Hello, my name is Seana Crenna and I am a sepsis survivor. Now that I look back on the steps that led to sepsis I can see that there were warning signs; however, I was not educated on the severity of what could happen and how close to death I was.
I was scheduled for a knee replacement and prior to the surgery there was a few bumps in the road. (Sepsis and Surgery) The doctor told me I needed extra care at home and to hire someone. Money was tight and I had not slept well in months due to pain. It was quite difficult to ask my mother for the money for a nurse aide. The conversation went on for weeks and finally she agreed. A representative of the company took all the information at my house. I thought I was ready. Meanwhile prior to surgery I fell and was told it was sprained ankle. Later, I found it was fractured. The day after surgery a gentleman came in and was having me sign the discharge papers when I found out that the home-care company did not have the staff to take me home. I was devastated, I was alone, I had no one to help me so I went to a rehab in Santa Monica. I was sobbing and scared because I was told I would get sick in a rehab.
When we arrived I could tell this was not a “good place.” I shared a room with a woman who was screaming most of the time. There was one TV and she had the remote. There wasn’t air-conditioning and room was hot. They gave me a fan that had an inch of debris on the fan. The bathroom had dried blood and was dirty. Most of the nurses and aides were from third world countries and they lacked empathy on all levels. The food was horrible and no one noticed I didn’t eat for three days. They only changed my bandage once. The medications were always late. I tried to check out the third night but realized I needed to talk to the day staff to make arrangements. That night I was again in horrible pain but no one would give me my prescribed pain medication. I got up and with a walker I walked down the hall and around the corner to sit at the nurses’s station in hopes they help me. While I sitting in the lobby, a young man came to the nurse’s station in a panic yelling for them to do something that his father had an elevated temperature 106°. That was high and I started to listen. I found out later it was 101.5°, there was a language barrier. Then moments later the men from an ambulance came and took him to the hospital.
The next day I rented a wheelchair and hired a person to take me home and take care of me. I gave the woman directions and she told me that she doesn’t drive freeways and she didn’t understand left and right. When she got me home she then told me she snores and she should not stay the night. I told her she could leave. It was at this point that I started feeling odd. The first thing I wanted to do was get all the clothes in the washing machine from that filthy place. Then as I was putting the clothes in the dryer I started sweating and sweat from dipping down my forehead and neck. Then I remembered the man who had a fever was taken to the hospital. I took my temperature and it was 103°. I knew that was too high so I called the facility. The after hours nurse said I need to get to the hospital in two hours. I then started packing a few things. I didn’t want to use the canvas bag from rehab so I got a large Costco insulated bag. I put on shorts, t-shirt and a lace robe and flip-flops. Then I took all the pills from the rehab and poured them on my bed and covered them with a sheet. I didn’t know at the time that I was delirious.
I called Uber and got in the wheelchair and when I reached the ramp I didn’t know where the brakes were, so I ended up in the landscaping upside down. It was now about midnight but luckily a neighbor helped me to the street, When I arrived at Emergency the Uber driver took the wheelchair out of the truck and left. My arm was bleeding quite a bit from trying to stop the wheelchair going down the ramp and I couldn’t roll over the bump in the sliding door. With my odd outfit the people at the desk thought I was homeless. Luckily once I was through the doors help was all around me.
I was in isolated ICU for four days and then went home. Several days later the sepsis was back and I returned to the hospital. I then fell again and broke my leg. That’s when they told me the ankle wasn’t a sprain it was fractured. I currently need to have an ankle and knee replacement but I am scared to have surgery. Shortly after the surgery, my doctor ordered MRIs and CT scans. They are monitoring tumors that could become cancer. I can’t walk well, I tire easily and I believe my depression is worst.
Sepsis is a secret and I want the world to know the signs and get the help quickly. If I had not witnessed the man going to the hospital I would have gone to bed. I wouldn’t have taken my temperature. I would have just thought “I’m exhausted and I need rest.” I would have died by morning.