Gay former D.C. Council member Jim Graham was recuperating this week from an intestinal ailment at a rehabilitation center associated with Ingleside at Rock Creek retirement community following a stay at George Washington University Hospital for more than two weeks.
“On April 5 I came down with a rather bad case of C-Diff, something I had never heard of previously,” Graham said in a text message to people he knows. “It’s a reaction to a doctor-prescribed antibiotic that can be seriously debilitating but more often produces awful diarrhea,” he said in his text.
Graham said he lost 25 pounds and became “super weak” during his prolonged illness that made it necessary to continue his recuperation at the rehab center.
“I’ve had a remarkable turnaround today,” he told the Blade on June 2 — “Feeling so much better finally.”
C-Diff is an abbreviation for a condition the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls Clostridium difficile, a bacterial infection in the intestines that the CDC says can be triggered in older adults by antibiotics that hinder the body from fighting off C-Diff bacteria that are in the ambient environment.
The CDC says the infection can also be contracted by coming into contact with C-Diff bacteria through fecal contamination from other infected people in bathrooms and other places such as hospitals.
Graham, 71, served as the Ward 1 representative on the D.C. Council from 1999 to January 2015. Prior to his election as a Council member Graham served as executive director of D.C.’s Whitman-Walker Clinic for 15 years and has been credited with playing a key role in leading the city’s fight against AIDS.
Since April 2015 Graham has served as special events director for the George Ave., N.W. nightclub The House, which features male nude strippers on Thursday and Sunday nights for a gay clientele.