing for 6 years. I've made some mistakes here and there that could have been bad but I have never really hurt myself climbing. Until last night. So now, when people ask about how climbing is dangerous, I can no longer say I have never hurt myself (as compared to soccer, which regularly left me messed up in comparison).

I was climbing a hardish route I've done a couple of other times but I was trying a different way of doing the crux (hardest) move. It put too much pressure on my knee at the wrong angle and it gave way in a rather painful way.

So I came down and figured I had tweaked my MCL by forcing my foot to go 90 degrees in the wrong direction and making the knee give out for a quarter second. It didn't hurt too bad but I stopped climbing and left the gym for home a short while later.

Time for RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation. But after last night and tentatively testing it out, I suspect that I dislocated my kneecap for the third time. Soccer caused the first two, leaving it a bit weakened, so maybe I can blame soccer more than climbing for this injury.

I have all the stuff I need to give it time to heal - compression socks, crutches, and even a giant foam thingy all me to keep the knee over my heart so it drains. Fortunately, I was already planning on working from home this morning, so I can still do that.

It doesn't hurt much - as long as I keep it under compression and knee isn't swelled too much. Which is good - because I have a soccer game I must shoot tonight and a wedding tomorrow that would be pretty pissed off if I didn't show up with my camera!

But other than that, I'll be reading and chilling this weekend I guess - and we'll see how it feels on day 3 (day 2 is usually the worst).

Really, as far as knee/ankle injuries go, this one is pretty harmless and comparatively easy to deal with.

Ankle #2

Long time me-knowers will remember that I got a bum ankle. The left one got operated on after a lot of pain and left me unable to run or jump. After two years or not running or jumping, my right ankle has started to send the same damn pain signals to my head. Awesome.

It has a been a couple of weeks now and it is getting worse. So I called my surgeon and will be going in to have him take a look. I'm guessing an MRI is in my future. The main problem is that I have done nothing to hurt it! Here we go again. Sept 2, I hope to get some answers.

Bass Lake

Just had a pretty good weekend. Need proof? Michelle captured some


Kicked off Friday with some rock climbing with Michelle and Garbe. Then down to ma and pa to sleep in air conditioning and get up quite early to start landscaping work before it got too hot. Didn't take too long to get hot. Real hot. I drank as much as I could stand and still become mildly dehydrated. But we made some progress at turning weed gardens into nicely mulched areas with matting to prevent future weeds.

Quite a day - wore me down. But we had a dinner and watched 5th Element on Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is a high definition DVD format that shows incredible detail, you really notice the difference in facial features in particular. Quite a pleasing display.

Michelle and I then returned home and turned in early.

Woke up the next morning and joined James and Autumn on a trip with Captain Garbe to a corn n chicken feed and an afternoon on Bass Lake in Wisconsin. Wow. After 3/8 of a chicken (oh yeah, fractions are cool again) and 3 incredibly tasty ears of corn later (fresh picked), I am less convinced of the natural superiority of Minnesotans to cheeseheads. Guess it just took some righteously good food for me to question my pro-Minnesota brainwashing.

But from there, we went on to a heavily overcast (and therefore, mostly deserted) Bass Lake. After a short rain shower, James and I did some tubing and Garbe carved some serious wakes on his wakeboard. Swimming in the middle of the lake in between. It was a good day. More photos to follow, I took the brand new camera and we got some excellent photos.

Wow. That was a good weekend. Now my shoulders are wasted. Incredibly sore, but I'm okay with that.

Getting Famouser

Quoted in the Star Tribune, massively popular online news source Ars Technica, and Third Pipe. Interviewed recently on a MN foundation blog and on Mark Heaney's show on Air America [mp3 file].

Also had an op-ed published this week.

Sixth Time Not the Charm

What a couple of days. Yesterday, I took the day off to visit my parents and help with some yard work. It was hot and humid. Especially when the trusty ole Probe stalled on blacktop on my way down there in the morning. Waited for the tow truck for 45 minutes when it magically started again. So I finished the drive.

Decided to drive it back home despite its unreliability because the auto shop I go to is closer to me than them. It stalled. On 35E. After 45 minutes, while again waiting for a tow truck, it started. Poof. So I started moving again, hoping it would keep working, as in the morning.

But it didn't. And traffic was backed up due to construction (on 35E, at 9:30 at night). So when it died this time, I was not moving and could not get on the shoulder. Fortunately, the construction had just changed the traffic pattern and instead of using only the lane I was in, they changed it to using only the other two lanes. Phew.

Unfortunately, it was dark, and some idiot nearly nailed me anyway. So instead of waiting more than an hour for the tow truck AAA was arranging for me, I called 911 and patched me through to the State Police. They sent a cruiser to push me off the road for safety and called a different tow truck that would get there faster. The officer was quite friendly and waited there until the wrecker arrived to offer more protection against drunks or other idiots who might hit me.

Got towed to the auto shop, where Michelle came out at 11:00 to pick me up and transfer my stuff to her car. This morning, I woke up after barely sleeping and developing a huge headache. Drove up to the shop to drop off the keys to the car and explain that if it was going to be a spendy repair, we'll opt not to do it and get rid of the car.

Driving back in Michelle's car, I was sitting at a traffic light when I was confused to see quarters from the center console hit the dashboard. I think my brain heard it, then saw it, and puzzled over it until I realized I had just been rear-ended. Again. Happened 14 months ago to me in the Probe. This is now my 6th auto accident (I was responsible for only 1 but was driving for 3 of them).

The woman who hit me (she was probably mid twenties) looked fairly scared. I was shaky, having started with a headache and now having too much adrenaline in my body. We pulled off, called the police, and exchanged info. Had to wait awhile, so we talked. She was friendly, apologized, and actually thanked me at one point for not yelling at her. At that point, I was closer to just crying because everything auto-related seems to be falling apart in my life.

The St. Paul police officer arrived, was incredibly friendly and gave us a case number. So I called into work, came home, and laid on the couch with Harley for the day. Took pain killers, buried my head under the pillow and listened to the Director's commentary on Transformers. Feeling better now. Not great, but better.

It helps to have Michelle be incredibly supportive over the last 2 days and my family being there whenever I need them. So thanks. I'll try not mess up any (more) of your vehicles...


Spent last weekend at Michelle's parents and had another great time. Almost won at Hearts, but Jim had rough 1/5 the points I had. So I didn't win. But I did beat Michelle. So that's something.

I've been reading a lot lately while not feeling the blog vibe. Just read Janet Evanovich's latest Steph Plum novel - Fearless Fourteen. A fun summer read but I wouldn't pay money for it. Other than that, I've been catching up on my magazines. And playing with a new camera.

HELL YEAH - a NEW camera! Wooohooooo!

Nikon's D700 has found its way to my possession. I'm impressed with it thus far - especially Nikon's commitment to reusing batteries. Extra batteries from previous cameras work in the new one! This is exciting cuz I got some extra batteries.

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