I wish to share this story so that family and carers of the elderly can act quickly to save their loved ones from devastating sepsis.
My loved one was unusually tired and pale. We were shopping at our favourite store, when she decided to go to the car and rest while I finished checking us out. I was worried, but she assured me it was just maybe the flu. I took her home and called later. She said she was better, but now I know she was doing that “I don’t want to be a bother” routine that I hated. We had a hair appointment later that week. I called to remind her, but there was no answer. I called a few times with the same result so rushed over to her house.
She was lying on the floor, said she tripped. I laughed and cried because I was so relieved she was alive and making jokes. I called 911 to be extra careful. As the EMTs got her up, she felt dizzy. Her blood pressure was dropping. At the hospital she was breathing heavily. I thought it was anxiety and trusted the doctors, so I went to park my car in the lot. When I came back, 15 minutes later, she had coded twice. Her whole body was septic. After the third code, as the doctor was giving her compressions, I let her go. I am still, years later, in total shock. One minute my best friend, my mom, my rock, was making jokes and then 15 minutes later she was gone. She was so strong, so selfless, that she had been suffering from this infection for an unknown amount of time. The doctors didn’t know why.
I still can’t figure it out, and it haunts me. Had I taken her to the doctor that day of our shopping trip, would she still be alive? She had no health issues at all. Please, reader, do not make the mistake I did! If your senior says they have the flu, make sure that’s all it is and take them to the doctor. If my story can help someone else, I know it would help with the regret and shock that doesn’t ever seem to resolve completely. If only…