Walking through the blues.

Kicking Ass

Posted on February, 10th 2015 by Marie

Three days ago, my world sank. It felt as if I ran right into a wall of darkness.


Walter had no appetite at breakfast, but went about his business. A few hours later, he came home from a run to Trader Joe’s looking really weak. He felt hot to the touch. Since he is on immuno-suppressant drugs, this has historically meant that we need to act fast, because his immune system cannot fight as well as it used to.

I wanted to bring him to UCLA immediately. But he refused.


His fever was 102  – way above 101, which is the point where we need to take action.


He insisted to go lie down. My heart sank, and I agreed to give him an hour – and then we’d reassess. I gave him zinc and vitamin C – since I had had a cold, and our youngest had too.

And then I waited. The old feelings of “what if” came right back and almost bowled me over. It is still all so recent. I calmed myself – couldn’t focus on my work – so sat down with a cup of tea and watched HGTV! The wall of fear was massive.

But a show about the redemptive power of taking old dumpy houses and turning them into castles somehow helped.

An hour later I walked back in and we checked Walter’s temperature. I fully expected disaster. I had the phone ready to dial 911. And you know what? His temperature had dropped to 101!

I filled him with more water and manuka honey, and let him rest for another hour. When I came back in, his temperature was in the normal range in one ear, and 100.8 in the other ear!


An hour later all was NORMAL!!!!

You know what that means? His immune system is actually WORKING again, AND his new liver is too! I did a dance around his room – both index fingers taking turn pointing to the sky as I boogied all over the bedroom while singing a little jig with totally heartfelt lyrics:


“Walter, you are kicking aaaass – kicking aaaaass!!!

He laughed so hard and kept chuckling at the ridiculousness of it… I don’t know – for me it was totally felt! Just one of those moments…..

Here we are now a few days later – and he is still kicking aaaaas!

Today the band rehearses here, I am back writing and editing, and HGTV is turned off!


53 thoughts on “Kicking Ass”

  1. I’ m glad , life can be so very cruel at times.Jesus is our true comforter ,if there is one thing I’ve ever learned ,it’s Jesus will see us through, all else will cease.

  2. Fantastic – well, about Walter, too, but AMAZING you had the courage and the patience to allow Walter to ‘wait and see’ and were rewarded for doing it! Great strength, Marie – small wonder Walter is doing so well with you there beside him. Prayers for you both. xx

    1. Well, thank you! It was not easy – my fears were raging. And as we often do when we are in fear, I wanted to react. But he was very firm, and I am so glad he was right. And now I dance on 😀

    1. I totally agree. With healthy normal bodies – a fever is a sign of health. But when someone is on drugs that suppress the immune system, it can be dicey…. But it seems Walter is getting out of the woods now…

  3. thank god everything is ok. you and Walter have been through too much to have a set back now. Walter is a great man and a lucky one to have someone as special as you in his life. I will never forget meeting Walter when he played at Building 24 in Wyomissing Pa right after he fell and bruised his ribs. he talked to me as if he was just a regular person and not the star that he is. the funny thing about it was he and I had a good 20 minute discussion about Luther Allison and how he played the blues from his heart. that was a great day in my life.

  4. I’m so pleased he’s got you Marie, and that Walter is ok. Your Great! If Walter didn’t have you and such a loving family, I wonder if he would be such a fighter himself……Love to you all xx

  5. Unexpectedly, our son was diagnosed with a faulty heart valve. We managed to get the funds together for a private operation and a year ago he had open heart surgery to rectify a problem we and he never knew he had. He has served as a Marine twice in Afghanistan. We learnt that he could have died as a result of this inherited defect at any time. He has now worked his way back and is now as strong and as fit as he has ever been. My wife and I understand exactly what you and your family have gone through. It is important you all keep your health as well as Walter.

    1. Yes, we start really understanding how precious our health is when it goes. Now and forever we will always be thankful for each day. Much love to you and your family. So glad your son made it. And is “kicking ass” also 😀

      1. Thank you for your wishes. I’m sure you understand that mental health is as important and physical health. It is important to talk to each other.

  6. wow here in lima ohio I hang on every thing you write about walter.have met him in wapak ohio and loved him and his music.thank you so much for your updates.through all this have flet like Ive come to know you a little too.god bless you and walter and your family

  7. This has been a long time coming for you and Walter, Marie! So happy to hear the new liver is functioning normally and his immune system is starting to work better as well!! So happy for you guys!

    Much Love,


  8. Fedt at høre, Marie. De bedste ønsker og tanker til jer alle herfra. Glæder os til at opleve endnu en koncert med Walter i Danmark. Kram fra DK


  9. TerRific visual
    Of you dancing around! What a difference a donor makes! Walter is so blessed! Now book him in Philly!!

  10. I’m so happy Walter is doing well. I was so upset when I first heard he was in poor health. I met him once in 1988 at Bogarts in Cincy. He kicked ass! My dad had seen the Bluesbreakers show in Louisville and somehow got tickets and a pass to go backstage to the Cincy show. Dad took me with him. I was 16 and thought I was big time hanging with the band. Walter talked to me for a long time that evening. I have a picture of the two of us that I will have to dig up. About 7 years later, I saw him at the Memphis in May festival and again he kicked ass. I had taken the picture from years before and showed him after the show. He laughed! He is such a fun guy! I’m sent and will continue to send positive thoughts your way. Keep us posted!!!

  11. walter he give us so much ,so many ours of pleasere, so beatiful music.
    he is a strong man and besides,s hem stand a strong women.
    love you both

  12. Can never be too safe especially on long term immunosuppressive medications. Any updates on his hep C – is he getting the new DAAs?

  13. I met Walter a couple of times in Wapakoneta, OH after the shows and started following him because I love his music. Since then, with all that has happened, I feel like I’ve come to know you a little bit as well Marie and am so happy to have met you! You are positive and definitely an inspiration – and I bet a lot of fun as well 🙂 I continue to have you and your family in my prayers! Thank you for keeping us posted!

    1. Thanks Gail. I hope to incorporate all the fun I can… As I am finishing writing my dissertation, I need to remember to go for the fun, the light and the ridiculous once in a while 😀

  14. I am so happy to hear that all is well with Walter and you I have a real connection with him, as my Dad was the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center from 1996 to 1998. I really hope Walter and you make it to Kansas City when he gets back on the road again. I saw him in 2023 when he was here and it would be awesome to see him again.

  15. Together with some good friends I was much interested in all your impressing write-ups you posted during the last 12 months. Unfortunately we noticed your ‘Houston’post only now. All the more it is incredibly good news for Walter ‘s fans all over the world. You and your whole family deserve
    it so much that it went this way. Hopefully health remains stable in the future for all of you. Belonging ourselves, we are looking forward so much to see Walter with the band on their Europeen tour. Probably we ‘ll meet them twice at Amsterdam and Bochum.
    With kind regards from Germany!!

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"We are more alike than we are different. This is the story of the blues."