Denise S.

Denise S.

I had been feeling generally unwell for about a week with sharp pains in my abdomen. I was on my period at the time so I just put it down to period pains, thinking it’s just unusually worse this time, which is why I didn’t mention anything straight away. We were also moving and I carried a lot of the boxes, so I thought my aches and fatigue were due to that.

A few days after we moved in, my period had finished and it was my birthday, but the body aches and the pain in my abdomen were getting worse. I couldn’t sleep and I’d lost my appetite. I felt sick and was retching but nothing was coming up. That was when my boyfriend told me he’s taking me to the hospital. I was too tired to argue so he drove me to A&E.

When we got there, they rushed me through to triage before anyone else and got me onto a bed to run some tests. The blood tests came back with high infection levels and they said they wanted to transfer me to a bigger hospital nearby via an ambulance. Hours of questions and testing later, they put me in ICU and at midnight they took me in for an operation. Turns out I had a perforated appendix and I’d nearly left it too late because I also had sepsis, many stomach ulcers and they had to put a drain in to release all the gunk in me- ewww! (Sepsis and Appendicitis)

I was in hospital for a week and lost about a stone in weight. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. I was severely dehydrated and had an episode where my temperature went dangerously high- I was hallucinating. (Sepsis and Hallucinations)

I was finally released from hospital after I’d passed a stool and ate about two tiny mouthfuls of potato. They gave me lots of medication and removed the drain, but I spent two weeks at home recovering before I went back to work full time. I couldn’t stand up straight and was exhausted for about a month afterwards.
I had sharp stabbing pains in my belly button for months afterwards but the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was and put it down to IBS or the surgeons maybe had cut through a nerve that was now trying to repair itself.

The worst bit was my mental health. In the 6 months after my hospital visit, I was starting to recover physically, but I was getting depressed, overworked and not sleeping or eating well. I put a lot of weight on from comfort eating and lost my job. Now I think of it, I should have had a phased return but they didn’t offer it and I didn’t know that was a thing until months after I’d gotten back.

I got another job shortly afterwards, then covid hit and we were working from home. This really helped with my recovery because I had the time to deal with all the issues and I’m much happier now. Now my focus is to lose this extra weight and start eating healthier.

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