Celeste Zugec


Thank you for allowing me to tell this story. I have not been told I am a sepsis survivor but I was told I was septic. I have always had IBS and as I have aged (I’m 73) I developed diverticula. Not unusual, I know. In 2000 I was in hospital for C-diff and in 2014 I was in hospital for diverticulitis. Both times with a great deal of pain and suffering before diagnosis. (Sepsis and C. Difficile)

In April 2021 I was again admitted for five days of heavy duty IV antibiotics for diverticulitis causing myocarditis. I had not been feeling well for some time but thought I was finally going to be treated. Because of heart palpitations I was sent to a cardiologist and went through several months of testing. Then in July of 2021 as I was preparing for a follow up colonoscopy I was taking the required laxatives. Everything was going in but nothing was coming out and I became very ill. My family called for an ambulance and I was taken to hospital with a fever of 40C, heart palpitations, and red mottling on my skin. They immediately thought I once again had diverticulitis and I was admitted and placed on IV antibiotics. Following another CT scan, I received a visit from a surgeon who informed me that I needed an immediate Hartman’s Procedure (colostomy) for a bowel blockage. If I did not agree to this, they would treat me with IV antibiotics but I would not likely survive.

I agreed to the surgery and was taken into the ER within an hour of that visit. During surgery I apparently went into A-fib and then into a coma for 48 hours. Once out of the coma I was in ICU for 7 days before being admitted to the “step-down unit” and then to a room. I was told by several nurses and the on duty doctors that they had not been certain whether I would live. After twenty-two days in hospital I was sent home, still on IV antibiotics and daily nursing visits to help in the early recovery. Last year 2022 was a challenging one as we made the decision to move and my husband was diagnosed with early dementia. Since the surgery my breathing is not good and I have a chronic cough. I am a singer so that is one problem. I have constant joint pain from what everyone says is OA (which I do have). I am unable to take NSAIDs because of the blood thinners that I am now on. I’m exhausted and often find it difficult to focus and other symptoms as you have listed are also part of my daily existence. We have had to change doctors because of the move and so the new doc is really not as invested in these issues as my other doc of over twenty years. I happened to find your site and would like to participate in any program available to me in Canada. Thank you.

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