Tory Pereira- Sepsis Survivor
Copyright © 2015
After I survived my exploratory surgery, I was still critical for the next twelve hours. Then for the next two weeks. The doctors kept me in a medically induced coma so my body could rest and heal, no one knew when I could be woken up. The doctors weren’t sure if I would have brain activity or if I would be a vegetable. No one knew if my body would accept the new reroute of my stomach or not. No one knew much of anything so everyone waited and prayed.
During my coma one thing after the other was going wrong. The first major problem that arose was renal failure. When someone is in renal failure doctors normally recommend dialysis. Dialysis is a life-support treatment that uses a special machine to filter harmful wastes, salt and excess fluid from your blood. This helps to restore the blood to a normal, healthy balance. Dialysis does the work for your kidneys when they are not able to.
Throughout my coma I was anemic, so I had a couple of blood transfusions and blood platelets.
For the first couple of days in my coma, my heart rate was extremely high. My heart rate steadily beat around 140-130 so the doctors couldn’t perform dialysis on me. Dialysis increases one's heart rate and mine was already racing like I was running a marathon.
My mom and my kidney doctor, Dr. Baramitski, would stand next to my bedside and talk it over to me.
He would look at me then look at my numbers. “We can’t do dialysis because her heart rate is too high but she’s not yet peeing.” I couldn’t pee or get rid of fluids due to renal failure so I gained a lot of water weight. I looked like a two hundred pound water balloon. If I wasn’t in a coma I wouldn’t have been able to open my eyes because my face was so swollen.
Another major problem was my blood pressure was really low. The doctors had to put me on blood pressure medication. This blood pressure medication is risky because it pulls blood from your extremities to your organs to help keep your organs functioning. This situation could create amputation on your limbs. Everyday my mom would stare at my numbers like a hawk, hoping. Hoping my heart rate would decrease, hoping my blood pressure would rise and hoping one day I will wake up and she will be able to tell me this crazy story.
After about five days the swelling, one side of my body finally started to subside. Thank goodness, because huge water blisters were starting to form on my thighs I was getting so big. When I went into the hospital I was 120 lbs and I literally blew up to 200 lbs. I was still in renal failure and my kidney doctor was starting to get more and more concerned when my blood work came back and he could tell my kidneys were not getting rid of the toxins. Dialysis was back on the table.
Finally, after a week of waiting, my heart rate was back in the range between 70-80’s and they could get me ready for dialysis! I went through three rounds of dialysis total, during my coma. My mom was so excited when they were setting up the dialysis machine.
February 4, 2016
The next day, there was no progress, my kidneys still weren’t working after dialysis. The doctors wanted to set me up for another round but then another unavoidable problem arose.
I had true lung condition. This was preventing oxygen from getting to my blood and making it harder for me to breath. So instead of getting me ready for dialysis, the doctors were setting me up so they could perform thoracentesis. Between the lungs and the chest wall there’s a small space that contains approximately 4 teaspoons of fluid, called the pleural space. When there is excess fluid, it can compress the lungs and cause difficulty breathing.
I bet you’re wondering how in the world do they get this fluid out? Well, the doctor takes this special needle and places it in between your ribs, it reaches to your lungs and pulls out the fluid building up that should not be there. The procedure was successful and now dialysis was back on the table. My kidneys took a huge hit so two more rounds of dialysis were needed to help kick start my kidneys again.
The morning of February 11, 2016 was the day I woke up from my 10 day medically induced coma! I’m alive and breathing on my own! HALLELUJAH!
Thank you everyone for following along with my Sepsis Story. Please help me raise awareness for Sepsis by sharing my story with your friends and family so we can kick Sepsis in the butt together! I'm still in my recovery and posting twice a week has been a little exhausting, so I'm going to cut it back to once. Have an awesome week, talk to y'all next Monday!
Peace and Love,