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Sepsis recovery

I am a survivor of sepsis.  I was having a splenectomy and my surgeon had cut into my pancreas.  I developed sepsis as a result but it wasn't being treated accordingly.  I had to be life flighted to a university hospital 3 days later.  I spent 4 weeks in ICU, coded 2 times, went into kidney failure, liver damage, lung damage and half of my pancreas had to be removed since it had died. The doctors didn't think I woullmake it through the night.  In addition, I had to have surgery 2 times a day for almost a week to keep flushing out my abdomen even though they had placed a drain.  With this many surgeries, my trauma surgeon decided to leave my incision open until I no longer needed the surgeries.  I have a large abdominal wound because of this.  I also have a very large abdominal hernia which inoperable at this time and the chances of me ever being able to get it fixed are slim. My surgeon told me at a follow up appointment I was in the top 5 of his worse cases.  After being release from ICU I was transferred to a rehabilitation center and was there for about 2 months. I am It has been almost 8 months and the wound hasn't closed over yet, but it is close!   It was approximately 7 x 5 inches to start. I am fortunate that I only have a few memories from my ICU experience and still fuzzy on my first two weeks of rehab.  While in rehab I did develope 7 abcesses in my abdomen and was on several IV antibiotics my whole time there.  I have been having problems with short memory lost and flashbacks to some events that happened in ICU, my most prominent memory is that I remember that I asked my nurse if I was dying before I coded.  And there are things that cause me into an emotional mess.  Just today I was passing my local hospital and saw a life flight helicopter landing. I said a quick prayer to whomever it was then busted into tears.  I had to pull over and stop because of it.  I had a panic attack one night after my husband changed a light bulb.  He didn't buy the soft light.  I flip the switch on and all of the sudden I was thinking back to the hospital.  Of course he changed it for me the next morning. I would love to hear of others experience with sepsis.  I am constantly tired and it is hard for me to work out because I have to avoid exercises that strain my abdomen since it will make the hernia worse.  I have been told by my many doctors that it can take 1 to 2 years, possible more, to get back to "normal".  Have you had recovery time take that long or possibly shorter than a year?  If you had problems with memory loss, did it go away?  There was a point in the hospital that I couldn't even remember if I lived in a 1 story or 2 story home, what type of car I had, where I live (I told them Arizona and I live in Ohio), and I couldn't even remember my birthday.   I am hoping I am not alone and that there are people who can understand my struggle.   Family and friends try to understand but never will fully since they haven't experienced it themselves.  
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547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Fellow Sepsis Member,

I am glad you found us and took the time to post your story. As I read it - it brought back memories of my experience - so very similar to your. The tears began to roll down my face before I even realized it. I am so sorry for what you experienced and now the aftermath.

First let me tell you - yes I get it. Yes - I've been there. I can tell you that there is life after Sepsis and ICU. I never thought I'd hear from someone with such similar experiences.  

Like you I had an open abdominal wound - though mine was from a seat-belt severing me to the spine. There is no reason I am still alive. My injuries were considered un-survivable - I survived. No severed major arteries that should have severed.  Among other injuries my intestines were mangled and part of them were actually ripped out of my body. I developed sepsis within three day and took that Life Flight. I spent the better part of 6 months in a hospital. I won't bore you with the details.

The reactions you are experiencing when you hear that chopper, lights, etc are SX (symptoms) of PTSD. I learned the hard way that PTSD does not just happen to our treasured Veterans. I had (and sometimes still have)  the same SX you are describing. I also had horrid nightmares, noises set me off too, broken glass once sent me into such a panic my best friend (a nurse too) had to sooth me and almost called 911. I sent money (I couldn't afford) to any sad story I heard on TV. I finally realized I couldn't watch the news because it tore me apart - especially when I heard of others that had suffered a trauma or were very ill.

My abd was open for months and had to be have sterile packed twice a day - along with other injuries - including carrying a nephrostomy bag due to a severed ureter. It was he!l. I get it - I feel your pain. I had sepsis multiple times.

I also developed a rare lumbar hernia due to the abdominal injuries from the seat-belt. No it is not spine. Only 300 cases of Lumbar Hernia in the world have even been recorded. I had that repaired 2 1/2 years later. I have lots to tell advise you on in that regard - if you're interested please let me know.

What type of hernia do you have? Be sure to ask that question. There are surgeons that will repair any type of hernia - but for now put that in the back of your mind. Just make certain it is always reducible. Believe me I know the issues that a hernia presents. It's not a "simple" thing. It can change your life too.

It was my best friend, a Psych Nurse - that recognized my PTSD and suggested therapy. That was key in my recovery. Plz look into therapy. It will help. Find a good therapist. No I didn't require medications - just some talk therapy for a few months.

Like you, no one truly understood what I was going through. My best friend came close - and my husband was and is very supportive and loving. He tried to understand but just couldn't. Without the two of them I don't know where I'd be today. I hope you have good support too. My dear - there is just no one that can understand what you are dealing with - unless they have been there - no matter how hard or how long they try. To be honest and realistic - I'm glad they can't. I wouldn't wish what happened to me on my worse enemy. Sadly I hear it in your words.

You haven't discuss any chronic pain issues. Are you fairly comfortable?

How can I help? I'm here. If you want to send me a personal, private message please feel free to do so.  I feel connected to you.  

Please be active here. MedHelp has been another lifesaver for me. You need support right now - and in the months to come. I hope to hear from you very soon.

Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
And don't forget your the words you used in your first sentence - "I am a survivor...."  You are a survivor! Great words! Great term. It means much.

I am a survivor too - as r others within MedHelp (MH).

Helpful - 0
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