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Avatar universal

recovery time from pneumonia and sepsis

I just returned home on March 14th after a 7 day stay in our local hospital.  When I was admitted by my physician for pneumonia I had a fever of 104, my oxygen saturation was 73%, white blood count of 28,000 and I was suffering from confusion.  To make a long story short, I was diagnosed with streptococcus pneumonia and moderate sepsis.  I am 56 yrs old and consider myself quite healthy.  I speed walk and run an average of 10 miles a week.  In fact, the evening before I was admitted, I ran a full 3 miles.  When I returned home, I noticed I had a pain in my lower back on the right side which I passed off as a pulled muscle.  After a horrible night of chills and coughing, I was in for a rude awakening!   I know I have only been home 2 days, but I have noticed several things..I cannot remember a lot of the common things that were so easy for me like the few passwords I use on my computer, or peoples phone numbers, and even their names.  I cannot walk more than 30 feet without having to stop and try to get my breath and I feel so tired all the time.  I am on a host of medicines which I am sure will improve things so I know I need to give things time here.  My doctor has me off from work until April 5 so I appear to have plenty of time.   I have been told from friends that sometimes it can take up to a year to fully recover from sepsis and this has me concerned.  Any good advice here?
10 Responses
144586 tn?1284669764
There is an unfortunate cascade of events that can follow from battling a severe streptococcus infection, not the least of which are the extremely toxic substances produced as the bacteria are destroyed. Hopefully, the infection did not reach the bloodstream. You need to have an echo done to determine if there is a bacterial infection on your heart valve. This is a two part echo, one on the back and the other involving swallowing a probe. Ocasionally, bacteria settle on the valve and the debri thrown off causes minor strokes. The echogram is definitive. It is not painful and very inexpensive. It is possible you have had a minor "stroke".  The sudden onset of memory loss is consistent with this diagnosis. There is not much to do about that.  Keep well hydrated, go outside and get plenty of sunlight, take vitamin D3 supplements, and a good multi-vitamin. You can also have damage to other organs (i.e. - the liver) from the medications. At least 1000 mg of crystaline vitamin C in divided doses is indicated. 1000 mg of omega-3 fish oil wouldn't be a bad idea either. Take it easy, but don't be a couch potato. Immobility increases the chances of another clot and stroke. Don't hesitate to take more time from work if you still feel poorly when April 5th rolls around.
Avatar universal
Thank you for responding with such helpful information.  According to the Dr. treating me at the hospital, the infection was in the bloodstream.  They did not find this out until the day after I was admitted (after blood cultures) and they identified the bacteria the following day.  According the the doctor, luckily I was already being given the proper anti-biotic for this bacteria.  I was fairly swollen at this time and my blood pressure dropped sporadically.  Although my doctor mentioned that they were close to putting me in ICU,  I am curious as to why I was not.  I will be visiting my home physician tomorrow for my followup from my release and will mention what you recommend.  This sounds like something I do not want to take a chance with.
144586 tn?1284669764
If you had a bloodstream infection a two-part echo of the heart is an absolute must to rule out endocarditis. One does not necessarily develop this complication, but if you do the end game is a nightmare-on-elm street if not treated, and the echo test is simple, inexpensive and only slightly uncomfortable. You must insist on this procedure. Do not be disuaded.  That being said, many people have blood infections that are successfully treated and never settle on the heart valve.
547368 tn?1440545385
Your physician is correct. Sepsis actually means the infection is in the bloodstream. That is why it is so life threatening.

I have been septic several times following a MVA that left me with severe internal injuries and in indwelling nephrostomy tube. for many months  

Several things could account for the symptoms you are experiencing. One could be the insult to your system alone, others could be from the medications. Your system has been to hell and back. It will take some time for it to recover. However a year seems unlikely.

I suppose it is possible that you experienced a TIA (mini-stroke). But if so time will heal the effects. That's an entirely different discussion. Please talk to your physician about your concerns and symptoms.

I would not take any supplements until approved by my physician. Supplements can be very beneficial. However when we take too high of a dose of fat soluble supplements are stored in our body. They can build up and become toxic. Whereas a high dose of water soluble supplements our bodies simply excrete the over abundance that our body does not require. In that case we are simply wasting our money, flushing it down the toilet so to speak. So again please check with your physician.    

