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I Get Both A Fitbit ‘Versa Lite’ & ‘Inspire HR’ To Evaluate.

by Anura Guruge



Yes, I know I am very lucky and I never lose sight of that.

But, I really do have to evaluate them and I try to write at least two reviews: one short and the other detailed. I take it seriously — which is why folks send me these activity trackers to evaluate.

Just heard of another one that I am likely to get in about 6-weeks. That really made me SMILE. Yes, I will share when I get it.

Kind of the story of my life. That I am a conscientious and driven worker has always stood me in good staid. That I can write, or more to the point that I learnt to write and ENJOY writing, was the icing on the cake.


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by Anura Guruge

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Can I Justify Getting The New Garmin MARQ ‘Athlete’ Or ‘Expedition’?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Use link below to access Garmin product page.


Link to Garmin product page.


Though I try to keep up with Garmin rumors the announcement of the MARQ series caught me totally flat-footed (and that had nothing to do with my knee surgery last week).

Wow.

On Google News, this morning, I was informed that the MARQ was $2,500, but I have since found out that that is for the ‘DRIVER’ model aimed at race drivers. That is a heavy watch, with a heavy metal band, not at all suited for my 24×7 wear.

The ‘ATHLETE’ & ‘EXPEDITION’, at $1,500 & $1,750 respectively, would be the logical upgrades to my Fenix 5 Plus.

Yes, I could upgrade, quite attractively & affordably, through the HRM USA VIP Club — I one of the founding members. Plus, I am a long-term GRMN shareholder. So, when Garmin does well I make out anyway.

But, but, but …

Yikes.

I hope I am wrong but at first glance this looks like but lipstick on my Fenix 5 Plus. Nothing majorly new, e.g., EKG/ECG, blood pressure monitoring or a superduper AMOLED display, to justify this premium pricing.

Yes, I need to do some research.

Yes, I might luck out and get one for evaluation.

Treat this as but a foreplay post. I will do more. This was just to get the subject on the table so to speak.


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by Anura Guruge

Quadricep Tendon Tear Knee Surgery: Day 4 — Negligible Pain Throughout!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and admire. You can see the staples above the white dressing.


Click image to access must read post.


I had my quadriceps tendon repair surgery,
at ‘
Frisbie Memorial Hospital‘ —
performed by Dr. Charles Blitzer
of ‘Seacoast Orthopedics
on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Today, as such, is the 4th full-day, post surgery.


There is, touch wood, very little pain — as yet.

I hope it continues to be the case. It sure would be nice and a welcome relief.

The whole surgery experience, so far, has really been near miraculous. I am in total awe.

Yes, no question, the knee hurts, like billy-o if it bends (or moves). But, I am NOT supposed to bend it.

When I keep it straight and immobile, I have had little pain. I truly lucked out. Just hoping that pain does not suddenly engulf me and I am doing everything I can to make sure that I don’t end up with ‘Central Pain Syndrome‘ (CPS) six-months down the road. Right now I am hopeful. That I haven’t had major pain to drive my central nervous system (CNS) nuts will definitely stand me in good stead. IF I end up with CPS — I will rue the day.

I just cannot tell you how effective that ice therapy with the ‘ice pump’ is. I am convinced that it is what has helped me so much. I have it on about 16-hours a day. It is on now, set to 42°F, as I write.


All I have taken for medication so far is 325mg Tylenol and Aleve.

I have, so far, not needed any narcotics. I have two bottles, 60 pills, of opioids, one from ER and the other from the surgeon, unused. I hope this continues to be the case.

The nerve block was also amazing. It ran out Saturday night — right on schedule. They said 48-hours and it probably lasted about 54. Definitely felt some pain when it was gone. That is when I started taking Aleve.

Day 1 (Friday) — I took 7 Tylenols, much of it because I felt feverish.

Day 2 (Saturday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves, late at night, after the nerve block was removed.

Day 3 (Sunday) — 6 Tylenols during the day + 2 Aleves at night.

Day 4 (Monday) — 1 Aleve so far and it is 5:30pm.

As far as I am concerned that is pretty amazing. Right now I feel no knee! It is pretty frozen — but don’t worry, I am not going to get frostbite.


Appears I am the lucky beneficiary of all of the concerted effort going into preventing the prescription of opioids.

Both the nerve block & ice machine blurbs tell doctors how they can be used instead of opioids. I am all in favor.

Seeing the surgeon tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed.

So, just wanted to share with you in case, alas, knee surgery is to figure in your future. Based on my experience it might not be as painful as you might dread.

