Clay Buchholz Feared for Health After Losing Blood, Spending Days in Hospital ICU

Clay Buchholz Feared for Health After Losing Blood, Spending Days in Hospital ICUBOSTON — Clay Buchholz was not expecting his body to react this way when he got off the couch.

Last Wednesday, the Red Sox starter was slumped in the clubhouse, feeling the effects of a stomach virus. When he stood up, he started feeling light-headed and realized the situation was more serious than he thought.

Before Tuesday's game, the Red Sox released a statement explaining that Buchholz was battling esophagitis, which led to the erosion of his esophagus and gastrointestinal bleeding.

A day later, Buchholz managed to return to the Red Sox clubhouse to detail his chilling experience.

"It was really scary. I've never felt the urge to pass out every time you stand up," Buchholz said. "I didn't really know what was going on. It was pretty scary for about two days, and they were trying to downplay it, but when you're in the ICU –– where I'm from –– stuff isn't going pretty well.

"It felt like to me that I didn't have any blood circulation. So whenever I was lying down, everything was completely fine. I felt fine. But when I stood up, everything was blurry and, like I said, had that sensation that you wanted to pass out. I didn't really know what was going on."

For two days, Buchholz was stuck in the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital, receiving treatment — three to four pints of blood as well as IVs — to regain strength. Buchholz couldn't eat anything for 72 hours.

Team owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino visited the pitcher and offered support. The 27-year-old was finally released from the hospital at midnight on Wednesday morning.

Buchholz only shed three pounds in the scare, but when he walked into the clubhouse and greeted his teammates, he was still visibly pale from the illness.

"The doctors were pretty up front about it, saying it wasn't really life-threatening at this point," Buchholz said. "They just had to keep me in there to make sure I wasn't losing any more blood."

Despite rejoining the team, Buchholz won't travel with the club on its upcoming West Coast road trip. In fact, there's no timetable for his return to the mound. Considering he's battling a low blood count and needs to regain his conditioning, he won't rush the process.

"Depends on how my body's going to feel getting out and starting to throw and starting to move around," Buchholz said. "I think my legs, I got to get my legs back underneath me right now. It's going to take as long as it has to take, I guess. I'm not going to push myself to get back any earlier than what I feel like I need to."

For the time being, Buchholz will limit his activity to walking. He estimated that it could take "three to four weeks" until he's able to exercise and perform like he was before the setback.

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