When I was 9 years old, I got a water infection that went into my blood stream, and I had kidney refluxing. I was hospitalised with an intravenous drip for 2 weeks, with my kidneys ending up being scarred, my right kidney much worse than my left. I became prone to water infections, but also my immune system became sluggish. This meant I’ve always easily caught sick bugs, the flu, colds, you name it, so a couple of times a year I’m ill in bed, but it’s never been anything serious, since the ordeal at 9 years old. So, when I started feeling ill, around about the end of July 2016, I just thought… “oh, here we go again”.
I started to feel nauseous, and drowsy. I went really cold, even with a blanket wrapped around me, and my skin went pale, and had almost no colour to it at all. I then spent the next couple of days in bed, trying to sleep it off, what I thought was just “another flu”. Then, really quite strangely, I felt better, just for one day.
I got out of bed and spent the day baking a cake, taking my nephew out to the park, and then I went to spend the evening at my boyfriends. But, the next day, I became unwell again, and I headed back to bed, fed up as I thought my “flu” was all over. The next few days I can’t remember much at all, other than being so cold it felt almost as though it was snowing in my bedroom, and then I’d become so hot, I’d have to take everything off, and still be sweating profusely. I couldn’t move out of bed, and I became limp and lifeless, my temperature wouldn’t stop rising, and eventually I couldn’t keep any food or drink down.
My mum decided to ring 111, and they advised to immediately take me to A & E. The wait in A & E, I have to say, was one of the worst experiences, as they were so busy, because it was the holiday season in Cornwall. We waited about an hour or so, and I remember clearly asking my mum “am I going to die?”. When it was finally my turn to be seen, they tried to perform routine tests on me in the TRIAD. But, soon realised that I couldn’t even sit up to have any tests done, as my body was flopping sideways. Upon realising this, they admitted me immediately, and I was given antibiotics via intravenous. I spent a week in hospital, and I got all the medical treatment I needed, from tremendous doctors and nurses at Treliske Hospital.
Unfortunately, February 2017, I started to feel unwell yet again. It started off with being very lethargic, and I remember having a watery mouth a lot, and headaches. Then, one morning I woke up for work, and found that I had no energy to get out of bed, and I rang in sick, something I rarely do, as I love my job. I had to have the next couple of days off, as I was barely moving out of bed, and when I did, I was very dizzy, my body felt heavy, and I ached everywhere. I then started to vomit, and that’s when my parents rang for the ambulance. Turns out, it’s was another water infection, that was starting to go into my blood stream. However, we caught it early this time, so I only had one night in the hospital with an intravenous, before I was sent home with antibiotics.
It’s important to be aware of sepsis, as when it’s caught early, it can be dealt with. The second time I had it, I was aware of sepsis, so my parents and I knew to go straight to the hospital. But the first time, it was touch and go. I could have lost my life, because I wasn’t fully aware of sepsis, and I left it too late to get help. I’m thankful to my parents, and to all the doctors and nurses that cared for me, and I can’t thank all the people that work tirelessly to raise awareness of sepsis enough, they save lives.