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updated: 4/9/2013 8:58 PM

Gialo grateful to be clear of gut-wrenching spring twist

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Ray Gialo knew it wasn't some funky-tasting jelly beans that had him feeling sick to his stomach on Easter.

Nor was it the Easter Bunny being funny.

Fortunately, Lakes' baseball coach was smart enough to make a quick call to the bullpen.

He summoned his wife after intense pain just about his navel had him doubled over.

"We went to church and then we were getting ready to go for Easter brunch," Gialo said. "I told my wife, 'I think I might meet you there. My stomach's not feeling good.'

"Within an hour, I was in the emergency room. It really came on fast."

Gialo's wife rushed home and drove him to the emergency room. There, he was treated for complications stemming from a hernia, which Gialo suspected was the reason for his excruciating pain.

"I've had it probably since the football season," said Gialo, an assistant football coach for the Eagles. "Somehow my intestine got all twisted up within the muscle and cut the blood flow off."

Gialo had surgery that Sunday evening and got home last Tuesday night. Doctors repaired the hernia and checked his intestine, which was fine.

He finally returned to the baseball field last Friday, as Lakes hosted Grayslake Central. Gialo sat in the dugout, not in uniform, as his team lost 3-0 on a chilly, cloudy afternoon. He missed the Eagles' three games earlier in the week, as trusty assistant coach Josh Coon ran the team.

Never mind that his Eagles are 2-8 this spring after a 21-win campaign last year. Gialo can stomach that, so to speak. The Eagles can be thankful that their head coach is back on the field.

Gialo saw his doctor a couple of months ago but figured he wasn't in grave danger of his hernia expediting a trip to the ER.

"The doctor told me it was a small hernia," Gialo said. "He said the chances of what happened were really small. He said, 'You probably can wait until after your baseball season to get it fixed.' "

Gialo's sister wasn't so confident in that plan.

"My sister is a nurse," Gialo said. "She had spent pretty much the last two months telling me, 'I wouldn't wait if I were you. I'd get it done. Here's what can happen.'

"Sure enough, I got a big 'I told you so,' " he added, smiling.

Gialo's sister's name is Athena.

Like the goddess?

"Like the goddess," Gialo said.

In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of, among other things, wisdom.

Rest assured, Gialo's sister Athena is smiling -- grateful her brother is OK.

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