Thursday, September 06, 2007

An ode for Fernando

It's safe to assume Fernando Pisani's in a place you wouldn't wish your worst enemy these days.

Given the apparent gravity of the announcement the Oilers made on Tuesday night, it's safe to assume he's spent time in hospital, perhaps significant time, and with his recovery tabled as 'indefinite,' there may well be some difficult decisions to be made in the near future.

Saku Koivu's successful battle with non-Hodgin's Lymphoma earned praise and respect; Pisani's adversity is met with poo jokes.

While the relationship between ulcerative colitis and mortality is one that continues to be studied, patients do die of the condition (toxic megacolon, etc.). There is also an elevated risk of colon cancer, so much so that many patients are recommended for surgery to 'cure' them of the condition. Surgery, in this case, "usually means removing your entire colon and rectum."

The Mayo Clinic material indicates that "between 25 percent and 40 percent of people with ulcerative colitis eventually need surgery."

Marvin Bush, the youngest brother of President George W. Bush, was diagnosed with the disease and had surgery at 29. Former NHLer Shayne Corson also has the disease.

We don't know the severity of Pisani's illness, other than it's taken him away from hockey for the foreseeable future, and while it's good that he's a 30-year-old professional athlete in terrific physical shape, it's also quite likely he's down a lot of weight at this point and a very sick man.

Here's to a full recovery. And soon.

UPDATE I have yet to see this reported elsewhere, but according to newspaper reports at the time, it seems in October, 2005, Pisani was placed on the injured reserve with "a gastro-intestinal disorder" that caused him to lose five pounds. At the time, doctors were working to determine the nature of his illness and he missed two games.

This has, apparently, been an issue for some time.

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At 4:55 a.m., September 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope for a full and quick recovery. Let his friends and family support him and make him feel he's not alone.

At 9:40 a.m., September 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice digging James. Oilswell, an HF poster, pointed out that Pisani has played in some colitis fundarising golf tourneys in Edmonton. MJ at OilFans was digging back through the Oilers injury list and noticed that he missed time with some sort of intestinal virus early in February.

This all came as a complete shock to Kevin Lowe though. It's kind of like Pronger demanding a trade in could Lowe have expected he'd demand a trade again six months later?

At 9:42 a.m., September 06, 2007, Blogger Matt said...

I wish him the best.

At 10:45 a.m., September 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine back home had the condition for years and it wasn't diagnosed. He was usually really lethargic. When he had the surgery he was a new man. I also interviewed a young girl who suffered from it and she missed her entire Grade 9 year because of it and went through absolute hell.
I hope he can conquer it and live a healthy life regardless of whether he returns to play in the NHL again.

At 8:57 p.m., September 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A guy I used to know had a comedy routine based on his similar condition. It began something to the effect of "friends find it hard to ask 'are you still shitting all that blood'?"

At 8:32 a.m., September 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you just take a BigBodyPresence article seriously? Really?

At 2:42 p.m., September 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can also look up Dajuan Wagner, former NBA lottery pick who had the disease. He had surgery, and made it back to the NBA for a short-lived return. He is now playing in Europe.


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