The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 17

THE LAST WORD

Back surgery recovery is Tiger's greatest achievement

T

his time last year, I was eight
months removed from my last
round of golf, no longer able to
manage the pain of an arthritic knee
through a golf swing or even navigating
a course with a cart. Unsuccessful rounds
of cortisone shots and gel shots left only
total knee replacement as an option, but
I was assured by numerous acquaintances
who'd had the procedure that I would only
regret that I'd waited so long to have it
done, and I would be pain free in a very
short time. My other knee was nearly as
bad, but I was assured that it would just be
a matter of another replacement and a few
more months before both would be pain
free and I'd be haunting the links again.
I had the first knee joint replaced and
sure enough, was on the road to recovery and even walking unaided for short
distances within a couple of weeks. Then
a litany of unbelievable events began occurring one after another. A mysterious
subdural hematoma appeared in my right
(non-surgical side) calf, sending me to
the hospital lest it might be generating a
clot. Around that time, I began experiencing sudden spasms along my abdominal
wall which often doubled me over in pain,
joining restless leg syndrome in a miserable doubleheader of torture. Visits to several different specialists and tests ranging
from x-rays to MRIs, ultrasounds to CT
scans provided no answers to the spasms.
Eventually the exams included a neurological exam of the spine and, sure enough,
my spine looked like an inner city street
full of potholes, with compressed nerves
and ominous gaps. Surgery was the only
way I would ever have a chance to escape
the wheelchair which I now inhabited, I
was told. So in I went.
I'd been warned that the rehab from
spinal surgery was difficult, to say the least,
and it's lived up, or down, to that. On the
other hand, we may have stumbled onto
the answer for the abdominal spasms, the
rehab may enable me to undergo the second knee replacement, and perhaps there
is some light at the end of the tunnel
which isn't an oncoming train. So, other
than burdening the few masochistic readers who have stuck it out this far, what
www.PellucidCorp.com

does any of this have to do with the golf
industry?
I admit to being an unrepentant Tiger
Woods fan, at least in terms of his efforts
to regain his impact on tournament leaderboards, not just TV network and PGA
Tour balance sheets. But this week, with
Woods moving into the weekend at the
PGA Championship on the heels of a
4-under 66, my interest in his success is
rooted not so much in his scorecard as
in the fact that he is walking the course
and swinging the club with a velocity that
few of the 20-somethings in the field can
match.
As noted, the one thing Tiger and I have

Tiger Woods has had
four, in addition to his
own knee issues, and
he is strolling the soggy
grounds of Bellerive CC,
whipping drivers and long
irons through the ball at
speeds surpassing 120
mph. I am hoping to finish
this column and hit send
before something seizes
up or I doze off sitting up
due to my medications.
in common is spinal fusion. And yet that
is only one spinal surgery, so far at least.
Tiger Woods has had four, in addition to
his own knee issues, and he is strolling the
soggy grounds of Bellerive CC, whipping
drivers and long irons through the ball at
speeds surpassing 120 mph. I am hoping
to finish this column and hit send before
something seizes up or I doze off sitting
up due to my medications.
Now, granted that Tiger has had significantly fewer birthdays than I have, and
as the folks at Anheuser Busch and RJ
Reynolds will attest, has been much more

judicious in what goes into his body than
I have. He also has substantially more resources to assist in his rehabilitation and
conditioning, not to mention the motivation of maintaining his legend and enriching his already vast bank accounts. But still
- four back surgeries and holding his own
with the best golfers in the world despite
spotting them 20 years at the game's pinnacle? To me, as I contemplate my own efforts merely to get myself down my steps
and into a waiting car seven weeks postsurgery, all I can do as I watch Tiger battle
the youngsters is marvel. I would love to
think that I will one day in the foreseeable
future be dusting off my own clubs for a
few holes, but to tell the truth, I'd settle for
miniature golf with my grandson at this
point. Whether one is a Tiger Woods fan
or not, whether his off course peccadillos
have turned you off or not, if you've ever
had back surgery, you have to applaud his
recovery from something he and I can
promise you don't want to experience, no
matter how necessary.
My other role model is a friend of
more than 40 years who is the poster
child for joint replacements. He has had
multiple knee, hip and shoulder surgeries,
and a little more than a year ago hit the
big casino with ... spinal surgery. By now
he has rehab down to a fine art, but even
he admitted that recovery from back surgery is no picnic. On the other hand, he
recently returned from a buddy golf trip
(not this buddy, sadly) to Ireland including
seven rounds of golf in eight days, mostly
walking as a number of the courses didn't
offer carts, or buggies as they call them.
Nevertheless, he not only survived the
golf, walking and nightly patronage of the
local beverage dispensaries, he made an
ace at Doonbeg! Some people really know
how to rub it in. On the other hand, while
I'll never be as diligent in the rehab department as my friend Joe, he has at least
shown me that it can be done on a budget
and with less professional oversight than
Tiger. But that doesn't make Tiger's accomplishments any less, so whether I'd
want him to be my son's role model or
not, I'm rooting for him all the way.
-Jim Dunlap

The Pellucid PersPecTive

17


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018

TOC
Real estate golf supply contraction: Someone’s gotta’ pay
Municipal golf: What’s in a number?
We can do better at welcoming new golfers
Golf - easy to be hard?
July golf weather impact: Solidly sideways
MN operators doing well against tough odds
Back surgery recovery is Tiger’s greatest achievement
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Real estate golf supply contraction: Someone’s gotta’ pay
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Municipal golf: What’s in a number?
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - We can do better at welcoming new golfers
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Golf - easy to be hard?
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - July golf weather impact: Solidly sideways
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - MN operators doing well against tough odds
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - 16
The Pellucid Perspective - August 2018 - Back surgery recovery is Tiger’s greatest achievement
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