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Mary A.

Survivor

I have had MRSA sepsis twice. (Sepsis and MRSA) The first time was when I developed MRSA within 12 hours of a PICC line insertion (hospital acquired). (Sepsis and Invasive Devices, Sepsis and Healthcare-Acquired Infections) The second time was when I developed community acquired MRSA pneumonia. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) The pneumonia resulted in me being on a ventilator for several days. But it was the first time I acquired sepsis from the PICClLine that was the scariest for me. I also got a DVT at the PICC line site.

I have had PICC lines in the past and I know from those experiences to only use my left arm for that type IV. But the guy who put the line in wouldn’t listen to me. He actually pulled out the guide wire and put it on the bedside table to straighten it back out. Then he reinserted the guide wire. After finally establishing the line, I don’t remember anything until I woke up the next day. I’d had to have a sitter thru the night because I apparently was trying to climb over the bed rails all night. I had a temp of 104 and had terrible pain throughout my whole body. I was so weak I could barely speak. And when I did speak, I was later told I wasn’t making any sense.

I was in and out of consciousness for several days. Fortunately an infectious disease doctor was called in to manage my care. I was afraid I was going to die. But he reassured me that I wasn’t going to die. He also managed my care when I went home. His nurse taught me how to give myself the Vancomycin at home. Honestly, when I got home was the worse time for me. I had terrible ongoing panic attacks. I was terrified of being left alone. I was afraid to go to sleep because I was afraid I might not wake up again. I also didn’t want any of my family to touch me because I had an irrational fear that I might give them the disease. I had no idea why I was having these thoughts and feelings. Gratefully, my daughter stayed with me. She did a lot of research and found that it was not uncommon to have PTSD symptoms after having sepsis. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) I still sometimes have a fear that it will come back again on its own. It provides me with some comfort knowing that I’m not alone in struggling to adjust back to my daily normal life. And it helps to hear how others are coping with the same problems.

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