Friday, March 30, 2012

Just a good ole boy

Ahhh! Sorry that I have not written but I have been WORKING! Yep, work...a little four letter word. I actually love my job, but it can get in the way of things that I like to do during the day. Lately, I have been editing my friend's 300+ page dissertation on black female CEOs in the corporate world. Did you know that there is only 1 black female CEO on the Fortune 500 list? Why, you may ask? I am not going to tell you. Once T successfully defends her research, we are going to convert it to a book, go on the Piers Morgan show, and have Tyler Perry make a movie about this population. Yep, I am thinking B-I-G. Maybe, we'll be invited to the White House....better yet....Oprah...yep...Oprah....

Ok, enough dreaming....what is going on with the big kid? Lots! and not so much....he cannot travel with the team so he has to be content sitting in the bullpen at home games. he still works out his cardio and helps around the dug out and field. other than that, he is on the fringe. And let me tell you, it's a good thing....

Without him, the pitching staff has blown multiple games. The hitters are not hitting. And the coach almost blew an aneurysm. During the last post, I shared with you how he screamed for four hours. The next day, the guys walked into the locker room and everything was missing...the big screen television, ping pong tables, lounge chairs, and sofas. And the WiFi was turned off! Boy, does he mean business. Buddy was not pleased and we had to talk him off the ledge. After all, there is absolutely nothing that he can do to help this year and he feels powerless and a bit snarky.

The team left for Indiana yesterday and three of the Saturday night partiers were left on campus. oops! The next time they schedule a big party, they had better consult with the baseball schedule first. This coach means business. I once thought that he was like a good old boy on The Dukes of Hazzard....those days are gone. He does have quite a temper...yikes.

It's a no-party zone on campus now. I guess that the guys will be in their dorm rooms early this weekend and perhaps doing homework or reading the Bible. After all, they might all be praying for a miracle to turn their season around and return to the coach to his salty former self. Or maybe they can find a genie in a bottle and get three wishes...Oh genie...I wish for a more laid back coach, an arm that can throw 90 mph and the WIFI to be turned back on in the locker room.

Have a great day

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good Morning! It's a crisp day in the northeast and the pretty spring flowers do not know what hit them. The weather until now has been almost summer like. The question that I pose is: "Is this global warming?" Hmmmm...perhaps....then again....probably not.

Ok, where do we stand today (ha...a little pun). The knee feels better each day and the swelling is going down. I am pretty sure that I do not need the crutches anymore, although today is Sparky's birthday party. We begin with happy hour then head out to a restaurant for dinner. I am thinking that I should bring the crutches, not for me...but for Sparky who might need some help standing up after her celebration. The Baker, my new pal, is baking different types of cakes based on each guest's preference. My favorite is carrot cake. Once I had a piece of her carrot cake and I immediately went into a sugar coma that lasted several hours. I am not sure what happened but I remember being breathalyzed for sugar intoxication. I was way over the limit of a normal sugar-licious blood level.

Got an early morning call from Buddy who is back in college and beginning to feel the effects of a full course load. He called to complain that he is not getting any sleep and that he does not know if he can make it through the week. So what does BP mom do?

I'll tell ya.....I did not let him complain any more and I took over the conversation:

"Hey, you live for this type of challenge...there's nothing that you cannot do...this is the life of a college have the tools to succeed...go out and crush this exam...start to keep a list and check off each doing that you will feel a sense of get going...make a can do it....buh buh"

Think that my pep talk worked? Uh...not sure, but at least I did not give him the opportunity to complain about his life that every man and boy would love to have. He has it can be tired, but this is a no whining zone!

Speaking of pep talks, Buddy was in rare form last night as he shared how the coach went ballistic at yesterday's practice. Think of every four letter word that you know...string them into a few sentences...add venom, anger, and a shot of apoplexy and you have a four hour screaming session. Yep...all through practice, Coach screamed at the guys...drinking, being late, not caring, not giving 100% and messing with his livelihood. The man is angry. So what happens? I dunno...let's stay tuned to the next game to see if the guys show more energy, because as of now, their "butts are on the line...." and before the coach loses his job, he will cut them from the team. Yikes!

Time to go and get some work a few deadlines too. Have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A drunken mistake or eight

Tink just left for work. She has been working with an elderly woman who needs a companion during the day while her daughters work. The woman is lovely and has been using Tink to clean out her house. Slowly, the contents of the lady's home has been coming into mine. This weekend, Tink turned down the family flask that the woman wanted her to own. She did not think that her grand daughter would want it and wanted to give it to someone special. Thankfully, Tink said 'no' to the gift.

