Thursday, April 10, 2008

About My Shoulder...... (Part 1)

I love baseball.

I started playing when I was about 7 yrs old in Pony League, then moved onto Little League when I was 9-12, and then there was Babe Ruth League for 2 years before moving onto High School ball.

Passaic High Indians represent!!!!

So there was Freshman, then JV and finally Varsity. Also 3 years of American Legion summer ball thrown in there.

After graduating from high school, I was excited to go away to college, but had no plans of playing college ball. You see, at this point I didn't think I was realistically good enough to play at Rutgers since they were a reputable Division IA school. Not only that, they had a rigorous practice and workout regimen and I had already signed up for Marching Band (queue the laughter.......) so I didn't think I'd have time anyway when considering classes on top of that.

Fast forward 6 years later..........
I've already graduated college and working full time now.
For some reason, I just started really missing playing baseball.

I never truly had a passion for it before (even though I had always played) but now I was really eager to compete and hit and throw again. I was young, healthy, confident, and in great shape after college and was ready to test my skills once again on the diamond.
I missed the smell of the freshly cut grass, the clickety-clack of my cleats, catching, throwing, and the indescribable feeling of swinging a bat and connecting perfectly on a pitch and driving it deep into the outfield.......(and maybe out of the park!)

So after doing some research online, I found an amateur league in north Jersey, made some phone calls and joined a team.

Welcome to the Newark Cubs.

Not to toot my own horn, but considering this was my first time playing organized ball in 6 years, I think I did pretty well.
I went 16 for 49 for a .327 batting average and 13 RBIs..................not too shabby!!

So that was the first Spring of playing ball again and it went pretty well.
I then played Fall ball and the following Spring, and then the following Fall and Spring after that.

However, although I was doing alright at the plate, for some reason I had lost a significant amount of my throwing accuracy. Mind you, I had been a pitcher in high school and used to be able to throw strikes at will, but now, I was overthrowing and underthrowing left and right and couldn't figure out why. But I still had my velocity, which is good.

Anyway, I think I tried to compensate for my inaccuracy by throwing harder.

Overtime, my shoulder started to really bother me.
I started icing on a regular basis and stretching and continuing to work out, but it got worse.

It got to the point where I would awake in the middle of the night with my shoulder throbbing in pain. I took it upon myself to do my own rehab and started a strict regimen of icing, stretching, and laying off the heavy weights.

Most of the pain subsided over time (or I just got used to it) , but it never really totally went away.
At random times, I'd hear a snap or pop, which was usually followed by pain.
I also couldn't do a regular flat bench press without my shoulder feeling like it was about to fall apart at any moment. I tried to overcome this by doing other chest exercises like flies and incline/decline presses which were fine for some reason.

Fast forward 2 years to the present and - out of curiosity more than anything - I decided to
FINALLY go to the doctor to get it checked out...........................(right now everyone reading this is like "WTF is wrong with you for waiting so long??!!")

So the other day I went to the Orthopedic Specialist and got the standard run-through of moving my arm around in different ways and being asked "Does this hurt?" "How about this?" "This?" "How about now?" "Any pain?" "..and now?"

After a few minutes of that, I got some Xrays which the Doc checked out and didn't see anything unusual on. Thats good news.

The preliminary diagnosis: a SLAP tear

So the next step?

An arthrogram.

Its basically an MRI along with dye thats injected directly into my shoulder.
The dye seeps into any gaps or spaces in the joint, making it easier to see where there perhaps should be a tendon or muscle that has torn away.

So I'm waiting to hear back about my insurance to schedule the appointment.

And then, the story shall continue....................

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