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The Capitals Down the Avalanche Making My Bad 48hrs. Go Away

January 10, 2008

Good day to you all from the Great Hockey Void! A lot has happened since my last entry, so I’ll do my best to get it all covered here today. I’m slowed down a bit on the keyboard at the moment. I had an accident in the wee hours of the morning yesterday; leaving me with one a shredded and broken digit on my left hand. I’ll get to that later though. The biggest news, in my mind, is the Capitals 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche last night at the Verizon Center. The game was so great to watch. The first two periods went back and forth, but yielded no score. Both Kolzig and Theadore were on their goalie games for the first two periods. Last night was great for me, because it’s the first time I’ve been able to get such a close-up look at Theadore in action. Either he had a problem with his pants, or I never noticed that he pulls his pants up all the time before. He made some good saves and as a goalie-phile, I was glad to be in the crowd to see the goalies go.

It’s the third period that really made the game. It was fantastic to see some of the Capitals sacrificing themselves by blocking shots with their bodies. I haven’t seen that very often and it happened several times by a few differnent Caps. It was obvious that Svatos (F Avs) was itching to get one behind Olie. However, it was the Capitals who got one in first. Svatos finally got one in the net, which didn’t make Olie very happy, but the Caps maintained and took the win and the two points. Even with multiple injuries on both teams, the game was exciting and the third period got all the Caps fans out ot their seats several times.

I just can’t mention my section enough. I love my section!! It was so funny to hear what was going on behind me while the game was unfolding. There were some interesting people behind me. Every time Milan Jurcina (#23) skated by, a couple of fellows would yell out “Milan” in a Russian-like accent and for some reason that just make me chuckle. They were all very vocal. It was obvious they were watching the game intently and were all having a great time. In general, there was a really good turn-out for a Wednesday and it was good to see so few emlty seats. For those who want to be in the best section at the Verizon Center when they come out to see the Caps play some great hockey (hint, hint); Section 118 ROCKS!

I have some health issues that have completely changed my life. Just to re-cap, since I have yet to put the archives from my previous blog up on this blog, my health problems include Narcolepsy, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and High Blood Pressure. I have spent enormous amounts of money (everything I have – to be exact) on medical bills in an effort to get my health issues diagnosed properly. I still have a ways to go. Most of my docs think something else is going wrong in my body, but so far, we haven’t found the problem. Anyway, the reason I bring this all up, is because it will help explain why I almost just plain gave-up during the 1st period intermssion at last night’s Caps game. Almost.

First, the two nights before the Caps-Avs game, I could not sleep. I did all the right things as far as not taking my “upper” after 6 pm and not drinking caffiene after 7 both nights. The second night, I even took a sleeping pill. I prefer not to take an “upper” to stay awake and a “downer” to go to sleep, but after the first night and the fact that nothing short of death was going to keep me from seeing the Avalanche play the Caps in DC, I relented. I’ll put it to you this way – it’s been something like 5 years since the Capitals played the Avalanche at the Verizon Center (formerly MCI Center) and if I missed that game, I might never have the chance to see the Avs play the Caps at home again. I just wasn’t willing to risk it, so my entire focus for the week was to make it to that game. I did, but barely.

There is a pain-control medication that has been recently approved by the FDA to treat Fibromyalgia symptoms (which totally suck if anyone were to ask me) called Lyrica. Unfortunatley, I’m one of those few who cannot take Lyrica due to the weight-gain side-effect. I still have yet to find a pain-control that seems to help at all, so I still get the full-blown affect of having Fibromyalgia and Lyme at the same time. I liken to being “Brasheared” on a daily basis. So three nights ago, my symptoms flared-up to a degree have not felt for a long while and I was unable to move, let alone sleep that night. Due to the Narcolepsy, I am not prescribed opoid pain killers and over-the-counter analgesics do nothing to help the pain, so I just suffered through it and watched some recorded NHL hockey games and late might TV. The second night, the night before the Caps-Avs game, I went to bed and strapped-on my sexy breathing-snout (CPAP machine). I realized that I wasn’t going to fall asleep so I took a sleeping pill and went back to the couch to watch ockey until I was sleepy enough to go back to bed. That never happened. As a matter of fact, I was more awake than I was during the day. I tried some things to get sleepy, but to no avail.

At some point after midnight, I got up to go to the bathroom and as I was shuffling back to the couch, my left knee locked-up and the muscles in my ankles went limp (common symptom of Narcolepsy called cataplexy). Falling down was the only option, thanks to gravity, so down I went. I’ve learned how to fall, but my left knee was locked-up so I fell in a very odd way. I reached for a TV tray table to attempt a softer fall, but instead, I sliced my left index finger on the sharp metal corner and then landed on the same hand with the same finger in a bad position, hence the finger snapped. It was a clean break and I knew it was broken. There was no question about that. Since I’m no stranger to personal injury, I did all the right things to clean my torn and broken finger and then waited until the Patient First opened. The ER is not my favorite place to go and it is more expensive to go to the ER as well.

I wasn’t worried about the gigantic slice in my finger, but the Patient First doc wouldn’t let me go without 14 stitches. I’d already set my finger, so off I went home to prepare for my trip to DC.  By “prepare”, I mean try to get a nap (didn’t work), take all my meds as scheduled (done), brew a big-old pot of coffee (two actually), ice and wrap both of my feet (done), ice and wrap both of my knees (done), find a heat wrap for wrist and whatever else (done – except it was a cheapy brand so it wouldn’t stay where it was meant to stay), then finally, pack the evening meds and hit the road. That stuff took me most of the day, believe it or not. I made it to the Metro station without incident and boarded the Green Line to Gallary Place.

