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Real life can get in the way of life

Sometimes real life gets in the way of real life. For me, real life is keeping up with things in the world of sports. I enjoy sports and all of the things that it entails, especially giving me something to look forward to.

This summer has been more like real real life than the sports real life that I prefer. "When it rains it pours" has never rang more true than what has been going on during the last couple of months. Little time for keeping up with sports has been available since the Thomson High baseball season ended.

Our daughter Ashley got married on June 6. That wedding date was of course chosen by design. As fate would have it though, I had to leave a Thomson High baseball state playoff game early in order to attend one of her parties in Greensboro. At least I heard Stewart and Ralph on the radio as I drove up the interstate, so I knew what happened. I didn't mind missing a couple of innings, but if that party had been further away it would have been some dilemma.

Surrounding the big day, I lost three uncles to death in three weeks time. The first one passed away on May 24, the second on May 31 and the third on June 11. I was close to them and served as a pallbearer for all three. Boy, was that tough. Carrying three wonderful men to their graves will make you quit wondering if the Georgia Bulldogs might improve their defense this year.

On the eve of Ashley's wedding, our son - her brother - took ill. Wesley had been having some health issues for a few months, but with so much going on, due diligence was put off until at least June 8. He made it until June 5, hitting the doctor's office just hours prior to the wedding rehearsal. Talk about stress. So what if Stafford and Moreno turned pro?

Wesley finally made it to the hospital on June 17 for some testing and his problem was diagnosed. It was nothing terribly serious and good medicine would fix him right up. The Bulldogs may win a few games this fall after all.

So that's the end of the story, right? Huh, I wish!

My wife, Pam, was diagnosed with a torn meniscus in her right knee late last fall. She settled for a shot in it so she could tough out football season and a bowl game. Her decision was like Wesley's, it'll hold until after the wedding.

Well it held, but barely. Her knee was repaired by arthroscopic surgery on June 30. "Pro football players do this on Monday and play on Sunday," I said.

She was active and recovering beautifully until last Friday morning. She awoke to a sharp, stabbing pain in the side of her knee but was determined to hold on until her follow-up checkup on Monday. The pain became so severe on Saturday that I finally told her, "There's no game today so I'm taking you to the emergency room."

The doctor initially suspected an infection and just like they do to old, tough linebackers he drained two huge syringes of fluid from her knee. Luckily, that did not satisfy him. He decided to use the scope to "wash out" her knee. Upon further inspection the doctor discovered that Pam had a new injury, another torn meniscus!

I always thought she was a good prospect for a case study. Guys play in the NFL for years without tearing a meniscus and here my wife tears two of them, the second just days after having the first one repaired. Is that more than a mere coincidence or just plain, rotten luck?

As I sat around waiting on Pam the last couple of weeks, I have managed to watch the Atlanta Braves. I used to watch them a lot and even go to a game or two each season but quit a few years back. I guess the good in her knee problem was making me watch the Braves since I was tied down anyway.

When one of Pam's best friends, who could care less about sports, came to visit her in the hospital we were discussing our last several weeks of real real life. She commented that at least we were lucky that school was out when all of this stuff was happening, thusly saving our leave days.

I had to tell her just how lucky we really are. We could have been in the middle of sports real life: football season. What an interruption that would have been.

Web posted on Thursday, July 16, 2009

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