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I thought this would be a good time to tell this story.  It is a true story.  It happened in 1978.  It is a story of a brutal crime in the middle of the night.  A horror story when seen in writing.   The story has been on my mind for many years.  It was the very worse crime scene I had ever been on.  The crime was solved because of never ending, sometimes routine, sometimes outstanding police work.  The police officers & detectives told about here are the same kind that are in every neighborhood in America –  police officers dedicated to solving every crime and apprehending every criminal.

The Officer was on routine patrol.  Lots of police officers get lost in kind of a tactical haze on routine patrol.  They drive around their assigned areas safely, staying out of the way of traffic and letting the scenery drift by.  But if something is unusual the officer snaps back into focus, pays strict attention and responds to whatever issue has arisen and deals with the problem tactically and effectively.

The Officer had just completed a 5 day alarm and security school given by Ron Caine of Caine alarms (now Vector Security).  During this training electronic alarms placement and design were taught as well as burglary knowledge and prevention.  One of those knowledges had to do with residential burglary occurring due to open doors.  In fact, The Officer learned that 96% of All residential burglary happened through open doors. The burglar would walk up to the door that was open, and take a quick look inside.  If no one was right there, bad guy would enter, steal whatever was close (usually a purse), and leave.  If someone was right there, bad guy usually apologized that he had the wrong house (and indeed, that was true), and leave.  From this class, The Officer decided he would begin more aggressive residential patrol by finding open doors in homes and notifying the owners of the burglary statistics.  Hopefully this would prevent more burglaries.

The Officer turned onto the little street right across from the hospital.  As he coasted along, The Officer viewed the left side of the street.  He would turn around and view the right side when he drove the other way.  Viewing the left made it easier to quickly exit the car if necessary.  One could keep their attention focused as they were exiting without losing a tactical advantage.  Tactical advantage is always important in police work.

There.  A little house at the top of a slight incline had the front door ajar about six inches.  There was no storm door.  The Officer marked out to the dispatcher that he was checking an open door at the address.  The dispatcher acknowledged and asked The Officer if he wanted a backup.  “I’ll let you know”, The Officer casually looked at the front and sides of the house enroute to the front door.  He noticed the house was dark inside.  Of course it was daylight outside so that wasn’t particularly suspicious.  Except that The Officer couldn’t see any movement inside the home during his approach.  But, in Arlington that wasn’t unusual either.  Many residents, especially elderly ones, worked in the back yard leaving their front door unlocked.  This, of course, made burglaries very easy for those so inclined.

The Officer made it to the front door.  Just peeking through the crack of the door, there were no lights on.  The living room, off to the right where The Officer could see appeared to be very messy.  Lots of stuff on the floor, and even the furniture appeared out of place and moved a lot.

The Officer knocked on the door.  “Hellooo, anyone here? This is the Police.  Just checking your door.  It’s open.”  The Officer always used a friendly voice because he had already found that it scared a lot of people into some sort of shock when they could hear someone practically beside them calling out.  The Officer thought he heard some shifting of paper or something else.  “Hello, everything ok?”  A low moan was heard, just inside the front door and to the left. “Help me, please.  Help me”, said a female voice. The Officer pushed on the front door but something was against it.  The Officer drew his Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum revolver and notified the dispatcher that someone was calling for help inside.  The dispatcher acknowledged and called for more units.  The Officer asked the person inside, “ma’am, are you pushed up against the door?”  She replied, “no, I’m in the room off to the left. I was attacked sometime last night.”

The Officer replied back, “Ok.  “I’m going to force your door open and I didn’t want to take a chance on hurting you.”  The woman answered, “I’m hurt from those boys getting in here.  They beat me and tried to set the papers on fire to burn me up but the fire went out.” The Officer kicked the front door open further then entered the home quickly.  What he saw was the worst crime scene ever, and for all of his career.

The elderly female (79, The Officer later learned) was lying just inside the room off to the left of the hallway by the door.  She was on a pile of papers and books.  As she said, the papers had been burned under her, but when the flame got to the books it went out, though it still smoldered.  The woman was face down.  She was naked.  An umbrella had been inserted into her rectum and was still there.  Her face, arms and legs were heavily bruised.  She was bleeding from the nose and mouth and it looked like she may have been missing some teeth.  She said to The Officer, “They banged on my back door about 4 this morning.  Two of them.  I was going to see what was wrong and they kicked in the door.  First thing they did was knock me down and kick me.  They kept hitting me and kicking me until I lost consciousness.  I think maybe I was raped.  I kept asking them to leave and they kept laughing, saying they weren’t near done yet.  They kept calling me ‘white bitch’.  I offered them money but they told me they wanted me.  After they got done, one of them brought me in here and the other one tore up my house.  I think he must’ve broke everything.  I didn’t see.  The one with a gold tooth in front pushed me down then threw all the books and papers out of that closet right there on top of me.  Then he lit the papers.  They kept going out.  Finally, he got my umbrella and put into my behind and said he was going to push until I died.  The other came out and told him it was time to go and they went out the front door.  They talked to another boy outside then they left.  I’ve been here since.  I prayed for someone to come.”

The Officer noted to himself that the lady was talking really slow, almost like in a trance.  He began to worry about shock.  He went into another part of the house and got a blanket, putting it over the woman’s back and tucked it in around her.

The Officer called for an ambulance,and the fire department to check on the still smoldering paper heap.  He also called for a Police Agent (crime scene investigator), and a supervisor.  “I’m going to stay right here with you ma’am, until the ambulance gets here, then I’ll go to the hospital with you if that’s ok with you,” The Officer said; then he asked, “What’s your name ma’am?”  “Rose”, she said.  The ambulance arrived and worked on Rose until they got her stabilized.  One of the EMT’s told The Officer they thought Rose’s heart was in strong condition and that she was coming out of the shock she had been in.  The EMT commented on the extent of injuries from the beating all over her body.  The Officer took down the EMT’s name and the ambulance left for the hospital. The Police Agent, John S. arrived and took photos of Rose and the house as the ambulance left.

Just before Rose left John asked her if the young men had anything over their hands that she knew of.  John later told The Officer that he never uses the word, ‘gloves’ in asking that question because it limits the person’s answers.  They are thinking in terms of gloves specifically and may forget other coverings, such as sox, or a piece of cloth or even something over their knuckles like brass knuckles.  Rose turned her head toward John and said, “I know you’re asking about gloves, but their hands had nothing on them.  I expect they must’ve skinned their knuckles badly using them so much on my face,” and she smiled a little.

(An interesting aside in the processing of the crime scene was that as the Police Agent arrived, the ambulance was nearly ready to take Rose to the hospital.  Agent John stopped them for a short time, and took photos of Rose in the house, and one of her on the gurney from the ambulance.  The photos were all taken with a Brownie insta-matic camera.  For camera buffs, a Brownie is certainly not known as a quality camera.  But John felt the ambulance would not wait while John got his standard crime scene camera out (a 4×5 Speed Grafix), set it up and took photos one at a time.  So Brownie camera it was.  When the trial came, the photos from the Brownie were enlarged to 14 x 20 inch photos so the judge/jury could clearly see Rose’s injuries on the day of the crime.  From such an inexpensive camera, the photos were perfect, no blurring at all.)  In this incident, a number of  minor miracles took place. The photo quality was just one of those miracles.