It was the ride on the Metro that started a severe chain reaction that almost took me down. I usually my Dalai Lama book on the Metro and between periods. I was reading as usual and then I looked-up for a brief moment. That was a BIG mistake, because no sooner did look back down did I immediately start to feel the symptoms of motion sickness. From that point, all I wanted to do was curl-up on the floor and puke. Just as the train pulled into my stop, I was seeing double and could barely walk straight. I kept thinking that if I could get something to drink and get to my seat, the motion sickness would stop. I got to a bathroom and puked a couple of times, which was actually quite a relief. I got to my seat and the motion sickness problems went away.

However, as the 1st period progressed, I started to realize that I couldn’t feel my fingers or feet. “Not good,” I thought to myself, so I decided I would go up to the first-aid station on the main concourse during the intermission and see if I could score some concetraded sugar tabs. I don’t have diabetes, but once before I had the same thing happen and the best way to treat it is to act like it’s a diabetic problem. Well, by the time I got there, the poor woman who got tagged with a hockey puck in the crowd was the main focus of everyone in that room. I can’t blame the paramedics and staff. She was bleeding and seemed as though she’d gotten her bell rung pretty good. However, at that point, if I didn’t do something really, really fast the paramedics would have had double-duty dealing with me lying on the floor in what is almost like a diabetic coma.

Very lucky for me, I happen to know exactly where I could find a lot of sugar and I knew I wouldn’t make it upstairs to the other first-aid station. As it happens, the Dunkin Donuts and I are best buddies since coffee and I are also best buddies. They have tons of sugar packets and I downed quite a few. I retreated to the bathroom and sweat, threw-up and after a few minutes of saying many, many bad words under my breath the sugar took hold and I was up and back in my seat. Of course, after all of that and considering where my seat is located, I probably could have just looked to my right and asked one of the DCFD dudes to help me out. I am aware that there is always an ambulance at the games within 150 feet of me, but after my meds and the sugar kicked-in, things improved markedly. The third period helped lift my mood, so it all turned fairly well in the end.

My only other obstacle was getting home. Basically the drive home went well, except for the TWO times I was pulled over for having a tag light out. I guess the PG and Harford County Police were looking for something to do on a Wednesday night. Okay, I get it – I have to fix the tag light. Geez! I slept last night and I don’t feel sick anymore, so all things considered, I’m still glad I made it to the game and the Caps win made it all worthwhile. GO CAPS!

The reason for this long entry and my account of my personal events in an effort to see the game last night is very simple. I have heard too many times over the first half of the season about how bad the Caps are and this, that and the other thing. Yet, a majority of the complaints come from Caps fans. If you’re really a Caps fan, you’ll have no problem buying a ticket and showing up to the games. I usually keep to myself about most other fans, but this entry is different. I’ve spent many, many years as a Caps fan and I cannot count how many times I’ve heard or read the opinions of Caps fans who complain endlessly about everything from Abe Polin to Olie Kolzig’s catching glove. There are some very loyal and supportive fans, but there are also a whole boat-load of backseat coaches, armchair owner’s and know-it-alls who spend most of their time picking apart every single detail. There is no team in the NHL that is perfect. There’s no perfect venue. There’s no perfect owner, coach, staff, game or player. Even with a great start to the second half of the season, I still run across tons of pubic opinion that focuses mostly on what ISN’T going right with the Capitals. Well, there are A LOT of things that IS right with our hockey team.

Simply put – if my sorry and financially challenged self can buy tickets, make the 64 mile trip to the Verizon Center and get to many of the home games, then so can other people. While it’s a given that I don’t run across Caps fans in the Great Hockey Void in which I live, I talk to people all over the place and I read a good bit of what’s written in the media, including blogs and boards. If you really don’t like the team; why bother with it at all? Teams with full venues typically do better than teams with partially full venues – don’t they? Let’t get some butts in the seats and let’s get our friends and family out to the games. Personally, I don’t give too much credit to the opinions of fans who don’t even try to be positive or make attempts to go to the games – no matter how brilliant the opinions and insights may be. Sorry, but considering that I’ve been a fan for almost 20 years and this season just might be the last season of everything, my understanding has run dry. Get out there – in the open  – and spread some Capitals love! The team isn’t perfect and neither are we, so how about we all improve together! GO CAPS GO!

One of the perks of being a season ticket holder is the Meet the Team event held every season. I didn’t know about this particular perk until after I got my season ticket, so it was a nice surprise. It’s also the next challange for me, which comes right on the heels of yesterday’s trip to DC for the game and my rather disturbing bad health day. As a matter of fact, I should be ending this entry right now and heading to DC once again to attend the Meet the Team event. I’m only going for one reason though, so once I get my favorite jersey signed by Olie Kolzig, I can head back home and relax. I tried to find my very first (and the only one I haven’t broken) goalie stick to have Olie sign it, but it’s packed behind so much crap at the moment, it would have completely taken the wind out of my sails to move all the stuff in order to get to the stick. One of my hockey buddies started calling that stick the “bitch stick”, so I was hoping I could have Olie sign the “bitch stick”. Oh well, no matter, off I go.

Have some hockey, then sing a song – peace – Mia


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