Please let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to your updates.

best of Luck to You,
Avatar universal
Well, it has been over a month since my illness.  I continue to have shortness of breath as if I am not getting enough oxygen.  I get tired after about 5 hours at work.  I lost a total of 14 pounds and continue to lose weight (?).  I am having a difficult time understanding what happened to me and people at work don't understand why i am not back to normal after pneumonia.  Most folks have never heard of sepsis (I didn't either until my illness).  I am trying to get back into my routine of walking and running but i tire so quickly.  I am really getting frustrated.
547368 tn?1440545385
Hi Tony,

Please excuse my tardiness to your additional post. I was out of town for a family medical emergency.

How are you doing now? Is the fatigue still great? If so you may want to revisit your PCP or obtain a second opinion. I would think that after this much time your strength and endurance would be gradually returning.

A good clinical work up may be in order. However some ppl are slower to recover than others but another look certainly could not hurt and may be beneficial.

Please let us know how you are doing.

Take Care,
1339865 tn?1275992125
have also had same as you ,got out of hospital last week still feel bad how u doing now
I also had double bacterial pneumonia with sepsis. My husband found me unresponsive with blood coming out of my mouth. It's been a slow recovery and six months later I'm still on oxygen. I'm frustrated by my recovery. I'm 47 with type1 diabetes and I know it slows healing but...wow. Let us know how it goes. I hope you recover soon...
Avatar universal
I have the exact same thing as you do and i'm getting very frustrated and I didn't feel to awlful bad, but went to the store and did a little shopping  not much 2 days in a row, I can't even stay at home, my house hold is very active, had to stay at my mom's to recover. but i did go down for i complete afternoon and evening and came back to mom's that night. Now i feel i have over done it and i'm very weak and back to shortness of breathe. i'm totally right there with you on feeling fustrated. It's been 16 days that i've been out of hosp., and they told me the same thing about the ICU thing. I figure it's an insurance thing. But they did do a T-test on me to check to make sure it didn't get to my heart valve. So If you didn't have one, maybe i would say something to your physician about it. Take care and wish u much luck.
Avatar universal
I was in the hospital for double pneumonia in both lungs and severe sepsis.  I was sent to the ICU for almost 7 days with a breathing tube.  It has been over a month since I've been out of the hospital as well.  I was in the hospital for two weeks.  They also found out that I had a heart condition in which I had a birth.  I'm also still dealing with shortness of breath sometimes and get tired very easy.  I have heard with Sepsis it can take several months to recover and in some cases some patients may never fully recover 100%.  I am 43 years old and had been in pretty good health before, but this has really taken a toll on my body.  I also get tired at work after about 5hours or so at work.  I have an office job.
Avatar universal
i am 56. i was a smoker but healthy. an occasional cold and indigestion once in a while. 2 months ago i had some fast food for lunch. later that evening had nausea and threw up all night with high fever all night long.Next day ended up in hospital in ER where they had to perform intervenios  cathadode treatment through my neck. I was in ICU for 3 days and in hospital a total of nine days.They treated me with all kinds of antibioticsI am presently taking medicine for my lungs..I am now recovering.Mentally I am fine so far and have total use f my body but very frustrated as I easily run out of breath,cant digest without taking enzymes,have aches and pains all over my body and often wander what next. My doctors sent me for a CT scan for my abdomen but I am sure my tiredness is not caused by my abdomen. I need help. What do I do???
Hi thank God we all made it thru. This fatal infection. .I continued. To lose weight after I got home..my trouble. Was both. My knees hurt...I got hold of.the sepsisalliance.org..they told me that my symptoms. And yours were normal that it could take a long time for recovery,& that I was very lucky to be alive...after seeing my patients go Thru. This,some didn't make it..I'm grateful. To be alive...it's been over 2 years now..& I'm back to normal..confusion. etc...is fairly. Normal after coming home. .you need to follow des orders..& be patient..your body took a major hit..it takes a lot of time for some of us:to come back from.it!
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