How do I know what went on? I was there.
Yes, I said I was flying home to California on Monday after nearly a week at spring training, but I changed my itinerary at the last minute and traveled, instead, to Vail, CO, where A-Rod was just being prepped for surgery.
“Is it all right if I observe?” I asked breathlessly as they were wheeling the Yankees third baseman into the O.R. Apparently, I arrived just in time.
“Are you a family member?” said Dr. Phillipon, eying me warily.
“Yes,” I said. “I’m Yankee She-Fan.” I fished my iPhone out of my bag and showed the doctor my blog.
“Ah,” he said, nodding. “As long as you’re not squeamish, you’re welcome to watch.”
So I watched.
The surgery went well, from what I could tell. I mean, I saw the torn labrum in the beginning and then stood there in amazement as Dr. Phillipon sewed it together with a ball of this
and covered the incision with a roll of this.
“Mr. Rodriguez will be playing baseball for the Yankees in May,” said the doctor. “No doubt.”
I waited with A-Rod in the recovery room, where he was given a healthy dose of this to ease the pain.
Later, in his private room, he was able to sit up in bed and watch a little TV.
By noon, he felt well enough to eat the lunch I’d brought. It was actually something I’d picked up on my American Airlines flight and saved for him. He seemed very grateful, although he was still a bit groggy.
By mid-afternoon, Dr. Phillipon said A-Rod was ready to begin his rehab.
“Already?” I said protectively. “It’s only been a few hours since you operated.”
“I know what I’m doing, Ms. She-Fan. You want him back on the Yankees or not?”
“Of course,” I said. “I didn’t mean to -“
Before I could finish my sentence, A-Rod was working out on the stationery bike that had been delivered to his room.
“Are you sure you’re up to this sort of strenuous activity?” I asked the patient.
“Don’t nag me,” he snapped. “I’m not into women who nag.”
I felt stung. I was only trying to be helpful, nurturing, even mothering. But he had just pissed me off. “And what sort of women are you into?” I snapped back.
Just then, she walked in.
“Would you excuse us?” she said. “I have to change his dressing.”
“No problem,” I said and flew home to California after all.