25 October 2006 by Published in: Blogging 13 comments

When I met my wife in 1991, she was a mere 23. She had a nasty surgical scar on her left knee, so I asked about it. Two years earlier, at 21, she’d had reconstructive knee surgery to replace a blown anterior cruciate ligament. She told me what an ordeal the rehab was.

Now, I was (and am) no stranger to orthopedic injuries. I’ve torn up my left ankle something like 30 times over the course of my life, including twice badly enough to have be in a cast for more than a month. If I look at it funny, it goes. I once sprained both ankles at the same time. THAT was fun. I broke my left leg playing pick-up football in 8th grade, and I’ve broken a finger playing basketball. I also suffer from severe, chronic tendinitis in my right elbow from years of playing baseball, and I’ve also suffered from acute achilles tendinitis in both legs. I pulled a hamstring playing softball 17 years ago, and it still bothers me regularly. I’ve dislocated my left pinkie finger so badly it required surgery and will never be straight again. I likewise dislocated my left big toe, and my nose has been broken. I had arthroscopic surgery on my left shoulder in March 2005, and I still can’t even think about swinging a golf club. However, I guess I’m lucky, because I’ve never had knee trouble.

Susan has more than made up for it.

In 2002, she had an accident at work, fell from an unsafe ladder, and tore the ACL in her right knee. That took another reconstructive surgery and then a second surgery a couple of months later to remove a scar tissue lesion that formed. Because it was a worker’s comp claim, it took six weeks from the injury to the surgery, and she had so much atrophy in her leg from being in an immobilizer for that long–plus another several weeks after the surgery–that her right leg is still significantly less muscular than her left and probably always will be.

Then, last Thursday night, after a very rainy day, she went to let our dogs out. We have concrete steps from our back door, and they were very slick from the rain and from the fact that the ground was so sodden that the dogs had tracked liquid mud. She went to step down with her left foot, and it went right out from under her. Her left knee caved in. I took her to the ER, and the attending was pretty certain that she’d torn at least one ligament, and perhaps more. However, they can’t see soft tissue on x-rays, so there was no way to tell for sure.

I took her to see the orthopedist yesterday. He saw a lot of wobble in the knee and is quite certain that the ACL–already reconstructed once–is gone. The only question is what else went with it. She had an MRI yesterday, and we find out on Friday morning just what happened. No matter what, she’s going to need reconstructive surgery on that knee AGAIN–the only question is just how much will need to be done. I’m hoping that the surgery can be scheduled for next week to get it over with, but that’s not up to me.

After that, of course, comes lots of painful, miserable rehab.

In the interim, in addition to my own job, my responsibilities for Ironclad, and everything else I do, I now have to worry about pretty much everything else around the house, too. On top of it all, I have a sinus infection. My point in telling you all of this is that with limited time available and too much to do, something may have to go, and that something may have to be some of my blogging activity. I regret that a great deal, but there really isn’t much that I can do about it. Please be patient with me, and I will do my level best to continue to post. Please don’t be surprised, though, if there are gaps, or if posts are shorter than what you might otherwise expect from me.

I was supposed to do a presentation on Stuart’s Ride with J. D. tomorrow night for the Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable, but I backed out of it because I didn’t think it was a good idea to leave Susan unattended under the circumstances. J.D.’s going to handle it alone–quite competently, I’m certain.

In the meantime, I will keep you posted as to her progress.

Scridb filter


  1. Wed 25th Oct 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Hang in there, Pard, and again tell Susan that we’re thinking of her. Obviously you have to do a lot of the lifting around the house and it will keep you busy for some time.

    Everyone will miss you at the RT tomorrow night, but they more than understand the circumstances. I will pass your tidings on to the old friends and I’m sure I’ll bring back lots of best wishes for you and Sue.

    I’ll call you after the meeting to let you know how things went.


  2. Wed 25th Oct 2006 at 9:55 pm

    Thanks, J. D. Please do.

    And knock ’em dead tomorrow night.


  3. Wed 25th Oct 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Sorry to hear about your wife Eric, but glad to see that your priorities are in the right place. As one who has been on the operating table 3 times over the last 5 years (and probably has more metal in his spine than bone) I can certainly sympathize with her. I’ll keep both of you in my prayers and I hope that she has a safe and speedy recovery.

  4. Steve Basic
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 12:50 am


    Sorry to read this tonight, and please pass along my best wishes to Susan as she goes through this. I’ve had knee problems before, but nothing like what she is facing, and can’t imagine having to go through that type of operation again.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

    Regards from the Garden State,


  5. Mark Peters
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 7:55 am

    Good luck to you and Susan over the next few months. We hope Susan’s recovory will be swift and painless, and that your additional duties will prove not too onerous.

    Best wishes,

    Mark and Yan

  6. Dave Powell
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 8:21 am


    Good luck to you and Susan.


  7. Roy & Charlie
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 8:33 am


    Charlie and I wish you our best. Get well Susan!

    Roy & Charlie

  8. Ken Noe
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 8:50 am


    Bad left knee here, a high school football injury, and the right one’s now starting to give out under years of extra strain. So I readily sympathize and wish you both the best.


  9. Bill Satterlee
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 10:12 am

    I can’t begin to express how badly I feel for you as Susan. I first met you in 2002 when Susan was still recovering from her accident.

    Please tell her that you are both in our prayers.

  10. Harold Pearman
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 11:56 am

    Best wishes to Susan for a complete and speedy recovery from the operation. With all your talent and capabilities I am sure you will get your “chores” done in fine style. I know it will be tough without her.

    Harold and Sandra

  11. Wade Sokolosky
    Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 7:22 pm


    Tell Susan the Sokolosky’s have her in their thoughts and prayers.


  12. Thu 26th Oct 2006 at 10:23 pm

    There are so many good wishes here that it would take me all night to respond to each of you individually. All I can say is that we’re humbled by the vote of support, and we appreciate it very much. Thank you, on behalf of both of us.

    Susan will find out tomorrow morning exactly what the scope of the damage is and what will need to be done to repair it. I will report to everyone once we know.


  13. Valerie Protopapas
    Fri 27th Oct 2006 at 3:45 pm

    It’s a trifle late, but I would suggest gluing that artificial turf to your cement steps. You can get it in other than hideous green now. It is a little slippery, but not nearly so much as naked cement. It also helps get the dirt/mud etc. off feet whether paws or shoes. You can also get a rubberized matting to glue down. This is NOT slippery and has a certain amount of ‘give’ that makes falling on it considerably less painful than bouncing down cement stairs.

    I have a 36 year old son in a wheelchair who is very heavy and a cement ramp. We have to consider all possibilities whether rain or snow or ice and these are worthwhile when you’re dealing with cement.

    I hope your wife recovers quickly and that you both are in ‘spiffy’ health as the year ends.

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