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Kristine Yeaw

Survivor

April 2016 I became very ill with kidney stones, UTI and e-coli, requiring surgery and brief hospital stay. (Sepsis and Kidney Stones, Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) I couldn’t imagine anything worse. I haven’t figured out the correct word that accurately describes the amount of pain that comes with having kidney stones. I was wrong , there is much worse.

Fast forward to July 2020. My husband and I are preparing for trip we planned for our 28th wedding anniversary (7/11), we leave on the 8th. July 6th , I woke up after just couple hours of sleep to side ache I tossed and turned for bit trying to get comfortable and go back to sleep until it hit me. “I know this feeling! Oh sh**! Kidney stones! ” I cried, I prayed for them to go away, I pleaded. How could this be happening ? We need this vacation coming in 2 days. After couple hours of increasing pain we headed into the ER. After CT scan, I was told I have .4mm stone stuck in my ureter. I needed to go home, drink lots of fluids, I should be able to pass it no problem. This was 1 small stone compared to the first time in 2016, 3 stones around .9mm.

I went home feeling completely terrible, I slept on and off for next 24hrs, I awoke at 3am on July 8th shivering in a way I have never done nor seen before. The pain in my legs from muscle cramps due to excessive shaking was overriding any kidney stone pain I may have been feeling at that time. My husband was trying to remain calm as I was definitely in a panicked state of mind. The thought of having to remove myself from under the covers, out of my bed, down the stairs, into the truck and then 20 minute ride to the hospital was unimaginable. There was no way. I pleaded with my husband. He some how pulled it off, got me in the truck and to the hospital.

I had temperature of 104. I had a UTI , e-coli infection and sepsis. I heard the announcement over the hospital PA stating critical sepsis female ER room 2, that was my room number so I knew it was pertaining to me along with the sense of urgency feeling in the room. I knew it was serious.

My heart rate was very low along with my blood pressure. Nothing was working , the next step was medications that needed to be administered straight to the heart. This requires PICC line which is a type of surgical procedure. Preparing for the procedure is the last thing I remember before waking in ICU. A stint had also been placed to relieve me of the kidney stone pain. This is also where I began experiencing severe anxiety. I couldn’t move around in the bed, not even to turn on my side. I was connected to too many machines , I couldn’t breathe. I was then told I wouldn’t be going home for awhile. What about our trip?! I was so upset , disappointed, confused and just plain sad. Why ? Why did this have to happen?

I spent 3 days in ICU before switching floors, finally being discharged on the afternoon of the 11th. I had surgery on the 21st to remove the stones, an additional stone was found in my kidney. I go in on the 28th for cystoscopy. I’m nowhere near feeling like my normal self I’m depressed, filled with anxiety, I can’t complete normal tasks, I’m struggling while trying to make it through each day. My husband downplayed what was happening with me so our children and families wouldn’t worry. After the fact they have been told but they don’t understand. I don’t even truly understand what having sepsis means. I can’t wait to feel healthy again but I’m not sure if that’s even a reality at this point. I miss my old life, I miss my grandkids, I just want this to all be over.

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