The police agent called to The Officer;  “Take a look at this living room,” This is god-awful.  The Officer walked into the living room.  An axe was incongrously leaned against part of a chair.  All, every piece, of furniture in the living room had been broken.  A sofa was now in many pieces, a stuffed chair, a lamp, the lampstand – all were in several pieces.  Above all, a baby grand piano had been smashed beyond repair.  The piano had clearly been for the benefit of Rose as it faced a window which was wider than the rest.  The piano had been a Steinway, worth perhaps $20,000, even in that year of 1979.  The piano had been struck so many times even the keys had been smashed.  It was beyond repair.

John said, “I’ll collect this axe and I’ll bet the lab can get some latents off here.  Oh, and look right here, Rog, here’s blood!  Maybe that’s Rose’s blood.”  John collected the axe for evidence.  John was at the crime scene his entire day.  John collected most of the papers on the floor.  He was very interested in the papers that were burned as he believed they were most likely to have latents on them due to the suspect attempting to light them so many times and probably was holding the sheet while attempting to light the paper.

The Officer went to the back door.  The door had been kicked, by someone who knew how.  A footprint was right above the doorknob.  There was no deadbolt.  About a foot above the footprint and on the inside of the door, was blood.  The Officer suspected that Rose arrived just as the door was kicked in.

The supervisor arrived and immediately called the Burglary Detective who investigated in this area. This was Detective Gris.  The Detective said he had some informants in the area and maybe he could find out the perpetrators soon.

Just before going to the hospital, the Officer went to the house in back of Rose’s house.  Rose had said an older woman lived there as well and The Officer wanted to check on her welfare.  Upon his knock, the lady came to the door.   “Did you hear or see anything last night ma’am?  Rose had a break-in.”  The woman replied, “yeah, I heard them out there.  Shoutin’ like a pair of fools.  Young black boys.  They were kicking on her door, until finally she got it open and they went on in there.”  The Officer was amazed, Here, was an outstanding witness.  Clearly from her words, she saw the suspects of this terrible crime.  “What did you do ma’am, when you saw them?” ,  The woman looked at The Officer strangely, “Do? Whatdya mean what’d I do?”  She paused,  “How do I know who Rose knows?”  I went to bed and back to sleep.

The Officer reminded himself that he had heard he should talk nice to even stupid people and here was a prime example.”Did you call the police ma’am?”

“Did I Call the cops?  You here ain’t cha? What do I need to call the cops for?  I told you, I don’t know who Rose knows and she opened the door for those boys.  I figgered they was friends. Besides, it wasn’t me.  Not my business.”   The Officer drew a deep breath.  “Ma’am, we haven’t caught these guys.  If they return tonight, to your door, hopefully you’ll remember to call the police”.   The Officer about faced and left before the woman could reply.  The Officer didn’t want a complaint and he knew that would happen if he continued with this person.

The Officer went to the hospital to check on Rose and finish his report.

Two weeks later, the Officer got a call from his supervisor.  “Gris knows who those two assholes are that broke into Rose’s house.”  He wants you to meet him at her house since you and she are friends now.  The Officer agreed and headed on over to Rose’s home.  Rose met The Officer at the front door.  She was in a wheelchair and her son was with her.  Rose said, “Ken won’t leave me.  He does all his work here now.  I’m afraid he’ll get tired of me.” She laughed a little.  Her son replied, “That’s right Mom, never leaving again.”

The Officer told Rose, “Ma’am, the Detective is coming by here and wanted me to be here with you.  He’s bringing some photos.  Sometimes its best to have a friend with you to kind of lean on when you see people like this, even in a photograph.”  Sometimes it’s easier if your friend is a police officer.  Rose set her mouth straight, “I’m ready.” She said.

The Detective arrived.  It was evident to The Officer that the Detective had met Rose before and asked about it.  “Oh yes, we met at the hospital.  I wasn’t sure Rose would remember me,” the Detective replied.  Rose commented, Actually, except for meeting a lot of really nice police officers day, it wasn’t a good day, ”

Detective Gris said to Rose, “Ok, a fellow told me the name of a guy who has been talking around the neighborhood about a couple guys he was with one night and they did an awful crime across from the Arlington Hospital.  This guy said he was the lookout.  His name is Robert.  I went to talk to Robert and he told me that he and two other guys who were both juveniles came down here.  The other two were looking to do a B&E and maybe rape a woman.  They figured since they were juveniles there would be very little penalty.  Robert, however, is not a juvenile.  So Robert said he stayed outside as a lookout.  After about 10-15 after they went in he started hearing a lot of noise from inside the house.  Robert said he has some backup time from another crime so he left.  Robert told me the names of the boys he was with.  I got their pictures and a few more for you to look at and see if you remember them.”

Detective Gris leaned forward and put his hand on Rose’s shoulder, “Now Rose, if you don’t recognize either one of them it’s ok, we’re going to get them anyway.  We have a lot of evidence.”  The Detective gave Rose all his photos in a little pile for her to look at them.  Rose went through the photos and immediately picked out two of them.  “These are the same ones. ”  Rose said softly as she pointed to the photos, ” This is the boy that set the papers on fire to try to burn me, and he’s also the one who put the umbrella in me.  This other boy here, was the first one in the back door that night and he’s the first one that hit me in the face.  Then he grabbed me and threw me on the floor and kicked me.

The Officer was astounded!  Here was a woman who had been brutally beaten, raped, and the SOB’s had tried to kill her as well.  A Lot of trauma happened that night.  But here she was, calm, determined, and correct in her identification.  She chose the right boys from all the photos with the first pass through the photos.  It was one of the most detailed and quickest photo lineup identifications by a victim that The Officer ever saw!

After Rose’s identification, Detective Gris asked her if she would like to hear who these boys were.  Rose said she would.  Detective Gris said both suspects are now in detention.  Lionel, the boy with the gold tooth, was in foster care.  That’s because his father is in jail for the murder of Lionel’s mother.  Lionel witnessed the murder in his home.  The father beat the mother to death.  The other boy, Teare, just got out of jail for an armed robbery charge and was living at home about two blocks from where Rose lived.  Lionel used to live in the southern part of the county, but since foster care has been living close to Teare.  Both boys, said Gris, had long and violent criminal histories, but he expected for this crime the suspects would be tried as adults and maybe get more prison time.

Rose asked what The Officer wanted to ask, “How on earth did you get this Robert person to talk to you Detective?  He must know that he could go to jail for this, even being on the outside of the house?”  Detective Gris said that sometimes people get worried about what’s going to happen when the police find they have done something and they worry themselves into calling the police and confessing their crimes to them.  That’s what happened with Robert. Gris said, “Unbelievably, when I went to Robert’s mother’s home she answered the door and said,  “’Robert has been waiting for you.’” Gris continued, “when I went in the living room Robert was there and said he wanted to get this away from him.  Robert said, ‘these guys are badass, man. They need to go to jail.  They beat that old lady up for nothin! No reason, cept they bad and want to prove they bad.  I lef’ before them ’cause I was hopin’ the cops would just come along and get’em.’ ”  Gris said he told Robert he appreciated him telling about this deed.  Robert told Gris he just wanted him to tell his P.O. (parole officer) so he didn’t go back to jail.  Gris then told Rose, “I think I forgot to tell Robert he was going to have to do some time here as well for his part in the deed.  We’ll let him know that after he testifies against these other two.”

