Oct. 1, 2007 I was rushed by ambulance to the ER with severe abdominal pain. Emergency surgery revealed my large intestine had perforated, and that was literally the beginning of the fight for my life. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel) Peritonitis had set in, and I was close to having a stroke several times. Next was pneumonia, and every breath was a struggle. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) At that point I was admitted to ICU and told it was only as a precaution, which we all know is never the case.
By now it had become nearly impossible to access a vein for the IVs needed, so a PICC line was put in. I lost count of the number of CAT scans, etc., I endured, while feeling as though I was only getting sicker instead of better. I remember 5 doctors at my bedside on a Sunday telling me that my chances of surviving were only 5% and they didn’t know what else to do.
One of the doctors present specialized in disease control, and he ordered my PICC line to be changed out with a new one inserted. At this point I was so weak and the pain was very intense, but I wasn’t giving up on myself. I had been widowed the year before and had 6 kids to think about. At this point in time I had been in the hospital for 10 weeks! The lab was able to identify a specific bacteria caused by the PICC line and a new antibiotic was administered. (Sepsis and Invasive Devices) I could feel an improvement within hours, and 2 weeks later was discharged to an acute rehab hospital.
After 2 weeks of intense rehab I was able to go home for a week, and returned to the hospital for a second surgery to reverse my ostomy. To this day I deal with chronic pain, fatigue and some weakness, but am so blessed to be able to say that I am a survivor!