Thursday, August 18, 2011

My New Knee Brace - Bionicare Knee System

After a long wait, I am now wearing my new Bionicare knee brace.

This brace is supposed to help me delay a total knee replacement for a couple of years.  But it's not really the brace that is to do this... it is the electrical stimulus device that is supposed to do it.  This device gives electrical impulses through two electrodes that is worn under the brace.  Up to 12 volts of DC current is run through wires attached to the electrodes.  Given enough "wear time" it is touted to help make knees with osteoarthritis cope with pain much better.  We will see....

The brace is very expensive (approximately $2200), and there's an added cost of replacing the electrodes every 7-10 days.  I think it would have been more upfront of the company selling the device to disclose the fact that there would be an added expense of buying new electrodes so often.  While the initial cost of the brace is hard enough to deal with, adding in about $100 every month isn't something I was prepared to do.  Of course now that I have it on, what choice do I have?  I need to keep this brace on for at least 8 hours per day and rack up about 1750 total hours of wear-time with the electrodes.  After that, I should be able to eliminate the use of the electrodes and electrical stimulus system which is the heart of this device.

If this brace does what it claims... delay a total knee replacement surgery for up to 3 to 4 years, then the cost would be worth it.  My commitment to teaching at Balanced Exposure takes priority at this point, so I have to delay any surgery.  Perhaps in a few years, I can take some time off and get the knee replacement surgery for my left knee.  Of course, my right knee is just slightly better, but it's got issues as well.  Who knows when that knee will also develop enough problems to have to do all this again!

See the comments section for updates on how I'm doing with this brace system.

(Image borrowed from the Bionicare website.)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photoshop CS5 Preferred by Most Students!

Huh!  Who'd have "thunk" it?  :)

I had thought that many of my students would prefer to learn to use Photoshop Elements 9 over Photoshop CS5 simply because of the cost difference between the two products.  But after several sessions at my Workflow Seminar, I'm finding many students telling me that they prefer to get the more expensive Photoshop version to learn!

There is one way to get Photoshop CS5 at a discount directly from Adobe.  It's called a student discount.  If you are a college student currently enrolled at a college, you can qualify.  Just buy the product directly from and supply them with a scanned copy of your student ID or other proof of your enrollment and Adobe will call the school to verify it.  Once done, you'll get Photoshop CS5 at a substantial discount.  How much?  Well, CS5 costs roughly $650 normally.  Get the student discount and your price drops to $199!  In fact if you do it by August 14, 2011, you can get another $20 off!  It's probably a "back to school" special...

To help with your software education, I'm also offering a discount for your training.  Contact Balanced Exposure for more details!