When I first came home to Texas I had my parents on a gag order, especially my mom who is a talker. With this I wanted to help people instead of leaving them to their own device of misinformation, give my story and be an advocate to others who never heard of it. Through this time I’ve heard I’m a walking miracle or I don’t match my record, I’m not saying their bad however theirs more to this journey & lots of people were involved. It is hard to recant this story but it’ll help someone.
What is sepsis?
It’s a rare thing that happens, however it’s when an infection gets in the blood stream causing the immune system to overreact causing lots to happen such as complications or consequences that can be serious. Simplified version the body gets an infection the body is like “nope” & over responds trying to defend against a infection in the blood. It commonly happens with surgeries but can happen with a bad bacterial infections. Simpler terms your body treats an infection like TSA does you when you fly.
How can it be tested for?
Well it takes a lot of trials to figure out sometimes because it’s a trick thing so several tests are employed
Is there a cure?
It’s not a terminal thing like leukemia, the cure is being proactive.
Is it life threatening?
Yes it can be if not taken care of soon. The earlier the better.
What are signs?
High heart rate
Fever, shivering, feeling cold
Confusion or disorientation
Shortness of breath
Extreme pain or discomfort
Clammy or sweaty skin
Does it happen more to males or females?
Well I can’t give an answer about that even after doing my due diligence but I can tell there is a mortality rate of about 8% and 30% after one year of being hospitalized that’s all I got
Can you pass it on is it hereditary?
It’s not a trait that can be passed on so no. But
It’s not a hereditary thing like sickle cell or height, it’s not something that is carried by a person that can be passed on to someone at birth. But these questions are good because they help clear the air in the right hands.
How can you get it?
From an infection that gets progressively worse & primarily happens from recovery from surgery but can happen stand alone.
How did I get it?
Well I got an infection in my left thumb (right thumb if your going by anatomical view) & the cuticle opened causing it & it progressed to that. It’s a truly finicky thing.
How does it effect day to day life?
Well day to day life for me is one of building up to get my life back on track because I’m in some departments and I refuse to limit myself. Other than the previously mentioned I have good & bad days.
What was your experience?
On the way to a funeral for my big cousin in Kansas City I got to Fort Worth with my people driving the first 4 hours. Then I started going down hill feeling all kinds of pain & discomfort the last part of the ride through Kansas, even throwing up. Once we made it where we were staying I only got worse over the next days like having discomfort where I was hot or having trouble walking. Last thing I remember was going to olive garden after the funeral but not eating fast forward I was in the hospital because my parents called the ambulance and my journey turned into 70 days rather than 3. I was told my heart rate was undetectable like a modern day Lazarus (look it up) for 3 days. My story has been filled with irony but I’m here to tell it.
What is a change you’ve made since?
Well up to now physically I’ve had to be mindful of the way I stepped or stood because I was weak on one side (not because of a stroke) things like dropfoot (which because of nerve dysfunction or limited nerve function causing my foot to point down) when I was on the walker or now with the dropfoot brace so I wouldn’t trip. There is more that I had to change but this was a big one.
Steps of recovery?
When I got admitted it was a lot of stuff that happened from the jump it was deal with keeping me alive so I’ve bed (they have on oh those lol) to get my temperature down had me on a ng tube, gave a tracheotomy, a PEG tube in my abdominal, medicines on I.V. & sedated me so I wouldn’t be pulling tubes. Because of the medicines I had to go though dialysis o help my kidneys basically filter my blood. Once I was cleared from ICU I was moved to Telemetry at Overland Park Regional Medical center. The entire time I was going through PT (physical therapy) because when you’re in bed that long muscles aren’t working like they used to and have been going through atrophy, it’s not permanent it takes work to turn around. Once I was cleared at Overland Park in went to a rehab hospital called Mid America going through intensive PT, OT, & Speech for several days. After doing my stint there I flew back to Texas in August 2018 & continued my rehabilitation earlier this year. Being sedated for so long there is a slew of people that played a role for me getting to this point more than the people I follow, it may have been a job but I’m thankful they came with their A game.
If someone went through the same thing, what would you tell them or their family to support them?
Well if I could tell them anything it’s only for a season. What that means is it’s not forever it has an end point it may be gradual but it’s better than it was yesterday. Like I tell people “you’ll be aite” simple but true, it may be terrible but you can only go up.
What could or couldn’t you do?
-Bust people’s chops I just do it through gifs & such. Still do
-Adapt to do somethings I like.
-Run or doing anything to that effect.
-Temporarily couldn’t play video games
-Speak for long.
Timing, go if you feel or see something wrong the faster the better.
Are you part of a group?
Nope i’m not but I vent with people around me moderately to keep from imploding
Do you see life differently?
Well I didn’t fit in a particular box from the jump but I definitely see life differently after dealing with sepsis.
MC LYTE had a song called “Poor Georgie” where she says “Your never promised tomorrow remember that” when I was hospitalized it could have easily went the other way with me being 6 feet under. I didn’t take Life for granted but especially after being so close to death I had to be about my own words & double down with my actions. I truly don’t take people, times, & things for granted.
Is full recovery possible/how long is it?
It’s possible to do it just depends on the person because the length is truly random.
What did you discover about yourself?
Things got amplified after sepsis, here are some notable things.
I’m resilient from having a high pain threshold to getting knocked down & getting back up to even adapting to do things again.
I pick my battles, I refuse to waste my time & breath talking to you when you already have your mind made up.
I found out where I fit in Jess Glynne has a song called “No One” in which she says “your no one till someone misses you when you’re gone”. When I came back I found out real quick where I fit in & when I was missing people had to figure out what to do had to get it done. I may not be a big part but like a Jenga tower you know when something is off.
Lowest Point/Hardest thing while recovering?
I could say not being able to do certain things I like but what takes the cake is Social Security Administration & dealing with disability benefits, not the people but the actual system because ever since November they want to know everything but will not help which makes recovering harder. I understand people have gamed the system but I don’t wish it on anyone.
Getting to see other people succeed and their lives. For example Deepa who was a nurse tech when I was at Mid America she became an RN May & also got married , I got to see Keionna Graduate from PVAMU, also in December I got to see my little cousin who is taken care by my aunt & uncle in person also them as well, I got see my little cousins in person & family that live near me and so much more that would take long to list. Even though I may be at a place where I’m watching everything around me while I improve it warms my heart and makes me happy.
How has the experience shaped you?
Well being so close to death I basically don’t take this fragile life for granted even more & was forced to double down on what I believed in and not just saying something which some people do rather than be present.
What was your mental process?
Don’t overthink because being a person that had anxiety I could have put too much thought into it, I adopted a mindset I already had even more of get it done. No matter how big the progress is make it happen.