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Kimberly Neal

Survivor

It was December 23, 2017. I didn’t know anything was wrong. I’d been diagnosed with bronchitis two days before, but with medicine, I was feeling fine. I laid down for a nap that afternoon. When I woke there were bright lights and doctors and nurses surrounding me. I couldn’t stay awake. They kept asking if I’d taken anything?

No.

My husband said I’d been asleep all day. He was alarmed when I started breathing funny. Know now it was called “The Death Rattle.” He tried to wake me with hard slaps and I wasn’t responding. I was unconscious by then. I was in and out while doctors did CTs, blood work, I’d occasionally hear a question but I’d pass out before I could answer. It was Christmas Eve, and when I opened my eyes I was being wheeled in to Critical Care Unit. I remember thinking “this isn’t good” before going back out. My diagnosis was septic shock. I had pneumonia by then and had a UTI. (Sepsis and Pneumonia, Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) I had what was known as Silent UTI. There are no symptoms for this condition. Only confusion once it progresses to sepsis. That’s why it’s so deadly.

The bacteria from my bladder had travelled to both kidneys and they had shut down. The doctor told my husband I would have died within hours if he hadn’t gotten me help. He said he knew something was wrong because I wasn’t making sense during an earlier conversation and I’d slept all day with no movement. When I began breathing funny he knew something was wrong. Doctors aren’t sure if the sepsis was from pneumonia or the UTI, but the outcome would have been the same. I’ve recovered now, but I don’t take urinary symptoms lightly.

Earlier today my mom wasn’t feeling well. My dad said she was confused and thought it was her blood pressure. She went to the bathroom and stated she’d had trouble urinating yesterday. I immediately took her.to the doctor. She had a bladder and kidney infection. They gave her IV antibiotics along with oral antibiotics for home. She felt better immediately. Take any kind of confusion with it without fatigue seriously. It could save yours or someone you love their life.

I don’t have PTSD as a result, but I believe my husband does. He’s a strong, quiet man, and nothing really gets to him. He talked about it for a while afterwards and says he’s scarred from the events that took place. He says he’s never been the same, and never will be.

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