Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just got a text message from Magellen and all it said was, "need a new blog." I have been slacking in my posts because I just couldn't find anything to write about. I asked him to give me a topic and he said that he would think about it. I thought to myself, how about if I just open the computer and start writing.

I am sitting with my computer and I have the Grateful Dead on for inspiration and I am coming up blank. I look over to my desk top and I notice the hospital band that I removed on Sunday night and I also see the e-mail notice from Sports Illustrated telling me that my interview for their HBO Series, Sport in America, Our Defining Stories has been submitted and it is now being looked at by the producers. As Eddie Murphy said in Coming to America, "AHA"

On Sunday, I was planning to go to Santa Anita for the day but when I woke up I was feeling a little light headed and I had a massive headache, like I had a hangover. I took my usual Beyer aspirin and I also took a Motrin to get rid of the headache. While I was getting ready, I realized that my left arm was tingling. I decided to take my blood pressure to see what was up. I took my BP and it was 157 over 92. That is extremely high for me. I am in pretty decent shape, I work out at least five times a week and I try to eat normally but Friday night I had to work until 4 o'clock in the morning and then I went to my nephews baseball scrimmage, so I was chalking this up as an anomaly to no sleep.

I pack my things and I start heading to Santa Anita. The traffic was pretty light and I arrived in Arcadia real early. I was not meeting my buddy for at least another hour so I figured I would get a cup of coffee and read the Sunday newspaper. I stopped at a Starbuck's on Huntington Drive, right across from the Derby Restaurant. As I got out of my car, the world started spinning and my head was really pounding. After awhile I realized I was not going to make it into the Starbuck's nor was I going to make it into Santa Anita. This wasn't right so I decided to head back and go to the ER. I stopped at my house first to do a few things and get some phone numbers just in case. Since I was home, I decided to take my BP again and it was now 172 over 100, wow, now we're cooking with heat. I guess I better step it up a bit.

I got to the ER at Hoag Hospital. Let me tell you this, I have been in a lot of ERs but this Hoag Hospital ER was like checking into a hotel. I even had to ask if I was in the ER and the "concierge" said yes. I told her the situation and they brought me in to the nurses station where they did some prelim tests. They took my BP and it was 182 over 115. Call NASA because we were about to blast off.

They get me all hooked up to a machine to take a picture of my heart and they start an IV and they ask all the questions. They hook me up to an EKG machine and start monitoring. I am feeling pretty good except for the pounding headache and lightheadedness. The doctor comes in and starts his battery of tests and questions. He says that I will need a chest x-ray, an MRI and some medication to lower my BP.  He says get comfortable because I will be here for awhile.

The nurse comes in and gives me some medication that she describes as very powerful. She can only administer a little at a time because it has been known to lower the pulse to about 20 beats a minute. OK then. They wheel me into get a chest x-ray and when that is done the doctor comes in and says, "well, you didn't have a heart attack." We're going to have to give you an MRI to see if you have had a stroke. In my mind, I am saying perfect, you are going to shove me into a cigar tube for 45 minutes and at the same time you want my blood pressure to lower. I am hoping this is an open MRI.

The BPAdavant, it will make you drowsy and you won't have a problem." The doctor looks at the nurse and says, "Good idea." Exactly who is driving this bus. They give me the Adavant and I get nice and drowsy and I sit still through the 45 minute cigar tube ride.

Everything turns out negative, no heart attack, no stroke, BP is back down and Doctor Seuess gives me a prescription for medication and really had no idea what caused this. He chalks it up to being a hereditary issue. He asked me if there is a history of this in my family and I say, I don't know, I was adopted. He retorts, you should find out your medical history. All I can say is that I am trying.

It kind of upset me that, I have been trying to find out about my natural parents but I have had no luck. My family has not been very knowledgeable about the adoption. I didn't find out until both my parents passed away so asking the main players is out of the question. I decided that I need to step up the search because I don't need any surprises like this again.

When I get home, I realize that I need to submit my interview to Sports Illustrated for their series that they are doing with HBO. This series is called Sport in America and they take stories from ordinary people about experiences in sports. I submitted my story on how a bunch of us pooled 5 dollars a piece and my buddy and I handicapped the 2005 Kentucky Derby. We put together a few trifecta tickets and we ended up winning. Our winning trifecta ticket paid, $133,000.00. Hopefully the producers of HBO like what I submitted and qualify me to be on the show.

To everyone who is reading this, get yourself a BP monitor and some Beyer aspirin because one never knows when something like this could occur. Without those two things, I don't know what might of happened. Information is powerful and life saving.

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