The life of ER-KNEE: Give me a Bengal tiger any day

The life of ER-KNEE: Give me a Bengal tiger any dayI recently watched what I thought was a wonderful movie, The Life of Pi. Don’t miss it! It is a story about a young Indian man who somehow ends up trapped on a lifeboat at sea with a huge Bengal tiger.

I thought why not offer my own version based on my experience of having my knee replaced. As for the danger aspect I will tell you that being trapped at home with a spouse who insists that you follow every direction given to me by my physical therapists also is quite a scary prospect. Give me a Bengal tiger any day.

After limping along for many years with a defective knee and trying various types of injections and therapy, my wonderful orthopedic doctor, Harlan Selesnick, decided that I needed to actually replace my entire knee.

The fact that he is the doctor for the Miami Heat team gave me confidence that I would soon be out-jumping Dwyane Wade or at least beating some of the old timers with whom I still play tennis. I thought, “hell, it’s worth it.”

I was told by many that this type of surgery would result in at least several months of intense physical therapy and a lot of work on my part. Of course being a veteran of many surgeries — Carpal Tunnel, hip replacement, rotator cuff, etc. I thought that I could handle this easily. Wrong!

To all the women out there that see me as this strong, masculine, athletic person that they all desire, I am sorry to disappoint you. In actuality, I am just a big crybaby wimp who hates pain. I spent a week at a local rehab center where, at least, they brought me back to some form of mature behavior. Since then I have been attending outpatient therapy several times a week.

The therapists that I go to are all wonderful knowledgeable people who are constantly telling me how much better I am doing. I wish that I believed them. I had always thought that the letters PT stood for Physical Therapy. Once again I was wrong. They actually stand for Pain and Torture.

Apparently the only way that I might be able to out jump Dwyane Wade or even beat some of my old-timer tennis buddies will be to sustain some tremendous amounts of pain while they bend my knee way beyond where it seems to want to go. I am congratulated each time I leave my therapy session on the wonderful progress I have made after which I go home, lie on my bed, and whimper. Sorry all you lovely women out there but that is the real ER-KNEE

There were other side effects to my surgery. For a while I had completely lost my appetite for just about any form of food. I lost approximately 15 pounds and except for the fact that I look like a disheveled old man my waistline was within its proper limits.

Something about all that anesthesia and whatever else they stick into those tubes that they attach to my wrist seemed to kill my desire to do just about anything, including writing articles for this newspaper. Well as you can tell I have recovered some, but not all, of that desire.

My spouse, who I affectionately referred to as Nurse Ratched (played by Louise Fletcher in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest), recently congratulated me on making my own toast and coffee. Wow! That is progress. My son, who recently opened a new gym (Club X) in Coral Gables, is slightly embarrassed when I come to visit him on my walker. Apparently he prefers that young healthy strong people work out at his gym and not some decrepit old man on a walker. I don’t blame him.

The Life of Pi turned out to be a great movie. I am right now entertaining offers from various producers to portray my story for the silver screen. We will be casting for the role of Nurse Ratched soon.

Reach Ernie at

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