My name is Julie and I am the married mother of three kids and a wonderful husband. I have a history of recurrent UTIs but in 08 they got worse and I was on antibiotics a lot.
I was at my urologist’s office when I passed out in the restroom. They carried me to a room. The nurse touched my abdomen and I was burning up. They rolled me over to the ER since the buildings were connected. I was immediately triaged and taken to a treatment room. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections)
The doctors were trying to get a central line in me as I was fading fast. My heart rate was 180 and my BP was 60. I coded within 10 minutes of getting there. I never lost my hearing. I could not respond but could hear everything. It felt like a elephant was on my chest and I couldn’t get a breath in. The diarrhea was pouring out of me uncontrollably. I had c.diff and I was in septic shock. (Sepsis and C. Diff.)
They resuscitated me and I awoke to several nurses squeezing bags of fluids into me and the stretcher had me upside down. I was unable to communicate, tubes and lines were everywhere and I was very confused. “Very critical” is what they told my family and they told them to call anyone else that might need to be notified.
I spent weeks in the hospital with many complications. I went home and, exactly one week later, I developed diarrhea again. We decided we better head back to the hospital. Within 30 minutes I was unconscious. We arrived at the hospital and they immediately activated the sepsis protocol. I don’t remember much about this event other than I was once again in ICU a long time. It was c.diff again and as always I was in isolation. They kept me sedated as much as they could but I was so sick and the fevers were so high. Each time the complications were bad. Each time my family thought I would die as they were not given much hope. There were days I wished God would take me I was so sick.
In May 22, 09, they took out my large intestine and left me with an ileostomy. In June, I developed major blood clots and was hypercoagulable. I had to have a port inserted and go to rehab for a clot that went to my brain and affected my right side. I finally came home and home health was coming and a nurse accessed my port in an unsterile manner. I became sick within 24 hours with high temp, severe chills. An ambulance came and took me back to the hospital and once again I was in septic shock from E.coli in my blood. I was in vascular ICU because I could not maintain my BP or heart rate. I was on dopamine to try and keep my kidneys perfused. Sometime during the night my BP bottomed out and they gave me norepinephrine and I coded.
I woke up to a room full of people and never knew there was a crisis. This episode was really a touch and go from day to day. Horrible to think back on. The trauma it caused my kids and the emotional toll it took on me. You never feel safe. Every time some little thing happens you think, “Do I need to go to the hospital or is this nothing?” I have so much to be thankful for and one is the excellent nursing care I received at Tampa General and the Infectious Disease doctors and ICU staff. Many things happened that I didn’t go into but if anyone wants to talk to me about it I will be happy to. Glad to be a part of the sepsis alliance.