DEERFIELD, Ill. — In his first formal media appearance following the Bulls’ April 29 Game 5 loss at Brooklyn, All-Star small forward Luol Deng addressed his ongoing health situation. Starting with the flu and went on to include spinal tap and blood patch procedures as well as multiple hospital emergency-room visits.
“I tried to shoot a little bit and I struggled. I couldn’t do it. We’ll see,” he said after the Bulls’ practice Thursday afternoon at the Berto Center. “I want to play, but I don’t know what I can do. I haven’t done anything. It really sucks.
“It’s really my first day out of the house and out of the hospital. I haven’t really left my bed much or done much,” the NBA’s back-to-back minutes-per-game leader added. “I’m weak and I have headaches; when I’m moving around a lot, my headache increases. That’s really the main thing.”
Deng went on to recount exactly what happened when he first reported being sick to the Bulls’ medical staff.
“It all started with I wasn’t feeling well. I guess I had the flu. But my symptoms were really bad when I went to the hospital. They wanted to make sure I didn’t have meningitis, which I’m thankful for. They wanted to make sure. I did the spinal tap and after that, I just didn’t respond well. I started having severe headaches, was struggling to walk. I started feeling really weak. I started throwing up, constant diarrhea. I couldn’t control my body really. Because of that, I lost a lot of weight. And still just trying to get back, just trying to get right. I still don’t feel right,” he explained.
“It was scary. I’ve never been through anything like that my whole life. It was scary for me, scary for everyone that was around me. I’ve never seen anything like that. I never knew of a spinal tap before that. I didn’t know the reaction or the side effects of it, so I was really scared.”
In addition, Deng also underwent a second procedure to recuperate from the spinal tap.
“When you get a spinal tap, a lot of times, when they go in, your body doesn’t automatically heal by itself, so what they try to do is a blood patch,” said Deng, who now sounds like a halfway credible medical expert. “They take your own blood and try to go back through the same hole to try to close it up.
“What happened with me was my white blood cells were so high that I had to stay in the hospital for almost a day and a half, until my white blood cell count came back down to be able to go through the procedure,” continued the native of South Sudan. “Since I did, I’ve been feeling a little bit better.
I feel like this has sort of been an afterthought. This Bulls season is so weird and crazy that Luol Deng dying for a week really wasn’t even a blip on the radar. It was one of those stories where he and Nate got sick around the same time, then Nate got better the next day and Luol just went and died. I sort of forgot about him all together. Like hey where is Luol, oh he died, no big deal. Good to see he’s back to being alive though. My guess is he’s going to need at least another week until he can actually play in a real game. The whole not being able to shoot a basketball thing isn’t exactly encouraging.
The real question though is this. Where do I sign up for the Luol Deng diet? Eating healthy and exercising seems kind of pointless now right? I just want to get deathly sick and be skinny and hot in 4 days. We know it’s possible now, so who is going to hook me up with some corrupted white blood cells, it’s almost boating season and clearly eating burritos has not worked out how I planned.*
“It’s really my first day out of the house and out of the hospital. I haven’t really left my bed much or done much,”
Sounds like Luol was just living the blog life. No shame in that game
*What’s scary is that this will become a real thing in Soho or some hipster New York Haven. Rich socialites giving themselves AIDS so they can be skinny and look good. Not even joking in the least.