Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tactical tracker forced into tactical retreat

Sometimes serious injuries come in the strangest places.

While out running in early November, I was spreading like crazy to make a green light, and the car pulled into a driveway right in front of me.

I avoided the car then tripped and went airborne landing on shoulder, leg, outstretched arm and other body parts.

As always, when I fall down I get up and I keep going. That motivation comes from a football coach in high school who would personally kick our butts it we were back up instantly after hitting the ground

I made the greenlight and kept on running with what I thought was a pretty bad shoulder sprain. I finished my run got home and realized it was probably the worst shoulder sprain either head. Then I went to my GP and he said "son you have a serious rotator cuff injury."

son you have a serious rotator cuff injury.

So I go to a really good orthopedic surgeon who says "son you have a really bad rotator cuff injury. 0"

After the MRI he said "son, you have a massive shoulder separation with rotator cuff injuries that have completely severed the two largest tendons and damaged a few others".

This fall was the last straw for an area that was severely injured back when I was in college wrestling. It was subsequently damaged in the bed mountain bike fall, they fall I took while boulder climbing in the Sierras, and serious line pulling another activities while sailing

After the MRI , my surgeon noted that there was a fair amount of scar tissue  already among the tendons and asked what had happened. 

The wrestling injury was the first of many on that shoulder. Other injuries included those mountain biking sailing a number of other things including ice climbing.

As it turns out this injury was inevitable. My surgeon told me I was very lucky this didn't happen when I was up on the mountain by myself because I wouldn't be able to get down.

That would mean having to push the emergency button on my GPS tracker, and be hauled out by helicopter. That would be embarrassing as hell. I do not ever want to be that guy.

Anyway, I was able to make contact with the shoulder expert, Dr. Jonathan Goff, at the Mt. Tam sports orthopedic center. He said he hopes to have the surgery so successful that I could return to ice climbing. He hopes. I hope. 

But only the recovery will tell. I will be in my arm brace for 4 to 6 weeks because of the severity of the injury. And I'm looking at eight months to a year worth of physical therapy before I can get back out and see how well it works.

Surgery was the only thing that could fix it. Ripped tendons don't rehab without slicing, dicing, sewing staplling, drilling and suture anchors. For all I know, there was a SawzAll and A ball peen hammer involved.

Had the surgery yesterday, and I am recovering in a recliner which will be my chair and my bed for several weeks. I have a cool machine called a polar care which circulates icewater continually through the device on my shoulder. I also have a nifty pain pump that continually puts pain medication into a nerve block through a tiny catheter about the same diameter as the sick fishing line.

I also have some 100 Megaton narcotic pills which would go for a damn fortune on the street I think. I've never taken pain medication for previous broken bones fractures of the skull pretty extensive stitches and other athletic injuries. But now, here I am, with enough stuff to knock out a moose. I'm expected to knees need those as the nerve block wears off and actually gets removed tomorrow. 

That is a long way of saying, that this tactical trucker need to make a tactical retreat before heading to the mountain again.

During that time I will focus on gear. and keeping up-to-date on the rotator cuff injury. 

I will also be using voice dictation with all of those post, including this one. and that may make for some funky spelling and punctuation. Your tolerance of that greatly appreciated.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quick Notes on the 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau-- in time for your Thanksgiving

Review of Beaujolais Nouveau for Thanksgiving

For your Thanksgiving, nothing beats a Beaujolais Nouveau--they are light, easy to drink, and fairly inoffensive.

But they do vary a great deal from one producer to another, so it helps to go to a tasting of the holiday favorites like that held annually at Kermit Lynch in Berkeley, CA yesterday. 

I was unable to make it there, but colleague Doug Eakins was kind enough to send these quick notes. As it happens, only one of the wines here was a Nouveau; the rest are more traditional Gamay Beaujolais wines. 

  • 2012 Macon Farges Henri Perrusset Chardonnay: okay; steel aged with a mineral tas
  • 2014 Beaujolais Nouveau Domaine Depeuble and Jean Foillard; both are okay but have no depth.
  • 2013 Beaujolais Villages Guy Breton Gamay: interesting bouquet and some depth.
  • 2013 Cote De Brouilly Nicole Chanrion Gamay; very refined...bought one.
  • 2013 moulin-A-Vent Domaine Diochon Gamay: poor bouquet, but some finish.
You notice that Doug felt the Nouveau had no depth -- not surprising, since it was grapes on the vine only a month ago.

But for all its lack of sophistication, the Nouveaus can be a pleasant accompaniment to holiday dinner, especially dinners with so many components, as is typical of Thanksgiving. It is very much more a beverage than a wine. See our John Engstrom's in-depth suggestions for holiday wines.