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Archive for March, 2018

March 31, 2018 — From a dream into a long wait

One day to a new beginning
Raise the flag of freedom high!
Every man will be a king
Every man will be a king
There’s a new world for the winning
There’s a new world to be won
Do you hear the people sing?
My place is here, I fight with you!
One day more!
I did not live until today.
One more day all on my own!
How can I live when we are parted?

Hey! Wait a second. Isn’t that Leslie Odom, Jr. fighting alongside the French? What are the cast of Hamilton doing in Les Miserables?

That vision was some way to come out of an operation. That must have been the morphine talking. Perhaps with a different application, I would have gotten visions of Phillipa Soo?

Anyway, I was wheeled out of the operating theater into a room which, I was later told, one of the better ones in the hospital, given the views of the sunset.

I was hooked up to an IV, to leg stimulators to prevent clotting, and to a heart monitor on my left hand. As a result, I had no sleep between exiting the operating room and the nurse shift change at oh-dark-thirty.

For the sake of comfort and to ensure the possibility of some sleep, I started taking command of my surroundings with a little of my father’s insouciance. Off came the leg stimulators. Off with the loud heart monitor; we only needed to use it for the vital-signs tech that came in every three hours to check blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.

If there was one thing that I bore in mind, it was to avoid heavy, heavy drugs. No way was I going to be another statistic, an addict to the over-used and over-prescribed narcotic called “opioids.” Tylenol was my choice and I stuck with it.

In the course of my care today, I remembered a lot of the things that family and friends have said about modern-day health care. You have to advocate for yourself, make good decisions that may not be exactly on your doctor’s radar, but above all, have the patience of Job because waiting for a test, a visit, a procedure can be all about whether or not a space and a doctor are available at the same time.

I suppose I got that perspective the previous evening. My pre-op room in the hospital was right next to the industrial-sized revolving door that leads to the entry for ambulance workers. You might have seen these at your local medical center; these are the ones that you can probably drive a golf cart through.

Through gaps in the curtain, I could see at least six or seven gurneys being accompanied by sweaty twentysomethings wearing their fire-and-rescue uniforms. They were bringing in patients who were either in auto accidents or fires or in falls at home. They were in worse shape than I was, a man with a simple bacterial infection, occupying a space.

I don’t know the fate of these folks. I hope they were, and are, OK.


March 30, 2018 — A Good Friday odyssey

Today, I almost fainted coming out of the shower.

I was showering so that I could feel relatively clean while visiting my doctor’s office as we were to prepare for the colonoscopy that everyone over 50 should undergo.

But that plan was scrubbed with nine words from my physician.

“We have to send you to the emergency room.”

Your Founder has never been overnight in the hospital; indeed the last time I was in the emergency room was for a broken finger from playing basketball more than 35 years ago.

I noted the time we checked in: 3 p.m. on Good Friday. I know Papa was having a good laugh about it.

Later in the day, after a battery of tests and a dose of morphine, it was time for me to undergo something called a CT scan, which kind of reminds one of being slid into either a tray in a morgue, or perhaps into a tomb back in first century Jerusalem.

I had to put my trust in the surgeon and the CT result to get to my problem: a bacterial infection that was going to be removed by the able surgeon.

But first? General anesthesia. I was very heartened by the fact that I was not going to be given the heavy anesthesia that paralyzes the body and requires human or mechanical assistance for breathing, but it was instead one that was a triangular mask that went over my nose and mouth.

That’s about the last thing I remembered before the surgery began.

March 29, 2018 — A mess in Lausanne?

I’ve been sitting on this for the last few days, looking for some correlation, confirmation, or response. But, given what I know about international governing bodies of sport, the narrative in this story is, regrettably, completely plausible.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

March 28, 2018 — Not even the weather

It’s been hard to stop the Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) girls’ lacrosse team over the last several years.

Whether it has been nationally-recognized competition, rivals within the best league in the United States, or even super-prep teams from other countries, the Eagles have faced them all and beaten them all.

Even with a coaching change in the offseason, perhaps the stiffest opposition thus far for the team has been the weather. A cold snap, a snow and wind storm, and some ice and sleet in the greater Baltimore region knocked out a week’s worth of practice and games.

But this week, the Eagles made up for lost time, sweeping their first two matches of the 2018 season to move to 5-0 on the season.

Maddie Jenner has been her usual excellent self on the draw controls, and even without the injured Julia Dorsey on defense, the team held Bel Air John Carroll (Md.) and Catonsville Mount De Sales Academy (Md.) to just five goals combined.

Here’s one other stat that opponents of the Eagles may need to bear in mind: opponents are averaging a scant 4.1 goals per game.

Not even the weather can help a team unprepared to go against a team that can hold a team down that much.

March 27, 2018 — The guard of the hen-house

One of the major questions coming out of the sexual misconduct scandal involving former U.S. Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nasser is how he was able to get away with his machinations for such a long time.

We may have gotten an indication yesterday with the arrest of William Strampel, the dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Strampel is charged with his own counts of misconduct. Two of the counts are for the lack of supervision of Nasser, but the other two are for obtaining nude photos of medical school students and storing them on his computer, and for repeated criminal sexual contact with people all the way down to the age of 11.

A lot of the details in the charging documents are lurid, but what you need to know is that Strampel provided a lot of cover for Nasser, including holding off a Title IX investigation.

Given the number of people in Nasser’s protective network, I have a feeling there will be a lot more charges filed in the next few months.

March 26, 2018 — History, repeating

It was only about two weeks ago when a video of a pair of Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) students singing along to a hip-hop song using a racial slur went viral. Some 2.5 million people saw the video, which included junior national field hockey team member Charlotte de Vries. She was suspended from the United States’ team and from school, and issued an apology.

Today, the attention is focused on the Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse team, which filmed itself singing along to a hip-hop song using racial slurs.

To its credit, Virginia Tech and its coaching staff has been out in front of the story, issuing an apology on behalf of the team and John Sung, the head coach, being transparent about how he is handling the situation.

“They’ve got to be educated to make better decisions,” said Sung. “They’ve got to know what’s socially acceptable, and I think they’re learning all these things. A lot of it is on me as the leader. People forget — I’m a minority.”

Indeed, that’s the shame of the situation, where the young women representing the Virginia Tech program chose to broadcast the video to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

It’s this kind of thing that does not do honor to the game.

March 25, 2018 — Heading towards a thunderous weekend

The New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) has had an outsized influence in Division III women’s lacrosse in the last 20 years. The conference has won nine championships since 1997, sending six of its 11 teams to the NCAA final.

This Saturday is going to see a top-of-the-table clash as 6-0 Middlebury visits 7-0 Amherst. Middlebury is led by Hollis Perticone, a senior from Darien, Conn. who is actually a heck of a field hockey player. Julie Crerend, a senior from New Canaan, Conn., paces Amherst with 25 goals.

As per usual, there will be some great minds in the coaching box. For Amherst, it’s 24-year veteran Christine Paradis, who is an alumna of the U.S. women’s national lacrosse team and who played in a World Cup. For Middlebury, Kate Livesay has done a fine job replacing Missy Foote as head coach, and she has found great success already.

Should be an interesting matchup.