After the photo line-up, Detective Gris and The Officer left together. Detective Gris said to the Officer, “I talked to the two main assholes in this.  They need to be in for the rest of their sorry lives.  Lionel really would have pushed that umbrella into Rose till she died.  He’s a real bastard.  Teare, The other boy was scared that Lionel was going to do exactly that.  He pulled Lionel away from Rose and said he threw him out the front door.  Teare said Lionel wanted to go back in and kill her but Teare pulled him away.  Plus, Teare was worried because Robert wasn’t outside.  Teare thought the police had found Robert and were waiting on he and Lionel to exit the house and Teare was really afraid so they left.”  Detective Gris talked about Lionel as well.  “Lionel was very soft spoken.  He never raised his voice and I could hardly tell he had any feelings at all from this crime.  He started to sweat a little when he was talking about what he did to Rose in the room he took her to.  He said he enjoyed doing that and he would’ve killed her if Teare hadn’t pulled him away.  Lionel was mad at Teare because he said he wanted to kill the white bitch in there.  Lionel could be a psychopath I think.  In any case, he needs to be in prison all his life.”   Gris commented last that, “one good thing out of all this was that the axe had both suspect’s fingerprints on it so that placed both of them inside Rose’s home.  Well, it didn’t really, but I told them it did so they confessed to bringing it with them in the house.”

Gris commented that he was happy that the three of them confessed as the blood could only be typed and grouped and a lot of people could have that same typing and grouping as Rose, maybe even the three scumbags.  (This was in 1979.  DNA for criminal incidents had not been allowed in court trials yet.)

Came the day of the trial.  Commonwealth Attorney Henry prosecuted this case himself.  Both suspects were tried as adults as Detective Gris expected.  Rose testified in clear terms.  She positively identified both suspects.  She told about Lionel’s gold tooth, and she told about the other boy hitting her and kicking her.  The Officer testified to what he found.  Detective Gris testified that both suspects had implicated themselves in these crimes.

The final outcome:  Both Lionel and Teare received 160 years with none suspended for this crime.  The lookout, (Robert) was sentenced to 10 years prison, and indeed, was charged after his testimony in the charges of the main suspects.


Rose spent her remaining years in that same house.  Her son stayed there with her as well.  The Officer and Rose remained close friends all the days of her life.


Analyses of the Tampa Officer’s Theater Shooting

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner, Uncategorized     Comments No comments

In January, Curtis Reeves a white male, 71 years old and a retired Tampa Florida police officer, shot Chad Oulson, white male, 43 years old and a finance manager for a motorcyle and powersports business. The article can be seen here from Foxnews on January 15, 2014. theater shooting .The incident occurred inside a movie theater in Pasco County, Florida. Pasco County is centered on the west bank of the state of Florida.

I thought, as a retired police officer, with 37 years of service, I could provide some light onto this incident and Mr. Oulson’s killing. This post is an analyzing of the incident from another retired police officer’s view. This post is not to say that Reeves was anything other than completely wrong in his actions. Of course one cannot shoot someone after an argument if you aren’t fearful for your life. What this article is arguing is that perhaps Mr. Oulson would be alive today if he had been more tolerant of Mr. Reeves request for him to stop texting in the theater.

In the Washington D.C. area that I reside in, local theaters show specific reminders on screen for movie watchers to turn their phone to vibrate, no calls, no texts etc., prior to a movie. One would believe that this is the usual theaters in other areas. Even if the theater didn’t do that, is texting ever so important that it can’t be foregone for a couple hours? Nothing has been noted in any news articles, on this subject, that Mr. Oulson had a personal emergency and was texting to solve the problem.

Essentially the way this incident went as follows:Mr. Reeves asked Mr. Oulson to stop texting in the theater during the movie. The men had some words back and forth. Mr. Reeves got up and informed the management. Upon Reeves return to his seat more words between the two of them because Mr. Oulson has not stopped texting and he doesn’t like it that Mr. Reeves told the management about him. Mr. Oulson, in a very childish move, throws his bag of popcorn at Mr. Reeves. More words between them. Mr. Reeves feels something hit him in the face. He feels he is being attacked and is fearful. Mr. Reeves draws his pistol and shoots Mr. Oulson who subsequently dies. Mr. Reeves also shoots Mrs. Oulson in the hand. Mr. Reeves is arrested onscene.

Let’s examine the actions of the participants in this debacle. Mr. Reeves hears texting behind him and doesn’t like it. In the Foxnews article, above, Mr. Reeves is purported to have asked a women in another movie he attended to stop texting as well. So we know texting bothers Mr. Reeves. Would it bother you if you were in the theater, and someone was texting behind you? Well, if the noises were turned down on the phone, no one would know that texting was in progress. So when Mr. Reeves said something to Mr. Oulson about stopping the texting, he had to have known from the noise, of the texting on the phone; perhaps the phone made a noise every time a text was sent either way. When Mr. Reeves asked Mr. Oulson to stop the texting, could Mr. Oulson have simply turned the noise off? Yes he could have. But he didn’t. We know that because Mr. Reeves and Mr. Oulson had some more words and then Mr. Reeves left and went to the management about the noise. Maybe Mr. Reeves told Mr. Oulson he was going to do that. The fact that Mr. Reeves went to the management indicates to me that Mr. Oulson did not apologize for the noise nor did he agree to turn it down or off so as not to further disturb Mr. Reeves.

Mr. Reeves returned from telling the management about the texting of Mr. Oulson. There is no indication in the article that the management took up Mr. Reeves problem and did something about it. Why would they? They aren’t the police. They have no enforcement power. The theater just can’t walk up to a paying customer and tell them they’re outta there, thereby taking another paying customer’s word as to a violation. So the theater most likely did nothing. Probably, since they already had words, Mr. Reeves began another conversation with Mr. Oulson to the effect that he had informed the management and they would be around to talk to Mr. Oulson directly.

Now we began to see what kind of a person Mr. Oulson is here. He is continually texting, even after several conversations with Mr. Reeves asking him to stop as it’s bothering him. Mr. Oulson is not the slightest bit respectful of Mr. Reeves age and the fact that at age 73, Mr. Reeves hearing has been damaged over the years. This hearing damage and errant little dings and other noises emanating from other locations causes Mr. Reeves to have real problems hearing the movie he has paid to see. Mr Oulson doesn’t care about any of this. In fact, when Mr. Reeves returns from his visit to management, he and Mr. Oulson have yet another conversation, and This time Mr. Oulson finalizes his disrespect to Mr. Reeves by throwing his bag of popcorn onto Mr. Reeves!

Up to then, this had been a verbal confrontation. Nothing further, just words. But when Mr. Oulson, in a fit of maximum testosterone output, decided to throw something onto Mr. Reeves, this racheted that little incident up to a criminal assault & battery. Yes, it’s a criminal incident to touch someone with your body in anger, or cause something else to touch that person. If you are into a confrontation with someone and deliberately touch that person with anything, it is a crime. Mr. Oulson committed the crime of assault and battery to Mr. Reeves when he threw the popcorn bag at him.

Now, consider this. So far, Mr. Reeves had held himself in. He began a conversation with a request, and due to Mr. Oulson’s refusal to stop doing something which was clearly bothersome to Mr. Reeves, Mr. Reeves went and informed the management. Mr. Reeves never made a threat, never put his hand on Mr. Oulson, in fact, all Mr. Reeves did up till now was talk to Mr. Oulson. It was Mr. Oulson who acting the fool, brought the conversation up to a confrontation and indeed, attacked Mr. Reeves!

