Signs of sepsis
Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Last year, I pleaded with doctors to help me make it to my sons fifth birthday. God saved my life three different times, and I’m thankful to say that I have a clean bill of health from the cardiologist, neurologist, and rheumatologist. I went from completely healthy one day, to a nasty case of mastitis, to septic all within 24 hours.
My struggle lasted for many months, with infection after infection and an inflammatory response that hit most of my joints and made simple tasks painful. But I was thankful to be alive. Though I couldn’t go out and enjoy my son’s birthday, I was there for it. Everyday felt like a miracle.
Flash forward almost a year, and I find myself caught up in the next battles of life. This time with the mundane and common struggles of parenting, finances, and homeschooling. But over the weekend, I realized I had forgotten to be thankful to be alive. It’s the simple gift of opening our eyes in the morning that we take for granted the most.
I particularly wanted to share this now because there has been so much fear and turmoil over the flu season that we’re in. I’ve seen multiple posts that talk about the flu death tolls and how most deaths are caused by the flu turning to pneumonia which turns to sepsis and causes death within a few hours. While I can understand the terror that invokes, it’s important to remember that simple things like a bladder infection can turn into sepsis.
Signs of sepsis can easily go unnoticed by medical professionals, especially if they don’t personally know you. When I showed up at my doctors, they noted on my chart that I was “giddy.” I also had a high fever, had collapsed the night before and they ran an abnormal EKG. Putting together all these symptoms should have read "Sepsis." Instead, they gave me antibiotics and an urgent referral to a cardiologist.
When I ended up going to the hospital, I couldn’t walk without falling and I couldn’t explain to them how I arrived because I was so mentally confused- WHICH IS A HUGE RED FLAG… but these doctors didn’t know how I’d normally act, so they let me go home and told me to keep taking my antibiotics! The lack of initial treatment lead to the infection spreading to my heart, I’m alive not because of the medical care I received but because of God.
Despite being a miracle, I was angry about the lack of medical care for quite some time. I talked to malpractice lawyers, and combed through my medical records, but I realized we’re all guilty of human error. The doctors I saw missed the first sign, and so did I.
I’m sharing this so you DON’T miss those signs- especially in older loved ones!
Many of these symptoms can be confused with the original illness- especially the flu! I should add, a lack of urination is also a red flag that something very serious is going on.
Finally, if you find yourself extremely sick and suffering from these signs, don't go into the hospital trying to be a "brave solider" as I did. If you are suffering, let them see that don't try to white knuckle it as I'm guilty of! EVERY hour after sepsis sets in COUNTS!
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is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.