If Tommy John Can Have A Surgery, So Can I.Posted: February 25, 2011
Even before my days as a bench-warmer/right fielder in Little League, the start of baseball Spring Training was happy news for me. It announces the coming of warm weather and the start of the game that I love.
The sad news to start Spring Training this year is that pitcher Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals has severely injured his elbow. He will be out of commission for eighteen months. For you Romans out there, that is XVIII months. Wainwright will have what baseball fans know as Tommy John Surgery, a surgical reconstruction of a ligament in the elbow using a tendon from elsewhere in the body.
Tommy John was a great pitcher who was the first professional athlete to have this particular surgery. Despite the expectation that he would not recover sufficiently to pitch again, John returned to a very long and successful career that ended in 1989 (MCMLXXXIX). Today more people probably know Tommy John’s name because of the surgery than for his achievements in baseball, and that is sad.
I am approaching the age where I am beginning to think about my contributions to life on earth. What have they been? What can they still be? How will people remember my name twenty years after I stop working? I think my answer lies in the fate of poor Tommy John. I need to have a surgery named after me.
Surgical immortality is not easy to achieve. Tommy John made it because he suffered an injury that was about to end his pitching career. I’m not sure that is going to be a path that suits me. I just can’t justify going out and finding a way of injuring myself after a lifetime of instinctively avoiding injuries.
I have had two surgeries in my life, one when I was too young to really consider associating my name with it. The other was a kidney stone related procedure that was too unpleasant for me to want to be connected to.
The Search Is On
Despite those setbacks, I remain committed to the idea of an Omawarisan surgery or procedure being in practice in the medical community.
I will be scouring medical and veterinary journals for new surgical procedures. When I find one I like, I will petition the appropriate governing bodies to have that procedure labeled Omawarisan Surgery. Once that is done, I will look to all my friends to put that term into common practice.
Looking To The Future
Decades from now, a woman will take her cat to the vet. She’ll bring the poor cat home, it will have that cone thing around its head and look completely embarrassed by it. The woman’s neighbor will ask if the cat is ok and the pet owner will say, “yeah, it was just a routine Omawarisan”.
Hey, is there a name for that cone thing? Maybe that’s the trick.
No, wait, there was a pitcher named Cone. I’m starting not to like baseball.