Posted on January 12th, 2018
For the first week of my son’s life, I couldn’t remember what he looked like. That’s because he was at home, while I was in the hospital, unknowingly fighting for my life. I had sepsis. I was 25. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth)
It started as chills the day I was released after having him. Then they turned into violent shakes that night, ending in a fever of 104. My family called my doctor, who said it was probably just my hormones. But after a few more terrifying episodes, they called 911.I was taken to the ER, with my 3-day-old son who was breastfeeding, where they ran tests on me for hours. After nothing showed in my blood or urinalysis, they sent me home.
For three days, I had periodic episodes of violent chills where I could barely stand. My fevers spiked to 104 again, and each time, the doctors told me it was just my hormones, that I would be fine in a few days. If I had listened to them, I would be dead.
I’m so grateful to my family and husband who advocated for me. On the third night, they had had enough. They drove me back to ER where we waited again for hours. But this time, the results from my urinalysis and blood culture had come back from my first trip to the ER. I had e.Coli (it started as a UTI) and by this time, it had gone to my kidneys, and was now in my blood. I was septic. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections)
I was admitted for 6 nights, being watched by the hospitalists, my family, and my nurses like a hawk. I still remember the intense flank pain I felt in my kidneys that lasted for months afterwards. I am SO grateful to the nurses and doctors who made sure I was as comfortable as could be, and gave me the best care possible so I could get home to my husband and my newborn son.
The thing that surprised me the most about sepsis was how fast it went from me feeling a little bit off, to me being admitted for almost a week for intense care. If you’re worried you or a loved one might have sepsis, don’t be afraid to ask. Speak up, get checked, and live to watch your children grow up.