Rebecca L.

Rebecca L.

Sepsis completely changed my life. It’s one of those things you look back on and they don’t seem real. I was absolutely fine, until I started throwing up constantly on a Friday night. I was fine on the Saturday, until Sunday morning hit. Again, I was throwing up, shaking and sweating, and I had the worst pain I have ever felt in my chest and in my lower abdomen.

We drove to A&E, where they moved me into resus as my temperature was so high, heart rate really high and my blood pressure low. I literally was hours away from dying. I was in resus for hours whilst they tried to figure out what was wrong with me. To this day, they still aren’t sure what caused my sepsis, but it took over my entire body. I had gone into septic shock. I had PID (an infection in my pelvis), my uterus and gall bladder was swollen, and my heart was inflamed and wasn’t working properly (I had mitral regurgitation). (Sepsis and Septic Shock, Sepsis and Bacterial Infections) I was moved to another ward for an hour or so, before they moved me into Intensive Care as my lungs were filling up with fluids and one of them had collapsed, and my heart was so damaged. Everything was a bit of a blur after this, as I had two central lines fitted (one of which was in my neck) and I was on so much medication.

I was in intensive care for a week, before being moved to a cardiac ward to be monitored for a day. My veins collapsed in my arms, they were completely bruised and I had nerve damages due to how many needles and blood tests I had. Whilst in hospital, I couldn’t move as I was in so much pain and so exhausted. I was in a wheelchair for about 3 weeks following discharge and I was signed off work for 3 months. Ever since I was discharged, it has been a constant battle and even 8 months on, I am still suffering with the aftermath. I lost clumps of my hair, and my entire hands and feet peeled within the first few weeks of discharge. I was on medication for a few weeks after, and still have to take medication to keep my heart rate down. I have Post Sepsis Syndrome.

I have been back and forth into hospital, with frequent scans and tests. I was even admitted again. I catch every single infection now, as my immune system is so bad, and the infections hit me hard. I also suffer from PTSD, and costochondritis from the damage. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) My heart, although it is now functioning normally, is scarred and damaged. I get so scared every time I get sick now, and it is so scary looking back on it but the hospital were amazing with me. I think it is important for people to realise how scary and life threatening sepsis is, and especially the impact of it afterwards.

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