So far, this talking and taking conversation to the next higher authority is exactly what Mr. Reeves as a police officer had been trained to do. The police are trained to talk first if possible. If that doesn’t work, then they go to a higher authority, perhaps a magistrate for a warrant. In this case, the theater management. Mr Reeves was the police for over 20 years. He has seen more, and done more real things, with real people, in excitement and calm than Mr. Oulson was likely to do if he lived to be a hundred years old. And in most of those 20 years, Mr. Reeves got things done through the by calmly talking to miscreants, of which, in this case, Mr. Oulson was one of. The Fox article states that Mr. Reeves had done this before, with asking someone else to stop texting. That was by talking and that worked out fine. The texting was stopped without further development. Mr. Reeves did nothing more than his training and career taught him to do all those years. He is not the person in this incident that did anything in violation of his training.

Following the throwing of the popcorn bag, according to the Foxnews article, Mr. Reeves sat back down in his seat. As a police officer, Mr. Reeves would know he had been criminally assaulted. He also knew that Mr. Oulson had upped this conversation to a confrontation and that, since he had, a possible further attack may be coming. Mr. Oulson has now shown his propensity to attack when there is no reason to attack. This makes me wonder how many other times he had done this? How many times how Mr. Oulson thrown his weight around in his business? How many times had he made fun of someone he considered less than him? How was his marriage….really? In this incident Mr. Oulson also showed zero amount of respect for Mr. Reeves age. This also makes me wonder what kind of a man this is, who would show no respect for an obviously elder person, so much so that he threw his whole bag of popcorn on him. This makes me believe that Mr. Oulson chooses his confrontations to his advantage. For example, would he have done the same thing with a large young man that asked him to stop texting? Probably not because if that had happened Mr. Oulson may have been struck by the large young man. This means Mr. Oulson did all of this deliberately so he could look good in his own eyes, or in his wife’s eyes. The name for this kind of person is – coward.

Now Mr. Reeves is sitting in his seat, covered in popcorn, knowing Mr. Oulson has upped this issue to a criminal attack. And the next thing that happens is that Mr. Reeves feels something strike his face. Now, he has already been attacked for no reason by Mr. Oulson, and now Mr. Oulson has thrown something at Mr. Reeves head. This is a sign to Mr. Reeves that Mr. Oulson has upped the assault to something far more deadly, and Mr. Reeves reacts exactly as his long learned training has taught him. Mr. Reeves draws his .380auto pistol and fires off two rounds in the protection of what he believes to be a deadly attack on his life. One shot is a center shot on Mr. Oulson, striking him in the chest. The other shot is off a little but removes any attack by the woman sitting beside Mr. Oulson, striking her in the hand.

So, who is really at fault here? Is it Mr. Reeves who reacts, at age 71 to an attack on his person that he cannot possibly stop by physical force alone? Or is it Mr. Oulson who decided one day to go from being a vague problem in a theater with the texting, just to bother some old man in front of him, to a cowardly attacker which costs him his life? Keep in mind that Mr. Oulson, at anytime could simply have stopped texting. Not only did he not stop texting, he increased the problem by having these continuing conversations with Mr. Reeves and continuing to text. Then, Mr. Oulson actually attacks Mr. Reeves person with the popcorn bag! And finally, in typical cowardly fashion, Mr. Oulson, throws something at the back of Mr. Reeves head which causes a long time police officer to believe he is being attacked in a deadly fashion and to react with deadly force.

Why would Mr. Reeves react that way? Because police officers are always taught to strike in places other than a person’s head as the person could be accidentally hurt badly. So officers are trained to strike the limbs or the torso with their defensive instruments, never the head. But the officer is also trained that if someone attacks the officer’s head, this is indeed a possible deadly attack and they should respond in kind to protect themselves from being killed.

This post is simply an analyses to those who read about this incident. Perhaps Mr. Reeves wasn’t justified in shooting Mr. Oulson, but ultimately, he reacted exactly as all his police training taught him. If this had remained a talking matter everybody would have gone home mad, but would have also gone home alive. But Mr. Oulson, as a disrespectful coward, had to turn it into an attack on Mr. Reeves and now Mr. Oulson is dead. I wonder if Mr. Oulson ever considered that youth does not necessarily make him right, or mightier. Probably not. Folks like Mr. Oulson only see themselves as winners, not dead.

Knee Surgery Additions

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

This is the continuing saga of my recovery from partial replacement surgery on my left knee. The surgery was done on January 21, 2013. I had therapy till April 16th, near 3 months later. I am continuing the saga until my knee is at 100% in my view.

When I first stopped therapy, I also slowed down on the exercises I was used to doing. I did this slow-down for three days. I quickly found this was a bad thing to do! My knee ached badly. So after those few days, I returned to my exercises.

On the last day of therapy I received my last therapy exercises. These exercises required the use of a “Thera-band” elastic band, and also some other kind of strap. I used a dog leash. The exercises were as follows: The leash was used to loop around my left foot. I lay on my stomach and pulled my strap attached to my foot. This pulls the calf of my leg up. I pull it up as far as possible and hold it for a count of 10, if I can stand it that long. My knee doesn’t hurt at all during this exercise, but it really stretches my thigh muscle. The point of this is to strengthen that thigh muscle to strengthen my hamstring. The other exercise, with the Thera-band. I tied the Thera-band together and put it around the leg of my bed. The Thera-band is elastic. Dependent on the color, is how difficult the stretch is. Yellow is weakest, red is stronger, green is very strong, and black is close to a bike inner tube and is the strongest. There are two exercises with the band. Both are standing with feet shoulder width apart. One exercise is to pick the left foot up about 90 degrees and kick outward. Do this 30 times. The other exercise is to keep the left knee straight and kick out that way. Do this 30 reps as well. None of these are difficult, but as I’ve stated previously, it’s pretty amazing how much development goes on day by day due to these exercises.

I went shooting a week after therapy ended. Rifle shooting, and shotgun shooting. As I was standing in position to shoot rifle, my right buckled in. As I proceeded in shooting, my right knee continuously buckled inward so I could barely get through with my string of firing. I was also in pain in my right knee; severe pain. I could hardly stand on both feet. In fact, I couldn’t stand on the right leg alone! Later, when I was shotgun shooting, my right knee buckled so badly that I had to stand in a completely different position so I wouldn’t fall down while I was trying to shoot! This was bad.

I had known I was going to have to redo the other knee, but I had hoped there would not be much pain; maybe just a twinge occasionally and that would do it. Just enough to let me know it was good that the replacement surgery was getting done. But, with the amount of pain I endured on shooting day, I figured the twinge thing was done. Not going to have it that simple.

I contacted my surgeon, Dr. Fricka and arranged an appointment the following week. After telling him my experiences with the right knee, we arranged a partial knee replacement in August, 2013. Yay. Another good thing came out of this appointment. Dr. Ficka ordered me to do my exercises with both legs now. This will build both knees up. The left one to return it to 100%. The right one to build it up for the surgery.

However, after all the above is said… partially replaced knee is not NEAR 100%!! I would say the knee is at about 70% of a good knee. In comparison with my old knee though, I’d say the new knee is at about 87 percent right now. The old knee was in sad shape, just like the right one is currently. I thought about that knee a few days ago. I’m fairly certain that I had pain in the knees over 25 years ago. I remember it has been a long time since I could freely kneel down without some adjustment to make me land softly. Another thing is that I gave up prone (lying down) shooting many, many years ago because I couldn’t get into prone position by dropping on my knees with my rifle in hand, or get up after shooting a string. That was more than 25 years ago. So this knee business, when looked at it through a microscope, has been ongoing for at least 25 years, perhaps more.

