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Charles Waldrop

Charles Waldrop
Survivor

I was sitting in my favorite recliner watching TV one evening in late October of 2013 when very quickly I started to get chilled. In a few minutes it turned into shivers and then worsened with a low fever. As it continued and worsened, my wife wanted me to go to the hospital. Being a 74 year old Veteran in good health except for COPD and without health insurance, we decided to go to the VA Hospital emergency about 45 minutes away. (Sepsis and COPD)

When the doctors heard about my fever and severe chills, they ran blood tests, and x-rays of my chest. They found a large spot on my lung that was infected. They admitted me to the hospital and through an IV they gave me several antibiotics for about 3 days. They said that I had pneumonia and an infected spot on my lung. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) I was feeling fairly normal except for the pain in my lung. I couldn’t sleep on my left side, but could on my right. I stayed there for 4 or 5 days (I don’t remember which). There was this lady that was a nurse with doctor privileges, who came in and asked me many personal and health questions for about twenty minutes. I don’t know why really. Doctors don’t always explain their actions, and I usually put my trust in them and my God.

They sent me home after the antibiotics were finished. I didn’t seem to have any after effects. In the spring of 2015 the same thing happened again. A fever with chills and then worse shivering than before. I have never severely shook from neck to feet so powerfully. This time I could barely stand because of the shivering. I went to a local hospital by ambulance. When I got there and they ran some tests, I felt normal again. no fever or chills. The doctor was going to send me home. I didn’t really have any objections because I was feeling okay. As the doctor left to do the papers for discharge, the nurse stayed and was talking to my wife at the foot of the bed. I am just laying on the gurney when I had a pain in my chest from an old condition that damaged the nerves in my chest. This only lasted a couple of seconds, but caused me to grunt a little out of surprise. I hadn’t had one of these for a couple of years, but the nurse heard the grunt and headed for the door, before I could explain how minor this was.

She got the doctor and told him about my chest pain, thinking it was my heart. He came in and wanted to know if I wanted him to admit me here or send me to the VA hospital. A little voice told me to go along with this to get me checked out further. We got to the emergency room and they admitted me to the heart floor. I told the doctors there about what happened when I went to the emergency room and why they sent me here. It wasn’t my heart I didn’t think. They ran some tests and 4 doctors showed up at the foot of my bed asking me more questions about my symptoms and did I have any open sores or scratches.

One young doctor asked to look at my body for anything that could have gotten infected. I said okay and he checked my feet and legs and upper body. Nothing was found. I told them that I used a CPAP machine because I had sleep apnea. I then remembered what happened in 2013 and told them about that. The doctors looked at each other and one said, “sepsis” and two others shook their head yes. A nurse came in and swabbed my nostrils. the next day a nurse came in and said that they found MRSA in my nostrils. That was what I suspected, that my CPAP machine was infected with bacteria and passed it into my lungs. (Sepsis and MRSA)

Now I keep my CPAP machine clean as I am supposed to, so it wasn’t because of me that this happened. I had been using these machines since 2005 and that one was my 4th one without any previous problems. They, of course, hooked me to an IV and introduced antibiotics into me. I stayed there for four days and was discharged feeling fine. When I got home I checked my records online from the Veterans Administration about my previous encounter in 2013 and found: after saying that I had pneumonia as the cause of my admission, buried down in a description of my condition that this resulted in sepsis. This was the machine that I felt caused the condition anyway, and turned it back in to the VA and requested another machine. I turned this machine back into the VA also and requested another one. They said no, so I left it there with them because I could smell something wrong with it. I had tried cleaning it the way it was specified to no avail. Then I tried pouring rubbing alcohol into it and after a few days of airing out, that didn’t work either. After a month passed, I wrote them a letter asking them for another machine because I really needed one, and they sent me another one that I still have in 2021 and it is working fine and I am fine also.

The 2 machines were the problem of giving me sepsis twice. I think that God intervened on both occasions for them to find the problem; especially the second time when the doctor was going to send me home, and I wasn’t going to object at first.

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