I consider the above photo evidence of two things: 1) That I did a lot of squats and lifting to achieve those thighs and 2) That I served way far back behind the end line, no matter what gym we were playing in. I am serious. My coach, early in pre-season my freshman year, decided that I should serve from as far back as possible. I had a very strong right arm and was a good server at the line. Putting me that far back changed the trajectory of my serve and – in my coach’s eyes – would instill fear and loathing in my opponents.
I remember that early in pre-season that first year, I had a day where I could barely turn a door knob or hold my toothbrush. These little “flare ups” as I liked to call them, appeared throughout my four years at Syracuse. I had never had such problems in the 6 years I had played before college.
Eight days before I visited Rome in 2008, I finally went for an MRI. That’s right, I put off a doctor’s visit after a paltry attempt at rehab in early 2000, until 2008. By then, I could not sleep on my right side, hook my bra or reach for a seat belt comfortably. Good times.
The MRI showed a SLAP tear (torn labrum) and some rotator cuff tears and some edema and other gook. Heading into my vacation I was depressed at the notion of a surgery, and planned to put it off for a while. But Marco changed all that. After the escape, and pulling myself up and down walls, I feel sure I injured myself much worse. The day after the attack, I could not lift my arm hardly at all and I had persistent pain in it every day after until I scheduled surgery for March 2009. The doctor who performed the surgery said he was surprised to find my shoulder out of its socket and popping in and out. He had to bring in an extra set of hands to keep it in place while he performed the operation.
Well, eight months of rehab and my pain never went away. Almost two years later, and I live with a regular amount of pain and weakness in my arm. So, I am heading South this week to have a second surgery performed by a man whom I have complete faith and trust in to do right by me. I flew to see this doctor over the summer and told him he had to fix me. An MRI showed another SLAP tear and rotator cuff tear, and he has vowed to end my pain. I am very, very excited. And a little nervous.
As I have said before, your body will do amazing things for you to facilitate escape during an assault such as mine. But the aftermath is a little brutal. I see this second surgery as an attempt to honor my body and what it did for me by doing my best to repair it. Wish me luck.