I think it’s interesting how things creep up on you, and you never think about the adjustments you have to make to accommodate yourself to doing what you want to do. Like shooting for instance. Stopping prone position shooting because my knees were so painful that I was unable to get into position. But how long had I had almost enough pain, but adjusted myself so I could continue the activity. Just something interesting to think about is all. I suggest to anyone who reads this today…if you are having knee difficulties, don’t wait to get anything done. It really does only get worse. Get the replacement done, do the therapy and you’ll eventually fill like a new person. The pain, and the crippledness of your knee sneaking up on you is something you may not want to put up with. The backing off of things you did when your knees were good, and then slowly, and insidiously your body does you wrong. Finally, after much waiting, much pain, much endurance of these aggravations, you have the surgery done. And after the therapy, you’re back…except that you have lost all the time you could’ve been doing what you enjoy if you had the knees replaced when it was first diagnosed. Just my thought.

Knee Surgery – No More Therapy

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This is the continuing saga of left leg knee surgery.

On Tuesday, April 16th, I had my last therapy for my knee after surgery. The therapy took a total of 105 days after surgery. My therapist, Jorge, said 100% would not be for near a year, but I could have the other knee done in August. Jorge commented that one day I would notice that I had not had any aching from the knee and would realize it had been several days since I had felt anything amiss. Jorge also said that I would have the knee strength built back by August.

At the end of the therapy, I received several more exercises to do daily. I’ve described the previous exercises and will describe the newest ones as well. I am fortunate that my gym has all the machines as well as the large balls I can use for squat exercises.

Here are the exercises: 1) leg press. Using a machine, sit on movable table, with as much weight as I can stand in addition to my own weight. Feet up on a non-movable table. Push my body & added weight till legs straighten. Do this 30 times once per day.
(2) Leg raise – Using a machine, sit, adjust a pad over my ankles, and add weight. Push legs forward until straight out, lower slowly until all the way down. 30 reps once a day.
(3) Hamstring exercise. May be called something else on a leg machine. Legs straight out, pad under the ankles, add weight. Press leg down as far as possible. Slowly rise back to level. 30 reps once a day. On all three of the above exercises, do with only the affected leg. So far, the weights added on the machine are only about an extra 30-50 pounds low to high. This means the weight begins with the first 10 reps at 30-35 pounds and ends with the last 10 reps at about 50 pounds.
(4) This is a kind of stair exercise and was done at therapy on a step of less height than a regular step. Now that I’m out of therapy I can no longer find a lower step so I use either my own stairs in my house, or the steppers in the gym which are about 13-14″ high. The first exercise of this kind is step up on the stair, then step back with the right foot and lower that foot down till just the toe touches the floor behind me, then push back up with the affected knee till the right foot is returned to the step. 30 reps, but I can do these exercises anytime during the day.
(5) Similar exercise as #4, except that I step up with the affected foot onto the stair, then bring the unaffected foot over the step and forward of the step as though I will step down, except don’t step all the way down. 30 reps, but again I can do this as many times as I want during the day. (5) Very similar to # 4 except my affected foot is on top, but close to the right side of the step. I bent my affected leg and lower my right leg down until the heel touches, then raise back up till my affected leg is straight. (30 reps. (6) this is done with one of those large exercise balls. Put the ball behind my back, legs out in front of me at shoulder width. Squat as far as I can, hold a few seconds, raise back up to legs straight. 30 reps.

Two other exercises are done with strap equipment. The first is to place a strap with a loop in it so the loop is around the affected leg’s foot. Lying on my stomach, I pull the leg up by the strap until I can feel a pull in my muscle on top of my thigh. Hold for a count of 20, release. 30 reps. By this time the therapy had me doing this; I had no ache at all from bending this sharply of my affected leg. The second exercise is done with an elastic strap. It’s sold under the name of ‘Thera-band’. There are several colors which correspond to how much tension the strap has. I used the green strap for this exercise. Green is next to the highest tension. In this exercise, the strap is placed on an immovable object and around my leg. It is pre-tied so it’s one continuous loop. Placing the affected leg in the loop and stand with feet a bit apart, but parallel, I raise the affect foot up and push forward with it. It appears to be a kick to an onlooker. 30 reps. Another exercise with this strap is to swing the affected leg forward and back. 30 reps.

If you get the feeling that 30 reps is a lot, but seems to be the usual number, you would be correct. The therapists say to do the exercise with 10 reps 3 times. This makes it seem less difficult when you are told to do this. In reality though, it’s just as tough to do 3 x 10 as it is to do 30 in a row.

Since I’ve been away from therapy, I’ve tried to continue with the same therapy. I have to say it is far easier to attend a designated hour of therapy than it is to attempt to designate an hour out of the day. My wife and I go to the gym every day, but still, in the time we spend at the gym there isn’t enough time to do these exercises, get some cardio workout, and do some weight lifting as well. So far, I’m doing stationary bike for a while and splitting my leg exercises on one day, and the next day using the lifting time for my arms. So far it has worked out ok but it sure isn’t as good as having an hour of therapy plus an hour of gym time.

Knee Surgery – Forward

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I’ve been remiss. I noticed my last post on this subject was on March 13. It has now been 76 days since my knee surgery on January 21st. This is the continuing saga of my recovery until return to 100% knee usage.

As stated in other previous posts, one of my reasons for having this surgery was to return to rifle shooting correctly. On March 17 I competed in a high power rifle silhouette match. I won part of that match. My replaced knee did not hurt at all.

I am getting close to the end of therapy. Jorge has set up two more therapies and both he and Liz have measured my range of motion recently. Jorge got my knee to bend at 125 degrees, and this past Thursday Liz got it to bend at 127 degrees. Their goal was to get the bend at 120 degrees! I’m there!! I can also straighten my leg completely out so it is flat, or even if the heel is raised somewhat, I can stretch the leg so it bends backward some. Jorge & Liz are introducing new exercises to regain leg strength to go with the range of motion. Jorge said that the therapy is to bring my range of motion back to 100% or beyond what it was prior to the surgery. He also commented that the strength will have to be worked out by me after therapy ends.

Recently, I noticed that I am having some difficulty and achyness going up stairs, coming down stairs, getting out cars, especially on the driver’s side, squatting & returning to standing, and in general, things that require bending the knee and returning upright.

This evening I went to a viewing of a friend who used to work at the PD and then at the Sheriff Department. I arrived there around 6:20 and left at about 7:30. I stood the entire time I was there. By the time I left, my right knew was nearly to the point of not being able to function. The right knee is the knee which has not been replaced. My left knee, on the other hand, was slightly achy, but only when it was severely bent getting back into my car to go back home.

Another thing that is bothersome is I feel like I’m not quite on balance. I can walk. I can turn. But I am not easily able to walk and turn. For example, to turn my body to enter the car, before surgery I could step on the ball of my foot and turn 90 degrees then step forward into the car, and bring my left foot in afterwards. Now, so far, it’s difficult to get in and out. I have not done the ball of the foot & turn since the surgery. When stepping into the car, my right knee aches. After stepping in with right foot, and sitting (which is now a relatively slow process), I then attempt to drag the left foot in while lifting it up over the floor. This is an achy proposition at this time.

Now, all of this may seem like I’m whining. Not so. This is a blog to all who read so they might know my feelings as I recover from knee surgery. It’s also for myself so when I get my right knee done I’ll already know the facts of recovery and what to expect. I am trying to show that not everything is peaches and roses during the recovery. Even though this surgery has been a great change from a knee which was near useless to be able to do things I wanted to do, it has not been simply a surgery and off I go living happily ever after with no pain. Not quite true, but almost.

