Jim Buice column: Knee therapy includes unexpected twist

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2022

In a quest to explore all avenues before considering knee replacement, I found one that appeared to be noninvasive by following a strict daily regimen.
Hey, I thought, this might be something I can do. One of the components was making nutritional changes, which makes sense and didn’t raise any red flags.
But upon further reflection, I quickly realized “nutrition” is similar to a word that has been far too familiar to me in recent years — “diet.”
Following a steady stream of various diets over recent years related to New Year’s resolutions, I vowed in 2022 to break that vicious cycle.
And I did.
Until now… and I didn’t really see this one coming — especially in the middle of summer.
The overall program includes machines and supplements targeted to reduce inflammation and increase blood flow — along with other devices, including clinical visits, and exercises targeted specifically for the ailing knee.
Then, there’s the nutrition/food consumption element itself, including a Paleo or Anti-Inflammatory diet, that makes it all complete.
Surely, all of this will help, right? If so, it’s all good, even it means another, gulp, diet.
This all goes back to the big-time diet in 2019 when I lost 30 pounds in the first half of that year before gaining back a third of that in the Thanksgiving/Christmas feeding frenzy.
I’ve managed to stay in that range with less intense diets the last two and a half years, considering the challenges of COVID in 2020, followed by blowing out my knee playing tennis and having arthroscopic surgery that year — and being forced to a more sedimentary lifestyle.
Last year, I was able to increase my physical activity, but still favoring the knee and looking for some answers. However, I didn’t feel the need to do another diet to open 2022, but now this.
My wife joined me in the previous diets and will do so again, figuring it can be beneficial to her as well. Plus, we won’t have to have deal with a daily schedule of fixing different meals if we’re in this together.
While trying various recipes, we’ve started visiting a variety of grocery store and reading those frustrating food labels again, and figuring out what’s good, what’s bad and why — even though it’s so hard to get consensus depending on what you read.
For example, are potatoes anti-inflammatory or inflammatory? There are a variety of conflicting online answers, despite credible sources. The search is on for a nutritionist or dietician to assist and make sure it’s a healthy and balanced diet.
If all this makes my knee better, it will all be worth it.
But I sure do miss those burgers, fried seafood, cheesecake, etc.
• • • • •
Like most everyone else, I never thought I’d be “happy” to see gas prices start to dip below $4 a gallon.
Certainly, I’ve paid more attention than ever to gas prices, always hunting for the best deal, especially when it seemed we were on the way to $5 a gallon a month or two ago.
A few weeks ago, I was driving down U.S. 158 in need of gas. As I came up on the Harris-Teeter across from Tanglewood, I noticed the unleaded gas at that time was $4.19 a gallon, so since I was headed to Ace Hardware in Bermuda Run anyway, I continued to travel west and see if it might be cheaper at Speedway — which is right beside the hardware store.
I saw it was $4.09, so I pulled in to fill up the tank. As I was finishing up, an employee started walking out of the store toward the street and the sign where the gas prices were posted. By the time, I drove over to Ace, I peered across the parking lot to see “4” was replaced by a “3” with “99” following.
Bad timing for sure, right?
But I got more than even last week when I was in northern Davidson County and stumbled upon a convenience store with a price of $3.64 a gallon. Upon entering Clemmons later that day, prices were still in the $3.99 range (but have since gone down).
Let’s just hope the prices keep trending that way.
• • • • •
After seeing all the problems with air travel with passengers enduring long lines and canceled flights, I never thought about similar problems with hotels.
However, on a trip to Pittsburgh last month, we decided to splurge and pay big bucks to get a room a couple of blocks away from PNC Park for a Pirates-Yankees game.
It turned out to be a nightmare. After arriving shortly following the 3 p.m. check-in time, we noticed a line snaking out the front door of the hotel. It took nearly an hour to get to the front desk to learn, as we’d been hearing from others in front of us, that our room wasn’t ready and they would let us know when it was. The problem — staffing shortages, a continuing theme everywhere these days.
So we had to store our bags in a supply room and figure out our next steps. By then, all the restaurants were filling up with long waits — hey, the vaunted Yankees were in town — followed by a storm that dumped rain for more than an hour after we finally found somewhere to eat.
Standing under an awning of a store to stay dry, we finally got a call that our room was ready not far from the start of the game. Luckily, the game was delayed because of the rain, so we were able to get in our room and didn’t miss the first pitch.
Unfortunately, the misery continued in America’s most beautiful ballpark when the Yankees pummeled my Pirates 16-0 — a fitting way to end the day.