Saturday, January 17, 2015

Maybe Rustoleum


I have a lot of personal pride in the ability of my legs to take me wherever I want to go, when I'm not tipping over. So I'm disinclined to mention that my knees are starting to complain just a wee bit when I'm getting up from a crouch. I'm not even mentioning it now. If you heard anything about it, you didn't hear it from me.

But I did mention such a thing as a merely hypothetical development when I was getting worked over by my freakishly strong massage therapist, Maria. "You--your friend--might try some glucosamine," she said. I don't like to argue with someone who has just swung my  own hipbone past my ear. "It may or may not work, but it won't hurt you--your friend--to try it." I am not sure Maria is a reliable judge of what may or may not hurt me. Now she has stacked two or three unrelated joints of mine in a criss-cross pattern; my feet are visible, but they're on the wrong sides. She is either trying to work out a perceived slipknot in my intestines, or she's trying to get better radio reception.

"Give it a couple weeks and see if you---feel any different," she concludes. There is a whump and a fwop and suddenly I can do my own visual mole check on portions of my body I've never seen before without a mirror.

I sort of resist the glucosamine idea.  Everybody my age takes glucosamine for, you know, whatever, along with fish oil and Vitamin E and something that unsludges your blood and scrapes out your arteries, and even the women take medicine to support their prostates, because what's one more pill? I would prefer to take something young people take, like Ecstasy. But we happen to have two vat-sized bottles of the stuff in the medicine cabinet already. The label says to take two pills. I shake them out and they clank onto the counter. I've seen smaller cell phones.

I don't even know what the stuff is. The ingredients label says: contains lobster, crab, shrimp, scallop, and shellfish ingredients. Do they mean they're made of ground-up shellfish? Or actual shellfish ingredients? Because I know what goes into a crab. Stuff you don't want. You go crabbing, you're attracting those suckers into the pot with chicken that's way gone by. With antique cat food. With fish heads, as long as they've been languishing in the sun for a while. Basically, stuff a Labrador Retriever might roll in, but not eat. Those are your shellfish ingredients.

And if this stuff is made just from the crabs themselves, I'm still dubious. A crab will lose an entire leg and not even give a shit. What's he gonna do, walk even more sideways? I'm not sure they can be trusted with my knees. I want to use whatever it is that makes salamanders grow new tails.

As long as no one has to mash a salamander to get it.

40 comments:

  1. Having no idea of glucosamine works, I have taken it when my joints were giving me pains. A well-balanced diet is probably better and yes, it stuff from the shells. Lucky you to have a massage therapist. I have had only one or two of these luxuries in my life and wish I could afford more.

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    1. I wish I could afford more too. I should have pursued that professional basketball career.

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    2. Har har har! from one vertically-challenged person to another :)

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    3. I'm also athletically challenged, but I make up for it with self-esteem.

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    4. For a moment I thought you wrote "aesthetically" challenged. Either way, funny :)

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  2. I'm surprised that you're not using that book you recommended earlier, Pain Free by Pete Egoscue. I sent for a copy, based on your recommendation (and the many reviews -- all positive -- on Amazon. The worst review for it was three stars, and her only complaint was that the exercises took too long. Oh, boo-hoo. When you're in real pain, you'll take the freakin' hour to do them.)

    I wasn't in pain at the time, but I read the book cover to cover. Sized myself up and saw that my posture wasn't as straight as I had always deluded myself into thinking it was. Started doing the exercises in the back (the ones to do when you're not in pain, to get yourself into alignment.). There is such a difference in the way I feel! Before, with my shoulders slightly slumped, I was always injuring my knees when I carried heavy stuff. But with my shoulders back, I don't have that problem. It's amazing how the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle are all connected, and an injury or misalignment in one part can affect a joint at the other end of the body!

    Anyway, I did have a light twinge in my knee one day, did the knee exercises that he recommended, and felt immediate relief. I only had to do them once. Thank you SO much for bringing this book to my attention!

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    1. I was gonna say . . . So pleased that you did, instead. Isn't that book (and method) amazing? So much better to alleviate the cause of the pain instead of just trying to treat the symptoms.

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    2. Gosh, you sound like me! Are people backing away from you at parties yet? I probably should give that a go, but it's so tempting not to when the only trouble I have is standing up after I've had my legs crunkled under me for a while, fooling around on the floor. My knees are fine otherwise. But you're right.

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    3. Oh, people have always backed away from me at parties! Except for people who are just as geeky as I am, and those are the only ones I enjoy talking to anyway, so no problem.

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  3. I want to use whatever it is that makes salamanders grow new tails.

    Are you sure acquiring the ability to grow a tail is what you really want?

    Your expression in the middle picture -- is that the moment when it suddenly dawned on you that those things are actually just bugs?

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    1. They're freaky, that's what. And of course I want a tail. A kangaroo tail, so that I can lean back and sit on it.

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  4. An eft! An eft! Did I take that picture?

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    1. I thought of you when I put it in. Nope, my picture.

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  5. Not looking like it is worth it...

    https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/gait/qa.htm

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    1. I read somewhere recently that glucosamine and chondroitin taken together actually raise your cholesterol, or make you sprout extra heads, or something. I quit taking the glucosamine when I kept forgetting to take it. I didn't notice any difference, but my symptoms are so mild it would be hard to.

