I do like to think I have a healthy perspective as far as my personal limitations are concerned. My body has gone through some significant changes over the years. Some of them are self inflicted. Others are just evidence that I am not as young as I used to be. In 1986, I was 20 years old. I had finished an enlistment in the United States Navy and I was certain I would be the next Paul Stanley (with slightly less face paint). I didn’t look like a body builder but my body was somewhat toned due to my recent military tenure. I was ready to make my mark on the world with a guitar and a blow dryer (as I said, it was the 80’s).
Time, of course, has a way of changing things. My guitar playing is sorely out of practice. I have long since retired the blow dryer. I didn’t so much retire it as it eventually died of boredom. My hair is now much shorter and greyer. I am also a little over 100 lbs heavier than I was in 1986 (file that under self inflicted). The effects of time and the excessive weight have had its consequences. I also have sleep apnea and high blood pressure. My rock star blue eyes now have the assistance of bifocal lenses. Let me put it this way – I have all but given up hope for a career as an Atlanta Braves home run hitter. Don’t work Hank Aaron. Your legacy at Turner Field is safe from the likes of me. Nevertheless, I try to take some of it in stride. I may not be as strong or as fast I used to be. But, I still have a chance to lose the excess weight and get myself in better health. I know I can’t completely turn the clock back on my physique. I CAN however wind up my figurative watch a bit better. In spite of the fact that many of you are too young to know what it means to wind a watch. My ego is not too bruised these days.
Recently, however, my ego has been a bit harmed due to a recent injury to my shoulder. I initially thought I slept wrong on that arm. I figured a good hot shower and a nice massage from my lovely wife would help to correct this. I thought incorrectly. The pain remained to the point where it shot from my right shoulder blade all the way down to my right elbow.To move or rotate my arm was would prove to be painful. To lift my right hand over my head would prove to be excruciating.
I tried to surmise what caused this injury since I had ruled out sleep position, My wife and daughter reminded me that I had carried a window air conditioner from my daughter’s room to the curb in front if the house. Both my daughter and my wife insisted that I see an orthopedic doctor. My daughter had also suffered a shoulder injury that had to be surgically corrected. Given that, I relented to her recommendation and my wife made an appointment for me. In the days that followed, my daughter helped me with some physical therapy (since she knew it all too well) and insisted I put an ice pack on my shoulder each night for a brief bit. My family has graciously endured my daily groaning. My daughter showed even greater patience and understanding as I referred to her as Lady Torquemada (due to the exercises and ice packs she provided me).
The appointment finally came today. I was greeted by a nurse practitioner. She wore this lovely royal blue blouse. She had long flowing hair (imagine Farrah Fawcett without a curling iron). She wore dangling, but tasteful earrings. I thought to myself: maybe this wont be as bad as I imagined. I thought incorrectly. Nurse Farrah-Pretty-Blue-Blouse asked me some questions about my injury. She then began to move my right arm into a variety of positions. These were simple range of motion tasks. It was somewhat painful when she rotated my arm. When she placed my arm behind my back and gently pushed upward, it felt like a dagger piercing my shoulder blade. The pain I felt was too obvious for me to hide as my wife and kids who were sitting in the exam room with me. Nurse Farrah-Pretty-Blue-Blouse recommended physical therapy for me. She then offered me an injection of cortisone. She said this would reduce the inflammation after a few days. She pulled the needle backward to South Alabama and met my shoulder in New York. Once inside my shoulder, she decided to make stops in Syracuse, Utica, and Schenectady before making its way back to Rochester. Finally she gave me the referral form that indicated I had a rotator cuff injury with nerve impingement.
So it was now official, I have injured my shoulder doing physical work and was treated with a steroid. Maybe I AM to be a professional athlete after all. Watch your back, Mr. Bonds. I may just go for home run 763. I only have to hit….763 home runs to make it happen.