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Rebecca Perry

Survivor

I have been following the Sepsis Alliance since its early inception and back in 2015 when I nearly lost my life to sepsis, this was the only place I was able to research other people’s symptoms.

Since nearly dying of sepsis in Dec 2014/2015 after having a routine laparoscopic hysterectomy and being sent home the next day after complaining of excruciating pain the previous day and having my OBGYN open me back up and finding a dried blood clot. (Sepsis and Surgery) I was given a major dose of Toradol and sent out of the hospital on my merry way home only to be returned back to the hospital that day with delirium.

After being admitted once again to the hospital , I was rushed to the ICU, and 5 doctors made a diagnosis of sepsis, a burst duodenal ulcer and that survival was out of the question. I had lost 30% oxygen to my brain and the infection was pooling into many miniature lakes throughout my body.

Lori never gave up hope and kept me asleep on morphine throughout each day and after 14 days, 27 staples in my stomach and two drains I was finally released home to continue our life as a normal person.

After I came home I remember feeling euphoric for approximately 5 months and then my personality started to change and I started having what seemed like psychotic episodes, suicide ideation, fear, paranoia and an extreme lack of self confidence. This has been an ongoing issue in our lives for the past 5 years and we can set our clock by the rinse and repeat process and without fail I start to go down hill from Oct – May.

I had never been this way for the 50 years prior to having sepsis, I only suffered general anxiety and OCD. Just before being admitted to hospital, I had lost both my parents 3 months apart from one another, my career as an SVP of apparel design, my relationship was compromised, so my brain was trying to come to terms with grief as well as a near death experience and I believe it became hi jacked.

So, the process began with 5 visits to the psych ward and endless diagnosis of bipolar, borderline, mania and psychosis. It has ruined both my life and Lori’s but we continue to fight and not give up.

I am now working with a doctor in the UK, Peter Smith, who specializes in a more natural way to mental health and the brain. He was able to cure himself of bipolar disorder. He had prescribed a healthy life style of vitamins last year in 2019, however, we moved to southern California to see if the beautiful weather would somehow beat the cycle, but alas it didn’t. This year 2020 we moved back to the East Coast and after going through yet another 6 months ( fall/winter ) of psychotic episodes and 3 suicide attempts, we decided to go off Celexa and start the prescription, Peter Smith prescribed, plus healthy eating and walking every day. Finally I am starting to feel better and more like my old self each day.

I am by no means “out of the woods” but we needed to change the roller coaster ride we go through every Oct- May. I continue to research every day regarding my symptoms and both Lori and myself are coming to the conclusion that sepsis changed the chemicals in my brain, plus the near death experience that I do not remember has a lot to do with how I am as a person today.

I wanted to share my story so that other survivors of sepsis who suddenly found their personalities changed drastically after a near death experience, may see a similar likeness to what we have encountered year after year. (Post-Sepsis Syndrome)

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