On another note, Bullpen Grandpop is having his pacemaker battery changed in surgery today. That makes three family surgeries in one week. I believe that we are keeping the medical field busy with our knicks, dings, and breaks. According to my niece, Buttercup, BP Grandpop is coming home this afternoon and does not have to stay in the hospital overnight.

How is our pitcher doing? Oy! Ups and downs....downs and ups. Yesterday, they lost a very close conference game that they should have won. Why? Well, according to the big leftie, most of the team was partying on Saturday night and either showed up late for the game or hung over. He's furious with his team mates and the coaches are beside themselves.

What are they thinking? The majority want to play in the major leagues, but you need to get enough sleep, eat right, and not show up to the field inebriated! Theses are the basic concepts when it comes to playing on a team, especially division 1. I am deeply disappointed in these guys and am astounded that they would put the team in peril like this. Does one beer or ten really taste that good? Is the feeling of falling over drunk more important than the team and team mates? What the heck!

Well, it is the coaches responsibility to figure out what to do. I have my own theory based on my experiences coaching, but none of my players showed up drunk. They would have petty problems with one another or be haughty, but that's it. They were usually on time and we actually went to the nationals for a tournament. Are my girl tennis players more committed than these knuckle-headed baseball players? Perhaps...perhaps....They know that a beer or eight can add inches to the waistlines so they were much more careful.

OK, time for me to hobble to work. I have a meeting later and it takes me twice as long to get ready as it did last week. Have a great day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Patient Discharged

Greetings on this overcast Sunday. I am sorry that I have not written for a few days but I have my reasons....

On Thursday, the big kid met with the surgeon who removed the sutures and taught him a few exercises to begin the rehab process. What a beautiful sight! The look on the kid's face was one of happiness and relief as he continued the healing process. He had been off pain medication for a few days, had the sutures out, was given exercises, and was cleared to take a shower. You would have thought that he won the Powerball! He was so excited that he could shower. Frankly, so was I. The house had a bit of a "guy" odor and now the scent was beginning to dissipate.

It was then time to return to school with his arm still in the immobilizer. We drove the three hour trip and he was in the greatest mood. He could not wait to return to college and see the guys and hang out with the team. It is the only thing that kept him partially sane over the past several weeks. He had a renewed commitment to training, his team mates, and baseball. Although, as his arm leaves the sling in three weeks, he is not going to like what he finds. The muscle has atrophied a bit and he will need extensive rehabilitation to get back to his normal level of strength.

It was interesting as the surgeon mentioned that his fast ball should creep up 10 more miles per hour. For the past three months, he had been pitching with a non functional shoulder and still doing well. Once it heals and he has rehab'ed, he will be a different pitcher. Even with a bum shoulder, his spring ball ERA was low and performance was overall quite good. Can you imagine what he will be like with a shoulder that is completely attached?

And so, off he went to school and I waited to hear from him as to the transition back to studying and attending class. He called that night and reported that LW tried to tie him in a lasso and knock him to the ground. OK, what the #$^###? LW, his room mate has eyes and can see that his left arm is in an immobilizer. Is he kidding? If he had hurt the kid, I would have taken the sling and immobilized him. Is that kid crazy or what?

Now that Buddy has been taken care of, I finally had my knee surgery. It was an arthroscopic procedure done in a surgi center by Dr. G's partner. I think that it went well. I have issues with cartilage would is probably due to overuse. I thought that exercising and participating in sports was supposed to extend a person's life. But in my case, I am going to live a long life, I just won't be running through it any more. Is this nature's way of slowing me down? Yikes, today I realized that a person cannot carry a cup of Starbuck's coffee and walk with crutches. I am going to have to invent a devise where I can attach my coffee cup to my belt so that I can move place to place and still have my caffeine fix. Or maybe I need a third arm. Not sure, but this will not do. No sir, got to figure this one out. It's my only means of survival.

With my own surgical procedure, I can relate to my son's discomfort. I have been blessed to have Tink home who has been quite helpful. On occasion, she, I now have a little bell to call her when I need her. Pretty cool, huh? I am going to try it now...hold on.....I just rang the bell and she was prompt in answering....I like this part of the process.

Time to move on to my next project....have a great day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Post op day 7!

Yeah! Day seven and the countdown to returning to school begins....T minus 24 hours....

Why am I so happy? The reasons are twofold. First, the surgery and surgical site have healed without signs of infection. Second, he is so bored that he watched the new Muppets movie with me last night which tells the entire world that the kid needs more mental stimulation besides Kermit and Miss Piggy. Actually, the movie was pretty good, but for someone older than him who grew up with Gonzo and Fozzie Bear. There were actually a few laugh out loud moments which for me late at night it is almost impossible to chuckle let alone laugh...

