The Unfortunate Fusing of my right ankle

February 21, 2018
Andrew D. Polon  343 E. 30th St. NY 10016

I wish to make sure we agree on certain facts. The review department of Hospital for Joint Diseases has left me with no opportunity to review the mistakes that have lead to my continual pain and imbalance  due to the over fusing of my right ankle.

I was not offered any alternative to the fusing.

The is a troubling violation of accepted medical  protocol.

A more typical  procedure is: discuss with the patient several alternative, with the risk and advantages of each.

I mentioned to Kenneth.  Here is an exact quote: “What do you think of fusion?”

I describe my right  side instability, mentioning  the tremor due to my extensive neurological damage in my left brain.
I only was warned about the possibility of arthritis.

I also emailed Dr. Egol before the surgery to clarify, he indicated that the metal rod place up my lower area of my right leg could possibly removed once the healing is complete. I can produce that email.

When Dr. Steven Flanagan heard this, the amount of of falls I have had since the fusion. He asked me to keep a list of the postoperative falls.

My specialist in Stroke rehab at RUSK (Estell Gallo) was quite surprised to hear about the fusion. She also noted the spasms in my right leg that caused me to fall in rehabilitation, and remains unstable after the operation.

I have a document created by The Hospital of Joint Diseases. I was printed before NYU expanded to take this site over.   It is a pamphlet disturbing how to deal with my type of spasticity. It discusses the similarity of Multiple Sclerosis to post stroke spasticity.
It is pretty clear that this type of spasticity should be examined  carefully before any major alteration of the patient’s balance and center of gravity.

At the single consultation before my surgery I offered several reference who knowledgeable about my personal defects:
One was the hand surgeon at U of Pennsylvania Medical Center, who I met with twice after my initial strike.    When I offered him as a reference Dr Egol said:“I know Scott Levin.”

I also named two specialists in Stroke rehab that I have worked with, they are both still associated with RUSK Institute:  Dr.  Robert Deporto, and Dr. Ira Rashbaum .

I don’t believe Dr. Egol ever contacted any of these.
How dysfunctional is this approach?
My assumption that I was seeing an NYU doctor (especially when surgery is the topic),  they would discuss a proper course of action; not just try something and see what happens.
I incorrectly assumed that my surgeon would discuss “post stroke spasticity” and weigh the risk of an irrevocable, irreversible  medical procedure.
No experiment should be undertaken without the patient being advised as to the risks.

I believe that Dr. Egol should take a more active role in trying to clean up this mess.
This might  include:
Reducing the newly created bone mass.

Removing the metal rod that remains in my lower leg..

Why remove these ?
Because it is quite clear to this layperson that the added weight twists  my frame and creates this imbalance..The twisting occurs when I walk; or lay in bad and try to change position, and occasionally when I am seated and just turn my head or try to get closer to a table or so place to place my cup or food plate. Or write on a paper.

At the present time, this operation had destroyed my ability to bend down without great pain. It is becoming so bad that I have to use devices to pick up anything that fall to the floor.
By bending down my trunk twists so severely that the spasm of pain  starts to throw my body on the floor.
And it takes a while until the spasm subsides.
.I have had to stand up in my aphasia workshop (at Hunter college speech lab on 25th St), because there is too much pain when it is time  to change position. You can confirm this by contacting Teran Malcolm ( who is the programs supervisor.

It has become severe lately, Thus the Dr. has created a badly degenerated condition
This is what Dr. Mary Keenan did to me at the University of Pennsylvania by fusing my right wrist and extending my fingers tendons. She told me this would make me much more comfortable!
Was she wrong. I believe she was forced into an early retirement at this Medical center.

I assume that accomplished technicians  such the two orthopedic Doctors that have caused me so much unnecessary pain (namely Dr. Keenan, and Dr. Egol). Are never supervised by any administrators in their Medical center. Perhaps because they generated so much money by such operation. Of course it is beyond my scope to make any sense of this large unsupervised bureaucracies.
In my case they have really cause great harm.

So right now, the pain is so bad that I am unable to stay lying down for more  than a few hours. I am constantly falling asleep in my classes and when I am with friends and such.

The pain shoots through my neck and leg and the toes on my right foot; and my right arm raises in a spasm as if I were a dysfunctional robot, who should be put out to pasture.

Why did NYU create this situation?
And what are you going to do about it?
Just continue to send me to a different physical therapist, who will tell me that the  they are stumped, and cannot help me???

NYU is completely irresponsible. Just look at  the NYS laws and my right under Medicare. Need I go on???

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


How can you resolve what is unresolvable?

How can one accept life unfairness when it becomes so unfair that you lose what was your identity.

If the twists of fate pervert your body so that you cannot play your axe?

Sure the Sirens Wail what we all know but try to ignore, so we can get through another day.
That “Life is Unfair. No one ever told you that Life is Fair.”

