Greg Quintana

Survivor

Posted on February 16th, 2018

In November of 2012 it was a Sunday afternoon I went to my Mom’s for a late breakfast. We ate visited and then I made my way home. As I was leaving home I felt some pain in my stomach. I had had this pain before but it always went away and it was never really this intense.

I got home and felt constipated and nauseous. The pain started to get much more intense. I started getting very warm and sweating profusely. I jumped in the shower because of how warm I was. I was still in very much pain and I got out of the shower and was sweating as much as before I got in. I told my daughter, who was 9 years old at the time, to call her Grandma. She came right over and took me to the hospital.

When I arrived at the hospital I remember being at the front desk begging for them to take me right away. They sat me down at admissions to gather some information and I remember just wanting to lay down on the floor because the pain was so bad. I remember getting angry with them for asking all kinds of questions. I just wanted the pain to stop. I was taken back into the emergency room and they started to triage my issue. They explained that they would need to do a few tests to try and determine what the issue was. They gave me very strong medicine through an IV and it helped but was short lived and did not take all the pain away.

After several tests they told me that they would need to take my gall bladder out. So I was admitted and would undergo surgery. I remember my wife was at work and I told them I did not want to go until she arrived. I went through the surgery and woke up and was told that I needed to start walking around (about 6 hours later). I remember walking through the hospital hall. That was the last conscious thing I remember until waking up three or four days later.

My wife told me that I was sleeping and the nurses told her that something wasn’t right. My temperature spiked and vitals started to tank. The surgeon who took out my gall bladder called another surgeon to take a look and see what was going on and they opened me up. (Sepsis and Surgery)

Upon doing so my surgeon moved some fatty tissue and found what he said was a mass of black and grey necrosis in my intestines. I had a blockage and it had perforated. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel) They called it midgut volvulus with malrotation, I believe. Turns out my intestines had tangled up on scar tissue inside my stomach from a previous surgery. I had a massive infection going on inside my body and they moved me to the ICU. At one point they told my wife to get my affairs in order because I would probably not live through the night.

My kidneys and liver were operating at about 1% capacity. I was told that around 4 am my body started to respond positively to the antibiotic treatment and it appeared that I would make a recovery but we were not totally out of the woods just yet. While I was out for those three days I remember some very vivid dreams/hallucinations very disturbing and demonic images. (Sepsis and Hallucinations) I feel like my mind was trying to convey to me the struggle my body was having to live. I was in the hospital for roughly 24-25 days when they let me out.

I had an open wound in my stomach stuffed with gauze that I was supposed to change and clean daily. I remember being constipated from the pain medicine and while straining I busted open my wound and began to bleed out while in the shower. There was blood everywhere. I yelled for my Dad. He came upstairs and I have to think he was shocked by the amount of blood that I had lost. He stuffed a towel in the wound and they drove me to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital I was given a blood and treated. They decided to go with a wound vac. A wonderful (sarcastic) machine that I would wear until my wound was healed enough to not present an issue.

Through the recovery I felt hopeless I felt like I would never be well again. I struggled just getting off the couch to use the bathroom. Everything I smelled was so intense it would make me nauseous. I begin having severe anxiety issues and a huge fear of mortality. My doctor wanted me to go to a mental health clinic and they diagnosed me with mild PTSD. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) I had a hard time being in a car as I begin having flashes in my mind of being in a car accident and having several bones break. I would break down and cry just driving by the hospital. I could not be around a lot of people it just made me very anxious. I had really terrible dreams and even a hallucination one evening of one of the demons figures I had seen while in the hospital.

I was out of work for a year until forced back by my job. They told me if I was out for over a year that I would lose my job. I had five hernias in my stomach, severe anxiety, I had lost a lot of weight and still had a lot of pain. Eventually I became stronger. Today I still have the hernias and the stomach issues with gas and constipation. Recently I have started to gain weight aggressively and I have constant fatigue. I feel like 30% or maybe more of he enjoyment of my life has been taken away. I do not wish this on anyone. If you have any questions please feel free to email me. I hope and pray that you or anyone you love do not have to go through what I did. I am grateful to be here. If you have stomach pain please please for the love of go have it check out!