Well, I am still keeping fingers crossed. Pain is a funny ol’ thing. Don’t trust it — as far as I can throw it.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Does Us, The Temporarily Disabled, A Great Disservice.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. From my Garmin Connect.


Click to ENLARGE. From my Garmin Connect.


As some of you may know, from my prior posts, I tore my quadriceps tendon on February 28, 2018, and had knee surgery to repair it a week later, on March 7, 2019.

The week between the injury and the surgery, when I was wearing just a full-leg knee immobilizer I was quite mobile, didn’t use crutches — just a stick — and managed to even get in 5,000 steps — some of it in snow. Going up and down stairs was not an issue. Though I was not close to averaging my pre-injury 52-floors a day, I was still up and down the stairs a fair number of times. I live in a 4-story house with 3 staircases and I need to get around all 4 floors since our big TV is on the 1st floor and my work PC (for doing these posts and writing books) is on the 4th floor.

My Fenix 5 Plus was fine recording my steps and floors because I was still doing them the normal way — albeit using a walking stick.

Click to access post.


Things changed DRAMATICALLY post-surgery. No weight-bearing on the left-leg. Have to use crutches.

My Fenix 5 Plus does not measure my steps when using crutches! Why. Because I am not moving my arms about that much. Maybe there is a crutch-use setting but I am not aware of it. My first time being disabled — ever.

I have to go up and down the stairs on my BUM — using my arms. That is HARD. I had stopped doing pushups 12-years ago, and at 65 other than my running, climbing floors, shoveling snow and hiking I don’t do much. Upper body strength is not what it used to be. Climbing stairs using my arms is exhausting.

And now hear is the kicker. My Fenix 5 Plus is NOT counting the damn floors I climb — so laboriously. That is not fair. I climb, with help, 6 or 8 floors a day and go down as many, if not more. I climbed one floor to write this. Fenix 5 Plus says ‘0’. That is stupid. Expended more energy climbing that floor than I normally do bounding up 5.

The steps I understand.

The floors I don’t. I thought Garmin told us that floors climbed was calculated using the barometric altimeter. I think my altimeter isn’t busted. So, what gives.

Honestly, the least of my problems right now. Heart rate is working and thanks to my Fenix 5 Plus I know that I am still alive and that my heart rate, even with the surgery, is in the 60 range. So, that is good.

I will keep you posted. Hoped to be more active in about a month.


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by Anura Guruge

Knee Surgery — Must Have Survival Kit.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study.


I would not be writing this, post knee surgery on Thursday, March 7, 2019 for a totally separated quadriceps tendon, if not for these items.

Yes, thanks to the miracle of modern surgery and aftercare — in particular a nerve block catheter and an ice pump for the knee — I am, very thankfully, pain free right now.

But, life would have been difficult and rather painful without some of these gizmos.

The raised toilet seat is a must. Please trust me on that. When one of your knees has been immobilized lowering yourself is not easy and can be very painful. Those 5″ make all the difference. And the handles will also help you navigate the bathroom even if you don’t plan to sit down.

The sock aid is so cute that I am using it even when I don’t have to. So clever. You will love it

You have to have a long handle shoehorn — unless you live in warm climes and get by in sandals.

The two ‘dressing’ sticks are very handy and you can use one to lift your leg onto the bed.


Alas, I was not told about these mandatory devices by the doctor or the hospital — even though I called about them 3-days prior to surgery.

Insurance will typically cover part of the cost — if not all!

Not in my case because the doctor did not order them. I just paid. The best $104 I have spent in weeks.

Please do not think about knee surgery before you get these and have them in place.

I lucked out.


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by Anura Guruge

I Have Never Had A Tetanus Vaccination — And I Was Told, In My 40s, That I Probably Didn’t Need One.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Google. Lots of stories about this poor boy.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetanus_vaccine


Growing up in third-world Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) 1950 — 1967 we did not get many vaccination. The only one I know, for sure, that I got was the oral (i.e., in a sugar cube) polio vaccine c. 1962. As I have chronicled many times on this blog, we, the brown kids of Ceylon, unbeknownst to us were used to try out the vaccine. Well, we did fine (thank you). My maternal uncle was the then Director of Health for Ceylon and this probably was his doing. He was far thinking. I, alas, never got to talk to him about this.

As I child I caught and suffered through measles & mumps — and, quite memorably, typhoid from drinking some unboiled water before my adoptive mother could stop me. I caught chicken pox from my elder kids when I was in my late 30s — and nobody told me that it is pretty serious in adults. All I knew was that my doctor did not want me to come in!

