I’m a sepsis survivor! Following a 12-day spin in hospital IV antibiotics and two surgeries I beat sepsis! Not only have I suffered sepsis and nearly died, I’m training to become an advance nurse practitioner and I’m a sister in A&E who should have known better.
I thought I had flu and I don’t want to bother the Drs or A&E, they’re busy enough! Sepsis won’t happen to me!
I had been unwell with abdominal pains for 2 months spiking temperatures which responded to paracetamol until just before Christmas. I have endometriosis with known endometriomas (blood filled cysts).
On Boxing Day, I started to have temps of 40.1, rigors – uncontrollably shaking and blue lips and nail beds. I took some paracetamol, slept A LOT and carried on…
On the 28th Dec I went to see my friend, I was crying for 4 hours, couldn’t stop shaking and was telling her I felt like I was going to die. I hadn’t passed urine, and I was confused! She said she would take me to hospital, but I said no, and that it was flu and I was just feeling sorry for myself – my body was screaming to me to get help.
I went to my GP on the 29th who wasn’t sure, and gave me antibiotics and sent me for a blood test, he said he could send me to A&E if I wanted, but I said no, I thought, I’ll start these and soon be better. I am a stubborn nurse.
On the 30th of Dec I woke up feeling like there was something really wrong, my legs were mottled and I started to feel short of breath. That morning I should have driven out to my horse but thought I’d go into work and get my bloods repeated, but when my friend saw me she admitted me to A&E. Embarrassing as it was, I felt relieved. I was hooked up to a monitor as they thought it may be sepsis, and then the labs rang through with my blood results! I had a CRP of 319 and white cell count of 18.2 – how could I have left it so long and got so sick.
A CT scan of my abdomen later showed a 12 cm endometreoma. So I was started on meropenem, gentamicin and metronidazole. Tough antibiotics! I saw the most amazing surgeon who said how well I looked considering my blood results and we agreed to try antibiotics first, with the view of surgery if I didn’t respond.
I had my first surgery on 1st of Jan, where they found a 15cm endometreoma on my left ovary and over a litre of blood in my abdomen from a previous ruptured cyst. I had peritonitis and infection everywhere. My surgeon was baffled and could not believe how I had carried on for so long considering what was going on inside me.
I’m a fighter!!
He saved my ovary, and drained everything out. I had immense pain post op, and didn’t feel any better.
Day 1 post op my blood results continued to deteriorate and I was spiking temperatures. Day 2 post op, CRP was over 400 and wcc 20 – my surgeon said he would have to take me back to theatre and that he may have to remove my ovary…I’m 26.
The thought of losing my chances to have children was devastating and I had a feeling of impending doom. I text everyone I loved as I didn’t think I was going to wake up after this surgery.
They operated within an hour, they told me how unwell I was and told my mum I had a 40% chance to pull through and with my ovaries. I woke up 4 hours later to find out they’d saved both my ovaries. I had tubes and drains everywhere, how can this be happening to me.
I wasn’t the easiest patient especially as I’m a nurse. My surgery had saved me but I spent 4 days screaming in pain, with my mother looking after me. I felt so sick and depressed. Why hadn’t I spotted it? Why did it happen to me?
My bloods were better day by day, and on the 9th of Jan they decided to switch me to oral antibiotics, and then 24 hours later I was allowed to go home.
My surgeon said, I’m lucky to be alive. I feel lucky to be alive and to still have the chance to have children. I love my scar; my recovery starts now.
This is only part of my story. All healthcare professionals need to be aware of the signs and symptoms, and also young women who will dismay any gynae pain.
Sepsis is a silent killer.
I’m a sepsis survivor.