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Kari Wilford

Survivor

I had surgery to save my left kidney in August 2019. Within a day of being released from the hospital, I had severe joint pain and a rising fever. (Sepsis and Surgery) The next day I woke up with chills so I called my doctor who assumed I probably picked up a bug and put me on antibiotics.

A few more days went by and I went to the ER because I was feeling run down and the antibiotic didn’t seem to be helping. The ER doctor put me on a different antibiotic and thankfully told me to drop everything and come straight back if my fever went higher or I had confusion. 2 nights later, I wasn’t making sense when I talked so my husband took me back to the ER. The doctor told me she thought I was septic right away.

I started to shake violently from what my brain told me was being cold. I just wanted a blanket but the doctor insisted I was very sick and needed to be transfered to a bigger hospital because there was a suspected urine leak in my abdomen. When they put the abdominal drain in, they first removed the fluid which was looked like wet sand. After confirming it was indeed a urine leak, I was in the hospital for a week on heavy antibiotics and sent home with an abdominal drain for a month and a half.

Coming home was hard. My thoughts were extremely fuzzy, my skin was peeling everywhere, I felt sick and tired most of the time, and eventually I started losing my hair. Doctors had no answers so I felt very alone for a year. I had to leave my volunteer position on a board of directors at a comfort care home because I couldn’t remember peoples names that I knew for years. I couldn’t continue my job so I had to resign. Now a year and a half later, my hair is just beginning to grow in, my mind is better but I still feel the disconnect at times, and I still feel quite run down a lot. I’m thankful I found a support group who made me feel like I wasn’t alone. It’s a long, frustrating road to recovery.

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