But what if you live your life with a deep need to express yourself — can you ever stop seeking the perfect guitar phrase?


It get so bad that I often cannot bear to listen to a player play his axe. Yet of course I seek them out. It is bad right now.

I should learn to suck it up and “What’s the cliche” `”move past it.'” “`Reinvent yourself.'”

Fat Chance! I have been trying to get this over hump fot about 6 years.

After I wrote the above lines, I looked at one of the few guitars I still keep in my current apartment. It a classical guitar (a gut-string) that I have played for many years (about 25), it was my main practice guitar. I learned many an etude by Carcassi, Sor and Villa Lobos, and countless jazz chord melody arrangements by over playing it. And it has the bruises to show. I cleaned off the dust from its front. I noticed that the D string had popped. What fun I had in playing it over the years. It got me through many depressed moths.

I may sleep with it tonight (probably not, although I would love to!).



Posted in Life After Stroke, longing, playing music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Marty Laster

I have been avoiding writing Marty’s obituary for  over a year now. It’s still hard to accept this fact, that he has passed away.

At the end of his life he suffered through many health ailments, major ones that forced him to stop playing violin and viola.

His composition skills were terrific, he made several self-produced CDs  of his prodigious output: varied styles and musical portraits. Most of which he played all the instruments. His musical standards were high, like mine.

At one point we had a duo titled “Strings Are Us.” We were bother pretty versatile, and straddled many musical styles, and we picked up a good amount of work as a duo. We were pretty entertaining, due to the fact that we were both experienced performers. we also loved playing dives and small rooms where we could chat with the audience while we play. Our musical range included blues, classical ,and lots of the songs from the folk scare of the 50s and 60s. We were sort of a cleaned up version of Homer & Jethro. It did not hurt that we had both a passion for  many musical influences.

I will finish tribute at some point.

Marty my love for you is still strong.

I miss  you more than I can say.


Posted in Life After Stroke, playing music, tribute, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On the #6 IRT train in Manhattan going South

On the #6 IRT train in Manhattan

Met a brunette  woman with a single strand of grey hair
I love  grey  hair, now that I am close to  70 Years.
A pair of Andrea Della Robia   earrings,
listening to Bette Midler on her cell,

How we started to talk I have no clue.
However I have been thinking of her ever since.

This is not good for me, I have no idea if she even has room in her life for me?

Then I broke my right ankle in early May, missed the subway,

a dream deferred

Posted in longing, Song Lyrics | Leave a comment

The unfairness of Low Interest Rates for saving accounts

There are many we we allow ourself to remain in captivity.

“You have to in it, to win it,” is a classic example. It tries to apologize for national lotteries, instead of fostering a saving mentality, as a sign of maturity and self control, not to mention economic independence.

Poor people remain poor due to  the Lotto mind set, and lack of appropriate self funding retirement government-run plans. And lack of financial instruction at the grade school level is a bad oversight.

However since the 2008 economic crisis brought on by no funding of federal programs for oversight to maintain  supervision of unprincipled greed.

Unfortunately interest rates for small saving accounts do not keep up with the true cost of living. This is an invitation to a disaster on this scale of the French and Russian revolutions .

Using this excuse : These so called “natural market forces,” is a fake rationale. Not to mention barely human in its insensitivity to human suffering.

But for our own security, we need to successfully address this social problem.


Posted in Growing Povety In America | Leave a comment

Insanity Doesn’t Have to be Hereditary

Insanity doesn’t have to be hereditary,
You can just Roll Your Own,
And let the creative juices flow,

Hostility doesn’t have to be annoying.
Learn to mask it with subtlety,
You can get back at them with disguises,
Your repertoire needs to expand….

Redundancy doesn’t have to be repetitive.
One can repeat excellent technique,
Improving your skills as you go

Round and round we go
Sliding from achievement to regression
Back and Forth from Indecision to Uncertainty,
We Spin as long as we are not Bored

Posted in Song Lyrics | Leave a comment

Harvey Alter –The Passing of a Dynamic Innovator

Harvey Alter became a victim of Aphasia after a successful career as a Criminologist.

He worked with several speech therapists and became a solid public speaker, after the onset of his aphasia. He created the International Aphasia Movement, to provide help to adults who suffer from aphasia.

From lack of blood flow to the brain areas that modulate language. A contemporary study of many of the soldiers who returned from our overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq has found a great deal of Traumatic Brain Injury. This is similar to a post stroke or violent crime victim.

Harvey provided a multi-session approach of small workshops to rebuild those damaged skills, allowing the brain to retrain unused areas in the undamaged sections of one’s brain. It is very repetitive work, and many clients take a break from time to time, but they do come back for more practice.

The program does help to train speech therapists who are close to graduating.

His last few years were very trying on him. We will miss him greatly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment