As if battling the general symptoms of a COVID-19 infection wasn't bad enough -- the fevers, the chills, the constant fatigue -- Eduardo Rodriguez found himself facing a scarier diagnosis last week: myocarditis.
The inflammation of the heart is commonly caused by viral infections, and doctors are seeing more of it in COVID patients, even young healthy ones like Rodriguez. So when the doctors told him to rest for a week after confirming the diagnosis via MRI, Rodriguez agreed without hesitation.
"That's the most important part of your body," Rodriguez said. "The first time I hear, I was kind of scared a little. Now that I know what it is, I'm still scared, but now I know exactly what it is. I just talk to my mom, talk to my wife, let them know what I have, and now I've got to take the rest."
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Myocarditis can lead to arrhythmias, especially during physical exertion, which is why Rodriguez has halted all activities, "chilling for a week," he said. Asked if he might opt out of the season, he shook his head.
"No, no, no, no," he said. "I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today. I want to be out there every time I can, so I'm never thinking of getting out of the season. I feel bad every time I see a game happening and I'm not even in the dugout."
While manager Ron Roenicke reported that Rodriguez felt fatigued after his first two bullpen sessions, the left-hander said that he's not currently battling any COVID symptoms. He added that his diagnosis was not accompanied by any chest pain.
"Health-wise I'm feeling really good," Rodriguez said. "I feel normal. They just tell me to rest for a week, and wait to get the next test and see what it is. Emotions-wise, it feels really hard. Because when I get here, I was supposed to start getting ready. We do the MRI, we get that, and we get the news that I've got to rest for a week. It was kind of hard for me. At least we know already what's going on and everything and just wait and get ready to get back."
The hope and expectation is that the myocarditis will clear up on its own with rest. In the meantime, Rodriguez has no choice but to sit and watch his team play without him.
"It's been weird, man. It's been hard, weird," Rodriguez said. "First, I got the COVID, feel all the symptoms and everything, at some point thinking that's how bad it was the first four days. And then get here, and now that I have this, I was hoping that I could get ready and go for the season as quick as I can. Now I've got to get a week off, wait for the results of the next MRI. I would say it's been weird, really weird for me."