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Sunday, March 18, 2012

How Did I Get Here Part 2:

I felt pretty good heading into the offseason.  I was thinner than usual and had increased my strength despite having yet another injury-riddled season.

I was pretty optimistic though. My last few outings were really good and I was looking to build on that for the 2012 season.  I still can't hit though. One of these days maybe....

I was at the gym as usual on Saturday morning.  I was returning to the heavier lifting that I do in the off-season.  Usually, right before the season it's a lot of plyometrics, movement, core work and interval training.  During the season, it's all really light weights with lots of reps and is pretty dependant on my pitching schedule.  Immediately after the season, I like to work through a lot of heavier compound movements and then couple that with a week of isolated routines the next week.  It seems to work well and get everything challenged correctly.

I'm super wordy you guys. I'm really sorry.

Anyway, I'm getting the incline press up and down for a couple of reps when something immediately hurt in the elbow.  It wasn't the pop that people describe, but it was definitely a noticeable "oh shit" moment. I racked the weight immediately and pulled off one of the 45lb plates.  I thought it was just a strain for a minute and I'd be able to complete with some lighter weight.  I got about 4 reps into that theory when it was promptly disproved.

That was what I remember.  I know I finished the workout but it felt really wrong in there.  This wasn't tendinitis or "golfer's elbow" or any of the other things I had been told. This was an injury.

I finally went to go see an elbow specialist.  Folks, go to a specialist when you can. As much as I dig my general doctor and as much as I trust him, these specialists really know what they are doing.  If you're interested, it's Dr. Trumble at Bellevue Bone and Joint.  Any time you see a textbook that the physician you are seeing has written, you know that he knows a little something about this.

He did a fluoroscope on the elbow and some other basic tests.  He ordered a dye-based MRI right away and figured that the UCL was torn and that the tear had gotten worse.  Thank God he did.

MRIs suck by the way.  You get this terrible dye injected right on the spot and your arm feels like it weighs a ton.  It's's definitely a strange foreign substance in there.  When I went, some of the dye had leaked out and was on the was SUPER gross to think that was in my arm. After that, you get to go into a giant tube where you must hold perfectly still.  For you claustrophobic folks out there, just keep your eyes closed.  Don't open them.  You won't like it.  The top of the tube is about two inches above your face.  I did get to listen to Coldplay though so I was okay with that.

At any rate, the results were pretty clear. There was a tear and the Dr. immediately recommended surgery even though his assistant thought otherwise.  He basically said it's just not going to heal on its own.  Beyond the tear, my elbow apparently went out like 15 degrees whereas my other one went out like 5.  So, that's not good.  Combine that with having pain in everything I do he recommended this.

One thing I should tell you...if you have pain every time you pronate, go get checked.  I really wish I had done this a long time ago.

Anyway, here we are.   Surgery is Friday and I'm really stressed out and wishing I could just be okay with everything.  I'm struggling...I don't like the idea of having to rely on other people for very mundane things.

I think that's a different blog post.  Seeing as how I'm not going to be able to drink for a while, I think I need a Dos Equis Amber at Matador.  Something about Mexican food and beer that seems to cure everything, but cause heartburn.

Eh, what's a little heartburn.

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