At 55 I can’t say I’m getting old, but there are times when I feel like I’m falling apart.
Take the past three weeks, for example.
On Feb. 21, I underwent Mohs micrographic surgery for Basal Cell Carcinoma on my right temple, a procedure that had me miss two days of work and kept me indoors for the weekend.
A week ago today, I had a cataract removed from my right eye, a procedure that again had me miss two days of work and has me putting in 17 or 18 eye drops a day.
Those followed up a more serious operation in early October to reattach a torn retina in my right eye that had me out of commission for more than a month.
All three were outpatient procedures and were done with local anesthesia. I can’t tell you how long each operation lasted, just how much of my relaxation exercise – listing World Series outcomes – I was able to get through.
For the retina surgery, I made it through the whole thing, 1903 to 2011, recalling that there were no World Series in 1904 or 1994, but for some reason kept coming up a blank for 1911. I guessed Philadelphia A’s over the New York Giants, because they were the two best teams in baseball at the time, which turned out correct.
The only problem with counting down – or up – the World Series is that I often use the process to help me fall asleep instead of counting sheep.
What’s more relaxing that remembering that the Giants topped the Yankees in 1921 and 1922, only to have the Bronx Bombers turn the tables in 1923?
I must have fallen asleep during the procedure because I remember my doctor shouting, “What was that!”
It was probably 1944, the only year the St. Louis Browns made the Series, when, alas, they fell to the crosstown rival Cardinals in six games.
The Mohs surgery lasted somewhere into the 1930s as the last two series I recalled were the Yankees over the Giants, which happened in 1936 and 1937.
The cataract procedure was the shortest of them all, lasting only until 1918, a memorable series that was moved up a month because of World War I and was the last won by the Boston Red Sox until 2004.
Stopping there made it unnecessary to recall 1919, the series thrown by the Chicago White Sox to the Cincinnati Reds. If he’d stopped there I probably would’ve asked my doctor to take a little longer so I could get to 1920 (Indians over the Dodgers with Bill Wambsganss turning an unassisted triple play for the victors, but you knew that).
I’m glad I didn’t miss much work with the last two procedures, though they did interfere with our production of the weekly college notebook columns, which will resume later this week.
My thanks to the doctors and medical teams at Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo and Vacaville for putting me back together and getting me back in the game.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.