Anyway, the second leg of the journey is coming to an end as the third begins. After the four weeks in an immobilizer, he will begin the slow painful process of returning to play. No throwing until the summer, then he can work out with a coach. Until then, his coach will be his physical therapist, who has been successful in helping Steven Strasburg of the Nationals return to the game.

Tonight, we pack the bags and load the car, then tomorrow after his appointment with Doctor Two, he is off to school after his shower. Normally, I would fill another bag full of food for him to take, however, he has eaten everything in the house. I really mean it...everything...nothing is left. Nothing....He can eat and eat and eat....and then have a snack or two or five.....then ask what is for lunch.

It's true that I will miss having him around but he belongs at school and not here keeping me occupied. He has life goals to attend to which do not include making his mother cringe, laugh, or run to the grocery store. There have been a few times when I have had to tell him to watch his language. God made lots of words, so try to use a more diverse vocabulary besides words that only have four letters. We are not living in a bull pen, so keep the language rated PG.

Thanks to all who have sent prayers, good wishes and thoughts, and ice cream cakes to the house. I know that the prayers were heard, thoughts were felt, and cake was devoured. Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Post op day six

Day six in the sunny northeast and I do believe that the big kid has officially turned the corner. He no longer requires Vitamin V (AKA Vicodin) to make it through the day. He's taking walks, seems more engaged, and has submitted a paper to one of his professors. His suture sites are clean and dry without any hint of infection. In other words, the guy is healing and making progress toward returning to school and re adapting to college life.

In college, there will be no mother to clean the rooms or pick up after him. No one will disinfect the sinks and bathrooms each day. There won't be a mom to make his meals or type and edit his papers (yes, I edited it last night). I do believe that I am ready to discharge my patient to the care of his room mates (oy).

Let's chat about the room mates. Angel and Big Red are great guys but immersed in the baseball season. They have their own agendas and class schedules therefore will not be available if Buddy needs them. So, he will have to be independent and figure life out on his own.

He is also ready to sit in the bullpen with the guys and offer support. They need it right now. The weekend game performances were dismal as they blew late game leads. Buddy was screaming at his computer while they were blowing the games. Their cumulative ERAs over the weekend was a whopping 22.2 (wow...that could be a record). They really miss him and he misses them.

And so, we are beginning the "cutting the cord" process and preparing for release. He's ready, I'm ready, Tink is is dad. We are all ready to see the kid resume his social and academic life. I am feeling quite positive about him leaving my supervision. has been nice having him around the house. He adds a balance and humor to a number of situations. He's fun and funny. I like him as a person as well as loving him as a son. hmmmm....crazy? nah....We understand each other. I have watched "his movies" with him and he suffered through the Voice with me and actually sort of liked the show. He'll never sit through a Dancing with the Stars, but I can't either.

Enough said, it is time to wash his hair in the sink for the last time. Perhaps I should encourage the use of conditioner too.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Post op day 5!

Yep, we are getting closer to the removal of the sutures and the first shower in a week. Why does that please me? You have three guesses and the first two do not count.....Even though the sutures will be out, he has to stay in the immobilizer for a month.

This means we have to prepare for the inevitable return to campus. There are some plans that have to be made. First, where will the kid sleep? Since he cannot sleep in his bed and the common room is nether quiet nor private, we are left to the room that he shares with Angel. If we buy a big lounge chair, he can tip his bed and fit it into the room. Problem one almost averted. First, we have to find a place near the apartment that has a cheap (and I mean cheap) lounge chair that will deliver it by Thursday and find a room mate to accept the delivery.

Problem Two: he is left handed and the arm is in an immobilizer for three more weeks. How will he type or complete his school work? I leave this issue up to him, however, I have been asked to type a paper today to submit it by midnight. I pray that I am not typing at 11:50 pm. Currently, he thinks that his tutors are going to type his work for him. OK, let's hope that they are willing to help him in this way. Something tells me that as they type, they will be editing and changing content to reflect the right answers. Just a guess on my part....

Problem Three: Food. I asked him if he wanted me to make food and freeze it for use each day. The answer was "No room in the refrigerator or freezer." How is this possible when there are four guys living there? Well, it seems LW's parents bought food for him and filled the fridge to the brink. he orders out each day and has not touched the food, therefore, the refrigerator is filled with rotting food.

Problem Four: If it snows, how will he make it to class without sliding and falling on his arm? I can't worry about this one. It's an unknown and something that I cannot control.

