Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

recovery from sepsis , head pain ,fatigue

Hi not sure if I am posting inthe right place, but.... I recently had sepsis was taken to emergency and spent some time in ICU , had a close call, with very low bp, kidneys failing hallucinations etc etc. I pulled through and am home now. I have been resting for nearly 3 weeks and am not feeling myself. I have head pain, pain behind my left eye , general fatigue and have had a couple incidents of memory loss. ie; i could not remember my street address. I am still unable to go through a normal schedule for a day and have maybe a 2 hr window of energy in the mornig before needing to lay down again. what is going on, what can I do to recouperate faster. the doctor has recommended I see a neurologist. I am frightened, normally a very active, healthy 42 yr old woman. I have had ct scan, ekg, chest xray etc etc while inhospital and nothing was showing of concern. please share info, help, advice.
111 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
547368 tn?1440541785
Hi Sharon,

I am so sorry to hear about your serious illness and sepsis. My heart goes out to you.

I will suggest that instead of adding on to an old post that next time make a new post. That should get better responses.

You have been through a lot. Your body experienced a major insult or trauma. It will take some time before you return to pre-illness condition. How long? In my experience it varies from individual to individual. Some ppl seem to recover in 3-4 weeks, others can take months.

So don't be too hard on yourself. Have patience and follow your physician's advice. Don't be afraid to consult your physician and tell him/her how you feel, express your concerns. He/She may want to do some labs.

I am so glad that you made it through such an ordeal. Take care my dear. Please let us know how you are doing.

My best to you,
Tuck
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
At 67, I had a bowel reconstruction surgery (due to bad scarring from diverticulitis) October 2013. Days after the surgery I was back in the hospital for Sepsis. 3weeks in the hospital on heavy duty antibiotics, which saved my life. I agree it's important to find an infectious disease doctor to treat you. When I returned home, I was completely debilitated and needed help to do anything, had no strength or stamina. It took 3 months to finally start to get my strength back. I had blood work done weekly to make sure the infection was gone, very fearful it would hit again out of the blue. During the 3 month recovery I was depressed. I had never experienced anything like this. I couldn't write or have the attention span to read. But no one told me about losing my hair or other minor ailments I would have after recovery, i.e. I feel soreness in my hands, despite being on a diuretic my hands swelled and my wedding ring had to be cut off. I am grateful to be alive, grateful I had the right doctors, grateful for a caring husband who stayed with me 24/7 to make sure I was getting the prescribed treatment (many mistakes in the hospital), and grateful to have found this site. Be strong and keep the faith my brethren.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Great info...I'm a 47 year old male that had sepsis and multi-organ failure.
I'm a trainer and am having a hard time with this slow recovery...I was in the ER Dec. 12 and out Dec 24, 2009. When I entered the ER, my bp was 60/40, hr 184 and a fever of 104.5. They thought that I wouldn't make it. So glad that I did! It is now Feb 16, 2010. Any idea what kind of recovery time I should expect? I feel that that I am 50 plus % of my old self right now...please advise.

Thank you!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am a 45 year old female, December 07 early december was hospitalized with sepsis.  I am still recovering, I still do not have the same stamina.
Rest, take lots of vitamins.....keep pushing yourself a little more each month.  This is one of the worst experiences one can have in life.

Bye!
Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
I am sorry to hear that you had sepsis also. It takes so much out of a person.

I had a MVA some years ago with huge multiple internal injuries.  I became septic five times over the course of four months. Once my abdominal wounds were able to be closed (after 2 months) I still had a severed ureter and a nephrostomy tube through my back and into my right kidney. Finally they were able to repair the ureter after four months and the bouts of sepsis ended. There were many moments I would have welcomed death.

Sepsis can put a huge drain on your body systems. It often requires months to return to your previous strength and endurance levels. Slow and steady wins the race. Don't demand too much of yourself. Allow you body time to heal and recover.

A consult with a nutritionist and or dietitian may be helpful. I personally don't recommend supplements because what one person requires may not be what another requires. In my opinion you should avoid too many or too high of a dose of supplements. Some vitamins and most minerals are fat soluble and are stored in your body rather than secreted. These storage levels can reach toxic levels and do more harm than good. Water soluble vitamins such as Vit C are not stored, if you take more than you require you body quickly dumps it through your kidneys.

