Under Analysis: Preparing for the big game with a doctor's aid

Charles Kramer, The Levison Group

It was the week before the Super Bowl. More importantly, it was five days before an oral argument before my state’s highest tribunal — the Supreme Court. Legal theories and the factual record should have been bounding within my brain. Instead, it was cobwebs and lack of focus. My lungs were in even worse condition — congested, wheezing. Somehow, in the midst of my flu-induced fog, however, I heard the announcer on the cable channel that talks NFL football nonstop, year round, pontificating about what medications the footballers would be allowed to take during the Super Bowl. Suddenly, I remembered all those times that athletes had received some sort of treatment for an illness that the rest of us were told we simply “had to get over” or “had to let run its course,” so they could play in the big game. I called my doctor.

At first my noble physician told me it was a bug that was going around, and that with a lot of fluids, pain relievers, and decongestants, I should be able to weather it out in a week to ten days. I then explained that in a mere three days I had to drive two hours to our State’s capitol, and then present a cogent argument to some pretty smart men and women dressed in black.

“I don’t care if I pass out on Friday, Doc,” I implored, “but you have to have me on my feet for that argument on Thursday,”

I was summoned into the office, where an intense examination of six minutes lead to the prescription of five different medications. I dutifully promised to follow the directions as indicated, and headed to the pharmacy.

It was amazing. One and a half days later, my head was clear, my throat was not sore, I was breathing at 89percent of normal, and my cough had dwindled to intermittent. By Wednesday evening, I had no qualms about making the drive to the Capitol and headed to my date with destiny. Thursday morning, I awoke after a full night’s sleep in the Capitol Plaza Hotel, and walked the half block to the Supreme Court ready to do battle — which was a huge mistake.

The moment the cold air hit my lungs, my lungs remembered my true condition — breathing drew shallow, my head began to throb. Luckily, however, it was still an hour before “go time.” I called my doctor who thankfully was able to take the call.

“You have to warm your lungs,” he said.

I found a seat in the quiet corner of the Court’s library, and forced myself to breathe in the warm air, slowly warming my lungs. Within ten minutes the gasping had stopped and, within twenty, I was once again at the top of my game. Proudly, gamely, I stood when my case was called and announced I was “ready.”

 It is now a week later, and I am still battling a lingering cough, and a soreness of throat that comes and goes. The modern medical approach got me to and through the “big game,” but ultimately did not cure the ill. Alas, it appears the doctors are are right that only time may accomplish that feat. I continue to take the prescribed medicines however, while hoping for the best. In fact, its time for my next dose as I’m writing this column.

OH! I just realized that one of the medications my doc prescribed was prednisone — which I’m pretty sure is a steroid. I hope there wasn’t a rule against arguing a legal case while taking that stuff!!!

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Under Analysis is a nationally syndicated column. Charles Kramer is a principal of the St. Louis, Missouri law firm Riezman, Berger, P.C. You may direct comments or criticisms about this column to the Levison Group c/o this newspaper, or direct to the Levison Group via e-mail, at comments@levisongroup.com.
© 2013 Under Analysis L.L.C.

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