Kelly Marcus


I had been sick with something that I couldn’t put my finger on for a couple of months. After a few trips to the doctor, I had decided that I guess my new reality was the feeling of fatigue, back ache, and stomach ache that was just driving me up the wall. There wasn’t much I could do, since the doctor wasn’t finding anything wrong. I had to deal with it. Until I couldn’t.

I remember being at my youngest daughter’s gymnastic lesson and being incredibly cold. I kept asking other parents if they were cold, and a few said yes. So, I decided that the building must have been chillier than normal. But no matter what I did, I could not warm up. I also felt so tired. When Violet finished up her tumbling routines, the two of us started our 35 minute ride home. I asked her to talk to me all about classes because I didn’t feel well and needed someone to help me keep my mind of things. She happily obliged.

When we arrived at our house, it was all I could do to get inside. I asked my other children, at the time ages 14, 13, and 11, to find extra blankets for me because I was so cold, and they came to tuck me into bed. I remember my daughter saying, “but mom, you’re so hot,” and I said, “There’s no way that I’m hot, I’ve never been so cold in my life.” My now husband, but boyfriend at the time, was working an evening shift at a home for disabled adults and couldn’t get off of work until 11pm. When he did get to the house, he crawled into bed and immediately started yanking blankets off of me. I begged him not to. I started crying. He told me I was going to burn alive. I was shaking begging him to cover me up. It was at this point that we probably should have gone to the hospital, but didn’t. I somehow managed to go to sleep.

The next day, my husband got everyone ready for school, but my youngest was worried about me so she stayed home with me. She offered to take my temperature, something I’m sure we should have done the night before, and it said 104. I was naturally shocked at this. My temp typically runs at 97. I told Violet that we needed to work together to get me to the hospital. She was 7, but very resourceful as most youngest children can be. She got coats, shoes, hats, and gloves together (as this was winter time) and we headed to the car. I drove us very slowly the 2 miles to the hospital, and basically crawled my way inside. Talking was a whisper. Violet told the nurse what was wrong with me and who to call, and as the nurses were checking me in, she sat in the ER room with me telling them what was wrong. I’ll never forget her big round eyes, as she sat on the chair saying with the voice of a big girl what was wrong with her mommy.

I remember being told I was septic in the ER, and that I was being admitted but everything from there is a blur. I know my husband came soon and took Violet. I know that his mother helped with the other children. I know I was in the hospital for 3 days, and that the first night the doctor told my husband I may not make it. I consider myself very lucky to be alive and owe my life to the doctors and nurses who worked hard to save me. My body hasn’t been the same since I had sepsis. Everything is new and it changed forever, but I’ll take this body and this life over not having one.

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