Univ. Of Phoenix Called, Your Anesthesiology Doctorate Is Ready
Did I ever tell you about the time my Doctor almost killed me? Yeah, ICU for 3 days. The beginnings of the story are actually quite humorous…right up until the surgery and the near death experience. What happened, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It all started when a group of mid 30ish to 40 year old men thought it would be a great idea to enter the upcoming dodgeball tournament. The Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller movie had recently come out and dodgeball was enjoying a resurgence nationwide. We wanted a piece of the action. One last shot at everlasting glory and legacy building. The fact that I hadn’t seen the movie yet was irrelevant. I’d heard a few people talk about it and felt fairly confident that I could dodge a crescent wrench thrown from a wheelchair if I needed to. With quivering hands; I signed the entry form.
The team consisted of AP (my Assistant Principal next door neighbor), his Dad (quite the arm, actually), Me and several of AP’s friends. We didn’t meet for practice as we had all made it through the 4th grade and most of us retained the rules. I mean, it’s dodgeball; how hard could it be? The one thing we forgot; or, at least I forgot, was that we weren’t 19 anymore. My brain told me I could still move like a 19 year old, but the body said; “What are you, nuts?” Funny thing about growing old; denial will kick reality’s ass every time, but reality still has to pay the health insurance. You’d think reality would hire common sense and asthma to knock some sense into reality, but it never does. We got T-shirts made with our team name; “The Goofballs” (Our first choice: “The Limb Snappers” seemed a little aggressive) and met at the gym for what was sure to be a walk in the park for us.
Our first opponents were about the same age as us with a couple of ringers a little younger, but the second team was made up of flame throwing teenagers. At least, that’s what I heard; I was already on my way to the hospital by then, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The first game started without the anticipated fanfare (I didn’t see an ESPN camera anywhere), but we were no less enthusiastic. AP was beaning people left and right, and so was his Dad. I was throwing curve balls that were almost hitting their mark and thinking; “Has my rotator cuff always popped like that?” About 5 minutes into the game it was down to AP, Me and his Dad. We had the other team on the ropes (amateurs). They had gotten themselves into a pickle, and it was 3 on 2. The problem was; I didn’t have a ball. We had all but 2 on our side of the court; one was in the hands of one of the opponents and the other was on our side right at mid-court. I was closer, so the unarmed (unballed?) guy on the other side didn’t even attempt to get it lest he end up with a VOIT brand on his forehead. I dashed forward to retrieve the ball knowing that the opponent would surely try and pick me off, but if he did, I knew AP would serve up some 8 inch round justice and victory would be ours. I stayed low and glanced at the ball right as the other guy unleashed a wicked googly. I did my best impression of Neo from The Matrix and he missed me. I reached down, grabbed the ball, turned to run to the back of our side of the court and that’s when I heard the sound.
Have you ever heard a firecracker go off in an alley? That’s the sound my left knee made. It didn’t hurt bad, at least not yet, but it sure sounded nasty. I thought I’d just renovated a little cartilage again like I do when I walk up the stairs (again, denial), only this time it was more like a second story addition and remodel. I tried to keep playing but my knee started burning. I went and sat down amongst jeers of; “Walk it off, you Pansy!” I told NukeMom that I didn’t appreciate her tone and put some ice on my leg. I stood up a few minutes later, but it was now painfully obvious that I should take what little dignity I had left and limp to the car with it. I didn’t actually go to the hospital that day (so sue me for over dramatizing!) but I called on Monday for an appointment with the Mega-Orthopedic-Doc-Warehouse that our provider told me I had to go to. He did the usual tests. He placed my left leg over my shoulder and touched my right butt cheek with my toes and asked; “Does this hurt?” “A little”, I said. He took an X-Ray and deemed it inconclusive, just as every Orthopedic Doctor has since the beginning of time when trying to X-Ray cartilage and ligaments. We scheduled an MRI for the following Tuesday. At this point the Doctor thought there was still a chance that my ACL was intact. Holy Crap! 900 words! We’ll have to make this a 2 part series……