Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gross clinic

Dodgers closer Eric Gagne has just been nominated by the Mayo Clinic for "arm surgery you'd least want to read about during your breakfast bran muffin."
Well, not really. But he should be.
Last week, Gagne's arm was sliced open yet again, this time to remove a nerve. That's right, a nerve. Those narrow strands of tissue that allow you to feel things.
Dr. Frank Jobe, the Dodgers team physician who pioneered "Tommy John" ligament transplant surgery in the 1970s, reportedly said Gagne kept feeling a "jingle" every time he threw a ball. I assume Jobe meant a jingle of pain.
I took enough health classes in school to know that pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. In Gagne's case, his elbow is messed up beyond belief, and will get more messed up the longer he elects to pitch.
Gagne's elbow is so messed up, apparently the option of removing the cause of the pain is no longer realistic. The only other option is to kill the messenger and clip that annoying little nerve out of there.
Media reports say Gagne will no longer have feeling along part of his forearm. The over-under on when his elbow snaps clean in two should be about three years, I'd think.
This is probably the most disgusting arm surgery a ballplayer has undergone since former Astros reliever John Hudek had a rib removed in 1995 because it was cutting off blood flow to his arm. He later was seen wearing the rib on a chain around his neck.
Maybe Gagne can make a bracelet out of his severed nerve.

(By the way, the title of the post is a play on words from the title of this painting by Thomas Eakins. I dare you to study it while eating breakfast.)

No comments: