Doubtful for Sunday

December 4th, 2005

There won’t be any pictures for game 12. Not because it was a week to forget but because I was a last minute addition to the injury report. Instead of Heinz Field, I got to add a new experience to the journal: watching a Steelers game from a hospital bed.

Sometime during my trip to Indianapolis, I aggravated a shoulder injury that became acute on Friday. Without the gory and painful details, I spent three days on bed rest. I was bummed to be in the hospital, but happy to at least be coherent and near a television for the biggest division game of the season.

There are lots of people I don’t get to meet when I’m out at Heinz Field on a Sunday because they have to work during game time. And On Sunday there were plenty of people at UPMC-Presby who were hard at work, thankfully taking care of me. During my stay I chatted with the nurses and staff about the Steelers-Bengals match-ups. On Saturday I joked with nurses that they had to wear their black and gold on Sunday. Unfortunately they don’t make scrubs or patient gowns in black and gold. But one of the Radiology techs named Kitty told me, “I’ll still be black and gold at heart,” and I did see some Steeler earrings and other little signs of pride from the support staff.

Though the hospital ward was quiet all weekend, during game time I heard scattered cheers and gasps down the hall. I watched the game from my dreary hospital bed, listening to the audio through a bedside speaker. I didn’t have my camera or the strength to wave a terrible towel, but I donned my Steelers hat. With something like the tone you would use in a library, I quietly yelled at the television. It is possible that all the cardiac monitors were pinging loud enough that no one heard me, but I doubt it. On several occasions I forgot where I was and cheered loudly for the defense. Sadly I also cursed at the turnovers more than once. But on that particular Sunday, The Steelers game was all I had to look forward to. Even though they lost, and severely hampered their playoff chances, I still enjoyed the game.

So the big question is what’s next for Sixteen Sundays? I am doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. I may just use that time to enjoy the game and rest my shoulder. And it looks like I have to have surgery very soon after that which will take me out for the rest of the season. But I may still have a few ideas and volunteers to help me finish the season and the project. So we’ll se what happens. Stay tuned.


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