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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

John Perricone On Steroids

It has been a great long time since I read the wonderful Only Baseball Matters about anything, which is really my loss, because I missed this thoughtful post about steroids in the context of the Lance Armstrong revelations. Excerpt:
I have worked in construction for almost 35 years. I live in constant pain. I’ve already had surgery on my right elbow, I am going to have surgery on my left in a couple of months. I am getting HGH injections in my right shoulder, the left is next. I have just begun a topical cream regimen of steroids, oral DHEA, and a variety of supplements and vitamins, all in an effort to keep working. To provide for my family. In a way, I have done whatever it takes, I have lived a “win at all costs” life. There were times where I knew I was damaging my body in unfixable ways, all the days that I took pain killers, the multiple times I asked my doctors to give me corti-steroidal injections so I could finish the job. I’ll be paying the price for those choices for the rest of my life. I knew it at the time, and I know it now.

Were I a football player, baseball player, or a professional cyclist, my “job” would require me to win. To keep my “job” I would have to produce, I would have to be at least as good as the worst player in my field. And I can guarantee you that I would have been availing myself of every medical advance known at the time. It is absurd to me to suggest that I would have had to consider whether somebody else approved of my life-altering decisions.

Speaking as someone who strongly believes we each own ourselves — bodies, minds, and work — I find this highly compelling.

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