Rest when you are fatigued. Don't over stress your body. Be good to yourself. I know it may be difficult but be patient, let your systems recuperate.

Best of luck to you. Please let us know how you are doing.

Take Care,
~Tuck~
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thanks for your response to sepsis condition.  i was in the hospital 7 2008 in a coma for 3.5 days and the icu for 4 days.  My heart tripled in size and all organs began to shut down.  and then they responded and came back to life as quickly as they "died"  i am under the care of an endocrinologist and i am scheduled to see a pulminologist in 2 weeks.
i lost 60 pounds and i am still on blood pressure meds and diabetes.  my problem is i am always tired but not sleepy.  i have started vitamins, wheat grass juice to no avail.  thanks for your help i wanted to join any test sights to make it better for others.  ken.***@****
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hello I just returned from the hospital after sepsis. A kidney stone had blocked the kidney.

I'm ecstatic to be alive but am quite curious to recovery times. I still have a tube in my kidney that should be removed next week. I was in ICU about 10 days ago. I first made a lot of quick improvements after that it seems very slow.

My whole body is aching and hands and feet keep getting very cold and I get lots of headaches. Also my lung capacity is about 30%.  Is all this normal?  And any ideas on how long it takes to recover?

( I'm a 42 year old woman, relatively fit prior to this)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I waw admitted on 7/18 to the ICU for 6 days and a total stay of 14 days. It has now been over a month and I am not well did not feel well when dischargee. I also had a two day admit after discharge due to irregular heartbeat. I had a tube put in my kidney but my urologest does not think that was the cause of the infection of gram negative ecoli sepsis. I just turned 49 years old.
I am a nurse and have been learning about the inflqammitory multi system failure SIRS and also have learned this thing has a 6 month mortality rate that is pretty high due to complications of the havoc reaked even though there might not be an infection still present.
Im sick of not feeling good, its depressing and I feel like a winer. my joints ache still have flank pain am tired have anxiety and insomnia just to mention a few things. Maybe we could talk. SUE
Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
Hello Suesue,

Welcome to the Senior Health Forum. I am so very sorry to hear about your condition. I am doubtful that the above posters are monitoring the forum but if they are I hope that they will join the discussion.

I too have had sepsis. I think the total number was six times. I had a MVA that ripped open my small intestines and I became septic very quickly. At the same time my right ureter was severed and a nephrostomy in place for five months. The nephrostomy caused repeated sepsis. So I wonder if you aren't becoming septic for the same reason. Do you still have a nephrostomy?

I think you are talking about systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
which is an inflammatory state that effects the whole body. However I thought this mostly occurred when a sepsis was active.  

I didn't feel good for a very long time. The fatigue played me for months. If I recall I didn't return to "normal" for almost a year following the removal of nephrostomy tube and ureter repair.

You are not a whiner. When we are ill for long periods of time or have chronic pain it can cause situational depression. You may be suffering from some depression and you have every right to feel the way you do.  

Have you actually had any lung volume/capacity testing? Or does it just feel like you only have 30%?

If you are concerned about your symptoms, as I would be, I would seek a second opinion or even a third or fourth. Are you taking medications that could account for the way you feel?

Please let us know how you are feeling.

My Best to You,
~Tuck
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have recently gotten out of the hospital and was diagnosed with Sepsis. My kidney function was down to 1 and my blood pressure had bottomed out. I had a Nerve block and was told that the infection was due to a bacterial infection from this. I lost bladder control, was hallucinating and the pain in my leg was excruciating. i felt as if my thigh was going to explode. I was given dilauded every 3 hours without any success of relief. I have spurts of energy followed by periods of extreme fatigue. I wasn't told that the infection encapsilated and stayed in your body. This in it's self is very scary.  The pain was so horrible I begged for death. This is a horrible condition and the thought of it happening again is horrifying to me.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I was 19 years old when I flew from America to Hungary (on my own, no medical insurance) for an ACL reconstruction in January 2007.  In the US it would have been $25,000.  The operation was done perfectly but the morning after, I noticed alot of pain, and any time I moved, I was in tears.  After about 1 week, the pain became much worse.

