My name is Mike King. I am a wedding photographer aged 68. I have had extremely good health all of my life.
My problem started towards the end of June 2015. I came home from a early wedding on a Saturday afternoon feeling generally unwell. I took myself off to bed at around 2pm, within 15 minutes I started violently shivering and sweating. I had pains in my abdomen and chest and back. I also was doing my best to vomit, but spent all night just heaving. The sweating was soaking the bed clothes. Although my wife wanted to call 999, Ii stopped her as I thought that I just had a virus. The following morning everything had settled, so I thought that was the end of it. I was wrong, it happened again 5 days later, exactly the same. Over a period of four weeks still thinking I had a recurring virus it had happened seven times. By then I had lost 2 stone in weight!
I cancelled my remaining weddings on the grounds that i could not offer reliability. I knew that something more serious than a virus was happening. A visit to the doctor, and a blood test or two later had me sent to A&E. It was confirmed that my problem was gallstones which apparently had passed through. After four days I was released from hospital. Two weeks later I had an endoscopy to widen my bile duct to stop stones blocking.
They were unable to complete the procedure. The night after, I had the same issue more violently than ever. I had become delirious, and was hallucinating. My urine that i could pass was a deep orange colour, which I put down to dehydration from sweating. My wife was once again was again refused by myself to go to hospital, with me insisting I would be ok in the morning. I eventually started resting from the pain around 6 am.
I was still asleep at 10am when my wife came up to check on me. She turned me over, I was yellow, my face and my eyes. I was in a state of semi consciousness. I just wanted to go back to sleep. I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with sepsis!
My blood pressure had dropped to 60 over 40. I was very calm and drifting. I just wanted to sleep. My liver kidneys and pancreas were starting to fail. I was also itching a lot. They were going to fly me to the QE Hospital in Birmingham, but there was no surgeon available at the time.
I was in intensive care for 2 days and was in hospital for 5 days. During my stay in hospital I had around 6 different antibiotics , intravenous fed, plus 18 litres of saline. It turned out that the sepsis was caused by a blocked bile duct. I was told that two hours later into hospital that i would have died.
The whole experience has left me with some psychological shock. I now get occasional bouts of depression,
And i have experienced some memory loss.i have still not regained the stamina that i lost at that time, feeling tired very quickly. I don ‘ t know if I will get back to normal. My wedding career has now changed for good, just taking a few short ones, with a view to taking full retirement this year (2016) I still get quite upset when thinking of what happened.
I can only describe sepsis as a silent killer! There is no doubt that were it not for my wife and Hereford County hospital, I would have died.