Wednesday, March 7, 2012

it ain't over til the fat lady sings

Guess what? I am not singing...what does that mean? Well, Florida was NOT a bust, but we have to continue on our convoluted road until we have a final answer which should be tomorrow afternoon.

Ready for another crazy story? Here it comes....

Sunday, the big kid and I left for Pensacola and arrived in the evening. Not being able to see scenery, I was not sure where I was, but we figured that we were staying right on the beach. There is no boardwalk or bright lights, we could hear waves, which was pretty cool. Otherwise, we were clueless.

The next morning arrived quickly as we left early for our appointment. We got there at 8:30 am and knew that we were being squeezed in. After the kid went to x-ray, we figured that we would be out of there around noon and could look around the city. Wrong!

After seeing the fellow for a physical and explanation of our road to that point, we did not see the doctor of all doctors until noon. I figured that he would come in with attitude and entourage based on his profile in Sports Illustrated and online. Again, I was wrong. he entered the room with his fellow and introduced himself by looking at us in the eye and shaking our hands. This was already different from what we had previously experienced. As he performed a more in depth assessment than his fellow, he sat down (yes, he sat down) with us and had a 45 minute conversation.

I had to take deep breaths to keep from fainting (I was tired, hungry, and stressed out...not a good combination). That would not have been a good thing. Here is the rock star of all surgeons...the Mick Jagger...Keith Richards....Bruce Springsteen....a Navy Seal....perhaps our hero...I don't know. It was a crazy experience. So Mick, sat next to me and asked me what I did for a, really? You want to know about me? really? OK, I uh...hmmm..teach...Then he asked what courses I taught...again...hmm..uh....leadership...computers...scholarly writing...."Oh, that's nice" he says. Nice...uh huh...

OK, back to the shoulder. He read the report from doctor number 2 and looked at the MRI. They concurred that the imaging was not very good, so they sent him to the ground floor for another MRI. In the meantime, it was 1pm, so I ran to the cafeteria that was opened until 2 pm to get a sandwich for the kid. As I entered the cafeteria, the sign on the door read: "No photos or autographs allowed." Huh? Am I taking a photo of the wait staff? I wouldn't know a star athlete or celebrity if they jumped on top of me and yelled: "I'm famous!" Although, I did recognize Donald Trump in Atlantic City once. That was it as far as celebrity sightings...oh yeah, and once I saw Juan Epstein from Welcome Back Kotter walking on the sidewalk in California.

I grabbed some fish tacos and waited and waited...he was no where to be seen, so I sat and ate the most amazing fish tacos in a medical center's cafeteria....I highly recommend the fish tacos. After the MRI, the big kid was not happy that I ate both tacos, but I actually saved him from having to bite into a cold taco. He would not have liked it ;-)

OK, MRI, x-ray, assessment findings are done. We are back in the office, sit in an exam room and wait another two hours. My laptop and his iPod Touch are now on one bar. The magazines are from the year 2010, and we are stuck in a little room with Hope Solo and Cam Newtown's jerseys and autographs. Mick Jagger comes back into the room and takes us to the computer with the biggest screen I have ever seen. He grabs the computer mouse and guides us through the images..."Here is the shoulder, labrum, rotator cuff....blah blah blah blah....damage....not as bad as Dr Number 3 says, bad enough...." What did I hear? Here it goes:

1. There is damage to the rotator cuff. The fact that he continued to throw since the initial damage in October exacerbated the damage (Strike 1 against the university doctors)
2. There is damage to the labrum which probably occurred after the initial damage (strike two university doctors)
3. Slight tendonitis (ball one university doctors)
4. First MRI misread by university doctors (strike three, you're out!)

In other words, this is a serious problem. OK, what to do?

As Mick read Doctor Two's impressions, he was also perplexed that he did not mention the torn rotator cuff as the report read: "no damage to labrum or rotator cuff." OK, now what?

Mick decided that if Doctor Two had an idea or new surgery that could be "99.9999% effective" as he had claimed, then he did not want to do anything because he could not guarantee these figures. But Number Two did not see or acknowledge the rotator cuff and labrum (even I saw the damage). Now what?

Mick decided that he wanted what was best for the big kid and wanted us to go home and see Number Two again. Then he would have a conversation with Number Two (whom he respects) and will decide the best course of events. If Number Two can guarantee this success then Buddy should go to him. if not after seeing the new MRI, then Buddy can decide who to go with....following me?

Mick then gave to me his cell phone number (again) and told me to call him after we met with Number Two. My thought is that we call him together as a conference call, then decide what to do.

What are we left with? I am scratching my head in wonder. Buddy is happy with Mick (me too). Number Two has a major ego. And Number Three is now a non-issue and has been forgiven by me since he got us in to see Mick.

We are back home today and will see Number Two as a family tomorrow. I already left a message with Mick's assistant and told him that we would call late Thursday afternoon. Where am I now? I am settled and breathing and standing upright. It has been an interesting road and the journey is far from over. Before we left the medical center, Buddy went to physical therapy to learn exercises that would strengthen his muscles around the rotator cuff without any more damage. Right now, he is preparing to go back to the gym and continue his rehab.

This kid is going to do whatever he has to do to get back to baseball. The team is struggling mightily without him which has increased his value significantly. They are not losing by one or two games, they are losing by three or four. In other words, they are being spanked by the competition. All my son can do is watch the fall out on the computer and scream. "I want to be there!" OK, pal, the journey is far from over. The hard work is just beginning. Here is my final question: "Is all of this worth it?"

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