Should he be playing?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by chess9, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I played USTA Team Doubles against a team with a 52 year old player who had recently gotten a stent and a bypass operation. I'm not sure how long it's been since the operation, but he didn't look 'so pretty good' as my partner was saying.

    First of all this was not really anything remotely aerobic-DOUBLES! But, if he had to run for a lob, or was serving and volleying, he was completely out of breath. Several times during the match, we all stopped while he rested in the shade. (The heat index was about 92.) On changeovers he put ice on his head and we typically would take 3 to 5 minutes so he could recover. His face was very very red and he was huffing and puffing when no one else was, and even after 2 or 3 minutes. I was very worried about him. Nice guy too and had a lovely game.

    I just don't think he should have put himself through all of this for a doubles match. (I don't regret giving him extra time, btw. Almost all the old farts do that for each other, cause it's gonna' be one of us next time.)

    Anyone else have a view on this sort of thing? Is this none of my business? If he dies on the court, I didn't contribute anything?

    -Robert
     
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  2. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    regardless if you "contributed " if he died on the court you would feel guity forever that you did not make him stop(my guess). even if it meant YOUR forfeit.P.S. i would not play with or against him again until i knew his fitness was up to it. also since it seems you are in far better shape than most your age did you not feel you got your tennis worth of exercise for the day because of the pace of the game and long rest intervals?
     
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  3. rbq4h4

    rbq4h4 Rookie

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    i have had lots of heart problems/holes in my heart so I know wehre your coming from. you may to take cpr, or at least have a defibillator on the court next time yo play. or maybe just some oxygen or nitric oxide at least.
     
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  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Actually, I was more than happy to play slowly as I've had a hard week of singles play in this Venusian like weather.

    Yes, I think I might feel 'complicit' in such a circumstance. But, I do admire him for trying and not wanting to let down his teammates. He was obviously their best player. Kind of sad, really.

    -Robert
     
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  5. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    We have a defibber in the clubhouse and the rescue squad is about 5 blocks away, so I think we'd be covered there, but you know, he could be dead in less than 5 minutes, I'm sure.

    Which reminds me that one of my friends, a cardiologist, died on the golf course. He knew he had a bad heart too. He took his golf swing, grabbed his chest and said "Oh, not now!" and keeled over. Dead on the spot. I don't know if it ruined a good round. :)

    -Robert
     
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  6. AznRamenDude

    AznRamenDude Rookie

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    ^^^ was that smilely intentional? what is there to be smiling about when a guy dies playing a sport?
     
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  7. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    its his life and his call. if he thinks he can play then let him. its kinda sad to think he might die out there but he knows the risk hes putting himself at so let him go.
     
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  8. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for the inappropriate humor. It was a golfer's joke told to me by a golfer and I repeated it. Looking at it this morning, it does appear a bit crude.

    -Robert
     
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  9. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    I would argue that there might be a little something to smile about. Although I doubt most people are "ready" where their number comes up - especially someone who is in the middle of a round of golf or a tennis match - I can think of worse ways to go. Sounds like this guy had a relatively easy exit. In my book, that's smile worthy.
     
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  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Wow. I'm not sure what I would have done, other than ask him if he was OK and then take his word for it. Maybe ask a few questions about whether he has been cleared to play.

    See, if it were me, I wouldn't play until I was sure I could play. I would be worried about being a burden. So I'd run or walk hills or whatever until I was sure I had the aerobic capacity to play doubles without needing lengthy rest breaks.

    I guess it was classy to handle it the way you handled it, Chess. then again, you sound pretty classy overall, so it's no big surprise.
     
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  11. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a lot CinSin!

    By the way, I was relating this story to a very old player (78) today while we were sitting out some friendly doubles. He said he had a quadruple bypass at 76 and was walking three days later, and playing doubles 20 days later. He offered that the fellow was probably an ex-smoker who also had emphysema. What a bummer for him, and with no cure in sight. If you'd seen the look on the 52 year olds face...as though he were staring into the abyss.... Chilling stuff. I can honestly say I was scared for him.

    -Robert
     
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