Friday, July 16, 2010

Who Am I?

I'm posing this question because that's what a reader may wonder who comes across this blog.

Who is this guy, who brashly rejects accepted wisdom about healing achy knees?

First, what I'm not: I'm not a doctor. I'm not a physical therapist.

I am someone who struggled with chronic knee pain for more than a year. My diagnosis was patellofemoral pain syndrome (a terrible, say-nothing diagnosis ... and I'll go into that at some other time). I had bad cartilage lining my kneecaps, from cycling too hard up steep hills.

My credentials for writing this blog, I suppose, are that:

I am a skeptic by nature, a journalist by profession, and a pretty capable researcher with a talent for sifting through piles of research documents (medical textbooks, scientific studies) and extracting relevant information. I quickly learned that doctors weren't telling me the right story (or full story) about bad knees healing.

I am someone who believed strongly enough that his knees could get better that I quit my job and embarked on a year-long scientific experiment of sorts, testing all sorts of things, to find out what would help me heal. I recorded these observations in a detailed knee journal. I doubt that anyone has attempted such an experiment before (it's rather dull, for one thing), but what I learned was amazing.

And probably most important, I am someone who beat chronic knee pain, on my own, designing my own program for recovery.

No surgery, no magic pill in a bottle.

I want to share my story on this blog (I've also written a book). I wrote the book because, when my knees hurt much of the time, I searched everywhere for answers about what to do because my doctors weren't too helpful or optimistic. The books I found left me unsatisfied. They were written by doctors and physical therapists and were dry tomes chock full of the same advice that wasn't working for me and my really sensitive joints.

I wanted to read a story told by someone who had chronic knee pain that was like mine, hard to treat, yet who found a way to beat the condition, and what he learned along the way.

So I wrote "Saving My Knees," hoping it could inspire others.

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