I am a healthy 30-year old male that can still occasionally go out on the basketball court and hold my own for about 10 minutes before fatigue starts to set in. But last week, it seemed as if those characteristics described me almost a lifetime ago. And it all happened in one day.
Last Thursday, my body felt tired all of a sudden. I felt like sleeping and going up stairs became a chore for me; basically it rendered me quite short of breath. But even worse, I blacked out in a public bathroom and started becoming dizzy afterwards and had to sit down for fear of completely losing consciousness. If you are an avid comic book reader, I felt as though the mental triggers that were placed on Bruce Wayne during Batman R.I.P. had been put to the test on me.
But after all that happened, I was fine. Or so I thought. I went home and felt perfectly healthy. But then the next day, I had to go up some stairs and once again felt fatigued. There was some dizziness but nothing like the day prior so I thought nothing of it.
Come the Saturday, I woke up with my head throbbing; essentially hearing my heartbeat in my head. By the time the night hit, I had decided that I would go to the hospital the following day. I advised a few people of this, but never really told them just how serious my condition was.
On the Sunday afternoon, my friend Karim drove me to the hospital where we spent a few hours cracking jokes in the emergency room (waiting area). One dad couldn’t handle his kids, while another women came into the emergency room almost like the Hillside Trece gang (Training Day reference), they were like 10 to 12 people with her that followed her everywhere.
When I finally saw the doctor, he checked me out and figured that perhaps I had an ulcer. It took them about another hour and a half to take my blood and run tests to figure out how much blood I had lost. By the way, when the nurse showed me the needle and asked if I preferred to have big or small needle, for the sake of my street cred (I mean come on, my friend was there with me!), I asked for the big one. And yet, she picked the small one.
When the tests came back, it was revealed that I had lost some blood. A lot. A whole lot. As a result, they had to do some uncomfortable stuff to me. No, they did not violate me down there. But if you get queasy fairly easily, please skip the next paragraph.
The inserted a tube into my nose that then went down my throat; and basically every time I swallowed my saliva, I felt the tube right there in my throat. They proceeded to pour some water into the tube that went straight to my stomach. But here’s the “cool” thing; they sucked that water right back out (yes, through my throat, out of my nose in a clear tube) to see how much blood was in my stomach. My friend Karim then flashed some gang signs at me…I think. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you see blood on your friend? Crip walk and rep your set!
After removing all the blood, it took them about another two hours to remove the tube from my nose (it was 12:38 am precisely, I wanted to know my time of death, yes I have issues). Keep in mind, I tried sleeping with the tube in my nose but just could not.
I was then moved to another section of the hospital where I would get a blood transfusion. I was totally against it for these reasons:
· Possibly contracting AIDS.
· Possibility of becoming a mutant, then I changed my mind.
· Having another mutant control me through this “new blood”.
· I am a huge fan of Batman comics and he would never accept a blood transfusion, he’d bring his own blood, and clearly I did not.
· And once again, AIDS.
But it was either that or perish. And to be honest, they did not exactly ask me. They just did it.
By about 3:30 am roughly, three bags of blood had made their way into my veins. Later in the day they put a camera in my stomach to make sure that all was fine (my cousin Philly bragged to all of his co-workers that I was in essence virtually indestructible and G’d up, not kidding). And come 4:00 pm; 23 hours and 50 minutes after first being admitted in the emergency room, three doctors and five nurses later, the hospital released me. I was once again part of the outside world.
I apologize to those that I scared, to those that I did not share this information with prior to now; but more importantly, I want to apologize to my niece Milana. My blood was too selfish to remain within my veins to allow me to take part in the baptism of my niece.
To those that were truly worried about my safety, I pass along this Antwone Fisher quote: “It don’t matter what you tried to do, you couldn’t destroy me! I’m still standing! Still strong! And I always will be.”
Thank you all for being there…