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Kristi Gunn

Survivor

When I was 34 weeks pregnant, I woke up with a horrible pain in my right side. At the time I thought I was going into labor, so I went to the hospital to find out I had a kidney stone that was blocking my ureter. A urologist came in and decided that I would need a stent to help me urinate while I was still pregnant. (Sepsis and Kidney Stones)

I had the procedure and went into labor. They stopped my labor and I remained in the hospital for four days. One week later, I went to my OB/GYN and I had gained 12 pounds. I was in terrible pain and completely swollen. The doctor believed I had pre-eclampsia and decided they needed to deliver my daughter. I gave birth to my 6-pound 1-ounce baby girl natural breech. The next day I went in to have my tubes tied and the doctor discovered I also had a hernia. I stayed in the hospital until the next day and was then released. My daughter had to stay in the NICU as she was five weeks early.

The night after I was discharged, I woke up so cold and thought it was just my hormones after having the baby, but I phoned my urologist as well as my OB/GYN. They both advised me I should come into the office the following morning. The next morning I called the doctor to make an appointment to be seen but did not feel well enough to drive and advised the nurse I needed to sleep some and come in later in the afternoon. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth)

I slept until about 11:00 am and when I woke up, I was again freezing cold, so cold that I sat in my car with the windows up and the doors shut trying to get warm. I live in Florida. I phoned 911 as I did not feel I was right and definitely could not drive. When the EMS arrived, I could not walk and was still freezing and now hallucinating. When I arrived at the hospital the first nurse I saw was a childhood friend who recognized me but I had no clue who she was. My fever was 107 and my heart rate was 190. They started multiple IVs, taking blood performing tests on my heart, many things I don’t even remember. They immediately took me to the OR and put a catheter in my back to drain my kidney. After I was taken to ICU and had a central line put in.

My blood pressure remained very low for days and they gave me multiple drugs to bring it up. I remember looking at the monitor in the ER and seeing 50/30 and wondering how I was still breathing. I spent the next five days in ICU and then was moved to PCU for a total of 21 days. I had multiple tests and had my gallbladder removed. I kept running fevers, so I could not visit with my baby who was in the same hospital as me. My baby got to go home before I did. I could not breastfeed her as I was on so many antibiotics and pain meds that it was not safe for her. I was released from the hospital five days after she was. This I must say was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through.

Since being hospitalized with sepsis I’ve had 9 surgeries including multiple surgeries on my kidney, my appendix removed, had pneumonia several times and have many issues with chronic pain. I still need one more surgery on my kidney but am hesitant and very cautious because of all I’ve been through. Now even if I start to feel like I’m getting sick I do not hesitate to go to the doctor right away. (Sepsis and Post-Sepsis Syndrome)

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