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Mark Townsend

Padres Heath Bell on the mend following bout with typhoid fever

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Anytime you hear fever and bell in the same sentence, you probably think back to the famous SNL skit featuring Will Ferrell, Christopher Walken and his prescription for more cowbell.

That was funny.

The fever that recently struck San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell(notes) while he was on vacation with wife, Nicole ... not so much.

Writes Corey Brock of MLB.com:

While in Maui, the two-time All-Star, was hospitalized with what was later diagnosed as typhoid fever, a bacterial infection that worked its way into Bell's bloodstream on their trip to Tavarua 10 days earlier.

Typhoid fever, if left untreated, can lead to intestinal complications, kidney failure and, in some cases, death.

Yikes.

Bell cites something he ate in Tavarua as the cause for his illness. By the time he and his wife arrived in Hawaii for the second leg of their vacation, he was experiencing body aches and night sweats. That's when he went to the emergency room and was found to have the bacterial infection in his bloodstream.

Sounds to me like he was pretty lucky he sought medical attention when he did. Another day or two for the infection to do its work and who knows what the complications may have been. Bell himself realizes how serious it could have been and seems to be viewing the illness as a life-changing experience.

"I just think it's a blessing in disguise. Maybe it's the Lord telling me to ease up a little," Bell said. "Life is a gift and that's what we've been talking about the last week. You just never know."

Despite the eye opener off the field, something tells me we won't see Heath Bell ease up on his intensity on the pitching mound this season. We're thankful for that, just as we're thankful that he is on his way to full recovery.

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