I guess this is why Jorge commented that I would be 100% in about 6 months to a year.

The saga continues….

Knee Surgery – Onward and Upward

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My last post was from Day 31. It is hard to believe how far my knee has recuperated. Today is Day 50 following my surgery! I have been remiss in not posting recuperation, but until last week the exercises were essentially the same and the recuperation was also about the same. Last week, however, new exercises began. The new exercises were designed to strengthen the push-up power as opposed to the first exercises designed to get me walking and also to be able to bend the knee as much as the un-surgered knee on the right side.

On Day 44, last Thursday, Jorge bent my newly surgered knee to 121 degrees! This is nearly the same as my unsurgered, right knee which can be bent to 124 degrees. Jorge said that they are looking for me to be able to bend the left knee to 120 degrees unassisted. Unassisted means on my own power, without me pulling the knee up with a strap or my other knee. In short, pulling it up with my own, left knee muscles.

On Day 42, new exercises began. Ugh. I thought the first bunch were hard. The new ones put the others into the easy category! I just have to describe them; otherwise a reader may disagree with me on their difficulty. I certainly wouldn’t want that! Two are difficult enough that when I told a personal trainer about them at my gym he decided to incorporate them into his own stomach tightening routine! To me, that REALLY means it’s difficult!

Jorge was my therapist on Day 42. Somehow the hardest exercises are always devised by Jorge. We began, as usual with the bicycle. Jorge took the seat down about two more inches than the previous week. This caused a lot of discomfort in attempting to turn the pedals all the way around both backward and forward. It took nearly 6 minutes of back and forth turning before I was able to complete a full turn backwards, almost 8 in forward. Most of the time I do this for 10 minutes, but today Jorge ran this exercise for 15 minutes. I guess the full turn times were not enough turns to get warmed up.

From the bicycle, we went to the floor mat. This was the first time I got fully down on the floor and it was difficult, but not due to my ‘new’ knee, but from the pain from my Old knee! The right knee was giving me some payback in pain. Meanwhile the new knee was like, ‘ho-hum let’s get on with this’. No pain, or discomfort at all from the new knee! What a fine feeling! The exercise on this was with the inclusion of the large ball. One exercise was the usual where I placed my ankles over the ball and pulled it back toward my butt then back out again till I could reach no further forward. Did those for 15 repetitions. Next exercise, same ball, me in the same location. This time, Jorge demonstrated first. Legs on top of the ball, lying down. The exercise was to pull the middle of my body up with my leg muscles while they were still on the ball, keeping my shoulders on the floor. 15 more reps. The last exercise was a variation of the last one. On this one, when the pull up of the body maneuver was done, I was then to use my feet to pull the ball to me, and then push it back. Very difficult exercise. 15 more reps for this one.

Following this exercise, we went to the highest step. I did step-ups for a count of 20 reps. And following that exercise next was to balance on the foam pad on the left foot. Jorge forgot to say how long to balance so I did it for 30 seconds, 5 repetitions. The 30 seconds came from ankle therapy where I had to balance for 30 seconds, then on my right foot after surgery. Same pain now, as then.

Following this was yet another new exercise. This one again used the large ball. Jorge had me place the ball between my back and the wall, move my feet out to about a 30 degree angle and squat as far as possible. After the squat, I was to push back up using the ball to roll up easier. Easier is always relative. Hard is simply trying to use the quad muscles to push up from a low squat! I suppose using the ball was ‘easier’, say than shooting myself in the foot. But it sure wasn’t easy to push up after that first squat. I did 5 squats and raises.

And that was Day 44.

On Day 46, I had Liz. Until this day, I thought Liz was a bit easier on me. Not to be. After the initial and usual bending my knee beyond what it was ever designed for, we then went to the bicycle, where Liz set it down more than it was on Day 44. I only had to do it 10 minutes, but amazingly, since the bike seat was lower on Day 44, it seemed much easier to make the full turn after only a couple tries at the turns! It’s always just a bit short of amazing how much is healed after each therapy time.

After the bike, we next went to the highest step. Only this day, step-ups were not the program. This time, I was to begin already on the step, left foot close to the right edge of the step. The exercise is to lower the right foot down and touch the heel of the foot to the floor, then return to a level position. Did this for 15 repetitions.

Following this was the on-the-mat ball exercises again pulling my middle off the floor while pulling the ball to me. Had to do 15 reps of these.

After this exercise, Liz took me to a universal gym in the office and set up the leg lift exercise for me. She place 3 plates on the machine (don’t know how much weight that was, but definitely enough). I lifted these up for 30 repetitions. It actually felt good to do the exercise.

Following the machine, the next exercise was the balance pad for 10 reps. And then the cool down.

That was Day 46.

On Day 50, I was back to Jorge. I had gone to the gym a few times since Day 44 and worked at the bicycle, leg press, elliptical, the squats using the gym ball, which was smaller but no less difficult, and on the last time, did the leg lift as well. I was feeling fairly good about doing the exercises.

Another couple of new things I personally did without the therapy on this day was that I cleaned the bathtub. Now, lots of folks may not think that’s such a great thing, but if you read the blog I wrote about trying to get down on my knees to pray in church, then you can see the benefit, and general goodness of being able to get on the knees to clean the tub. I used a hard foam pillow to kneel on. It was definitely needed, but not near so much as when I was attempting to get down to pray. So even THIS has improved! One more thing done was I high stepped over a couple baby barriers I had set up to keep my dog in one room. These barriers were about 24 inches tall. I had attempted this previously, but had stepped over them with my right leg first, and had to drag my left knee over. One time, I ended up removing the barrier as my left knee simply could not be lifted far enough to drag it across. On this day, however, I decided to try stepping high enough to clear the barrier with my left knee first. It worked!! I did it several more times just to make sure it wasn’t a hoax in my own mind.

Upon arrival at therapy, I told Jorge what I had done today with the barriers and the tub. I guess he used those things to make sure I had enough achiness in therapy on this day. First Jorge bent my leg back to where it wouldn’t go any further. He did this a couple times. Then he stretched it and pushed the knee around left & right, I suppose, to warm it up. Following that, bicycle for 10 minutes, then ball on the floor exercise for 15 reps, then a new exercise on the step-up. The new exercise was to step-up, left foot first, then bring the right foot up to a step over position and hold for 2 seconds, but don’t step down with the right foot. This was also 15 reps. After that was the leg press for 30 reps.

Following that was the ball in the back squats for 5 reps. That was still very difficult. And next was the machine again. Jorge set the machine up for single leg reps. He asked me to try it and I couldn’t even move it! So Jorge set the machine up to the same as it was when I did both legs previously with Liz. The exercise then was to lift the weights with both legs, but drop the right leg and slowly let the weight down with my affected knee only. This worked for 15 reps.

After this was completed Jorge had another new exercise on the foam balance pad. This exercise was to balance on the left foot, and kick the right foot to the front and return, then to the side and return, and then kick to the back and return. It was fairly easy, except for the back kick. For whatever reason nearly every time I did the back kick, I would twist right off the pad backwards. Eventually I managed to do them all though. Following this was the cool down period.

If I have not explained the cool down period; it’s as follows. The exerciser lies down on the assigned cot and the therapist applies a cold compress around the affected location, in my case, the left knee. The compress remains for about 10 minutes and the therapy is over till the next time.

