December 8, 2017 was a normal day for me. I had recovered nicely from a defibrillator/pacemaker implant a few weeks earlier. I went about my daily business–work, running errands, etc.–feeling healthy and full of gratitude that my heart issue was quickly identified and remedied.
Around 9:30 p.m., I experienced epigastric distress that continued throughout the night. The pain felt exactly like the pain I experienced when I had my gall bladder removed almost 30 years ago. Finally, at 5:00 a.m. on December 9, I called my cardiologist, who recommended that I head to the ED immediately. The doctors in the ED quickly recognized that I had severe sepsis and started a sepsis bundle. It turns out that a bile duct was blocked, which caused an infection to run rampant through my body. I spent ten days in the hospital (two of those days in ICU), being pumped full of antibiotics and fluids. My abdomen was cleaned out and a stent was placed in the bile duct to clear the blockage. The stent was removed in early January; no further signs of infection were present I am one blessed woman–the sepsis cleared with no lingering damage. I am especially lucky that the infection did not spread to my heart and my newly implanted pacemaker/defibrillator.
I’m beyond grateful to the ED doctors and nurses who quickly recognized what was wrong with me and took the steps that literally saved my life.
If you suspect something is wrong, take action! Don’t wait! Your health and well-being are of utmost importance.