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Joyce Jones


I woke on a Monday morning with an awful sore throat. I tried to gargle saltwater, but I could not swallow. This was the worst sore throat ever! I went to my primary doctor and my BP was very low, like 44 over 30. I couldn’t sit up much less stand. The doctor came in and listened to my chest and said I’m sending you to the hospital via ambulance. I hear some pneumonia going on. (Sepsis and Pneumonia)

The paramedics hooked me up to fluids and took me to the ER. The fluids had apparently stabilized my BP so the nursed asked what was wrong. I couldn’t talk above a whisper and said my throat is sore and the doctor sent me here saying pneumonia. The nurse wanted me to drink water because I was dehydrated but I said I can’t swallow and she said yes you can, try it. Well, it dribbled down my face. They didn’t believe me! They listened to my chest, took my temperature, which they said was normal. The ER doctor came in and scratched his head in wonder and said that I didn’t have the flu and was going to prescribe some steroid packet and z pack, and sent me home.

I couldn’t swallow at all, but I tried to get the pills down crushed up. I coughed all night, hardly slept a wink and told my husband to call my doctor. He wasn’t in the office and the receptionist said go to ER if I got worse, otherwise come to office on Wednesday morning. I did get worse, started shaking uncontrollably, and had the worse pain ever in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. So my hubby called 911. The girl on the phone made him give me 4 aspirins, again, I couldn’t swallow, so I chewed them and tried to swallow without water. The pain in my chest was unbearable. The paramedics arrived and ran an EKG and took me to the ER. This was Tuesday afternoon, there were different doctors there this time, but they asked same questions and I could only squeak out answers. My hubby got there and told them the whole story and that I needed to be checked for pneumonia.

They finally took a chest X-ray. It came back that I indeed had pneumonia. I was crying hysterically in pain by this time, the head doctor came in and said we are going to admit you as you have pneumonia and a UTI. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) The nurse that night was my angel. She gave me pain meds all night and was so gentle and kind, unlike the ER nurses. Then the next morning I looked at my feet and they were all swollen like balloons. I don’t know what the nurse did about that but they went down. Then the tests began to see why I couldn’t swallow. The tests were almost intolerable since. Still had the pain in my chest. But I endured. I was on morphine.

The next night the male nurse came in and said I had an infection and they had to draw blood out of each arm to see what kind of bacteria infection I had. The next day I saw the doctor who then said if my husband had not brought me in I’d be dead. If not treated in four days this infection is fatal. No one mentioned sepsis until I went to my primary doctor the next week out of the hospital. I also have a nurse friend that said oh you went septic! I had post sepsis for the past year, I have never had such a hard time getting my strength back. (Sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome) My doctor said I wouldn’t feel like myself for about a year and he was right. Sorry this is so long. I couldn’t process things in my mind or remember things either. And definitely couldn’t make any decisions. 2 months after I got out of the hospital, I had surgery to remove my gallbladder removed as they said it was diseased. My lungs were ok, but the breathing exercises were hard to tolerate. It’s been a really tough year. I am 69 years old. My husband was a very good caregiver!

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