Today I went for a walk. It is Day 51. It was relatively short, a bit less than a mile. I noticed that my right knee was aching within a hundred yards. My left knee never hurt. At all. Truly, this therapy business works!

Knee Surgery – Backwards, Then Forward Again

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Well, after so many days of success I guess I should’ve expected at least One day of regression. Day 28. It was an achy day; all day. Woke up several times during the night with an achy knee and nothing changed throughout the day. Found when I exited the shower that the knee does NOT like bending to the inside, that is, the same side as the parts mechanism is on. Found that out a couple more times today as well. Getting in the car was ugly, getting out was worse. The knee just seemed to ache all the day. Even after taking some pain medication.

Probably tomorrow will be a better day though. It will be Day 29, and the follow-up doctor’s appointment after surgery. Perhaps the surgeon will be helpful in this new interior ache of the knee. We’ll discuss how much longer I should take pain meds, and if other meds would help like Ibuprofen or Aspirin. We’ll discuss how much longer the ache will be going on as well. And also when should I consider a partial replacement of the right knee. Just a few questions easy to answer I’d say, at least easy for the surgeon.
Later tomorrow, I’ll have another therapy session. I’ll expect the therapists will be able to assist with this new ache from bending on the inside of the knee.
This post will be continued tomorrow evening with more reports.

Day 29 – Went to see the surgeon who did my surgery today. Unlike yesterday, it was a fine day. The surgeon, Dr. Fricka, advised I am healing well. My scar is squishing back into my skin so it won’t be seem soon. Or at least not seen much. He advised for therapy for the remainder of the month. Also advised that I could return to the gym daily and promoted exercises such as stationary bike, elliptical machine and leg press. He renewed a couple medications, non-narcotic and advised a new appointment of May. We discussed the other knee for surgery and he advised anytime. I expect that to happen in early April. I advised Dr. Fricka that I thanked him not only as a surgeon but for also having the finest looking troupe of female assistants, nurses, receptionists and general help that I have EVER had the pleasure of looking at in a doctor’s office!!

Later in the day, I went to therapy. More exercises, painful exercises. Ugh. But very good for making my knee heal well. Newest exercise was a left legged leg press. The leg press is to lie on a down slanted board, press my feet on a broad plate, bend my knees as far as I can stand the pain of the bend, and push. The board is pushed away from the plate. I am pushing my body weight away from the plate. After doing both legs on the press for 30 repetitions, Jorge decided that I should do 15 reps of ONE legged presses. OMG IT WAS SERIOUS ACHY!!! Got through it but it took nearly 5 minutes!!

Day 31 – New therapy day. Today Liz decided I should simply do 15 one legged press in the first place. And this was a prime example of how fast the therapy & exercise work to strengthen the leg muscles. Liz was busy so I simply did one legged presses till she advised me to do something else. By that time I had completed 50 of the presses!! On this same day, I was also able to completely circle the stationary bicycle forward and backward with the seat lowered more than usual. Overall, it was a very fine day for forward working exercise.

Knee Surgery – More Days

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This is the continuing story of recovery from partial knee replacement surgery.

The last part of my saga ended in the a.m. of Day 21. Day 21 therapy was a good day, and was in the afternoon part of the day. Upon arrival, and examination, Jorge decided I should now walk with a cane rather than any crutches. A happy day! My bend angle of my leg is nearly as acute as my uncorrected knee. On the bicycle I twirled the knee completely around from the beginning of the time frame. Indeed, it was too easy, so I lowered the seat about an inch. Wasn’t quite so easy then, but I still managed to do mostly complete circles, both forward and reverse. I advised Jorge of my kneeling exercise. He was enthused and told me this series of elementary steps I used to kneel was the same method used in the therapy. He believed I would eventually not have any issues kneeling. I discussed kneeling on a bare floor with my new granddaughter and crawling around after her. Jorge said plain out that the reason people with knee replacements cannot do this type of kneeling was because they were not doing their exercises based on their therapy. And, they did not have the willpower to do the exercises continuous. It was good to hear that. Based on my own exercise routine for therapy, I’ll expect to be able to kneel eventually.

Day 22. The first night I did not wake up from the ache of the knee. I’d like to give complete credit to healing of the knee. However, for dinner I had about a half glass of red wine. Red wine nearly always helps me sleep more sound, so perhaps it was the wine, not the healing knee. Either way, I slept the night away, never waking once to a knee ache. Upon arising, I completed exercises. Then I completed my kneeling pillow exercises as well.

Day 23. I guess it could’ve been the wine that helped me sleep as stated in the last paragraph. Sleeplessness returned last night and I woke up several times with an achy knee in the bent position, of simply in one place too long. Jorge had told me that when I woke up and stayed awake to do the bent knee exercise as well as the leg straightening exercises while I remained awake. I tried that. It took hardly any time before that straightening exercise was nearly too painful to continue. I figured it must really be helping. I continued this for a considerable length of time and finally went back to sleep. I woke up a few more times but not long enough for exercises, just long enough to realize I was in pain and make some movements to ease that ache.

When I talk about pain in these comments, it isn’t a sharp pain; it’s simply a hard ache. Pain has never been felt even when the surgery was first over. It’s always been an ache. The therapists are also very careful about pain. A sharp pain means to them that the exercise is over working the joint. So the exercise is eased up until there is a small ache or less.

Day 24. I advised Liz in therapy that even though Jorge had told me to begin using the cane, I came to realize very soon that I had forgotten how to use a cane. Liz quickly showed me and I used the cane to walk around the therapy room a few times to get used to it. The technique returned quickly. It seemed like I’ve used the cane many times. Indeed….I’ve had the crutches for nearly 30 years from the first knee trauma and the cane over 20 years as well. At the rate I’m going between knees, ankles and hips, I really could become the first bionic man!! Anyway, now I remember the cane walking method.

The night of the 24th was also the best night I’ve had for sleeping, including the previous night with the red wine. I never woke up once! Yay!

Day 25. Another good day. I walked around the house with my cane a good while. Then went outside, found a relatively level place and walked around outside as well. Went to the library and walked around there as well. The only ache felt was, unfortunately, on my unfixed knee. Guess that’s next. This is the longest I have walked since the surgery.

Day 26 – The wife wanted to go shop in an outlet mall. So we did. A very cold day snowed some as well. I expected we walked about a half mile. That doesn’t seem like much, does it? It is when one leg is screwy, even when it’s supposed to be fixed now. In walking with a cane, I had time to analyze my gait, length of stride, and straightness of walk. Gait means speed of steps and amount of unnecessary wiggle of my hips, and other knee. Length of stride is how long my step is. Straightness is whether I’m walking straight or going toward one side or the other. I noticed my left hip was aching with the walking after a short while. I lengthened my stride with my left leg, and slowed my pace some and my hip ceased to ache immediately. I noticed that I seemed to be drifting to my right, but when I put my wife on my left I stopped walking off to the right much then. I’d like to blame the drifting on the wife as long as she didn’t find out! She stopped to shop in a store and I sat down. After about 5 minutes, both knees were really sore, so I got up and proceeded to simply walk in a short square pattern around the store location my wife was in. My wife returned and we walked around some more. Whatever the earlier problem was with the gait & straightness seemed to have worked itself out. I guess it was just getting used to walking naturally even though a cane was involved.

Day 27 – Very cold day. I was hoping this wouldn’t have a detrimental effect on my knee. Did the bent knee exercise many times today. Seemed like it would just get cramped if it stayed still too long. If/when I get another knee surgery I may attempt to obtain a device that continuously moves the knee. If I could sleep through the movements I feel this would increase my sleeping as well as having more exercise of the knee.

