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Arely Martinez

Featured, Survivor

I wasn’t extremely familiar with sepsis until I experienced it. One week after having a 25 cm ovarian cyst removed, I began to experience violent chills and a low-grade fever. (Sepsis and Surgery) I wasn’t overly concerned, so I took some Tylenol. However, the symptoms worsened after four days. I had a 104.2 fever and shivering uncontrollably.

My mom desperately tried taking me to the ER but since I had taken Tylenol, I got better along the way therefore we drove back home. I went to bed that night but experienced some discomfort around my belly button. It was already past midnight so I didn’t want to bother my mom. The next morning I suffered from raging fever again only this time I vomited and it was not a pretty color. My brother took me to the ER, I went in thinking they would just prescribe some medicine and send me home. Well, that wasn’t the case.

The nurse took my vitals and from the concerned expression on his face, I knew things weren’t looking good. My temperature was 104.1, BP was 62/50 and my heart rate was 134 BPM. I was so scared and disoriented, I couldn’t remember my birthday. I was immediately given morphine and antibiotics before I went in for a CT scan where it was established that I had a perforated bowel and developed sepsis. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel) I immediately underwent emergency surgery. Everything happened so fast. One minute I was in the ER and the next I woke up in excruciating pain with tubes and drains in my body. It was confirmed that fecal impaction caused my perforation. After my first surgery, I was constipated, and I forced a bowel movement. I never realized how dangerous it was to force a bowel movement. This whole experience has certainly changed my life, but I am forever grateful to be alive.

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