After being flown back to the US, 2 ER visits and an ambulance ride, it still wasn't revealed to me what the issue was.  It wasn't until a visit with an orthopaedic speacialist in March 2007, that I was told that I had sepsis infection.  The specialist asked me why I never came to the hospital, and that didn't I understand I was very sick and should have died.  I told him I had come 3 times, but never was told what was wrong with me, despite the huge gaping wound in my right seeping puss for nearly 3 months.

He operated on me and then I had a PICC line put in my arm to fight the infection.  I mostly slept from March until about May and I don't remember much of my summer.  In June, they broke my leg to give me motion, which I lost nearly all of shortly after.

I can't believe all of this would have been avoided if a nurse or doctor with a brain would have said, ''You have an infection, perhaps we should treat you.''   Apparently, no one thinks my case has merit despite my medical notes clearly stating I had an infection.  They blamed the fact that I had been in Hungary, stating that they should have done something about it...the fact of the matter was, my symptoms weren't as bad until I returned to the US.  Regardless, if I go to the hospital with a problem (no matter where it started), they have a duty to treat me.  

Now I'm married and have moved to the UK, and am 23, still dealing with a really pathetic lifestyle.  I can't ride a bike, because I don't have enough motion in my disastrous knee ravaged by sepsis.  I am lucky to walk up the stairs and not look like a waddling duck, and my husband has never known me to be able to run and jump and skip.  I am lucky to be alive, and I am so grateful to the specialist who saved my life.

I think I just needed to vent....I haven't had a chance to really tell my story.  

Bless you all. xx Maddy

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Not sure if this will help.  Had a hip replacement in May.  Was home ten days when started feeling bad.  Went to emergency room at 4 in the afternoon and by midnight they were ready to pronounce me as -------. Fever was 105.8 and I was in a coma. They found this strange young doctor who placed me in hospital and set up a team with disease and control people, neurologists and he was a urologist that does mini surgery(?)  After ten days in ICU including ice beds and and all sorts of stuff, my fever started to break. They had operated on my kidney and placed drains in them.  As soon as i asked for a glass of chicken broth he said he knew I was saved and would live for no one who is dying asks for food. Several more days in ICU and then off to hospital room where I found out I had peripheral neuruopathy--I couldn't walk the pain was so bad.  Ny urologist was cool and said we had just had too many drugs and to let the lines clean and see what would happen.  Sure enough ten days later pain was gone and I was walking the best I could with artificial hip.  Sine then I have had four kidney operations  to remove stones that had been there forever.  Each surgery was worse and worse and my recovery was harder and harder. Just had my last stent taken out this past Monday.  I am excited.  I have no strength and use a cane for a walker .  Prefice this to say I wasa hand to had combat instructor before this and in great shape.  I have a bunch of physician friends, several who cut on me. They all said they same thing.  Your body has been through a horrible shock.  Your organs are damaged and trying to heal.  Take your time and just heal a little at a time.  And be happy you area live. I sure am.  Every morning i get up, heave a sigh and then take my first step toards another day of recovery..
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My dad is in ICU right now with sepsis. He had liver stones, (they are like gallstones but in a different place) which were removed in an operation but they also found lots of puss, hence the sepsis. Right now he can't wake up, is on a breathing tube and is having heart palpitations. This is the second time he has had sepsis and I am afraid that he may not make it through this time. Your letters have given me a small amount of hope, thankyou.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm a 61 year old woman,  Had a kidney stone removed Feb 15.  Went well.  Went home same day.  On Feb 16, started having problems breathing and developed a fever.  Hospital soon determined I had severe Sepsis.  With the help of bags and bags of saline solution, and antibiotics I left ICU after four days and spent the next five days in a regular room.  I didn't leave alone...but with very low blood pressure, pneumonia, E-Coli, yeast infection and constant pain in my left flank.    I have lots of headaches, am despressed, weepy and can't sleep despite being very exhausted.  My limbs flucuate from feeling like dead weights to feeling as weak as a kitten.  Every litlte exertion causes panting and a feeling of panic.
I've been home from hospital for nearly two weeks.  I feel as weak as a baby.  I'm scared it could come back.  I'm afraid to go to sleep.  