Problem Five: How far behind is he in school right now? He has missed Thursday through this Thursday. Not good....I never missed class since I was not secure enough in my capacity to figure anything out on my own. Therefore, I cannot be sure how missing class will affect him. I never had tutors except for chemistry and was that really necessary....

Problem Six: I cannot think of a problem six, hopefully I have thought of all of the permutations of what can happen to a person in college when their dominant arm is permanently affixed to his stomach in an immobilizer. Perhaps this will be a new reality show as a camera follows him around campus. Yet, if I had a dollar for very person who said to him: "I am sure a cute girl is going to want to carry your books and backpack...." I would be rich enough to buy a grande Starbucks coffee.

Got to run.....Tink wants to swim before going to work today.....

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Post op day 3 and 4

What an amazing day in the northeast! Happy St Patty's Day. I drove through our college town and partiers are out and about....It's a good day for a pub crawl....

How is our hero doing today? Well, he is a bit salty and short tempered and unwilling to leave the house. Odd? Yep. I tried to bribe him with heading to Sparky's bakery to no avail. Then I toyed with the idea of taking him to buy new shirts that would easily slide over his sling. Nope...he didn't bite. Then I flat out told him to leave my bedroom and find somewhere else to nest. He has all but moved in and the time is coming when mama bird has to nudge or shove her baby out of the nest. I think that he is enjoying the luxury of sleeping in the comfortable chairs and having the remote control to a flat screen television at his disposal. Did I spoil him with my nurturing? Perhaps....

Actually, he is still uncomfortable and has not had a shower since Wednesday morning. I guess that I would not want to leave the house either. Although I did wash his hair in the sink, he did not leave a tip for me as he took his wet hair and towel and returned to his chair.

And so, the saga continues and so does the process of healing. How is the team doing without him? Sadly, they have a losing record and desperately miss the leftie. Yesterday the team was winning 5-1 at the bottom of the 9th with two outs and somehow the pitching lost it. So, when I say that they miss him, I really mean it. The record of the team speaks for itself and so does the team's inability to close a game without him.

Which leads me to another thought....he generally does not feel secure on the team. The coaches do not provide a great deal of feedback and he always feels like he does not really have a position. Last year, they made the tournament for the first time in years. The pitching staff had the lowest ERA in the conference. This year, they have lost so many games and the ERAs are sky high. This makes me believe that his presence last year was a positive one for the team despite him not knowing it. Does that make sense? it took an injury to realize how valuable he was in and out of the bullpen.

Therefore, I submit that he is an asset to the team and a reason for their success. Hmmmm...this is so different from the year in which he would sit in the bullpen and not understand his value. Do I blame the coaches? Naw...they do not have that warm and fuzzy gene and have been hit in the head too many times with fast balls and line drives. In other words, they are salty and seasoned ball players who do not share feelings and emotions unless they are really peeved about a loss. Guys just have to figure out on their own where they stand and be satisfied with it. I get it. But players like Buddy might look ferocious on the pitcher's mound, but he is full of mixed emotions as he tries to peel the layers off of the team's dynamics. The coaches don't care, they just want to the kid to perform. Let the team psychologist work out their emotions and the coaches tinker with the kid's motivation and mechanics. OR maybe this is their way to motivate the player. Never tell them where they stand and leave them in the Land of Ambiguity where it is up to their personal logic to develop a philosophy on and off the ball field. Too much? Perhaps I am over thinking this phenomenon and should leave it alone.

OK, will do. And so, it is Sunday morning and my patient is healing. The doctor felt that he could return to school tomorrow and originally he wanted to do it. UNTIL...the pain came and his brain's cylinders began to fire again. Let's consider his family home versus his apartment.

Family home: All the food a kid could eat, his Grandmom's homemade ice cream cake, water, comfort, clean towels and environment, a healing dog to keep him company, privacy, assistance, and a HD 52" plasma tv with cable and movies.

Apartment: LW, filth, dirt, no food, no help, chaos, and fighting...walking to class with a sling...catching the bus....sitting in class for hours on end.

Where would you want to heal?

have a great day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

post op day 2

This entry comes late in the day as my life and organization has been uprooted by one very big kid with his shoulder in a sling. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I get it, it hurts, but OY! Is he needy!

With that said, here are the facts. Although the surgery was an arthoscopic procedure, there was work done in his body to repair damage. He cannot lie down. He cannot move his left arm. His shoulder and back hurts and therefore he is cranky. If he is cranky, then I am cranky. Then his bone headed dad gave him the advice to start to wean himself off his pain medication. Needless to say, this advice was somewhat....ahhh....premature....that's it....premature.

