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Wendy Boutilier

Wendy Boutilier
Survivor

I woke up at 2:00 in some kind of seizure. I knew I was very ill. I rushed to the hospital and was admitted immediately with necrotizing fasciitis, and prepped for surgery. (Sepsis and Necrotizing Fasciitis) The next 25 days were surreal – as though I was in a nightmare with no directions on how I could find my way out. Sepsis set in and necrotizing fasciitis was in my right jaw, my neck, upper chest and right shoulder. I endured the most horrific pain during twice daily debridement in my room and 9 surgeries in an operating room.

I am a Canadian but was living in Barbados at the time. The whole thing became pure torture. Sepsis was a concern and I was informed that my organs were being monitored. I had blood transfusions. Finally against all odds I survived but I had concerns. I never fully recovered. I didn’t have the stamina to meet the demands of my job and left work on long term disability.

My doctor diagnosed me with myalgic encephalomyelitis. It took me 2 years to crawl out of that hole. This was December 2008. Fast forward to July 2016 and I am still disabled. I have moderate to severe cognitive issues and I find myself trying to compensate for the loss of these skills. I was a classically trained fine artist but my brush stroke has changed and I don’t produce paintings. I taught myself how to create graphic arts but I’m not well enough to use it. There is much more to this story. I need help to learn how to deal with my new brain and body. I was a Mensa brain with a photographic memory. I still see my photos but they are no longer filed in any kind of organization. I don’t have command of my words so find it difficult to string a sentence vocally. I drop my sentences, cannot retrieve words, short term memory is gone, I am physically challenged to try and get through the day. I have wide spread muscle pain. Some days I can’t get out of bed.

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