Staci Jamison


November 4, 2014, I went to bed with a little “stomachache” that included heartburn with some strange cramping near my navel. The next morning I was nauseous and knew something was wrong. I called my partner and he soon picked me up and drove me to the hospital where I was quickly diagnosed for appendicitis and arrangements were made for me to spend one night in the hospital with antibiotics and I would have appendectomy on the next day. (Sepsis and Appendicitis)

After all my visitors left I called my aunt; it was about 11pm and suddenly I started shaking so much I couldn’t talk. I called the nurse and after that, it was all a blur of doctors, ICU team, respiratory therapists, surgical team, etc. I was feeling so confused and rushed to surgery. I woke up falling in and out of consciousness and thanks to an angel of a nurse that kept saying, “look at me, breath, squeeze my hand!” But it was SO HARD because I went from being warm and comfortable to being on a table under bright lights and who was doing what to my neck?’??!! It HURT but I trusted the “look at me, breath, squeeze my hand!”

I kept doing it and realized a line was being placed in my neck, then I was off to my ICU room and still had no idea what was going on. I just wanted to close my eyes but my face was too swollen, my feet were huge. Days turned into a week in the ICU. I am fortunate I have no physical difficulties, just anxiety, depression and trouble focusing at times. After I left the hospital I had a month of IV antibiotics. At first I felt angry and wanted to blame the hospital for waiting too long but realized and was told that is often the protocol so antibiotics could start working. My appendix did not rupture but described as purulent.

The whole experience was odd and I’m fortunate I was in a teaching hospital but will always wonder if appendectomy was expedited that perhaps this would have never happened. The whole thing was weird, especially since I was a healthy 54-year-old woman one day and fighting for my life the next and that look of horror on my son’s face when he first saw me. I’ve been going to treatment for PTSD and have started meditating on a daily basis. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)