Therefore, the discomfort turned into acute pain and he is miserable.


To: The whole world

From: BPM

Re: Postoperative Pain Relief

Do not, under any circumstance, listen to someone about pain management after surgery if they have no clue about what they are talking about.

That's my postop tip of the day....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Post op day 1 is the day after the big surgery which according to Doc 2 was quite successful. The surgeon had such a grin on his face preoperatively and postoperatively. It was as if he was saying..."Give me that shoulder...I will fix it..." I can compare it to a closer in baseball. He's the guy who wants to pitch at the end of the game and save it for the team. Or like Michael Jordan who always wanted the ball. Or Joe Montana as he throws a perfect spiral to win the Super Bowl. This is a guy who competes as a preeminent surgeon who has no doubts in his abilities. As I said before, I do not want to be friends with my surgeon. I want him to be the biggest son of a gun who has the skills unparalleled in the Western world.

And so, after surgery and sedation, we took the big kid home who was famished. Yes, famished. First stop was for a 2 foot chicken cutlet hoagie that we all devoured, but he ate most of it. Then he polished it off with a peanut sandwich, cookies, and a dairy queen blizzard. I made him eggs and toast this morning and before I leave for work must go to the supermarket to restock the home shelves. After all, he did not have any food for 16 hours while waiting for surgery.

Currently, he still has the big bandage on and a weird ice machine that circulates cold water on his shoulder. It's pretty neat. I wish that I had one of those things for when I overdo it at Zumba. He's taking his pain medicine every four hours and has designated Tink, who is on spring break, as his indentured servant. He sent her out last night for the blizzards and I am sure there will be another blizzard run while I am at work today.

His friend Dewey had this kind of surgery in December and has warned him that Day 1 is the worst day and you want to cut your arm off with a steak knife because the pain is so bad. Thanks Dewey for preparing the big kid....NOT! Buddy is sitting quietly in his chair waiting for the big pain to begin. Is that crazy or what? "I know that I am going to suffer today,'s going to hurt....really really bad..." Again, thanks Dewey.....

And so, the saga and journey continues. Yesterday before surgery, he was set on going back to school on Sunday. Today, we have a different story....Maybe I'll go back next Thursday. After all, my apartment is disgusting and I don't want an infection. There you have words exactly. Am I a prophet? Nope, just someone who knows her kid and what his apartment looks like and believe me, you do not want hay fever in this place, let alone a post surgical wound. I could do a few lab experiments with petri dishes and am sure that the bacteria that grows will be unidentifiable because they are breeding new types of microorganisms.

Time for me to run to the grocery store to find food that can be opened with one non dominant hand. Thanks for hanging in there with us during this journey.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Crunch time

It's crunch time! Forgive me for not posting for the past few days, but I have been preoccupied with a number of big issues. Let's start and finish with the big kid.

Doctor Number Two finally convinced us that he is da' Man for the surgery and therefore, we consented. It was time to move on it after too many dormant months. And so, today is the day.

Buddy left for school on Sunday in the hopes of speaking to each professor and make plans for his absences. Most of them seemed to understand. Upon arrival home yesterday, we went to the doctor's office for the pre operative testing. We waited 90 minutes in the lobby to see the surgeon for about 60 seconds. I am now going to develop some sort of game for people who are in doctor's waiting rooms. Perhaps "I spy with my eye....something....surgical.....beige....old....
uncomfortable.....impatient...." Who knows, maybe I can make a zillion dollars off this idea.

All went well in our 60 second meeting until the leftie actually processed the information..."Wait a second....I have to sleep in a chair for one week? Can't take a shower for one week? Can't move my arm for one month? Can't eat after midnight for 24 hours? No gum? No water? WHAT!!! What about my hair???" That's right, it's all about the hair.

Then I processed the information....."Wait a second....he sleeps in a chair all week...what about going back to school? Gotta wash his hair in the sink....needs medication....some kind of ice aids on the suture site.....can't get wet...look for infection.....can't move the arm...grumpy....not going back to school for 8 days....salty...going to be painful....OY!"

All in all, it is going to be fine. he can sleep in the overstuffed chairs in my bedroom and call me if he needs me. He is concerned that he will have to listen to his dad snore....Dude...a person can get used to it.....besides, you'll be medicated...

