Diana B.

Survivor

Posted on January 11th, 2019

At age 65 on 7/21/18, I went into septic shock on my daughter’s 37th birthday. I had a UTI and was unaware of a kidney stone. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections, Sepsis and Kidney Stones)

My first trip to ER resulted in a diagnosis of the stone, and I was given morphine for pain before being sent home with three prescriptions. Twelve hours later, I became nauseous, developed uncontrollable tremors, and returned to the ER. I remember the five-minute drive there, being wheeled inside in a wheelchair by my husband, and beginning to explain to the receptionist my symptoms. The next thing I remember is waking up in ICU five days later. As my family explained to me in bits and pieces over the next few days what had happened, I remember thinking what a blessing it was to have been unaware of the various medical procedures I had. I still didn’t fully understand the seriousness of the situation and how lucky I was to be alive.

I had kidney failure and minor heart damage. I was in ICU for 8 days, and then a step down room in the critical care unit for another 5 days, before I was released. I was able to go home (rather than a skilled nursing facility) with home nurse visits, home physical therapy, and kidney dialysis at a nearby facility. I am so grateful to report that my kidneys are again fully functional, I have no serious long-term effects, and I am back to my job.

Yes, I have minor side effects, some of which may be with me the remainder of my life: tinnitus in my left ear; tingling in my finger tips, which still turn an odd purplish color when they get cold; hair loss; fatigue. But, based on everything I have learned since about septic shock and the possible outcomes, I know how fortunate I am. I received excellent medical care, and it turns out that the ICU doctor on call the evening I was admitted specializes in sepsis and septic shock. I am truly blessed.