The prognosis for the ballplayer is still up and down. (Photo: Splash News)
Khloé Kardashian announced on the Howard Stern Show this morning that Lamar Odom’s health condition went from better to worse after he woke up from a near-fatal coma in October.
“When he first woke up out of his coma, he was way more aware,” the reality star said about her estranged husband, who was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel because of a drug overdose. “He then regressed — once he transferred to L.A., he regressed greatly, where he stopped talking completely and everything. Very scary. But when he first woke up, he was like, ‘Hi!’ almost like he woke up from a nap. It was so bizarre at first.”
However, Odom’s setback was not unusual. “Anyone that has been comatose and lying in a bed for an extended period of time can get deconditioned,” Clifford Segil, DO, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., tells Yahoo Health. (Deconditioned is defined as a state of prolonged underuse of muscles, which may trigger a cycle of increasing disability.)
He adds that being immobile can lead to an increased risk of infection — which Kardashian also mentioned happened to Odom during his recovery. “People who are fragile have no reserve, so small things are accentuated,” says Segil. “Many people [under these circumstances] can get urinary track infections, pneumonia, or other types of infections. Then they can regress or not do as well because they’re not moving — they’re stuck in a hospital bed.”
Another possible explanation for Odom’s reversal: a traumatic brain injury. “If there’s bruising on the brain, sometimes people can have seizures,” he says. “But we don’t know if he’s had any type of brain injury.”
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Kardashian also confessed that she has been keeping the two-time NBA champion in the dark about the public’s knowledge of his condition.
“Obviously, I’ve kept him in a bubble this whole time,” she said. “I don’t want to step back his healing. And one day I came in and he was Googling ‘Lamar Odom overdose.’ … And I grabbed the iPad and said, ‘What the f*ck are you doing? I’ve been trying to protect you! I don’t want this to hurt you!’ And I have to remember he has no idea what people know. He doesn’t know if we only found him and this is private.”
And it sounds like Kardashian will continue to protect Odom, even if it’s just his reputation. “What he’s done doesn’t make him a bad person,” she said, referring to his adultery and drug addiction. “That doesn’t define who he is. He’s still a phenomenal human being. I know that maybe sounds a little like contradictory, but he is.”
According to ABC News, Odom was moved to a private rehabilitation facility over the weekend to continue his treatment.