Brooke Sheffield


On 1/21/21, I woke up an hour before work, sweating with my heart racing. My throat was raw and it hurt to swallow. I called my job asking to let me stay home, but they guilt tripped me into coming in. So I did. After 2 hours I begged my manager to let me go and so I was sent home. I get home and my heart is still racing and I feel super lightheaded. I then develop cough along with the raw throat.

I also suffer from panic disorder and assumed it was a panic attack. I told myself I’d give myself until 9 pm and if I still didn’t feel well, I would go to the ER. Since it’s Covid season, I drove myself thinking I was suffering from a bad panic attack. I get to the ER, and they run all these tests on me and my temperature was 102.5. I had no idea. I was having chills, but again I assumed I was anxious. They tested my lactic acid and it was elevated. As was my d dimer and other tests that are elevated when suffering sepsis. I was so scared and couldn’t stop crying.

I felt so weak and usually when I get seen for a panic attack I ask the doctors, “am I going to die?” And they usually laugh and say “of course not.” This time, they didn’t answer. After being there for three hours, my ER doctor comes in and explains that I have sepsis and with my heart rate being in the 150s, they have to send me to get admitted to the actual hospital. I was there two days and the infection went away. The source? Strep throat. (Sepsis and Strep Throat)

Unfortunately, I’m not out of the woods yet. Some type of infection keeps trying to come back, so I have to watch my temperature and heart rate carefully. 2 weeks after sepsis diagnosis, I was readmitted for elevated white blood cells with no cause. I had never really heard of sepsis before, but it is very scary. I’m proud to call myself a survivor.

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