Tory Pereira- Sepsis Survivor
Copyright © 2015
The day after my dad and sister left we were moved from the ICU to the floor below. YAY! I still had no idea when we were being discharged but now we had our own private room with a bathroom. No more ICU with all your noises and lights. We were so ecstatic!
Our new room had a perfect view of the Vegas strip. I never thought in a million years I would be in Las Vegas staring at the strip in a hospital gown from my hospital room.
My respiratory nurse and others would be so astonished that I was still alive. They would say, “Oh my gosh you’re the girl who survived!” I had no idea what anyone was talking about. I survived what? Why are they so surprised that I’m alive? Apparently a lot of people saw me in my coma, fighting for my life.
I remember feeling so out of control with everything that was going on around me. I had a monster cut from my sternum to my pelvis with real staples holding my stomach together and I have no memory of what happened. My heart would beat out of my chest and no thoughts would come to my mind.
There were multiple reasons why I was still in the hospital. I was still draining significant amounts of fluid from all three of my drains. We had to go from 1,000 cc’s of fluid a day to 0 cc’s.
My white blood cell count was extremely high. My count was 51,000 and the normal range for a 22 year old female is 4,500 - 10,000.
Before I left the hospital I had to eat a solid meal successfully. Okay, they just gave me a cup of water to drink instead of ice chips, food wasn’t even in the equation. From the time I woke up on February 11th to February 22nd, I did not eat any kind of solid food.
Food was never on my mind. The entire time I was in the ICU my stomach never growled, I wasn’t hungry. The doctors would listen to my tummy with their instrument but heard nothing.
“So, when were y’all bringing me food so I can cross this off my checklist?” I wasn’t informed that the nurses weren’t sure if I was ever going to eat solid food again. The nurses put me through three phases to see what my stomach could handle and digest; clear liquid diet, liquid diet, and then solid food.
When they pulled my poop catheter out of me it must have done a little damage because I started bleeding from my butt. I lost so much blood they had to give me another blood transfusion.
Problems like this would arise all the time, but these are not your everyday problems so I was beyond freaked out. This entire experience was an up and down crazy roller coaster of one step forward then two steps backwards.
One step forward three steps back this time. February 22nd was a magical day because I ate solid food for the first time in 22 long days! I only had one drain that was next to my injury site, the other two were taken out. My white blood cell count was coming down slowly but surely. I also used the bathroom successfully after eating. This was a big deal, to see if my digestion system was working with the new reroute. Everything was going great and my discharge was on the table!
Unexpectedly Dr. Patel calls my nurse and upon reviewing my CT scan from the night before, he found three abscesses in my belly and pelvis that needed to be removed immediately. An abdominal abscess contains infected pus or fluid that forms around an infection. If not removed, abscesses can be life threatening.
I thought this roller coaster ride was never going to end. I felt like I was in a very dark tunnel, and there was no light at the end of it.
All of my other surgeries were performed while I was in a coma so I had no idea what was going on. Now I’m awake and terrified. The interventional radiologist had to put me into a sedated state, stick a huge needle in my pelvis, direct it to the sac of pus and drain it out. The pus can’t all be drained at once so another JP drain was added to my collection.
My goal was to get drains out of me not add them back on. I had three abscesses and they could only remove two of them out because the third was in my pouch of douglas. Pouch of what you might ask? It’s a tiny spot in between your rectum and uterus. They couldn’t reach that abscess because of where it was located. So after all this, I still had an abscess in me that doctors couldn’t get to. Frustrated, mad, and hopeless does not even describe how I was feeling. It felt like we were never leaving Vegas, never leaving Desert Springs Hospital.
Thank you guys so much for reading, please share along to your friends and stay tuned for my next post! God Bless.
Peace and Love,