My plan is that once he is settled, I will run to the grocery store and empty the shelves. After all, he is going to be home for 8 days...long days...nights too....lots of food....the kid can eat...last night before midnight, he had a very big snack or maybe it was a nine course meal...whatever, he is going to need his favorite 'mom foods'. Planning is key to the success of this venture, so I am making several lists to make sure that I cover the bases....peanut butter, bagels, Oreos, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, a cheesecake cake from the Baker, burgers, chicken, juice.....grapefruit

Monday, March 12, 2012

BP Mom's Hall of Fame

Good morning! Before I begin, I want to send THREE shout outs! First shout out is to Big M. He has shown us what guts and determination plus the love of family and a healing dog can do. He is currently in remission for lung cancer and will have that (to quote my little boy) ^%$** port removed from his body on Wednesday. That is quite an amazing feat and very inspirational.

The second shout out is headed toward my wonderful friend "Red" who also battled ovarian cancer and stuck it back in cancer's face. Yeah, girl. She was another person whom I admire as I watched her put on her game face, adidas sneakers, and grabbed her tennis racquet and swatted cancer's ugly head away. Another remarkable woman and story. Never complaining...never, ever complaining...she quietly took it on and won the game, set, and match. Bravo!

The third shout out goes to my brother and sister-in-law, the Saints. Yep, that's right...the Saints. They have taken a life-situation called autism on and smacked it. What did they do? Lie on the sofa with the remote control and close the curtains, never to resurface? Nope! They started a foundation that offers people with autism and families services that they need to get through the day. Committed to providing a better life for people with autism, they fund raise on a regular basis and create opportunities for this population. For example, yesterday, Tink, Sparky, Baker and I attended the Harlem Globetrotters game with members of the group. This group of individuals are often ostracized, because society does not understand that this is the way that their brain is wired. But the 'Trotters met with the group after the game, shook hands, high-fived the kids, and took multiple photos. It was a great event and the smiles on their faces were priceless. Amazing,.....

These individuals and their daily battles have served to inspire me. DO they know the impact that they have had on my life? Probably not, because they are not looking for applause or praise. They simply looked for the best way to get through their challenges and as a result have made it into the BP Mom's Hall of Fame. That's right, I have a Hall of Fame in which I induct worthy people. Big M, Red, and the Saints are the first members. I am going to give them a certificate or plaque for their walls. Perhaps, we will celebrate their induction in the only way BP mom knows fit...that is...during happy hour with Tink, Sparky, and the Baker. That's right...a little ceremony while we munch on nachos, drink a half price beer, and tell tales of taking on the demons of our world.

So, as I sniffle because I have a bit of a cold, I remember the strength of these people, grab a tissue, wipe my nose, and keep my complaints to myself.

Next post, I will share the news about Buddy's shoulder. For now, I wanted to honor these individuals with a separate post. The next time that you are poured a tall one or a skinny margarita, hoist it up and toast the people in your life who have made a difference in our world either through the personal battles or hard earned triumphs. Cheers!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ball of confusion

Remember the Temptations song, Ball of Confusion? Some of the lyrics are:
Oh, Great Googamooga,
Can't you hear me talking to you,
Just a ball of confusion,
That's what the world is today, hey

Now, I am not sure who or what Googamooga is, but it's a great word. And yes, our world is still a ball of confusion. Ready for an update? Here goes:

We went back to Doctor Two yesterday. Remember him? He was the 99.9999% guarantee that the big kid will be pitching by September. To summarize: Doctor One is still treating tendonitis with a torn rotator cuff. Doctor Three has the kid speeding up his college degree because baseball is completely out of the picture. And Doctor Four resides in Florida and does not want to cross Number Two for some reason.

Doctor Two has an ego bigger than the Grand Canyon BUT I don't want to party with him (unless he picks up the tab). My goal is to find the right guy who has the right diagnosis whether it is baseball or no more baseball. I don't care. I want an accurate this too much to ask physicians who have Ivy League educations? Come on have the state of the art equipment, brilliant minds, and tools that can save careers. What is the problem?

It seems that there is no problem. In fact, Doctor Two again reiterated that he knows what to do and will speak to Number Four and call me today. If I were to guess, the big kid is going to have surgery on March 19 with Doctor Two. However, I have been wrong before and will continue to make mistakes until I take my last breath. Yet, this decision has to be accurate.

Why? Well, I saw what Doctor Three did to the kid. He was not ready to hear that his playing days were over. However, if he can no longer pitch, then it is time to make new personal goals.

Currently, I am waiting for the phone call from Two then will touch base with Four. Confused? Perhaps....that's what the world is today, hey hey

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?"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Three way tie

It's time to leave for Florida and I want to make sure that I have covered all of my bases. Buddy is the proud birthday owner of a new iPod Touch and has everything that he perceives that he needs. The rest of the packing is up to me. The stress is beginning to build, since I am an emotional sweets eater, I am craving the Baker's carrot cupcakes....yep, that's right...not a Merlot, but a cupcake. Make sense? Sure!