Upon removing myself from the shower this morning, I noted my knee ached when I bent it sideways, like inward. That has happened previously but I laid it to being fresher from the surgery at that time. Have to ask the therapist about this.

The wife and I went for a drive this morning, and later this afternoon. My knee gets a bit cramped in sedans but not near as much ache nor as quickly if I am in our SUV. Still have difficulty entering vehicles as the knee aches when bending it enough to get it into the driver’s door.

I walked a great deal today without the cane. I didn’t feel like I had to compensate with my hip to walk naturally with no cane. Yesterday I had emptied the freezer to defrost it. Today I refilled the freezer with the food. There was no strain in the back, arms, etc. lifting the coolers up to empty them while refilling the freezer.

A great thing about today was resighting my pellet rifle in. In standing position. I had placed a red dot sight on the rifle as the standard target sights with concentric sighting circles simply did not have enough contrast when shooting squirrels on tree branches to make them stay away from my bird feeders. A red dot sight is much better as it has a geometric triangle with a point that I could use to sight in with. My point (no pun intended) in this is that I was able to get into my target standing position easily, and sight the rifle in, in four rounds. I was easily able to lock my left knee so the rifle could be held still enough for sighting in. The return to standing position was one of the main reasons I got the surgery. It is working well.

Knee Surgery – Days Counting

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This is the continuing saga of surgery and recovery from a partial left knee replacement.

Day 13 is Monday. It is actually 2 weeks since the surgery, but I started the blog on the day after and called it Day 1 after the surgery. Don’t be confused. I’ll take of that for the both of us!

Getting better is a wonderful feeling. I was told from the beginning that if I do my exercises and therapy that things would progress faster. Today I felt the benefit of that when I was able to go for short house walks without any crutch. Getting around on one crutch is quite easy now.
Day 14. I am able to begun to walk occasionally with just one crutch! Not walking far though. I have not used 2 crutches since Day 13. I am doing therapy exercises about twice a day. Therapy is down to Tuesday & Thursday. Also on Day 14, therapy increased to include leg locks by placing a rolled up towel under my heel raising it up about two inches. Then the quad muscles around the knee were tensed to force the knee into locked position, essentially bending it backwards for 5 counts. I had 10 reps of this. Next therapy increase was to increase bending by step-ups. First the step was 4 inches, now its 6 inches. The therapist is attempting to get my knee up to walking up stairs. I did 20 reps of this. The leg up and forcing knee down causes my knee to be painful when I lie down at night. Just one of those things I expect, that will go away after awhile.

Day 16, therapy increased to 10 minutes on a bike, rocking back and forth. Hallelujah, I actually was able, after some minutes, to run the pedal all the way backwards around the circle. After a couple more ‘rocks’, I was also able to turn the pedal all the way around, going forward. The forward was most difficult and I was not able to do this more than 3 times. My knee would ache at the pressure points of severe bending, but as soon as the pressure was released the ache would stop immediately.

The therapy is almost like a competition with one’s self. To do more than the mind is saying the body can do. It’s’ a good feeling; to go past the barriers that the mind sets up.

Over the weekend, I was able to let go of my one crutch and walk with no crutch. Although in doing that, there was a limp in the left and my hip began to ache as it would take up the slack where the knee quads were not doing the job of walking that they were supposed to do. However, also over the weekend, my right knee began to ache. That’s really too bad. I thought/hoped that wouldn’t happen again for a long time, or never. Mostly that right knee ached when I was walking without a crutch. So perhaps that ache will stop when the left knee is 100%. I surely hope so.

On Day 19, I attended church again. This time in church, I found a place I could extend my leg outside the pew. But then I determined I didn’t need to do that much as my leg could bend some without ache now. What I could not do, however, was kneel on the kneeler during mass. This had to be fixed. Once back from church, I placed a pillow on the floor and attempted to kneel on it. Two problems immediately – One was that my left knee refused to bend to that position. The other was that the surgical scar was not ready for weight yet. There had to be a way to overcome this.

Later on Day 19, I went to a movie. The seats were standard theatre seats, but still, I was able to sit with my left foot in the aisle which, like church, was comfortable enough. Yet, I figured if this seating was possible, then how was it that the kneeling was not possible. The kneeling needed to be investigated further.

On my return from the theatre, I again placed a pillow on the floor. I knelt until my knee would not bend further, and then caught myself on my hands on the chair arms. From there, I pushed my feet back some so I could kneel further without bending my leg further. Continuing on until my knees were all the way down but holding my weight on my hands in kind of a bent over push-up position. V E R Y uncomfortable! After a short time of holding my weight up, I slowly let my weight down onto my knees and released my hands from my push-up position until all the weight was on my knees. Success!! I stayed there about 10 seconds and pushed my weight off my knees and stood up. I’ve practiced every day since then. An additional benefit is teaching myself how to do kind of odd push-ups so I’m not totally without any exercise.

This day is Day 21. It’s been 22 days since my surgery. Things are progressing well. My knee continues to ache some. I’m still having little sleep from the aching while the knee is held in one place when in bed, or bending and holding in one place. Getting not very much sleep due to the aching.

Knee Surgery – Day 12

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner     Comments No comments

This is the continuing sage of the surgery and subsequent recovery from partial knee replacement of the left knee.

Every day is better. I’ve read this a lot, both before and after surgery and nearly every article says exactly that. I can now understand that, and add it to my article as well.

Yesterday my wife & I went to church. I had some difficulty with standing. My knee ached more than usual with or without the crutch to assist. I believe it was caused by the kneelers at the rear of each pew. This removed about 10 inches of space behind the seat, and therefore in front of the pew I sat on. To compensate for this, I had to cast my foot to the left and not have my toe pointed forward. This may have caused the ache because the rest of the time, my foot is directly under my knee. So there may have been undue pressure. At one point in the service I was unable to stand. But, as usual, when it was time to walk, the ache went away.

Today, taking a shower was a fine experience. I was able to stay in the shower for my usual time frame. Also, I managed to get my leg locked twice during the shower, without any ache. I was able to shave as well, and complete the shower. This is important, because previously, I was unable to stay in without my knee aching, and shaving was impossible due to some twisting that needed to be done in the shower. I was able to do it all today. A good day.

Later, some squirrels were getting into our bird feeders and my wife wanted them to cease. I got my pellet rifle out, but it seemed to not be sighted in. I took the rifle to the basement with the crutch in the other hand. I was able to balance between the two and make my way downstairs. I set up a pellet backstop and re-sighted the rifle in. I took the pellet rifle back up and opened the window. The squirrels weren’t there. I went outside with one crutch and set up some smaller than squirrel sized targets. On returning, I opened the window and used the top of the my crutch to sight on one of tiny targets. Took it out, which means I can tell a squirrel to get away from my bird feeder.

A reader to this might say ‘so what?’ with the business about the squirrels. I might agree except, that the return to quality shooting was one of the main reasons for getting this surgery in the first place. Taking the rifle to the basement with the crutch means I can walk up and down the stairs with a rifle in hand. Setting up the backstop and sighting the rifle in means I can stand on both feet to shoot, though I can’t yet stand with my legs locked, but from my shower this morning I know that is coming. And shooting off the top of my crutch means that I am close to being able to be back to my accurate shooting self, before knee issues. Yippee!! Things are going well!

About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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