I was struggling with heartburn and other digestive ailments and I was referred to a specialist in the area. Upon completion of several tests, I was told that I had pre-cancerous cells developing in my esophagus. I was told I needed to take care of this immediately. The word CANCER scared me into having surgery. (Sepsis and Surgery)
During the out-patient surgery, the surgeon sewed my esophagus closed. In the recovery area I became very ill. It’s at that time we believe that the stitched closing off my esophagus tore out. The doctor left on vacation shortly after the surgery. After the stitches tore, I was left with 2 pencil-sized holes. The physician that was subbing for my vacationing surgeon did nothing. After 4 days in the hospital in horrible pain, I was blessed by a visit from a friend. This friend was a nurse, a surgery nurse. She took one look at me and called for help. Thank God. The doctor she worked for was kind enough to come take a look. After checking me out, he called my surgeon and told him to come in ASAP. He knew I was headed for certain death.
My surgeon came in, opened me up and cleaned out what he could, and inserted several chest tube to drain fluids. Shortly after that they discover I had sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. By this time I was in respiratory distress, and my vital signs tanked. I was air lifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. When my wife arrived, the nursing staff saw I had three young children and they cried. They gave my wife the indication that I wasn’t going to make it. They wouldn’t show or tell her much of anything.
They put me into a drug-induced coma and placed me on a special rocking bed. It would be several weeks before they told her I had a 50/50 chance of surviving. She never lost hope and about 2 months later I became conscious. But, during this unconscious state I developed delirium. I must have been in delirium at least 10 days to 2 weeks. When it looked like I would live they showed my wife the chest x-rays taken shortly after I was admitted. Only 5% of my lungs were working. It was a true miracle I survived. When I finally got discharged I asked what the long term consequences of what I’d been through. The doctors just shrugged their shoulders.
That was 2005, let’s fast forward to today. I am suffering from serious cognitive problems and memory issues. (Sepsis and Post-Sepsis Syndrome) I also suffer with chronic pain throughout my body. It’s especially bad in my feet, elbows, back, hands, shoulders and stomach. I was faced with the impossible task of leaving with these pains that still exist. My digestive system is also damaged. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes on me. I can’t work which makes me feel useless. I have also developed depression and anxiety along with PTSD. (Sepsis and PTSD) Every day is a fight. Moving is very painful. Once I finally get up and switch into high gear. I have to keep my mind busy otherwise I fall into a terrible depression. All I can do every day is do my best. I’m thankful God spared my life. But everyday is a fight.