I don't like not knowing what I am dealing with so this trip is especially nerve wracking. I will be alone with the big kid, and I can handle whatever comes next, but what comes next? Will it be rehab? Will it be surgery on Tuesday? Will he be able to throw a ball again like Drew Brees did after his operation? Or is his baseball career about to come to an abrupt end? Honestly, I can handle any of the issues except for the last one. In the old days, when he would lose a game, dad and I would draw straws to see who would drive the 30 minute trip home with the kid. These rides home were BRUTAL and one of us had to do it. There were times when I did not have the psychic energy to do it, but it was "my turn" so, I listened to the rants of a crazed kid.

Now, however, the rants are longer and saltier. If we get bad news in Florida, I will be sitting next to him at close proximity for 10 hours on the way home. As Bullpen Grandmom would say: "Offer your suffering for the souls in Purgatory." I am sure that the airline serves liquor in coach (since that's all I really fly), so.....I am saving my change for a couple of those little bottles. Too bad they don't have the cupcakes, 'cause I would be ready to handle anything!

Actually, I am kidding. This is a huge few days for him. I will be standing right by his side for the good news and the not-so-good news. It's my job to hang in there and prop the kid up and support him. After all, I brought him into the world and he needs me now more than ever (except the time when he was learning to ride a two-wheel bike...he needed me then, too). Whatever happens, we can deal with it.

I am not looking at this process negatively, but the crazy road that we have journeyed has been convoluted. Nothing has made sense. No one has given a consistent picture. Three doctors=three differing opinions. This week's physician breaks the three-way tie.

And so, I am pulling together my documents, notes,and laptop, and packing my bag. I think that I have been fairly organized throughout the process...but you never know. As long as I have my photo ID and the MRI disk, I have everything...except...oops, gotta go. I forgot to download the plane tickets.
Have a good day!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr Frankenstein, perhaps?

Ok, I have been mulling over the events of the past two days and I am blessed that I have this blog as an outlet for my personal emotions, thoughts, and feelings. And so, I am about to get really nasty about the 'process' and health care system. Strap on your seat belts, put on your helmet, the ride is going to be bumpy....this post is not for the faint of heart.....

This morning at 4 am, I received a phone call from the big kid who could not sleep, was anxious, had a test at 11 am, and had to drive home. He sounded completely stressed out and nothing that I could say would allay his anxiety. The culmination of the past four months finally got to him and he was beginning to panic. What's a mom to do besides listen and console. I had no words that would help him. All I could do was listen and I don't think that helped much.

How does a kid get to this point in his life? He's at an age where he should be sitting back and enjoying his college years. It's true that I lost sleep in college when I had tests and exams, but I did not have the additional stressors that he has at this point.

Let's start at the beginning when he complained of shoulder pain and his esteemed team doctor treated him as if he had tendonitis. Remember, this is the guy who watched him be knocked down with a line drive that could have killed him and said that he did not have a concussion. That diagnosis took a few seconds. I clearly remember the actress who just fell while skiing who died that night after her fall. This guy was slammed in the head with a sharply hit ball. he could not recall his name, walked crooked, and had ringing in his ear. Diagnosis: no concussion. Treatment: Advil.

The shoulder continued to give him problems and he finally had a MRI. The radiologist and specialist read the x-ray and stated that there were no problems. Just continue to treat for tendonitis. Diagnosis: Tendonitis. Treatment: Advil, physical therapy, stim therapy.

Two days before the Florida trip, his arm was in agony. He could no longer throw. He was literally 'shut down' by the coach. No Florida trip. No pitching. Continue to treat tendonitis. What does BP mom say? " way...more to this than an inflammation."

A call to one of the best shoulder specialists in the region as suggested by Dr G. He was able to see the big kid in a few days. He was a little guy with little reader glasses on his nose. he walked into the room alone, performed an assessment, read the MRI, and said he needed surgery that would be 99.9999% effective. He performed surgery on top pitchers all over the country. No pitching in September. Cool...the only problem was the he could not do the surgery until mid March and the kid has school. Also, the school doctors said that the shoulder was we need another opinion. By the way, when Buddy called the trainer, his first words were:"You're out of the system, the university will not pay for this." Like I give a *&$### or two......

