Earlier in the morning, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported that Lamar Odom showed small signs of improvement overnight, the first real sign of a positive change in his grave condition that has the NBA in despair. Singularly, Shelburne’s report was a reason to hold onto some hope that Lamar Odom may be on the right side of the 50/50 survival chances doctors gave him after evaluation. What Shelburne was referring to was that last night Odom squeezed Khloe Kardashian’s fingers, a sign that he, on some level, had awareness of her presence, an indication that his brain was functioning through the cracks, albeit slowly, and more importantly, his body was healing, albeit at a snail’s pace.
Anyone who has had the misfortune of someone they love in a coma has heard the doctor say hand squeezing is often involuntary muscle movement and not to overreact to what it may mean because it may not mean what you want it to mean. It was what the doctor’s told Odom’s family this morning according to TMZ. The doctors are still concerned about Odom’s recovery. They haven’t been convinced some 45 hours after Odom was first intubated that he is inching towards brain healing and consciousness. There hasn’t been any improvements over the two days Odom has been hospitalized. The trauma in his brain is still extraordinary and more importantly unchanged.
“We’re told 4 organs, including his kidneys, continue to fail. Our sources say doctors have been clear…the fact that Lamar is not getting better significantly reduces his chances of survival. The doctors are concerned it has been too long that he’s been in this condition and now it’s not looking good.” (TMZ)
Since Odom’s collapse and discovery at the Las Vegas brothel, the NBA has transformed into a large prayer circle with his many friends distraught and in a silent vigil, many of them thousands of miles away from the Vegas room where he struggles to remain alive. Odom, in this very public and tragic spotlight, is being reflexively viewed through the lens of a Kardashian, that dirty word that translates into greed, vapidness, shallowness and manipulator. It is the reactionary impulse of a media culture to ignore achievements for something far more glossy. The irony is overwhelming because Odom is none of those self- centered, narcissistic Kardashian things; first and foremost he was the talent out of Christ the King in Queens, a uniquely gifted basketball player that could play all five positions, a lottery pick who crafted a very good career in Miami and Los Angeles, a champion who rose to meet the moment of his greatest triumphs, a friend who has lived most of his life in grief.
And yet more than all of what Odom accomplished in his career, he has always been good to those who love him, his generous and kind spirit pulling people towards his compassionate light. Paradoxically, that was never the problem for Odom, being attentive to others. It was what his mother requested of him as she lay dying. Being good to himself, however, was another matter altogether.
Odom once admitted his own truth. He said, “I am weak.”
It is his body now that is living that utterly complete example. His brain and all of its benevolent processes, all of its neurons and nerve fibers are trying valiantly to overcome the despair that has his body in chaos. Oxygen once deprived is artificially induced trying to heal his organs that have become as fragile as Odom’s psyche always has been. The worst thing about all of it is that time which heals all wounds is suddenly, inexplicably, Lamar Odom’s biggest opponent in this medical catastrophe.
photo via llananba