Staring Death in the Eye...Kinda

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…

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name @ShyneIV.

Crashing the TBJ Mock Draft

The Basketball Jones conducted a live 2011 NBA mock draft today and had various bloggers make selections for the respective teams. Given my affiliation to the Golden State Warriors blog Warriors World, well I was lucky enough to make the selection on behalf of the Dubs. Here's the mock draft in its entirety (and if you're looking for the sound of my voice, race up to about the 47-minute mark).

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name @ShyneIV.

What it Means to be a Father

We all have a different idea of what it means to be a father. To some, it’s merely about providing and protecting their child, whereas to others it can be summed up in taking your son or daughter to soccer practice and paying for child support. I am not self-righteous enough to tell you whether those visions of fatherhood are flawed, but I can tell you that it is far from what I think the job description is.

For all of the joys that came along with a man raising children, there are also several rough patches that present themselves in which a dad is not exactly sure of just how to proceed with a given situation. For the most part, it’s all instinct. Much like it is for mothers, fathers are not given a manual to guide them every step of the way.

Hence, we are left to ourselves to figure out how to be the best parents and role models we could possibly be when raising our children. With today being Father’s Day, I sat down with my godfather and uncle and thought about my own father. It made me think about how far I have come as an individual and how similar I was to the man with whom I share both flesh and blood.

In looking back on the decisions I have made, I see the sacrifices that my parents made in raising me.

Accepting the responsibility of being called “dad” isn’t about making time for your child every now and then, occasionally helping out with homework or giving out advice when needed. A real father is always there, even when he is not needed. His presence should be like that of a shadow; something that you more often than not take for granted but always notice at the most awkward moments.

But when things get rough, you always know that your father will bail you out.

On this Sunday night I sat and watched the movie John Q. and then and there, it captured everything that men should know about what it takes and what it means to be the patriarch of a family.

John Q. Archibald could not and would not watch his son die of heart failure. Instead, he took a whole hospital hostage with the hope of getting him the help and treatment needed to save his life. And when all failed, Archibald never blinked or doubted what his singular most important calling in life was: to take care of his son and make him live.

Archibald was ready to commit suicide on hospital grounds for doctors to take his heart and place it in the chest of his son and thus allow him to live his life. John Q. on the other hand would have died, but would have survived through the younger Archibald.

I can only hope that my beautiful 12-year old daughter knows that if we were faced with that situation, I would do the exact same thing. Why?

Because that’s what fathers do…  

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name @ShyneIV.