How Baseball Changed My Life



Leadup to Hospitalization


When someone mentions the 2006 New York Mets most will think about when Carlos Beltran struck out looking. The bases were loaded in the bottom of the ninth in game seven of the NLCS and Beltran struck out looking to end the game. For me, things are a little different. The 2006 Mets impacted my life forever.


In 2006 I was 16 years old when I first noticed (incoming gross image) blood in my stool. Being a typical teenager I just tried to ignore it and figured whatever was wrong, my body would take care of it. This wasn’t the case. It continued for two weeks before I decided to tell my mom.


When I went to the doctor, he thought it was a parasite (wrong). Eventually saw a gastroenterologist who also thought it was a parasite (wrong again). I became anemic, felt tired, lethargic, and just plain weak every second of the day. Things got worse and worse where I eventually had to stop going to school.


One night I woke up to go to the bathroom and as I walked out of my bedroom I passed out. I remember hearing the sound of my head hitting the wall but only seeing black. When I woke up (I assume it was only a few minutes later) I was young and very dumb and went back to sleep. The following morning I told my parents what had happened and was rushed to the hospital immediately.


When I entered the hospital my blood count was so low they were afraid I could have a stroke. I was going to the restroom about 10 times a day and had lost about 20 pounds. To say I was in horrible shape was an understatement.


New York Mets Enter the NLDS


The New York Mets were considered one of, if not the best team in the National League that year. Their lineup was stacked with Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran. Tom Glavine and John Maine were beasts and Billy Wagner became a great anchor in the closer role.


Before my health tanked I was always a casual Mets fan and had watched them periodically throughout the season. When I got admitted and they started the NLDS the Mets and baseball became my saving grace.


These NLDS games came at the start of my hospitalization and gave me something to cheer about. The beginning was rough. Not knowing what was going on with my body and constantly being examined wasn’t just tough physically but mentally as well. Without the Mets sweeping the Dodgers and giving me something to cheer about I’m not sure how I would have gotten through it. It’s funny how watching a game on a tiny screen in a terrible environment can really change an entire experience.


New York Mets Enter the NLCS


After the Mets swept the Dodgers in the NLDS they moved onto the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals. The first six games were a battle with a lot of back and forth causing the series to be tied 3-3. At this time they finally diagnosed me properly (Crohn’s disease) and I was allowed to go home.


Two weeks I spent in that hospital. Two weeks of being woken up at five in the morning for blood work. Two weeks of just laying in bed and not moving. Two weeks of being hooked up to an IV and stuck to a machine. Two weeks of multiple blood transfusions. The longest two weeks of my life.


A lot of people say that you should never say “we” when talking about a sports team because you physically aren’t on the team. I hate those people. For the first time in my life for those two weeks, I felt like I was part of the team. I watched every second and felt the wins and losses as they did. Those games were an escape from everything around me.


Finally Home


I will always remember when I got home I tried to run up the stairs as usual, but my legs quickly gave out. Sitting in a bed for two weeks ruined most of my leg strength. I decided to be relentless like the Mets had been throughout that entire series. I went out for a long walk determined to get my leg strength back. After my walk, I knew game seven was on the horizon and gathered my favorite food and snacks.


Unfortunately, we all know the story, Endy Chavez makes an insane catch where the crowd almost made Shea Stadium crumble. The Cardinals end up taking the lead and in the ninth with a chance to make a comeback they just couldn’t do it. Of course, I was disappointed but those Mets really ignited my passion for not just baseball but life. At a young age, you really take your health, home, and life for granted. There was no better feeling in the world than getting to sleep in my own bed again. The simple things in life really are the best.


Baseball


This is why we need baseball or even sports in general. It gives us an escape. It can give a young kid hope. No matter what happens to baseball it will always be special to me. I have to give a quick shoutout to my friends and family. My family was awesome during that time in my life, they brought me breakfast lunch and dinner every single day. My friends who visited me in the hospital, drove an hour away just to see me for ten minutes. Those friends are still my best friends to this day. I love you all and I certainly love baseball.


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