Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Sudden Deceleration Syndrome has been a serious problem for me my entire life. I never got hurt falling, it has always been the stopping that left the scars, tears, concussions, dislocations and broken bones. I was born without the mechanism that says "you probably shouldn't try that" when other kids were backing off the ledge I alway stepped up, much to the chagrin of my body.
Now at 38 all of these sudden stops are starting to catch up with me. My wrists and shoulders ache chronically, but worst of all, my right knee is junk. It was about 16 years ago that I severed my posterior cruciate ligament, I fell asleep at the wheel of my pick up truck and came to an abrupt stop at the base of a cliff, on a dark, quiet, back road in Vermont. The dashboard of the truck hit me just below my knee tearing my PCL in two.
Unlike your anterior cruciate ligament the PCL does not need to be fixed, strong quadracept muscles can hold your leg in place, with just a bit of wiggle. That bit of wiggle ruined my meniscus cartilage and 3 years ago I had it fixed, the meniscus and PCL, it was a terrible experience. I slowly recovered and eventually got back to jogging. Jogging was not a good idea, after a year of jogging my meniscus began to tear again and eventually, like before the big operation, I found it hard to get through the day with out my knee swelling up.
Two months ago I went back and had my meniscus trimmed again, this time I walked out of the hospital the same day and with in six weeks was playing golf and chasing kids. I did not even need crutches, I used a cane for about three days and then dropped that. The arthroscopic surgery was simple and my knee felt better almost immediately.
I had one follow up visit with the surgeon about a month after the procedure. During this visit I asked him if and when it would be possible for me to start lumbering again. It was obvious by the look on his face that he had no idea what I was talking about so I explained, "Lumbering is one speed slower than jogging."
His response was not what I wanted to hear, "You only have thirty percent of the meniscus cartilage you were born with in your right knee and you should not waste it lumbering." "Go by a bike" was his advice.
Sudden Deceleration Syndrome has finally caught up with me and it makes me feel old.

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