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Friday, March 15, 2013

Madden: Tom Seaver feeling better, winning his battle with Lyme disease

In fact, it’s been a living hell of uncertainty, confusion, depression and downright fear. The Mets’ “Franchise,” author of 311 career victories and the highest vote plurality (98.84%) of any player elected to the Hall of Fame, was back at work at his vineyard in Calistoga, Calif., when I reached him.

“You caught me on a good day,” he said. “In fact a very good day because this is the fifth straight day I’ve felt really good. You have no idea what that means — to feel good, to feel normal, for five straight days.”

I admitted I had no idea. I only knew that Seaver’s multitude of friends in baseball have been worried about him, worried because, in the past year, he had become uncharacteristically distant, and when he did make a rare public appearance or pick up the phone, he was not himself. He missed the Hall of Fame ceremonies last summer for the first time since his own induction, although Hall officials attributed that to recent hip-replacement surgery.

...One of the sharpest and most astute athletes I have ever known was having trouble remembering things, and his thoughts tended to wander and become garbled in transmission.

It was last June, the day after Johan Santana hurled the first no-hitter in Mets history, when Seaver’s friends and fans became alarmed that something was amiss with their hero after he put out a congratulatory statement, saying: “I’ve never met Johan personally, but what I’ve heard about him is he has a big heart and is a huge competitor.”

The only problem with that was Seaver had joined Santana in a half-hour SNY TV special in spring training of 2008 in which they talked at length about pitching strategies.

“I didn’t know what was happening,” Seaver, 68, said this week.

...Seaver’s initial case was extreme — he suffered Bell’s Palsy on the right side of his face, and the doctors told him at the time that it was so severe that after they treated him with antibiotics, he would never have it again. In Seaver’s situation, a less severe case of Bell’s Palsy, doctors felt, might have returned.

“But once it gets into your blood system, it causes real problems,” Seaver said. “I’m taking 24 pills a day now, most of them vitamins, plus one penicillin pill to get my chemical balance back. It’s a cycle that kills off all the spirochetes that junk up your system. It’s been a slow process in which I’ll still feel like I have a bad case of the flu for days, but these past couple of weeks they’ve been less and less. I haven’t had a glass of wine or a beer in eight months and I don’t miss it.”

Thanks to Mike A..

Repoz Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:28 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mets

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   1. depletion Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:30 AM (#4388806)
If you see the ring-like telltale sign of a Lyme Disease tick bite, get to a doc and get some antibiotics. Early treatment is effective. Anitbiotics do get oversubscribed, but better to take a round unnecessarily then get this crap.
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: March 15, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4388814)
...Seaver’s initial case was extreme — he suffered Bell’s Palsy on the right side of his face, and the doctors told him at the time that it was so severe that after they treated him with antibiotics, he would never have it again. In Seaver’s situation, a less severe case of Bell’s Palsy, doctors felt, might have returned.


I hate to be pedantic but this is a horribly constructed paragraph. Never have what again? Bell's Palsy? The right side of his face? Treatment of antibiotics? And what the hell does he mean by "initial case"? Did Seaver suffer more than one case of Lyme Disease or something? And the last sentence. What the hell does that mean? After treatment with antibiotics, the Bell's Palsy might return? What? Why?

Criminy, I know Bill isn't a doctor but couldn't he have at least reviewed the English for intelligibility?
   3. ajnrules Posted: March 15, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4388939)
Yeah. That article was a mess but as a medical student I know the many ways the Lyme bacteria can mess with you. I just can't imagine actually having it. I had a friend get it, though, and he went from an straight-A student into somewhat of a sort of bum with the combination of fatigue and the neurological manifestations. There were other factors at work of course, but Lyme disease is bad news.

Best wishes to Mr. Seaver on his recovery.
   4. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili (TeddyF.Ballgame) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4388973)
author of 311 career victories and the highest vote plurality (98.84%) of any player elected to the Hall of Fame


Highest vote plurality?
   5. bobm Posted: March 15, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4388986)
You have no idea what that means — to feel good, to feel normal, for five straight days.


Tom Seaver - no fan of the four man rotation, obviously.

J/k - get well soon.
   6. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 15, 2013 at 05:09 PM (#4389070)

And what the hell does he mean by "initial case"? Did Seaver suffer more than one case of Lyme Disease or something?

If you RTFA, yes he initially had Lyme Disease in 1991. The article is poorly written but this is the relevant paragraph:


It was not something Seaver was unfamiliar with, but nevertheless it was a shocking diagnosis. Back in November of 1991, when he was living in Greenwich, Conn., and spending much of his spare time on his favorite hobby — tending to his gardens — Seaver was first diagnosed with the often-debilitating, bacterial disease caused by infectious deer ticks.

Initial symptoms of Lyme disease infections include chills, fever, headache and muscle pain. However, Stage 3 Lyme disease, which can occur months or years after the initial infection, can result in memory loss, speech problems, sleep disorder and an overall feeling of chemical imbalance — all of which Seaver had been experiencing over the last year.


What the article isn't clear on is whether this is a recurrence of the disease he had 22 years ago, or whether he contracted it again.

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