Friday, July 24, 2015

A Question Of Age, An Overdue Apology, Possible Surgery by BJ Neblett

            A couple of summer back, I was accused of not being forthcoming, or open and honest about my age. While that Sunday first date could have admittedly gone smoother, it certainly didn’t do much to endear me to the object of my affection. I have never been one to be coy about my age. Truth be known, I was so enamored and totally taken with the beautiful young woman that I stuttered and stammered my way through the encounter like a naive schoolboy on his first date. As a result of my uncharacteristic shyness, I managed to blow what I still believe can be a remarkable relationship. Live and learn… but it still stings… quite a bit. And the way things were left between us still haunts me today. Some say it’s just the hopeless romantic in me. But it’s more than just that… a lot more… and goes a lot deeper. All I ever wanted was a chance; a chance for us to talk; to get to know one another; an opportunity for her to meet the real me, and to see where it all may lead. For my conspicuous, confusing and faltering behavior, to the lovely lady in question, my sincerest apologies. But sometimes the heart does what it wants without asking the brain. I only hope my words reach their intended destination.

            Closer to my real persona, I often jape that I am 64, look 44, feel 24, and act 14. Perhaps I should have just lead with those words two years ago. But actually, there is a lot more truth than humor to that statement. I have been blessed with great genes, and with being very youthful and fit. Perhaps baseball/softball is the real fountain of youth. I have pitched baseball and softball all of my life, and still possess the control, skill and finesse of someone half my age. Providence, however, does have its price. Just as someone in their prime, I seem to have possibly developed a condition that is the bane of professional pitchers. Tommy John Elbow, named after the famous Dodgers/Yankees pitcher, is damage to the UCL, or ulnar collateral ligament below the elbow, which connects the humerus to the ulna. Through excessive use and strain, such as a pitcher encounters, the ligament can become stretched and distended, losing its elasticity; much as a rubber band can be stretched out of shape. Worst case scenario calls for surgery, a procedure named Tommy John Surgery, in which the damaged ligament is replaced by a tendon harvested from another part of the body. It’s scary stuff, indeed. The good news is that a complete and full recovery, including returning to pitching, is the norm.
            I had my first, initial exam this week, and will be seeing a professional in sports medicine specializing in elbows and shoulders in the weeks to come. That, I am sure, will be followed by MRI’s, CT Scans, and a host of other test and procedures designed to provide a definitive diagnoses of the problem.
            And before you ask: The condition has limited the range of motion in my right elbow. Yes, I am continuing to play softball and to pitch. We play slow pitch softball and the condition has not seriously affected my pitching game. It has somewhat affected my ability to throw overhand. Yes, it is a bit painful, more so at times. I am wearing an elbow brace to help limit the amount of damage and pain. And yes, as you already know… see posts to this blog, September 16th, 23rd, and 28th, 2014… I’m not real good with hospitals. As they say, stay tuned for further developments. Your comments and questions are, as always, welcomed.
            Finally, as a request, next weekend I will be reviewing stories published in July’s eFiction Magazine. You can click the picture to the right for more info on this great publication, and to obtain a copy.


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