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Saturday, December 17, 2016


     There's a well-used joke that asks what the difference is between a therapist and a terrorist. The answer, of course, is that you can negotiate with a terrorist. In my history of shoulder reconstruction, spinal fusion, hip replacement and now knee replacement I have had more than a few physical therapists. Without exception, they are kind, caring people. Why they chose a profession which has an object of hurting people I don't know.
     I returned from the hospital on 9 Dec. Here's what the knee looked like at that time.

     The honey-combed device under the transparent dressing serves to keep the staples untouched and the incision dry to heal. On the 14th the staples were removed and only steri-strips remained.

     Now it is going to be a long, tough slog to recover the range of motion and then the strength that the knee had before the bearing surfaces were replaced. It was thoughtful of Cindy to arrange a flyover to coincide with my return home.

     My recovery was helped by the Army victory over Navy in their football clash. It is very difficult to explain to a rational person the significance of that win. I am going to use many of the thoughts of John Feinstein, a favorite sportswriter, to try to capture the depth of feeling. Army had lost a well-respected defensive back in a car accident after the Rice game. So, in addition to the usual motives, they wanted to close out the season with a win over Navy to honor Brandon Jackson. As the final seconds expired, the corps stormed the field with 4,000 long gray overcoats making a churning mosh pit out of the playing field. Morna Jackson, Brandon's mother, was waiting outside the locker room. Eventually the entire team had found its way through the chaos to the locker room. What follows is Feinstein's account:

           At that moment, Jeff Monken, the Army coach, turned and saw Davis. He rushed    to her, wrapped his arms around her and they both had a good cry.

     Then, Davis accompanied Monken into the locker room. When everyone was          finally inside and the doors closed, Monken didn't ask Superintendent LTG        Robert Caslen to speak first. He didn't ask Army Chief-of-Staff Gen. Mark        Milley to speak or Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning. He helped Davis onto a    chair and suddenly, the room was very quiet.
     In a soft, tearful voice, Brandon Jackson's mom, a New York City police        detective, thanked everyone in the room for remembering and honoring her son;    for winning the game in his memory; for everything they had done for him and      for her since that awful day three months ago.
     They cheered her and then they listened to Monken, to Caslen, to Fanning, to    Milley and to athletic director Boo Corrigan, who couldn't seem to get the        tears out of his eyes in the aftermath of the victory.
     And then, James Gibson, a classmate of Jackson's stood on the chair and        presented Davis with a game-uniform honoring her son.

        It hurts when you lose to Navy, and a fourteen game losing streak is particularly painful. I am not an avid football fan, but I watched every minute of that game as well as some emotional post-game coverage.
       I am most reluctant to turn what is supposed to be a travel blog into a medical diary. I beg your indulgence.
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