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Joline Raymond

Survivor

I had been not been feeling well since the end of December. It started off with a cold sore that both my husband and I thought was very strange, as I had never gotten one before. Two weeks later I came down with impetigo, strep throat and a sinus infection. I was treated with antibiotics and thought that was the end of it. (Sepsis and Strep Throat)

Exactly two weeks later, I woke with extremely red eyes with constant discharge along with a lot of congestion. I went back to the doctor who prescribed a stronger dose of antibiotics along with some eye drops to treat the pink eye that had developed. I was finally starting to feel better when I woke up again two weeks later with extremely red eyes and more congestion. I went back to the doctor who prescribed yet another dose of antibiotics for the sinus infection and told me I needed to see an ophthalmologist for the eye infection. The ophthalmologist put me on a dose of steroids to try and rid the eye infection once and for all.

Things were starting to improve again and I thought I had finally turned the corner.

The last week of February I started to not feel well again. The congestion had return and I just wasn’t feeling myself. I messaged my doctor who told me to wait it out and if I wasn’t feeling better by Monday, to make an appointment. On Saturday, I went to the State High School Wrestling tournament with my family. As the day went on I remember telling my husband it was so cold in the arena, my legs ached and I was just feeling more and more crummy. On Sunday I woke up with the intentions on cleaning out my son’s room. I started cleaning and noticed I kept getting dizzy and the body aches were getting more intense. I decided to just take it easy in hopes it was just another bug.

By Sunday night I had the chills and I took my temperature. At that time it was 102.1. I remember calling my mom crying in frustration. I was so tired of being sick. I started to vomit and at the urging of my husband I made an appointment for Monday morning.

Unfortunately, when I woke up on Monday, our school was 2 hours delayed due to very cold temperature. I moved my original appointment to later that morning. The vomiting and dizziness continued and as I was trying to get my kids ready to catch the school bus I passed out. I remember waking up to their three faces looking over me saying “I will call dad”, “I will call 911”. I told them I am fine just keep getting ready. At that point I wasn’t quite sure I passed out.

I was able to get them on the bus and then drive myself to the doctor’s office. The nurse took my blood pressure and asked if I typically have low blood pressure. I said no, not that I know of. The doctor immediately came in with a juice box and told me my blood pressure was 60/40 and I needed to go to the emergency room right away. I called my husband who picked me up.

When we arrived at the ER, my blood pressure was still around 60/40 and my heart rate was in the 160s. They immediately hooked me up to IVs and started drawing blood and took me to X-Ray. At this point I thought was just dehydrated and would be going home in a little bit. The doctor came in and informed me I had pneumonia. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) I remember my husband and I both thinking that couldn’t be right because through this all I was never coughing. He assured us that it was pneumonia and they would monitor me and continue to give me fluids in hopes my blood pressure and heart rate would stabilize.

A couple hours later he came back in and informed my husband they needed to transfer me to a specialty hospital. I remember my husband asking why and he said they are not equipped to deal with patients like me. At this point we were still under the assumption the pneumonia was making me sick. It was not until I was in the ambulance I was told I was in septic shock.

I don’t remember much after that…I arrived at the specialty hospital and was in the ICU for four days. Immediately on arrival I had a central line and arterial line placed. My blood pressure was still dropping, my heart rate was still very fast and my temperature was still climbing. My husband said the doctors told him the amount of vasopressors and medication I received was extremely high. Things were touch and go as my various organs started to fail. I remember bits and pieces of what was going on but for the most part things are a blur. I am told that is a good thing!!

By Wednesday afternoon, things finally started to turn the corner and my blood pressure and heart rate were responding to the medication and fluid treatment. I was transferred to the medical floor on Thursday and stayed for another week.

joline_raymond_familyI am very, very lucky; I have little to no lasting effects of the septic shock. I have lost some hair and skin on my hands and feet. I am dealing with numbness and tingling in my face and am still get very tired if I do too much. Through all my re-check appointments I reminded just how lucky I am. I have been told that many people do not survive when their lactic acid level was as high as mine was. It is amazing how quickly things can change in the blink of an eye. I truly am lucky and extremely blessed and hope by sharing my story it helps others out there!!!!

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