The end of July- I was at Mayo for 2 days of routine check-ups. My Dr had increased my methotrexate dose to the highest level because I was having so much inflammation. We were checking to see if it was working. I had X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, radioactive tests. I was feeling mostly good – got over 10,000 Fitbit steps, had dinner outside on the Peace Plaza- then watched outdoor entertainment. Life was good.
Next morning after first Dr appt – stood up and bam- I felt like I was hit over the head with a sledgehammer. I slowly left office starting to feel very warm. By the time I got down to main floor – I was freezing with chills. Went across the street to my room to try and nap till my next appt.
Within 10 minutes my fever was 105- My chills had turned to RIGORS – I was scared to death by then. I crawled to phone to call for car to take me to ER. Walked into ER and within 1 minute I was back in room. Doc said I presented with classic case of Sepsis. ( what the H is that)? Several bolus of fluid, MRI’s, X-rays- they finally knew the cause. At that point – I knew so little about Sepsis that I thought they were going to send me home! HAHA. By then, my BP was 70/35- I wasn’t going anywhere. I told hubs to stay home and not to drive the 2 hours down to Rochester. So I was alone, scared ( TERRIFIED), and very ill.
How did I go from this to that in less than 12 hours?
Instead of going home – they rolled me into a room. The FIRST thing I was asked was did I want a DNR! That’s when I first realized this just might be serious. Of course – I said YES – because at some point this just becomes too much.
Infectious Disease Drs started me on 2 IV antibiotics ( Boy was I glad I had CYP testing)! They were trying to get my temp down – and my BP up – but that took at least 50 hours.
Picture 5’ me rolled up into a tight ball for several days. This was the FIRST time I was in hospital since I had my kids. ( they are 46 and 51). It had been a long time. I didn’t care about anything except how do I get warm? I remember trying to get out of bed to hit the bathroom. They had a nurse stationed outside my room for the first 2 nights – and alarms would go off. In fact, the second night- I almost didn’t make it. They were icing me down and checking my vitals every 10 minutes ( or so I’m told). Because I have no recollection of any of this. I remember when hubs walked in and I saw the look of terror on his face. I thought once again – this just might be serious. But I just went back to sleep. This was me until the night before I left. Everything that week was just a blur.
Finally the meds started working and my blood stream was clear of infection. As soon as I could walk and make some sense they were going to send me home. After nearly a week – I was sent home. But I had to go to hospital every day for 2 weeks for IV’s of the potent antibiotic.
What is SEPSIS you ask? I will give you facts in another post because I know a few have had it from pneumonia and flu season is upon us. All of us should know a lot more about this – because we are immune compromised.
Mine was from GI infection. Ischemic Colitis. At my age I am very lucky to be alive. Statistically I had 72% of not making it. Also- after GI Sepsis – only 30% survive the first year. I’m having the after effects of the inflammation that was triggered by the blood stream infection- they are mostly cognitive issues and muscular strength and ability.
I’m going to PT twice a week – except sometimes I’m too tired to go – so I just sleep. Sleeping is mostly what I do. I have about 3-4 good hours in a day – sometimes more – sometimes less. I have hope that I will improve.