How Can You Help?
Share your StorySupport UsGet Resources

Roby L.

Survivor

2013 I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. (Sepsis and Kidney Stones) The ER physician told me not to worry about it. It was about the size of a dime and in an area where they don’t move from or grow. A year later, almost to the day I went to the ER again with kidney pain. Thank goodness I worked in a hospital at that time as I went to the ER on my lunch. The new MRI showed that the stone was now the size of a golf ball and had dropped. They called in a specialist for immediate surgery and I was told by him that he was surprised my kidney hadn’t already shut down.

I was sent home within that 24-hour period. Late in that night I woke up with pain but couldn’t have put my finger on it. I called our nurse advice line and she said I should call 911. The paramedics (3 macho fellas) arrived and I was already to go back to the hospital. They all stood there looking at me as I was sitting at the bottom of my stairs trying to explain. One of them said he had had kidney stones, too, he knew they were painful but the best thing was to take another painkiller, bite the bullet and try to go back to sleep. I got undressed again and tried exactly what he had said. He also advised that if the pain became unbearable to call 911 again because they had some medicine on the ambo that would help. They left without even taking vitals.

The pain worsened, again not being able to put a finger on where I hurt, I called 911 again. This time I did not get dressed because I was thinking they would come back and give me whatever else he was referring to. Different men arrived the 2nd time. I explained it all again, they took my vitals this time and I was told I was going back to the hospital. I told them I didn’t want to, just wanted the medicine the other guys had talked about. He told me that my BP was 40/20 and they couldn’t believe that I was even conscious at that point.

I insisted on going to get dressed and get my purse and phone. They said there was no time to change tell them where the purse and phone was, assured me that they would lock up. I vaguely remember getting on the gurney with lots of assistance. I must have passed out because the next thing I remember is someone saying there is no time for a local and there was someone with a scalpel at my neck. They had to make a small incision to put a tube in. The next several days I don’t remember much about except my attending was there every time I woke, forcing me to eat, even threatening me with a stomach tube. No thanks, been there, done that, we knew each other from work, I wouldn’t have lived if not for her dedication.

After 7 days, I was put in a regular room and discharged 2 days later. I continue to have low kidney, liver function. Nothing but random health problems since. The worst, I think, is that now doctors in the ER think I’m a drug seeker. I go running to the ER every time I have a little unexplained pain worried that I’ve gotten sepsis again. I got a blood pressure cuff of my own so I can check it rather than running to the ER every time. Now, the scariest thing is I went to the ER just as the snow storm hit this year, for severe kidney pain. They found another kidney stone in exact same spot. The only thing different from the story that I got 2013 is that the stone is the size of a nickle instead of a dime. I’m not leaving anything to chance, since it has been a few months since they found the stone, I am going to see the specialist who took care of the golf ball, maybe he needs a nickle. Scared of sepsis again.

Send us Your Story
Learn More about SepsisSupport Faces of Sepsis