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Post Sepsis Recovery

Hello all... I just wanted to share my experience with sepsis and recovery. I discovered the old thread but saw that it was recommended to start a new one rather than add on to the old one, so here I am. I'm male 63yrs old. Very healthy and rarely get sick at all...but.....

On Sept 21, 2016 I awoke not feeling well at all...I was weak and had never felt that way before. I couldn't urinate but for a few drops of blood and told my wife. She said I didn't look good and called an ambulance. As we waited I began to have a nosebleed and felt very lethargic. One of the last things I remember was being put into the ambulance and saying that I was having trouble breathing. Everything felt so far away. Turned out to be septic shock.

I spent the next 6 weeks in intensive care, all but the last week in a coma. I was told I had died several times and was brought back but I do have some vivid memories of being out of my body and being in different places.
When I regained consciousness while still in ICU I still had hallucinations and delusions, many of them bizarre and frightening, but I was able to communicate and was aware of what was going on.

My wife who had stayed by my side the whole time filled me in... that they couldn't keep my blood pressure up, I had turned jaundiced, a fever they couldn't bring down even after trying several antibiotics. I was hovering near death the whole time and the team of Dr.s told her that there was nothing they could do and to prepare that I would die. My wife is a real firecracker and wouldn't hear of it and demanded that a whole new team be brought in to work on my case...ones who would give me a chance to live. Thank God she did that because a whole new team was brought in, my meds changed and a week after my fever broke and I regained consciousness.

I felt so weak, had lost 60lbs and could only speak in a raspy whisper... evidently I had also ripped out my respirator 3 different times and had to be restrained. All my toes and fingers had turned black. My fingers returned to normal pretty quick but my toes remained black for another month or so. They all came back after having the skin and nails slough off...all but three toes which I had to have amputated a few months later on. A doctor botched putting in a urine catheter on my first day so I ended up having a SP cath put in directly to my bladder.

On my last day in the hospital I was moved onto a different floor and ended up having a feeding tube put in. I was told I would have to be in rehab for a year (but was out in 2 months due to my determination and rapid recovery).
My time in rehab was another nightmare...I was under orders to have no food or drink for another month more other than my tube feedings though I was SOOOO hungry and thirsty. I was gaining no weight and was down to 85lbs.
I was put on a pureed food diet (yuck) along with my tube feedings and was eventually up to 100 lbs by the time I left which was just before Christmas.
I cried a lot and was very emotional...so glad to have survived and be alive. I had to learn to walk again but by late December was able to get around with a cane and tend to my own hygiene, dress myself etc. and I felt I was getting a bit stronger each day. I was still trying to sort out what was real and what was not. My thinking felt unimpaired but my emotions were a mess. My mom ended up dying during my rehab stay and I was able to get transport to go to her funeral but even in a wheelchair I was exhausted just keeping myself seated upright.

Ok, home for the holidays and thank God for my wife and son who cared for me and made meals. I couldn't have made it without them both I know.

In February I had surgery to remove my SP tube and ended back in ICU as my vitals all dropped. I was terrified.
I was released the next day with antibiotics and returned home thankfully. A couple months later I had my toes amputated in and out surgery that went pretty well.

So, here it is Sept. 2017. I feel like I'm healing up pretty good all things considered. I still get tired easy but try to get exercise and some walking in. Some lingering PTSD from my hospital stay, especially at night, as I'm STILL trying to sort out what happened. I may never really know, but as one poster mentioned, maybe some of the hallucinations were not really hallucinations...more like out of body NDE experiences perhaps.
My bouts of crying have subsided and I feel more emotionally stable. No memory issues but I do feel somewhat foggy now and then. My vision is a bit off too. The tendons in my hands are messed up, but it seems to be improving as time goes by. The supplement MSM has helped a lot for my hands I feel...applied as a cream and taken orally. Lucky to have no evidence of organ damage after all of that.

I am grateful for all the kindness and help I have received and do find there's light at the end of the tunnel. As my 'anniversary' approaches I do feel some fear that it could all happen again... the Dr.s never could find out exactly what caused my sepsis but they suspect a symptom-less UTI was to blame. I remain vigilant.

I continue to take vit D, zinc, CoQ10 and a other vitamins/minerals and have a good diet... weigh 120lbs now.
130 0r 135 is my normal good weight.

My advice... be patient. The body will heal but needs its own time and pace. Be kind to yourself and don't overdo. Plenty of rest. This has been a learning experience for me in many ways but has also been the worst thing I have ever been through. Bless all who have been through this.

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