An advisory tale of the pursuit for a new right knee |

An advisory tale of the pursuit for a new right knee

Appeal Entertainment Editor

Several years ago, skiing at Sugar Bowl, I took a spill which launched me on a long journey, which recently climaxed in the operating room of the Carson Tahoe Surgical Center. There, Dr. Michael Edmunds operated on my right knee for the second time, after first using minor surgery a few years ago to remove a meniscus flap created by the ski accident.

The second time was a lot more painful and the after-effects more lasting. Today, three weeks after the operation, I figured it was time to get back to work and perhaps share the tale with readers who may be facing a replacement of a knee joint. I’d heard many scary tales about such knee operations and found many of them disconcerting, so I thought I might relieve some of those worries.

On Wednesday, May 28, I checked into the surgery center, dressed down and turned myself over to the medical folk. After an epidermal shot Edmunds did the job, placing two metal plates in the knee, one on top and glued to the femur, the other on the tibia.

I woke up a couple of hours later, little pain involved. Then after the shot wore off, a pain landed. I was asked to rate the pain on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst.

It got up to a level of six. Rehab had started Friday with tours of the hospital with the help of a walker, guided by therapists. Regular pain medication continued until Sunday when I was released to go home.

From then on I worked with a visiting nurse, physical therapist and living therapist, all of whom had one goal: To get me up and about with a minimum of pain. Obviously, they did their jobs and I owe my success in returning to the Appeal to their efforts.

Today it is three weeks plus a day since I embarked on this voyage, and while it has been a demanding and stressful trip, I now look forward to seeing the movies and plays as I have in the past and reporting on such events. Come winter I’ll be back on the ski slopes, Dr. Edmunds assures me.

At times I felt frustrated, but now that I am on the threshold of normal locomotion, I can only say to those of you contemplating such a trip, it is worth it all ” all the medicines, all the professional expertise, and yes, all the pain. Don’t hesitate to enjoy the miracles of doctors and nurses and therapists. Life goes on. You can be part of it.


Rachael Ray’s “Tasty Travels” will visit Lake Tahoe’s best restaurants on the Food Network tomorrow at 8:30 p.m., reaching over 90 million U.S. households and more than 7 million Web site visitors. The Fresh Ketch, South Lake Tahoe, one of the restaurants in the segment, will screen the episode and feature food and drink specials.

“Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels” crew visited some of the finest restaurants that the South Shore has to offer. It’s easy to live here and never know about some of the fine dining on hand; check this show for ideas for future feasting.


We get all kinds of books at the arts desk, some of little value, some superb. In the superb category is a recent arrival, “Buddha in a Teacup: Tales of Enlightenment” by Todd Walton (178 pages, Lost Coast Press, $19.95). Readers here may be aware of my interest in Buddhism, but Buddhist or not, this is a delightful book, a collection of short stories which may or may not touch on Buddhism but for sure touch on the human condition.

This is a not a preaching collection of tales, but rather a whimsical and sometimes erotic, witty work. The stories do not so much end as drift away, offering a sometimes upbeat, sometimes sobering ending. Always they are gentle in concept with a swift touch of insight.

Another recent arrival is “Haiku U., From Aristotle to Zola, 100 Great Books in 17 Syllables,” by David M. Badger (Gotham Books, 100 pages, $15). For those who know of the Japanese poetry form haiku, no explanation is needed. For the rest of us, a couple of examples of the art form should suffice.

Adam Smith, “The Wealth of Nations”; “Supply meets demand,/The invisible hand claps./ Capitalist Zen.”

Evelyn Waugh, “Brideshead Revisited”; Gay Anglo Catholics/ ” what else to expect from a/man named Evelyn?”

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, “The Federalist Papers,”; “The Constitution “/behold our work and marvel./ No Bill of Rights? Whoops.

James Joyce, “Ulysses”; “Like the cicada,/ Molly takes many years to/say ‘Yes’ to Leo.

Nothing deep, but great literary fun.

– Contact Sam Bauman at or 881-1236.