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Rays' advisor Zimmer back at Trop after diabetes scare

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:41 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

Tampa Bay Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer made it out to Tropicana Field this afternoon, sat in the seats behind home plate and watched the team take batting practice.

"It's nice to be back where you're supposed to be," Zimmer said.

The 81-year-old Zimmer undergoes four hours of dialysis three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – for kidney failure.

"That's a long four hours, I'll tell you, boy," he said.

Zimmer last attended a Rays game during the opening weekend of the season. The following week he fell into a diabetic coma while sleeping.

"I was gone," he said. "I was in a diabetic coma. If my wife don't wake me up, I'm still sleeping. That's how close I was. My blood sugar was 20."

His wife, Soot, called their son, Tom, who told her to call 911.

"They tried to wake me," Zimmer said. "But, nothing."

After spending time in the hospital, Zimmer said he feels his health is moving in the right direction.

"They say dialysis, the more you take it the stronger you get," he said. "I get out of breath if I walk too far."

Zimmer said he's also lost his appetite but knows he has to eat. Another drawback, he said, is he's on a restricted lineup.

"Every time I eat something I say, 'Am I all right?'" Zimmer said.

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