Tory Pereira- Sepsis Survivor
Copyright © 2015
The morning of February 11th was the successful day of pulling my tube out. Today I woke up and was able to breath on my own! I'm ALIVE!
Three days prior they were weening me off my sedation to see if I could handle breathing on my own. The doctors tested me three times and I failed the first two. I couldn’t stay calm enough to keep my heart rate down.
The third attempt, on February 11th, the doctor's reduced my sedation and I slowly started to come out. With the approval from Dr. Singh, and my respiratory technicians I was ready. They told my mom to get out of the room. Doctors were standing around me, Dr. Singh asked me to cough. I coughed, and the tube came out! Then my mom heard me say some off the wall question and she started bursting into tears. At that moment in time, my mom had no idea if I was a vegetable or not.
From the time I woke up, I was enraged with anger and highly agitated. My mom thought it was very odd, but I never asked any questions. I didn’t ask why I was in the hospital. I didn’t ask why there was a huge bandage on my stomach. I was so beyond terrified I didn’t know what to ask and what the answers were going to be. It was like I couldn’t even think what to ask. No thoughts were approaching my brain. I tried to remember where the last place I was and I couldn’t remember. I saw pictures of me in New York and San Diego and I had no idea why. I was in New York then San Diego and now I'm in Las Vegas hospital?
February 11th, 7 pm shift change for the nurses and the nightmare starts. From the time I woke up, I was aggravated and mad at everything. My mom described me as being a mean, uncontrollable alien.
First, I kept trying to get out of my bed saying I had to go to the bathroom when in my mind I was going to get water. I was so thirsty all I wanted was water. My mom, the nurses, nobody was giving it to me so I had a mission. I stuffed a clean throw up bag in my gown, and my mission was to get to a bathroom, fill it up with water from the sink and chug it like there was no tomorrow.
I didn’t know that my stomach went through a traumatic surgery that involved a reroute. I didn’t even know I couldn’t walk.
My mom was getting so frustrated with me she asked the nurse if they could put me back to sleep. That night, I had to poop in a walking toilet because I couldn’t walk. In my mind I knew I could walk, I’m a 22 year old healthy girl, of course I can do something as simple as walking. My mom and nurse kept trying to explain to me it wasn’t possible but I wasn’t listening. The nurse brought in my walking toilet and my mom helped me get out of bed, and that’s when it hit me.
My body felt so foreign. My legs were so weak and skinny they couldn’t hold my body up. My belly felt HUGE, like my organs were on the outside of my body. I was skin and bones.
I had ports, needles, drains and tubes coming out all different parts of my body. Needles were coming out of my hands, ports were coming out of my neck and legs, drains coming out of my stomach and one big tube that was coming out of my nose connecting to my stomach.
This tube that was in my nose was traveling down my esophagus into my stomach, pulling out the stomach juices and acids so it wouldn’t sit there and eat away at my stomach lining. They couldn’t retrieve it all during surgery so this was finishing the work.
I hated that thing coming out of my nose! It was green and gross. All I could do was stare and figure out a way to get it out. I wasn’t understanding anything that was going on around me but there were nurses and people coming in my room every hour to get blood, or prick me with a needle, or drain my drains.
I was never alone, my mom was by my side the entire time and nurses were in my room constantly. My mom left for a moment to go pee, and I thought finally! Finally I’m alone and I can get take all of this nonsense off of my body and get the heck out of here! As soon as she left, my mischievous acts started and I started pulling everything out.
First to go was the tube in my nose, that was so gross. Next was the port in my neck, this was a little harder to get out so I had to use whatever muscle I had left. It was sticky and not coming out so I gave it one last tug, and bam, that was out too! Next was all the needles that were in my hands, as I was in the middle of freeing myself a nurse walked in and started yelling at me. NO, you can’t take this stuff out of your body! My mom heard the commotion and ran over. Then everyone started yelling at me, I guess I did something wrong.
My mom said I scared the nurse to death. I scared my mom too because I was very uncontrollable. I wasn’t supposed to be pull anything out of my body, but I had needles, ports, and tubes coming out of everywhere and didn’t know why! The first time I pulled the tube out of my nose the nurse was very mad.
Yes I said the first time, because I pulled this thing out of my nose every time someone left me alone. I had to suffer the consequences and she had to push the tube back down my nose and I had to swallow when she pushed so it could be put back in my stomach. That was an awful experience. There was no reasoning with me, I wouldn’t listen to anybody. The boxing mitts were introduced to me once again. They would put these mitts on to restrain me from pulling instruments out of my body. I scared the women nurses so the rest of my time in the ICU I had a male nurse, Jeff. I liked him and he helped me stay calm and not pull stuff out of my body.
After trying to calm me down, they turned the TV on to capture my attention and go to sleep. I couldn’t sleep the first three nights in the ICU. I didn’t know I had just been sleeping for 10 days! Of course I wasn’t tired. I didn’t want morphine or any pain pills of any sort. I know how addicting they are and the state I was in, I would have easily been hooked.
My mom said I stared at everything that was going on in the hallway of the ICU unit. There was so much commotion and the lights were on all the time. I wanted to know everything that was happening. One night I remember hearing someone was standing behind a horse and he got kicked in the chest, OUCH!
It’s mind boggling to me how long it took for my brain to process what I went through. Even when I arrived back home in Georgia, I asked my mom to explain exactly what happened to me. My heart and body would hurt and I would cry every time like it was the first time I heard it. I really went through that? How am I still alive?
According to the CDC, more people die from Sepsis than AIDS, breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. The signs and symptoms of Sepsis are fever, cold chills, excruciating pain, confusion, clammy skin, shortness of breathe and high heart rate. Time is of the essence when your septic, go to the hospital immediately if you recognize any of these symptoms.
In the picture above, I had the pleasure of visiting and bringing flowers to a sweet man and his family who is battling Sepsis. You are strong and I hope you get to go home to your family soon!
Thank y’all so much for all of the donations and for following my blog! All the love and support is greatly appreciated in helping me spread the word of Sepsis. Have an awesome week readers, I will see y’all next Monday!
Peace and Love,