Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers, out injured with vertigo, greets Chris Kaman #9 as he comes out of the game in the final moments against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center on March 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
“Nightmare” was the word Pau Gasol used to describe the night he suffered vertigo during a game and ended up in the hospital. “I was extremely pale, I was kind of shivering, I couldn’t really move. I had three liters of I.V. fluid. I couldn’t get up. I couldn’t sit. They had to take me to the hospital on a stretcher.”
On Mar. 23, Gasol played the first half against the Orlando Magic, but after the intermission, the Spaniard was absent from the bench. News trickled out that the 7-footer was dizzy and nauseous, which did not sound all that serious initially. However, about an hour after the game ended, Gasol was still hooked up to an I.V. receiving fluids. Eventually, he spent the night in the hospital.
“I couldn’t really move my eyes, even, because it made nauseous, and (I) wanted to vomit,” Gasol recalled how miserable he felt that Sunday night. “It was scary, a scary moment for me, for my family and those that love me.”
For the next week, Gasol was nowhere to be found, and a timeline for a return was hard to pin down.
After missing four games, though, Gasol appeared at Monday’s Los Angeles Lakers practice and was listed as probable for Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Don’t really know why it happened,” Gasol stated. “All the tests came out negative, so all the worst stuff was out to the way. They could only guess a couple things, but nothing for sure.”
The uncertainty seemed to bother the Spaniard, but he was intelligent enough to take the negative tests as a positive sign that something more serious had been avoided. Gasol explained that he spent five or six days at home barely moving. He likened the experience to the concussion he suffered a season ago, but he pointed out that he was not affected by lights this time around.
“The inner ear was affected. That's (where) our balance is,” Gasol tried not to get too medical with his responses. “I’m on medicine. I have a patch here (points behind ear).”
Gasol revealed that he was taking part in balance building exercises that challenged him, and they would now become part of his routine.
“There are certain exercises that force you to get dizzy, force you to lose balance,” Gasol attempted to hide his frustrations. “So, as you go through them more and more, supposedly you’re supposed to get less dizzy because your brain and your balance system gets adjusted to it, and the recovery time should be shorter."
The Spaniard would now be performing these exercises on a daily basis, “I have to repeat the exercises that make me feel dizzy, make me feel worse.”
That does not sound fun, does it?