Shannon Jennett


One day I woke up with a pain in my stomach. At first I thought I had the stomach flu or ate something bad, but as the day went on the pain got worse and it became apparent it might be appendicitis. I took an Uber to the ER in the middle of the night; they did a CT scan and ultrasound, ruled out appendicitis and decided a cyst must have burst in my ovaries and sent me home with pain pills. A couple days later I was still in a lot of pain and was running out of pain pills. I went to the OB/GYN, she sent me back to the ER. They did a blood test and an ultrasound. They told me I was healing and sent me home with stronger pain pills.

Ten days after the first day I went to the ER, my parents were in town and noticed how sick I was. I couldn’t stand up straight, wouldn’t eat, and couldn’t sleep. I had lost color in my face and had lost a lot of weight. My mom brought be back to the OB/GYN. She looked at my CT scan and noticed my ovaries looked fine, and told me this was not an OB problem. So, she sent me back to the ER. This time around it took awhile to get a room. Once I was finally in a room, doctors came in one by one to listen to my story. Each time I felt more exhausted. They sent me in for CT scan and when they put the dye in my IV, I screamed in pain. The whole week I was in 10/10 pain, but this was 100/10. I didn’t know this pain was possible. Turns out my appendix had burst, they couldn’t see it in this scan. (Sepsis and Appendicitis) Once I got back to my room, things went downhill. My body felt like it was swollen, my throat was closing up and it was hard to breathe. I was incredibly thirsty but they knew I was going to have surgery so they wouldn’t give me water or ice. My body felt heavy and I couldn’t move it. I tried to keep my eyes open so they knew I was alive. They rushed me to the OR. After surgery, my surgeon told my mom it went well, but the bad news was I went into septic shock.

When I woke up after surgery I saw my mom and my first words were “mom, I can breathe!” I thought I was fixed, and I’d go home in a day or two. I spent two or three nights in the ICU, and was in the hospital for 14 days total. I didn’t hear I had sepsis, until about a week into the hospital when my friends came to visit. I didn’t research what it was until I was out of the hospital.

Since then I’ve dealt with depression, PTSD, and anxiety. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) I lost what felt like all of my muscle. I lost 25-30 pounds. I lost more than half of my hair. I lost my job. It took months to be able to breathe or eat without pain. It’s been a year now, and with loads of support, weekly talk therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and perseverance I feel 110% better.