Now to tetanus. Never was vaccinated for it in Ceylon — and as a raggamuffin who played a lot of street cricket I got plenty of cuts and scratches. I probably had some exposed injury every day. Vaccinations also were not big in the U.K. in the 1970 – 1980. I don’t recall anybody asking me whether I had had a tetanus vaccination in the UK.

The question as to my tetanus shot only started to come up in the U.S. — particularly after the mid-1990s. I would get asked at my physical. I would decline.

Eventually, over the years, I had two conversations with U.S. doctors — who were friends of mine at the time. They both said that it was probably pointless for me to get a tetanus shot post-40. According to them my body probably had built up enough antibodies to tetanus over the years. “If you haven’t had tetanus by now, and you grew up in a tropical country … you are probably safe by now.” That made sense to I.

So, I am just sharing this for the record.

Also, for the record, I have nothing against vaccinations. All the kids have had all the required vaccinations and a FEW optional ones. Yes, I have said no to a few that seemed superfluous. And for the last 6 or 7 years, I and the two youngest kids, have also got the flu shot every year — without fail. Last year, upon turning 65, I even got a pneumonia shot. So, do not accuse me of anything. Just stating the facts about tetanus.


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by Anura Guruge

Knee Surgery In 2019 — Near Miraculous!

by Anura Guruge


The Two Pumps.

The nerve block pump is in the black ball-shaped bag
— hanging down.


The inputs to the ice cooler around the knee.



The Nerve Block Pump.


Post Surgery Ice Cooler.


Click to access post.


I had my quadriceps tendon repair surgery, yesterday, at ‘Frisbie Memorial Hospital‘ — performed by Dr. Charles Blitzer of ‘Seacoast Orthopedics‘.

So, far, so good. Actually pretty blinking bloody amazing (though my use of ‘bloody’ is kind of ironic since there is just a minimum of blood that I can see)!

Nearly 24-hours later NO PAIN. Maybe a slight twinge, but no pain per se.

Have not taken taken any of the opioids they gave me as yet — and that is consistent with the v. precise instructions I got.

First Tylenol, then Aleve and if that doesn’t work opioids. I am cool with that.

But, I am well and truly bionic. I have two pumps attached to I as well as my trusty DonJoy X-Act ROM knee brace (which fully immobilizes the damaged knee).

One is a Nerve Block catheter attached high up on my left hip. I knew about that.

They kind of semi-knocked me out before inserting that. I had been told about that too. Did not expect them to be using an ultrasound unit to locate the vein. Pretty cool. The staff at Frisbie were pretty amazing and the anesthesiologist was very cool. I have been told that the Nerve Block should work for about 48-hours. Maybe longer. It is a ‘balloon’. When it is totally deflated I am supposed to pull out the catheter. That might be interesting.

What I was not expecting was the ice cooler pump for my knee. That is so COOL and that is not a pun.

Never knew they existed. As the ads for it say (when I went and checked them out yesterday night) they sure beat a bag of frozen peas or traditional ice packs.

Between the two pumps I am doing ‘OK’.

Can’t put any weight on the leg and it is weak.

We live in a 4-story house with 3-staircases. I have to go up & down the staircases on my bum. I had not realized how weak my shoulders were. I guess I don’t exercise them enough. But, they are sure getting a workout now and I am ASHAMED to admit that I have to take a break when climbing up the stairs with my shoulders. For someone who averaged 56 floors a day, climbing stairs was a pleasure. It is now embarrassing! When I am better I may split my floor climbing — some by foot, other by shoulders.


Dr. Charles Blitzer who performed the surgery is said to be outstanding. I met him fleetingly prior to surgery and when I was recovering. Both times I was under the influence. He seems very nice and had the air of quiet confidence. I had read about him and liked what I read.

This is what caught my eye: “Dr. Blitzer has been recognized for his humanitarian work as he regularly travels abroad to provide orthopedic services to the disadvantaged in the developing world”. Anybody who has that mentality and commitment has to be pretty decent. I liked that.

I will meet him properly next Tuesday. Looking forward to that.


So, far, 24-hours into this all I have taken is three 325mg Tylenol. And that was because I felt feverish.

That is my story for now.

Yes, it could all turn on a dime. I am not totally stupid as I repeatedly point out. Just partially stupid. I know I am not out of the woods. When the Nerve Block wears off I could be in significant pain.

I hope I didn’t bore you too much.


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by Anura Guruge

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