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|17 марта 2007 года.
Kovalev's battle with vertigo scary stuff ... take if from someone who has been there // The Gazette
I believe Alex Kovalev when he says the vertigo that has kept him out of the last two games is "something I wouldn't wish on anyone."
Been there. Done that.
Come back with me to the 1991 Stanley Cup final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Bob Gainey's Minnesota North Stars. The visiting Stars had upset the Penguins 5-4 in the first game and lost the second 4-1. Games 3 and 4 were to be played in Minnesota.
Now, imagine awakening at 5 a.m. on travel day ... perspiring profusely. The hotel room is spinning. The bed appears slanted at a 45-degree angle. It wasn't, of course, but I can still remember frantically gripping the mattress to avoid falling to the floor.
Minutes later, I was on the telephone to the front desk, inquiring if there was a doctor in residence.
"No, but there's a hospital a couple of blocks away," was the reply. "It's only a short walk there."
I called my friend Michael Farber's room and explained the situation.
"Don't move," he said. "I'll take you there. And don't even think about walking to the hospital. We'll take a cab."
As it turned out, Mercy Hospital was six blocks away. A nurse rushed outside the hospital with a wheelchair.
"I don't need that," I told her. "I can walk."
"No you can't," she said.
The good people at Mercy conducted tests for the next four hours before announcing they couldn't find anything wrong.
"You can fly to Minnesota," I was told.
"No, you're not," insisted my guardian angel, Michael. "You're flying back to Montreal, and I'm flying with you."
Only those who have been there really know what Kovalev is going through. It's a wretched feeling.
"You have no control over your head," Kovalev told a media scrum a few days ago. "I went to see the doctor, but there's no remedy for it.
"They did some exercises for my head, they tried to make my head spin. There were exercises they did at the hospital, but you do them at home. There's nothing else I can do. Do exercises, sleep, do exercises."
It's important to do the exercises. This terrible thing doesn't go away by itself. Rest, alone, doesn't get it done.
The lucky ones get over it in days. For others, it takes weeks. In my case: months.
Trust me on this: fun, it ain't.