When does it start getting better?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
MY HUBBY JUST OUT OF HOSP. AND IN NURSING HOME/REHAB AFTER A SEVERE BOUT OF SEPSIS.  STARTED WITH PROBABLE ABSCESSED WISDOM TOOTH, WHICH HE HAD NO PAIN IN.  SEPSIS WENT TO ARTIFICIAL HIP.  THAT WAS REMOVED IN HOSP. AND A TEMP ARTIFICIAL HIP WAS PUT IN.   HE HAD SOME ORGAN PROBLEMS BUT THEY HAVE CLEARED.  HE HAD HIS ARTIFICIAL HIP FOR 8 YR.   I GUESS THIS WAS QUITE A RARE OCCURRANCE.  HE WILL HAVE IV ANTIOTIC X 8 WK., THEN AFTER 6 MO.MAY GET NEW HIP.   HE IS SO TIRED AND WEAK.  HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY TOUGH MAN BUT THIS REALLY TOOK A TOLL ON HIM.  NOT SURE OF THE PROGNOSIS AS THIS HAPPENED 11 DAYS AGO.  HE SPENT 9 DAYS IN HOSP.      GORDON
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I had sepsis Jan 2010. It's been a long painful rd! I hate to tell you but I'm 17 months out and still feel awful! I've had +++ systemic pain for all that time, my bloodwork is out of whack showing really high ESR which is a pain indicator and to top it off I just got out of the hospital again after being treated for severe Pulmonary embolisms! (blood clots in the tissue of the lungs) I had to go on celexa to help with my depression with being sick so long, The Dr's aren't sure why I'm still so sick, which is frustrating but I try to look on the bright side at least I survived it, many don't! You're feelings are real and believe me there are others out there going through the same thing. Everyones recovery is different. Hang in there and talk to your dr about going on something, just for a while, to help you deal with this! It's a large insult to your body and your mind and you need time and help to deal with it. Good luck
catscrazyx3
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
There's a useful article on the subject here:
http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2120/stories/20041008001708600.htm

My partner has just recovered from Sepsis caused by a staph infection in his replaced knee which wasn't responding to IV antibiotics so he was operated on to remove the infected material.

Unfortunately, he then contracted pneumonia and then sepsis set in within 72 hours and he spend 4 days in ICU. After 5 weeks in hospital he's now home but very week and he is a bit confused but lucky to be alive, I believe.
Helpful - 0
1760060 tn?1312999938
I had Sepsis in Sept 2010, i wish there was more information for people who have survived, It really is a long difficult road of recovery, there just doesnt seem to be much info out there.  No one told me I was going to lose all of my hair, its just a wait and see what happens to you kind of thing.

Still very tired, only have about 3-4 hours before needing to rest or nap, its hard to keep up with 4 young boys.  Still happy to have survived, only lost my toe tips (and my hair)   I guess us survivors just have a new reality to get used to.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
can someone out there help me. i have been hospitalized with sepsis three times since april. again july 7th and again july 21st. the first two times they said it was uro sepsis, treated with antibiotics for that, did not work, and on july 21 an infectious disease dr. got on my case, did 8 tests, nothing showing.  blood cultures not growing anything, nor is urine, but i come in extremely ill. symptoms and always the same, sudden onset of chills, nausea, sudden severe back pain, and then weakness, and low blood pressure, i can barely walk into the emerg. lots and lots of antibiotics and saline, am home on oral, still trying to figure out the source, i am so afraid to be off med. it can happen a 4th time, cannot take that.  has anyone else had this, i do not know where to turn from here, am still under the care of specialist, am seeing him in two weeks. judy from toronto.
Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
Hi Judy,

This is an old thread by another member. It's customary to begin a new thread when you have a question. It should bring you quicker and more suggestions and responses.