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  6. I also used to be assured that my legs could walk me just about anywhere I wanted to go. I used to take those substances (glucosamine and chondroitin) for my knees for years. It made me feel like I was doing SOMETHING for the discomfort. When there is no cartilage left between the bones, however, it doesn't do any good. I had one knee replaced a little over a year ago and I need the other one done soon. If not, the painkillers will make it impossible for me to put a whole sentence together. Being able to walk around pain free would be such a luxury. I will also be free of the burden of money afterwards, but in the long run it will be worth it.

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    1. Dude! See mimimanderly's comment above! Stat!

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    2. Dude! Murr is so right! See my comment above! Stat! This book may very well change your life! (Provided, of course, you do the exercises. Just reading it cover to cover, although fascinating and enlightening, does squat for the joints.)

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    3. Thanks! I'll give it a shot!

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    4. Can't tell you how many people I badgered into buying the book who later (upon interrogation) said it didn't work, and (upon further interrogation) said they hadn't actually tried any of it. Jono, it's worth a shot, a good 3-week try, say, because even if you decide to go for a replacement, the same mechanics that put you in this trouble will remain and you'll have to do it again in ten years.

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  7. OK, I noted when Murr said it, but with Minimanderly's comment I guess I shall order the book and order myself to obey it.

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    1. Order! Obey! I'm liking your strong language.

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  8. I don't think I want to grow new bits - I don't trust my bodies sense of humour.
    I would LOVE to have a fraction of the flexibility of cats. And to be able to relax as they do.

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    1. Tater's sound asleep right now. She had to rest up from a whole day of napping.

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  9. My knees have been making scary crunching noises for the past couple of years. I believe the only thing keeping them from being useless is the muscles I've developed going up and down the stairs all the time looking after our cats. Sorry to bring everything around to cats. That must be tiresome. Anyhow, it's like driving a car with a bad rattle - turn up the radio and it goes away. I try to keep it noisy here at all times so I won't hear my knees. No pain - yet. What I'm trying to say - and not very well today, crikey - is that those knee exercises may just be the right thing to do.

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    1. Probably! But crepitation, I think, does not necessarily mean something's going wrong. Especially if you're having no pain.

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  10. Egoscue-cizes grow cartilage?! Who needs a tail if ya got cartilage?

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    1. He does say something about that "you can't regrow cartilage" business being a bit of a crock. I'll have to look it up and get back to you.

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  11. I have developed an intolerance to shellfish.Which I regard as grossly unfair, given that I was rather fond of garlic prawns.So I'll just have to deal with my stiff joints some other way.Notes title of book...

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  12. Sorry to hear your knees are giving you trouble. Everyone tells me the knees are the first to go, but mine are still fine. My hip joints give me grief often enough though. You reminded me that I have glucosamine hidden away in the kitchen cupboard, I really should remember to take them. They're probably out-of-date by several years, but I don't suppose that matters much, after all they live on warehouse shelves for who knows how long before we buy them.
    I remember the 'two weeks and see how you feel' trial too, didn't feel any different at all, which is probably why I stopped taking them.
    I'll start reading that Pain Free book instead, it's over on the stack of waiting books.
    Anyway, I hope your knees start feeling better soon.

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    1. Not much trouble. And I quit the glucosamine, because I didn't notice any difference. They're not keeping me off the trails, that's for sure.

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    1. Now I'll find out the glucosamine tablets are fifty calories apiece, and I could have had half a good beer.

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  14. A couple of comments: This piece highly snortworthy. I love Mimi Manderly. Is Pete Egoscue paying you yet? I make these comments while doing a sciatic-nerve-channel-opening exercise that's easy and feels good and helps me sleep at night. xoxo jz

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    1. Now I have a visual of an actual interior C&O Canal channel being opened up by a tiny dude manning the gate. Childhood memories...

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  15. I've had two surgeries in the same knee for torn meniscus and my dr. says my knee is getting to be bone-on-bone. He also said that there is a monkey cartilage substance that can be injected in to replace whatever is supposed to be in our knees. Ick.

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    1. Oh hell, now you've made me look it up. Okay. This is about the hip but applies equally to knees. Quoting, and editing for brevity:

      "...[doctors'] uncertainty leads them to resort to their old friend, the x-ray machine. Take a picture of the hip, and behold! Cartilage deterioration. Since cartilage loss is (incorrectly) regarded as irreversible and since, once it is gone, there seems to be no way to operate the ball and socket without pain (also incorrect), hip replacement becomes a foregone conclusion. But the alternative is to encourage the hips to resume their proper design alignment by reengaging the proper muscles...to remove the point pressure that's been gouging out the cartilage, relieve the strain and pain on the overstressed muscles...and return the function of the hip to nearly normal flexion...I say "nearly normal" because a certain amount of ball-and-socket management will still be needed due to the preexisting cartilage loss. Even so, the body is capable of providing it as long as its design is intact, particularly if the head of the femur is no longer being repeatedly driven against the unprotected bone structure of the socket. As for "irreversible" cartilage loss, why of all the tissue in the body would the cartilage be the only one that does not regenerate? The answer is that it does regenerate...since the hip remains misaligned, injured cartilage is never given a chance to regenerate. Then, we try to do what is really impossible: create a hip joint that doesn't need any cartilage at all."

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  16. Whew! No way did I want to deprive a monkey of its cartilage. I just received the Pain Free book you recommended, and I'm placing my hope in that.

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    1. Be sure to report back! Just holler out any time, at any inappropriate post. I don't know, though. I don't want to deprive a monkey of cartilage, but I'll bet it's super springy.

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