On to the surgeon that is well known in the region and came with many accolades. Trying to get through to him proved to be challenging, but I was up to it. Somehow I got the leftie into the door and shazzammm...his life shattered in a matter of seconds. Dr. Frankenstein followed his entourage into the room, could not download the MRI on his computer, read it, and proclaimed that the rotator cuff was hanging on by a thread....need major reconstructive surgery....will never have made it to the majors anyway...and by the way: "You have a better chance of being struck by lightening." How therapeutic! Terrific....thank pal....great bedside you also snap the heads off little butterflies for fun?

Whereas, it is true, the kid's chance of making it to the majors is filled with many obstacles, but do not kill off a dream before he is done with college. That's why he is in college, to earn a degree to do something besides baseball...get it? let him have his division 1 dreams and experiences, then if he is good enough for the majors, then it will happen whether Dr Frankenstein predicts it or not. Diagnosis: Rotator cuff tear Treatment: Major reconstructive surgery Prognosis: Grim....Advice: start playing gin rummy.

Once Dr F saw the emotional turmoil that he inflicted, he called a good friend in Florida who is considered the top sports medicine physician in the world.On to our new friend in Florida. He could not have been nicer for a guy who treated Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter. With a quick hello, we are scheduled for an appointment on Monday morning at 9 am and possible surgery on Tuesday. We will be home on Wednesday. Too fast? Perhaps, but remember, we have been going through this process since October and I now know more than ever that the health care system is full of people who don't get it.

Not all doctors and nurses are inept. In fact, I am a proud member of this community, BUT I have never been so disappointed by my peers than these past 6 months. What the heck?! Are you kidding me? If I had acted so ineptly, I would have lost my job. These people are dealing with individuals...a whole person...body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Are you telling me that a shoulder is attached to a doll or a dummy? There is someone there who needs full explanation in kind, compassionate ways...and honestly as possible. But please, make it humane....Should they say: "Hey, BP mom, you have three months to live, drop everything and sit in your chair and write your will?" or would it be better to approach bad news with "Hey BP mom, perhaps there are a few things that you would like to accomplish, because we see some issues with you tests. It seems that there are some irregularities that need to be addressed. let's talk about how the treatment will affect you." Better? yah, much better.

Now we head to Pensacola on Sunday. I reserved a room on the beach with a view. I can look at it while Buddy sleeps after his surgery. We are now at the point where the rubber hits the road. It's time for action. As I said to Buddy this morning, we are going on an adventure. It reminds me of the old days in Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, Fort Meyers, North Carolina, and West Virginia. We have traveled together as he played baseball and I sat in the stands waiting for him to run to the mound to save the game. Now it is time for me to run to the mound, take a deep breath, and save him. One way or another, don't mess with me, 'cause when it comes to one of my cubs, I lose the sweetness and can take on the Frankensteins, Werewolfs, and bitter tiny health care professionals of this world.

Time to go...I gotta train...mentally prepare....stretch...deep breathe....visualize....pray....

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A change of heart

Happy birthday to my big boy! Twenty years ago, he was welcomed into the world and has been an important part of our lives. He's sensitive, kind, intense, brutally honest, funny, and a decent human being. That's why when he was told that he stood a better chance of being hit by lightening than making he major leagues, I felt my heart bleed for him. What doctor does something like that? Oy, such deplorable bedside manner. Uncle G is never going to refer a patient to him again. He also used a few expletives when I told him what had transpired. Actually, I think one slipped out of my mouth too...oops!

Yesterday was challenging, but the only thing that made him smile was seeing the amazing birthday cake that Sparky and the Baker had made. By hand, the Baker decorated the cake in the university's colors with the face of the mascot done perfectly. It was amazing. Genius...pure confectionery genius! Thanks to Sparky and Baker. You have no idea that your cake actually caused him for a moment not to think of his troubles.

Today, Buddy returned to school for the last two days of classes before spring break. Before class, he ran to the Medical Center to obtain another MRI disc...just in case the one that the doctor read yesterday was someone else's images. As he walked through the front door, feeling really bad about himself and in a very salty mood, he saw something that turned him around immediately. Sitting in the lobby in a wheelchair was a young war veteran who did not have arms or legs. As I type that sentence, I am humbled and look at life with a crisper lens. That young man is a hero, we are just experiencing a speed bump in the road of life. No complaints, just moving on....

And so, I am going to check the weather for Pensacola for next week, find a hotel, rent a car, and pack my bag. We leave on Sunday and return home on Wednesday. That's we were are at this point in time. The kid is celebrating his birthday with his pals as the team prepares for the long road trip to the south for 10 days without him. No one ever said that life was fair...just ask the young man in the wheelchair.