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Maria Richard

Survivor

My story begins with a gallbladder surgery that I thought went well. I went back to work about three weeks after the surgery, feeling pretty good. Then all of a sudden about 5 weeks post-op, I started to have a fast heartbeat. (Sepsis and Surgery) I knew something wasn’t right, so I called my doctor and he wanted to see me the next morning. But I didn’t make it to the appointment. I woke up at 3 am with incredible stomach pains, nausea and violent vomiting. I was so weak I could barely walk.

My husband had to call an ambulance to bring me to the emergency room. Once I arrived at the ER things got progressively worse. The vomiting continued along with diarrhea and low blood pressure. I was admitted to the hospital for what turned out to be a fight for my life. I developed a fever that night and my white blood count dropped to nothing. I was Septic. At that point, I was given a shot of Neupogen to help bring my white blood cell count back up. Bacteria had gotten into my bloodstream somehow and I was fighting for my life.

My doctor saved my life. I was in the hospital for 7 days, given many different IV antibiotics and different diagnostic tests. The doctors were never able to discover exactly where my bacteria came from or what type of bacteria it was. I survived this nightmare and have a new lease on life.

For those of you that may read this, Sepsis is curable if treated fast enough. Don’t ever take any illness for granted. Seek treatment. I really didn’t want to go to the ER that night but my husband and my mother made me. If I had waited, I wouldn’t be here today. Today, I am still recovering from the toll the Sepsis took on my body. Each day gets a little better. But I am just happy to be alive and spend one more day with my family.

 

Update, February 2012

Apparently I still had some of the bacteria in my blood. It found its way into a tooth that I had previously had problems with in the past. I started to feel somewhat ill again and the pain in my tooth was overwhelming. The bacteria in my tooth had just taken over and my tooth had to be removed. I also developed a boil on my back that my doctor feels is may be related to the bacteria possibly still hiding in my body somewhere. This is very scary for me. (Sepsis and Dental Health)

Maria_Richard_FamilyI have turned into somewhat of a germ-a-phobe. I am having a difficult time finding people who understand sepsis. I had to go through several dentists before I found one that would even touch me with a ten-foot pool. These dentists treated me as if I had leprosy or something like that. I finally found a dentist that was sort of a relative that ended up helping me. I am a teacher so I feel as if I am an educated person. And I’m appalled at the lack of knowledge these professionals have or lack of compassion for patients in desperate need.

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