Erik Heerlein’s Weblog

My bones look good and moving on to phase two.

Posted in Personal Health Status by erikheerlein on August 28, 2008

I had a checkup with the doctor about my knee and the bad news is that I probably won’t be able to enter any cage fighting matches any time soon. And given my penchant for hocking loogies at my opponent, I guess it is just as well since spitting at your opponent is just one of the many fouls in Ultimate Fighting matches. Pounding on his skull until he goes unconscious is encouraged, even rewarded. But please, don’t get any of your saliva on the guy. You don’t want kids to get the wrong idea.


Isaac Brekken for The New York Times

Photo: Isaac Brekken for The New York Times


The good news is that I got an A+ on my checkup and a gold star on my chart. Well, not really, but it would have been funny if the doc pulled out a sheet of stickers and slapped one on there like in elementary school.

I first went to radiology for 2 x-rays where I happened to notice a big red switch on the wall labeled, “Mayday Switch” which was accompanied by a list of instructions to follow in case one found it necessary to flip it. I didn’t get to ask the technician exactly what kind of situation would qualify as a “Mayday” situation but I’m guessing it wouldn’t involve the Clearing House Prize Patrol or any form of cake.

So they gave me the little lead apron and my bones smiled for the x-ray camera and it all made for a pretty picture suitable for scrapbooking. In fact, they were so pretty that the doctor said that I can move on to phase two, which is to slowly start putting weight on the leg. Originally, I wasn’t supposed to be doing that for at least another 6 weeks but I’ve been a good little patient. He was also impressed with my range of motion but he didn’t have much to say about my birth mark that looks like Pete Rose stealing second base. I think the doc he was a Mets fan.

And for those of you playing the home game of, “To Shave Or Not To Shave!”, recent studies show that shaving actually increases the chance of infection. They may trim the hair with some clippers a bit, but even for surgeries on your hairy noggin, they don’t shave down to the skin anymore.

They are going to send me a copy of the x-rays, which I’ll post, along with that card for airport security certifying that I’m not smuggling a revolver in my knee cap. The doc said that the amount of metal in my leg is about equal to the wristwatch on my arm and when I’ve forgotten to put that watch in the bin, it has always set off the metal detectors. However, he said that he’s never filled out one of those cards before and he’s never even seen one, so I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be some kind of medical urban legend, like aspirin and the G-spot.

The doc was also out of the loop on whether or not I can ever get an MRI. Since an MRI machine is basically a 10-ton magnet, it can suck in anything metal from a floor polisher to a wheelchair. I shudder to think what it would do to my leg.


Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of


Truths that turned out to be false.

Posted in Odd/Weird/Funny, Uncategorized by erikheerlein on August 25, 2008

While I was reading “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die“, I found out that one of those sayings that I thought was true, turned out to be false. The Great Wall of China is not visible from the moon.

I always figured that I was too smart to ever fall for one of those myths and urban legends that keep coming around. Like the perennial story about crocodiles living in the sewers of New York and the very elusive gang that goes around and steals the kidneys of people they have drugged but then leaves a helpful note saying, “Don’t move. Call 911.”

But the story of the Great Wall of China turned out to be one of those myths that still persists even though, like the subterranean crocodiles and the thoughtful organ thieves, it has been debunked for some time. So that got me to thinking about what other myths were out there that I was unable to see through. Below is a list of things that I was surprised to learn after doing a quick Google search.

And the most shocking realization was that Cap’n Crunch was once an admiral.


After a tremendous outpouring from his fans, the Quaker Oats Company decided to promote the Cap’n. But Admiral Crunch quickly became bored with his desk job at Crunch Headquarters. And after a small mishap with the Crunch Berrie and Crunch Biscuit machine (at the hands of two recently promoted new co-Cap’ns) he decided that he was truly the best one suited for the role as the Cap’n. He soon requested his old position again, and he went back to being the best Cap’n that Crunch Headquarters has ever had. He is much happier now!

Scar, what scar?

Posted in Personal Health Status by erikheerlein on August 22, 2008

I thought I would give an update and some pics since people have been inquiring as to how things are going.

For those of you who were at the scene of the accident, you saw how I could have had a walk-on role as the “Unsuspecting Victim #4” in any horror movie, no special effects makeup required. Thankfully, I’ve healed up pretty well and there’s only a slight scar between the eyebrows and one on the back of my right hand.

The scar from the surgery on the leg is coming along and it’ll hopefully not be too noticeable but I do think it is going to affect my modeling career for cargo and bermuda shorts.

The section of skin on the right hand side covering the stainless steel plate has about half the sensitivity as it used to due to the nerves having been cut to pull the skin back. It is sort of like that area is under permanent Novocain and I may get full sensitivity back and I may not, we’ll have to see. 

You may have noticed that the hair on my leg is doing just fine and that’s because they didn’t shave my leg before the surgery, which I thought was odd. When I was in the trauma room in Portland, I overheard another patient tell his nurse that he wasn’t ready for surgery because they didn’t shave him. She responded with, “We don’t shave before surgery at this hospital.” and then talked a bit about bacteria.

Either she was making it up so she didn’t have to shave him or it’s the standard protocol nowadays. Post your thoughts in the comments and I’ll ask the surgeon about it when I see him next week.

Janos Baranyai – definitely too many Kilos presented

Posted in Uncategorized by erikheerlein on August 19, 2008

Even though I broke a leg and got banged up, I never really had any bad pain. The most pain actually came after the surgery and that was the first time that I was given any pain killers so it was a controlled pain. The nurses would ask me to grade the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 and it never got higher than a 4. I never had any searing, mind numbing pain that made me want to cry or anything.

I was reminded of this after flipping through some Beijing Olympics photographs from a german web site and seeing Janos Baranyai, a weightlifter from Hungary. WARNING the link shows him with a dislocated elbow which he got on his 3rd attempt to lift 148kg(326lbs) and I’m guessing from the expression on his face that his pain level is definitely higher than a 4. I ran the photo caption through an online German translator and got, “definitely too many Kilos presented…”.

(note: original link to the German web site was changed, new link shows the sequence of events with more photos)