Wednesday, May 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tempting fate after hospital-free year

wade kelvin column sig copy

By
From page A7 | August 07, 2014 |

The beginning of August marks an anniversary for me. For the first time in 12 years, I’ve gone an entire year without being admitted to a hospital.

I have chronic lymphedema. It’s a condition where lymph fluid doesn’t properly circulate in the body and can pool in legs, arms and elsewhere. Those limbs can swell and are susceptible to infections such as cellulitis, a painful inflammatory skin infection. It is not contagious. And while lymphedema itself is not fatal, infections arising from it can be. There’s no cure but the condition can be managed.

In the United States, lymphedema is usually a complication of cancer surgery or other surgeries. I’ve never had surgery. A parasite in other parts of the world can cause it, but I hadn’t been outside the country until long after I developed lymphedema. I’ve seen too many doctors to count and they don’t know. For me, I believe it’s a combination of heredity, sustained injuries to my system years ago and obesity.

I have Stage III lymphedema, which is the worst kind. Despite a regimen that included exercises, bed rest and compression, I had regular infections. Some started with mild flu-like symptoms and other times it hit me like a freight train, with my left leg feeling like a python was squeezing it at the same time it was being overinflated.

In October 2003, I got sick the day before I was to drive my brothers down to San Diego for our father’s funeral. My doc advised me to go into the hospital, but I couldn’t miss my dad’s funeral. So she gave me antibiotics and I drove in terrible pain, while concealing it from my family. We Wades are stubborn like that.

At its worst, I was getting sick every five weeks.

Nine years later, in October 2012, I had one of the worst complications of cellulitis: blood poisoning, or sepsis. I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (for the second time). Up until that point, I’d always downplayed my hospital admissions to my brothers because I didn’t want them to worry. Afterward, I decided to be open about it with them.

I had to face the fact that my old nemesis staphylococcus aureus may eventually kill me.

A hospital stay early last year found me in an isolation room. Seeing staff suit up in masks, gowns and gloves to interact with me reminded me of the final days of my mom’s life, when I had to don those same precautions to see her as she battled methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Fortunately, I tested negative for anything contagious. But when you’re immune-compromised like me, you can be a sitting duck for pathogens that ride along my usual infections.

I pleaded with doctors for a year to go on a regimen that I thought could work to keep me out of the hospital. They disagreed. My friend Pam, who has a medical background, gave me advice on how to convince my doctors to try my idea. It worked. We compromised: I tried their ideas and they tried mine. Part of it was joining Weight Watchers and since May of last year I’ve lost more than 150 pounds. With an assist from a great cardiologist and an infectious disease specialist, Dr. Vinod Trivedi, we put together a supplement and medication combination that has me feeling better than I have in years.

While I still get sick sometimes, it’s far less frequent and it’s manageable without going in the hospital.

My girlfriend Cathi, who has stood by me through all this, didn’t want me to write this column for fear of jinxing myself. But that’s OK. I’m savoring life one day at a time. Peace.

Kelvin Wade, a former Fairfield resident, is the author of “Morsels” Vols. I and II and lives in Sacramento. Email him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Maureen BairdAugust 07, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Thank you or saring your condition and current situation. My husband and I always enjoy your thoughtful columns and are praying for continued imrovement.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • KelvinAugust 07, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Thank you. I appreciate that.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Cinco de Mayo event brings communities together

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Solano looks to full compliance with smoke-free policy

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
    Western Railway Museum plans special events

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kozak to take command of 349th AMW

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

     
    Solano events will mark National Day of Prayer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Solano marks Mental Health Month during May

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Supervisors grant approval for internship program

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
     
    2 hurt in Fairfield freeway crash

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A6, 21 Comments

     
    Vacaville police announce training at outlet stores

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A6

    Doctor to discuss diabetes risks during free talk

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

     
    Frazier sets community coffee with new chief

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans announces work on Highway 160

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Caltrans outlines work on Highway 29

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Comedies, dramas, documentaries hit screens this weekend

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

    Suisun City police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: May 3, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: May 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Author, evangelist to address Writers Resource group

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10

    CHP officer has close call with vehicle

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
     
    .

    US / World

    Obama picks Dunford as new Joint Chiefs chair

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    60 bodies recovered in Nepal valley hit by quake, mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Nigerian troops who fled Boko Haram now have them on the run

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Two decades after ‘Black Hawk Down,’ Kerry visits Somalia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Doubts raised about Islamic State’s claim in Texas attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Forest Service chief expects busy firefighting season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Van Gogh work fetches over $66 million at New York auction

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Senate adopts GOP budget targeting ‘Obamacare’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    US reprimands agents after man forgotten in San Diego cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Huckabee, the other man from Hope, opens 2016 bid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

     
    Girl shoots self with father’s gun

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    FAA gives OK for farmers to utilize drones

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Today in history: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: May 6, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Case of date rape from 30 years ago preys on husband’s mind

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    Horoscope: May 6, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

    Weeknight vegetarian: Peel a plaintain, elevate a taco

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B7

     
    Feeling peckish for pesto? Don’t limit yourself to basil!

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

     
    Miley Cyrus on Bruce Jenner, pink armpits, her new charity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Singer Chris Brown’s battery case in Las Vegas dropped

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Bono and U2 set as sole guests on Friday’s ‘Tonight Show’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Conley comes back, leads Grizzlies past Warriors 97-90

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Vacaville grad Hekking signs with Chargers as free agent

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

    Prep badminton: Rodriguez gets MEL win over Armijo

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Prep boys volleyball: VCS falls to Golden Sierra in finale

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Armijo boys tennis team falls 5-4 in playoffs to defending champs

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Prep swimming: Rodriguez boys win MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Armijo opens playoffs with 6-0 win behind Nadia Martinez hat trick

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Ryan Vogelsong pitches surging Giants to 6-0 win over Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Local Report: Rodriguez boys swim to MEL title

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Chavez shines in A’s 2-1 victory over Twins

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Raiders to cut ties with James Jones, Miles Burris

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Raiders cut ties with 8 players

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Athletics release outfielder Cody Ross after short stint

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    San Jose beats Houston 1-0 in Dominic Kinnear’s return

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    With Wall out, Hawks beat Wizards 106-90 to even series 1-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Suit filed against Pacquiao for not disclosing injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Manny Ramirez Jr vows to make own baseball name for himself

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Derby winner nears return to track for Preakness prep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NCAA’s new head of officials ready to make tough calls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sleepless nights for Woods over Vonn split, father’s death

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Former Raiders fullback Marv Hubbard dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    49ers Bruce Miller charged with vandalism, not domestic case

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    Los Angeles sues Wells Fargo, alleging fraud by employees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    William Fay Carbine Sr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Walter Jeter Jr.

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Lois G. Johnston (Lieb) (Bayard)

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6