Jacque Crehan, PhD
On Tuesday, June 11, 2014, I had minor surgery to remove a lymphoma off of each leg just above the ankle. The doctor said that he would need to do this under general anesthesia but it would still be as an outpatient. I did indeed go home that afternoon. (Sepsis and Surgery)
After being home for a couple of hours, I mentioned to my husband that I was tasting the anesthesia. I told him that this was unusual, as I had had other surgeries and never tasted anesthesia before. The surgeon called that night (this is a usual practice for this surgeon) and I mentioned to him that I was tasting anesthesia. He told me that I would be fine the next day and not to worry. Sure enough, the next day, I did not taste the anesthesia.
Friday, June 14, 2014, I went antique shopping with my neighbor. I was coughing but addressed it to be just my asthma being kicked up due to the dust and musty smell in these shops. I continued to cough through Monday night. Even though I was coughing, I was not feeling bad, so I had friends over on Monday night for dinner and cards. They left about 11 PM and we cleaned up the dishes and then my husband went to bed. I told him I was going to check emails first. I went to bed about 12:30 and the next thing I remember it was around 2 AM on Tuesday, June 19th.
I woke up cold and shaking, and tried putting on various clothes and getting back into bed. This continued until about 5 AM, when I woke my husband and told him to call 911. He said he would drive me to the hospital. I remember telling him no, as I did not know what was going on with me. I don’t remember a lot after that.
I remember being in the ambulance and the EMT tried to start an IV, and I remember him saying that he blew it – to go on to the hospital. The next thing I remember is them saying that I had 103.8 temperature and my heart rate was 225, and I had pneumonia. The next thing I remembered was them trying to put me into a bed in a hospital room and the nurse yelling to get the doctor as my blood pressure was 31. The hospitalist ran in and said that they needed to get me to ICU. The hospitalist had a fourth-year medical student with him. He told this student to take my husband to a different elevator than the one they were taking me.
I spent four days in ICU and then three days in a regular hospital room. I was diagnosed with pneumonia with sepsis. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) The multiple bags of antibiotics killed all the good bacteria in my stomach and I am still taking probiotics trying to add more good bacteria to my digestive system.
I was in sepsis danger for three hours before it dawned on me to get my husband to call 911. I think people need to be aware that sepsis does not always start in a hospital. You can be at home. People need to know the signs of when to call 911. If I had waited much longer to call, there is a good chance that I would not be here today writing this.