The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes run amok, even if the mice are hopelessly addicted to social anxiety disorder drugs. Doubtless my faithful readers (both of you—Hi, Mom!) are anxiously awaiting my brilliant post mortem on the so-called Syracuse game. Well, you’re not going to get much of one due to extenuating circumstances. So, tough!
I spent the weekend in the hospital, all wired up and monitored. I had some chest pains, which sometimes means that an old geezer like this Turkey is about to gobble his last gobble, so I went to the ER. Under the “Better Safe Than Legally Liable” principle, the ER doc, a pink-cheeked, mid-20s-looking butterball who will be a future coronary case himself, admitted me for 23-hour observation. That was at around 4 PM on Friday.
Alas, what was this Turkey to do? Even if I got out on time, the discharge procedures and the ride home would get me there past the end of the game. In this area, ABC was playing the Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech game, so I couldn’t get it on the hospital room TV. That would have been acceptable, even if I wasn’t in the brand new wing with the big LCD flat-screens in each room. I wound up ordering DirecTV to record the game on my DVR by using that satellite company’s nifty remote recording set-up via their web site from my Blackberry. Modern technology is great, but I couldn’t stand not to be able to get the game in real time.
I settled for watching the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game while I accessed ESPN.com from my notebook, which Artificially Sweetened had brought for me. Fortunately, the hospital provides Wi-Fi for its coronary patients. In this case, it would have to provide me with the appropriate adrenaline jolts. The game tracker thing worked in a pinch. I was able to watch drives via a chart and textual play-by-play in almost real time. The nurses thought I was completely nuts, with the TV bouncing between channels, the computer splayed out, and the Blackberry repeatedly chirping out score alerts.
Very quickly, the game was out of hand (or in hand, depending on from whose perspective you’re looking at it). My only EKG bender came on the second play of the game when Daryll Clark fumbled the ball away. That was quickly followed by our defense forcing a fumble on the next play, which made me laugh in comic relief. The game was never in doubt from that point on.
My testing was completed on Sunday, after a couple of false starts. The treadmill stress test was originally scheduled for 9 AM, but it had to be rescheduled to 11:15 AM because someone (and I now know who it was) was supposed to have ordered the radioisotope dose the previous day but didn’t. Then, my cardiologist had an emergency at another hospital, so my test was moved to 12:30.
In the meanwhile, I got a chest shave. Now, I’ve had treadmill stress tests before, and in those instances only the areas where the contact pads were to be installed got shaved. This time, I was completely shorn.
When I originally met with the cardiologist in my room, he was rather pessimistic about my chances, wanting to transfer me to the big hospital because he believed that I would do just OK on the treadmill and would still need to get the cardiac catheter to determine how major the blockage was. He wanted to do it at the big hospital in case he had to “open me up” right then and there. He even mentioned that Tim Russert had a good treadmill and still keeled over unexpectedly. These bright, cheery, reassuring words led to my suffering what I presume to have been a panic attack while the Ohio State vs. USC game wrapped up on my non-LCD, non-flat-screen room TV. After some nitroglycerin and a shot of morphine, I was fine. I mean really fine. I still had chest pains, but I didn’t care. Yay, morphine!
So, anyhow, with that glum forecast, I was looking forward to proving to this pessimist that I could handle the treadmill. I told the doc that I had to be home by 8 PM to see the Steelers game. I hopped on the treadmill and did my thing. The nuclear medicine tech knew me from the gym where we both work out. She told the doc and his other tech that I would probably do at least 10 minutes, because she had seen how hard I work out. Both the cardiologist and the technician were indeed surprised that I was able to do 11 minutes of the Bruce Protocol. My pulse simmered down rapidly from maximum, too, and my measured ejection fraction was 69%, for those Turkey fans with medical (or hypochondriacal) orientation. The imaging studies at rest and after exercise revealed no significant blockage or other abnormalities. The cardiologist told me I was going home and could follow up with him if I wanted.
Then, it was a matter of time before my floor nursie got my discharge signed off and sent me home, well in time for the Steelers.
Surprisingly—or maybe not—I had no desire to rehash the Penn State game. It is still there on the DVR, but I might never watch it. I know, I know! I am an irresponsible Nittany Lion blogger, not bothering to watch every nuance of Daryll Clark and Pat Devlin. But, hell, a scrimmage like that one proves absolutely nothing about anybody. They might as well have been playing Discovery Middle School. Besides, I don’t take myself that seriously. There are plenty of pedestrian reports out there on the Internet with more facts than I could dig up. Read them and then come back here to hang out with someone who has more opinions than facts. I’m easier to argue with!
I wish people would quit making comparisons to 1994 and 2005 teams, already. It’s just too early in the season for that kind of crap. What games have PSU played? A scrimmage with an FCS team; another scrimmage with an Oregon State team that was a shadow of its former self; and a walkover with a hapless, has-been Syracuse. So please shut the hell up with those comparisons. We have another cakewalk this weekend, and then the going gets tough. We’ll have nicely padded stats going into the Illinois game, but that’s when the tests of team character and efficacy begin. Until then, I don’t want to hear about the “greatness” of this team.
Sadly, with my weekend hospital stint, our guest reporter for the Syracuse game backed out on us. Hillary was busy with other things and she didn’t want to do it without me. However, Dr. Bill Cosby is still on board for the Temple game wrap-up next week.
This Turkey will return later in the week for a look at the Temple Owls.