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Mary Lou Oliver


I went to out local emergency room with vomiting, chills and left sided lower abdominal pain. They did a CT and told me I had a kidney stone. (Sepsis and Kidney Stones) I told them I had had it for ten years. They sent me home with instructions to drink a lot of water, take Tylenol and strain my urine.

About 4 hours later I returned to the same ER. When I arrived I thought, “ Thank god I made it here, they will help me”. The only two things I remember about the second visit was having chills so bad my teeth were chattering so hard I thought they would break. I was told “this room is always cold”. The other thing I remember is being told they were sending me home with something for nausea and morphine. I remember telling them, “I can’t go home, I need to lay down”. The nurse looked annoyed and said “There is a bed over there”. I went and laid on it, I do not know if it was for 5 minutes or for 5 hours? I woke up and went into their bathroom to pee, and I was having dry heaves. The staff at the ER totally ignored me! I was so mentally deteriorating that I was in a self preservation mode and in a state of disbelief! How I got my meds from the pharmacy and actually drove home, is a miracle! I went in my bathroom and took both meds, not reading the label. I took twice as much morphine as I was supposed to!

Around 9 pm my son called me and woke me up out of a stupor. After hanging up with him, I realized I was having trouble walking and that I was only voiding very small amounts. I called the ER back and told them and they told me to drink more water. I finally called my daughter and she came and took me to the bigger ER in the next city. I do not recall how I got in the exam room, or them trying to put IVs in me. I thought I was laying on the floor, that is how mentally decompensated I was.

My initial white count at the first ER was 16,200, at the second ER it was 44,000. I had 5 IVs, medication to bring my blood pressure up from 80/42, an IV in my groin, and was transferred to an ICU in Albany. I dropped so much weight in one day, I have lost muscle tone and today still have trouble with my memory. I am one of the lucky ones, and I am here today by the grace of God and my son waking me, as well as the doctors in the third ER knowing what septic shock was and how to treat it! I am also an RN so even though I was mentally not a nurse, I knew not putting only squirts out when I was drinking glasses of water wasn’t good. I remember laying on the stretcher ( even though I thought it was the floor) , looking up and seeing my blood pressure at 80/42….. thinking “that’s not good”. The last 2 months have been a living hell. I was so fluid filled and had such shortness of breath, my joints still ache. I remember the doctor looking at me and saying, “you’re one tough lady”.  I think I am one blessed lady.

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