February 4, 2006 in Sports

Rhodes recalls ‘episode’

By The Spokesman-Review
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When Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes had what he calls his first “episode” – a stroke on Sept. 4 – he simply refused to accept it, even as it was happening to him.

“I woke up that morning and I can’t focus or see anything,” he remembered. “I try to get out of bed and I fall down. I didn’t want to wake my wife, so I stayed on my knees and I crawled out of the bedroom and I crawled down the stairs and sat down in the family room. I turn the TV on and I’m seeing six or seven heads there instead of one, so I turn it back off.

“A little later, my wife comes down and asks, ‘Why are you sitting here in the dark? Why’s the TV not on?’ I say that I’m just resting. So I try to turn the TV back on, but I still can’t see so I turn it off. She says, ‘No, leave the TV on,’ so I leave it on but I can’t look at it. I’m just buying time. Finally, I said, ‘Something’s wrong with me.’ ”

Carmen Rhodes called one of their daughters, a nurse who correctly diagnosed that Rhodes was having a stroke and needed to be taken to the hospital. But even there, Rhodes remained stubborn.

“They want to bring out a wheelchair and I want to John Wayne it,” he said. “But I had to get in the wheelchair and that was hard. You lose your manhood when something like this happens. I felt helpless. And for whatever reason, when you’re sick, you’re mad at everybody. You don’t want your wife to help you with anything. It’s, ‘stay away from me’ and ‘don’t touch me.’ But I had to come to grips with the fact that I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do the things I normally did. I couldn’t see.”

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