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Christopher L.

Survivor

What started as a blackhead turned into an extremely painful chest cavity abscess the size of half a baseball! I thought I was on the mend after my Urgent Care visit to get the sucker removed. Little did I know, this would be the start of a very painful and scary experience – in the middle of a pandemic!

24 hours later, I was in so much pain and muffling my tears as I sought help from an advice nurse. By the time I got to the ER, I had a temperature of 102.9F and a team of doctors surrounding me. My heart rate was extremely high too and the scariest moment was when I felt my blood pressure suddenly drop; time felt like it had stopped. I was having an extremely hard time comprehending what was going on around me.

After a chest X-Ray, CT scan, and ultrasound, I was finally transferred to the Telemetry unit with an official diagnosis: Sepsis caused by cellulitis. (Sepsis and Cellulitis)

Going through all this during the COVID-19 pandemic did not make it any easier. Neither did being hooked up to a cardiac monitoring machine and an IV drip 24/7. I tried to stay calm but what I was being told and what I was reading online shook me to my core. Finding out the mortality rates of sepsis and knowing I could’ve died changed me. I will never forget FaceTiming my mother and having to tell her what was going on. Having to share my diagnosis and trying to find a way to tell her what I was told was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Being able to FaceTime with my family and having such an amazing team of nurses and soctors taking care of me made the experience a little less scary. And for the next 3 days, that was the only interaction I could have.

I had so many questions once I was discharged: Do I even have an immune system now? Do I still have sepsis? Am I contagious? What about the MRSA, strep, and my abscess? Are the antibiotics I’m suppose to take at home enough to fight this? My care team answered all my questions but I was still a bit wary. That was a lot of information and my brain was still stuck on “Omg, I could have died!”.

It’s been a week now since I went through all that and I have to admit, I’m still a bit anxious. One thing’s for sure, I feel very lucky to be alive and to have survived.

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