Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My football career...down the drain.

So my recently diagnosed Raynaud's has thrown me for a loop this Spring. As the warmish spring afternoons sneak into chilly sunless evenings, I find that the cold sneaks up on me. Before I know it, I'm left with a handful of numb, stark white fingers that are anything but nimble. And they hurt. Thus, in our friendly neighborhood touch football games, I've, ahem, lost my touch. 


Not that I have a very good arm anyway. It's just that I enjoy getting out there and tossing the ball around with the neighbor kids. But when your fingers are numb, you can't throw. Nor can you catch. So my illustrious football career has come to a screeching halt - at least after sunset. But as these chilly spring nights give way to warm summer evenings - watch out. The Gormanator will be back. 


But this led me to believe that it would be very difficult for a professional athlete to manage a successful career with Raynaud's. Certainly not a football quarterback, or a pitcher in baseball. Nor would a golfer have much luck with no feeling in his or her fingertips. But in doing a little research, I found that at least one pro baseball player pressed on, despite his Raynaud's. 


According to Wikipedia, two time Cy Young Award winning pitcher Tom Glavine was diagnosed with Raynaud's Syndrome in 1990, right in the middle of a successful career as the second-winningest pitcher in the National League. With 164 victories during the 1990s, it doesn't seem like his Raynaud's was holding him back. 


Later in his career, when he was with the Mets, Glavine got a scare in August 2006. His pitching shoulder was tested for a blood clot because he was suffering from coldness in his left ring finger. This was originally thought to be a symptom of Raynaud's syndromeAccording to the pitcher, "Doctors... picked something up when they did the ultrasound." The results of that new test showed the problem could be treated with medicine, and Glavine resumed pitching on September 1, against the Houston Astros. He went on to pitch for a couple more years. 


Well, I guess he showed me. If you come across any other pro athletes living with Raynaud's, let me know. We'll add them to the list of inspiring people, living well, despite their illnesses! 

3 comments:

Debs said...

I have the symptoms of Raynaud's as well. It is annoying. Some very good suggestions from the other comments. Just in case I get caught without my "favorite" mittens, I have a pair of inexpensive stretchy gloves bought at the local big box store. Actually, I have them in my car, my husband's car, just about every coat pocket or sweatshirt I wear outside.
On your recommendation, I wanted to mention I've been keeping track of my symptoms. Like you found in the beginning, it wasn't easy to do it everyday or figure out all the variables. I have been using an app on my iPhone/iPad that has made it easy for me. It happens to be on sale this week. I didn't think it appropriate to mention the name here. But, it does have a free version & I've upgraded to the next version as it tracks the weather as well. One less thing for me to have to remember to write down. I am in no way connected to this company. I just have a husband that loves reading about technology & it's easy to learn when your "teacher" is sitting next to you at night!
As for Facebook, that new timeline is difficult. Great for you Sara! You continue to be an inspiration.

Sara Gorman said...

Debs - Thanks for sharing! I, too, have gloves stashed in all places---but I was just too quick to put them away for the warmer months. Chalk it up to being a Raynaud's beginner!

And I'm so glad you've found it easy to start a tracking system! I think those apps are great - they have everything at your fingertips. I hope tracking your symptoms proves as beneficial for you as it did for me. Even if it you only learn a thing or two, at least you'll have become a bit of a techy along the way! Thanks for the nice comments and take care!

Anonymous said...

I don't have Lupus (as far I know), but I do have Raynaud's. The Raynaud's has pretty much gone away on its own now except on some occasions in the winter when it can be a problem. In college, I was a piano major, and it was much worse then. My fingers felt arthritic, and I would have to keep going to the laundry room to soak my arms in water when I was trying to practice. This seemed to work for me, and I made it through school even with occasional white or purple hands. It can be done, so hang in there!