However I couldn't help but hear your concern and frustration in your post and my heart goes out to you. Some years ago I had Sepsis three times within a six week period. I knew the source. I had a tube inserted into my kidney for drainage following a severed ureter from a MVA.  I know how very ill Sepsis can make you and the energy that it drains from you system. The third time I was DX and the hospital called me to return for treatment I cried with my head on my husband's shoulder and said, Please don't take me back to the hospital, just let me die here... I can't take this anymore." I know your frustration. I too was so weak I could barely ambulate to the bathroom. This information doesn't help you. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. I've been there and I am guessing there are others like us.


Obviously it would be comforting or reassuring to find the source of the Sepsis. This could be a fluke and never return and you will never know the true source. Many different microbes can cause sepsis. Although bacteria are most commonly the cause, viruses and fungi can also cause sepsis. Pneumonia, Urinary Track Infections (UTI), a skin infection called cellulitis, untreated appendicitis, and many other areas of the body can produce these microbes that  can spread and lead to sepsis. Even an post-op infection can lead to Sepsis..... including something as simple as a wart removal.

Sepsis can even result from something as seemingly harmless as a scraped knee or nicked cuticle during a manicure. Once your immune system is compromised (such as after you have had continued bouts of Sepsis) it can return more quickly then to healthier adults. This may be what is going on with you. If ONE bacteria was left after the initial Sepsis it just took time to multiply and gain strength to attack your system again.  

So in the end it may not be important where the Sepsis originated.... now the it's just important to be sure it does not reoccur. I hope you are under the care of an excellent physician that is associated with a large teaching facility.... or a nationally know clinic. If not I encourage you to seek a second opinion.

I had thee very best care from a very prominent and well known Infectious Disease Physician had it been otherwise I am not so certain I would have be here today.

Please Judy keep in touch. Next time you post please begin a new thread (Question) so I and others won't miss it. I wish you the very best and will look forward to hearing from you very soon.

Take Care,
~Tuck
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
hi i suffered with sepsis last year after a surgery for a fibroid embolization during that time i had a transfusion of blood and began to bleed irregularly for over 90 days and was rushed to er for a high fever anxiety and low blood count drs pumped me with antibiotics and blood transfusion i went into shock and was off for 3moths and today im still suffering the effects the body just needs rest and i still need transfusions and yes see nothing wrong on test most drs will suggest antidepressants for what you feel and still have numbness pains blackouts but it gets better
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My husband had a 3rd procedure for stones in the bile ducts of his liver. They formed there since he has no gallbladder. 4 day's later I took him to the ER and he was admitted with sepsis, C-dif and 2 abcesses on his liver. He was in ICU 2 weeks,the first few days he hallucinated. Then he was in telementary for 1 week. He was moved to a rehab center almost 2 weeks ago. He has 2 drains in his liver that drain the infection into bags outside his body. They may be removed this week. He is still on antibiotics and will be till October. He is getting physical therapy and although still pretty weak he is doing much better. What I don't understand is that he seems to have a hard time talking. Did anyone else have that problem? Seems like a very slow recovery...
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
In late January 2011 I had a small hernia repair.  Three days later I was admitted to ICU from the ER with Sepsis.
I was in ICU for 9 days and the doctor said the if 10 were death, I was a 9.  
My kidneys, liver and almost everything else except my heart shut down.  I was on 24 hour a day dialysis.  After ICU I spent a week being nursed back by the incredible staff.  I was then released to a nursing/recovery home for 10 days where I learned to walk aagain and to swallow.  I am still, today, extremely weak and must walk with a cane.  I am 73 years old and can't believe I'm still here to love all the people who loved me through this horrible experience.  Like most of you I hsd hallucinations---at one point I thought I was Barbara Walters!  Anyway, I am still recovering and can do 1 or two things a day outside of the house.  We are all a bunch of incredible survivors
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My girlfriend has sepsis and is laying next to me now saying she feels different. Slight fever she just got over. She has not been to icu but has been referred to there she will not go of course. What are some suggestions for her to getting and staying healthy 29 yr old female..
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Geriatrics Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Could our telomeres hold the key to curing cancer and preventing aging? Learn more in this article from Missouri Medicine.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Protect against the leading cause of blindness in older adults
Keep your bones strong and healthy for life