When Sepsis the Silent Killer comes knocking at your door make sure you answer it. You may not get another chance.
Your body is constantly talking to you and you need to listen to it. I should be one to talk because that knock came to my door and I didn’t answer it. Fortunately there was someone looking over me and answered the door.
Being a male and getting up in age you have to have your prostate checked. At the age of 59 I went for my yearly physical. Part of the physical includes a check of your prostate and having some blood work done. After the results came back my doctor set up an appointment with a specialist. The doctor suggested that I go in for a prostate biopsy to rule out the possibility of cancer. What? I don’t like going to hospitals to start with so now I start to get really nervous. Not so much because of the cancer but because of the procedure. Now if you pardon the expression, I’m nervous as shit.
The day before the procedure you take antibiotics to help with any infections that may arise. It’s Friday morning d-day and there’s no turning back. I live about 3 blocks from the hospital so I start to walk there. When I get in the operating room one of the doctors asks how I feel and I told her how nervous I am and I’m surprised I made it this far. She explains the procedure and I’m not liking what I here. Nothing I can do now. The doctor takes 12 samples and I’m ready to go home. I continue to take the antibiotics as directed and take it easy for the rest of the day.
It was the middle of July and we were going through a heat wave. When I woke up on Saturday morning I went through my usual routine. Drive to Starbucks to get a coffee. When I got home I checked things out on my computer (which is in my garage), then would head to the golf course but I was told to take it easy.
Around 11 o’clock in the morning it was already about 32 degrees celsius or 90 degrees Fahrenheit and my wife and daughter and I were sitting in the backyard. I was feeling a bit different and then I started to get a bit cold. It got to the point where I had to put a blanket around me to keep warm. I just thought that this may have been from the biopsy and it would pass. It was noon and I was feeling a bit worse. My daughter asked if I wanted some chicken soup and I said sure. I went inside and lay on the couch and before I knew it I had fallen asleep without having any soup.
At 2 o’clock Sunday morning I woke up for some reason and was in my bed but don’t remember how I got there. My wife was still up and I have to say she is the best wife anyone can have. I got up and walked out of the bedroom. What I noticed was that when I walked I felt like I was being pulled to the left, I was feeling really bad and very cold. My wife noticed this and said that we should go to the hospital right away. I can be my worst enemy at times. I told her, or I thought I told her that I was going to the garage to sit at my desk (which I have a heater right above it) to warm up with a blanket wrapped around me and it would go away. It wasn’t working and I was feeling pretty bad by now. She came to me and said she had been waiting for me in her car and we have to get going.
We arrive at the hospital emergency get admitted almost immediately. As I go through the doors I throw up and I’m not quite sure whats going on other than a lot of people around me and a bunch of tubes being put into my arms and have a catheter being put in. At this point you could of done whatever you wanted to me and I wouldn’t of cared. When the specialist arrived he was talking to my wife and what I did over hear them talking about was that my blood pressure was extremely low and my organs were shutting down and they were trying to find out why. After a day in emergency I get wheeled up to ICU and they determined that I went into Septic Shock.
For those of you that don’t know what that is, here’s a description from the Mayo Clinic and also some symptoms to watch for.
Septic shock is a serious medical condition that occurs when sepsis, which is organ injury or damage in response to infection, leads to dangerously low blood pressure and abnormalities in cellular metabolism.
- Fever and chills.
- Very low body temperature.
- Peeing less than normal.
- Rapid pulse.
- Rapid breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
I wound up being in the hospital for 6 days and made a full recovery. The 2 things that really stand out for me from this experience is how fortunate I was in waking up when I did, and having a wonderful wife. It gave me a second chance. I am so grateful now and enjoy what we have been given. To wake up every morning and be able to listen to the birds sing the sun rise is priceless to me.