Tory Pereira- Sepsis Survivor
Hey everyone! I’m so sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog. I started working a part time job and it takes a lot of my energy, so I’ve been tired. My body will always be in recovery from the trauma I experienced but I am so thankful my body has recovered enough for me to handle working a part time job!
Before February of 2016 I was a world traveler and loved to travel any part of the world! Within 6 months, I went on a cruise to the Caribbeans Islands, walked over the London Bridge, hiked the mountains in Asheville, and spent Christmas jumping the waves in Florida. My next trip was the business trip I attended to San Diego, then Las Vegas where I underwent unexpected abdominal trauma surgery and was then stuck in a hospital bed in Vegas for a month. When I was discharged from the hospital I had a lot of anxiety and too many unanswered questions.
After experiencing my trauma in Las Vegas, I now had a fear of traveling. I was aware now more than ever, that bad things can happen to good people. One of my biggest fears is being stuck in a hospital bed again. What if someone hits us while we’re driving? What if the plane crashes? What if my stomach starts hurting, and I’ll have to go to the hospital in an unfamiliar city again. What if I die again? The questions and anxiety would flow throughout my mind and body when I had any thoughts of traveling. Would I ever get over my fear or would I be stuck in Statesboro forever?
August 25, 2017: First time traveling since my accident. Had a blast spending the weekend in New Orleans with my family!
My family lives in New Orleans and wanted to see me since I was discharged from the hospital. At the time I was too weak and fragile to travel so we waited until I gained some weight and was stronger mentally and physically.
After a year in recovery, it was summertime and I was invited to go on vacations, attend weddings but I backed out of everything. I let my fear of traveling run my life and I spent the entire summer in Statesboro, instead of being apart of festivities and being surrounded by my family and friends. I knew something had to change so I looked towards God for his guidance.
The next morning during my quiet time, God told me the perfect words I needed to hear. He said, “Fear is not a “physical” thing. It can’t force you to do anything. Fear only exists in the emotional realm, and you are not a slave to your emotions!” I told Papa God I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by my emotions, I want to overwhelm my emotions with His truth and His peace. Papa God then told me, “Perfect love casts out FEAR!” 1 John 4:18.The only emotion older and stronger than fear is love. Because of God’s love for me, I have nothing to fear <3
On August 25th, 2017 I let go of my fear to travel and I let God! I packed my bags with all the essentials: Bible, journal, snacks, crystals, essential oils, yoga mat and got ready to board my plane to New Orleans. I was so excited for my trip and was very proud of myself for not letting fear control my life anymore.
It was so heartwarming to arrive in New Orleans safely and give big hugs and kisses to my family! The weekend was perfect, filled with love, laughs, crab boils, and more delicious cajun food! I am so thankful to have such an amazing and loving God by my side to help get me through my struggles and feel stronger everyday! Love you Papa God!
If you have a family member or a friend who has been on your heart lately, reach out to them and say hey or send some love their way! It’s always nice to be the reason someone smiles. I missed everyone so much! I will start posting on my blog every other week again. I hope everyone has an awesome week, I'll talk to y’all soon! God bless :)
Peace and Love,
“SEPSIS is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.”
WHAT CAUSES SEPSIS?
ARE CERTAIN PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO GET SEPSIS?
HOW MANY PEOPLE GET SEPSIS?
I was 8% body fat leaving the hospital. After a year and 6 months of eating 6 meals a day, walking and practicing yoga daily, I am a happy 12.7% body fat in the picture above.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF SEPSIS
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT SEPSIS?
National Institute of Health: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/factsheet_sepsis.aspx
To learn more about SEPSIS please visit www.sepsisunited.org! I am so blessed to still be alive today to share my Septic Shock Story in hopes to make people more alert about this lethal condition and it's signs and symptoms. The goal is to save more lives! I hope everyone has an awesome week. God Bless!
Peace and Love,
Life after Sepsis is my new normal of life. When I left the hospital I hoped I would feel 100% like the old Tory again, physically and mentally. I didn't feel anything like myself. Being as weak and as fragile I was, only skin and bones was scary. Having this huge cloud in my brain, brain fog was frightening because I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t remember anything about the world. I had a BA in psychology and a minor in sociology but yet I couldn’t think of the letters to spell the word “acknowledge.” My brother made a comment about Arnold Schwarzenegger and I had no idea who he was talking about.
I didn't even understand the trauma I went through or that I went into septic shock. My mom had to tell me a few times what happened in Vegas. Every time she told me it was like I was hearing the story for the first time, and I would cry because I couldn’t believe I went through something so traumatic. All I knew was I had a huge scar doing down my belly and I had a long way to go in my recovery. My nurse said you probably won't feel like yourself for another year, I didn't believe her but she was right.
Today, I still do not have my energy back 100% so I take a nap a day to make it through. I drink green tea, raspberry passion tea and hibiscus rose tea from Yogi to help give me energy throughout the day. I have lost 90% of my long term memory and my short term memory is still bad but I see improvements, which I am extremely thankful for. When I try to think of the past or any thoughts at all I just have a blank screen in my head.
With the re-routing of my stomach it went back to the functionality of a baby, so I have to eat every two hours or my stomach will hurt. I thought after gaining weight I wouldn’t have to continue eating every two hours, but I think this is how my new stomach will always function.
Yoga and essential oils have definitely brought me back to life from my trauma and my septic shock experience. I have gained a lot of strength back through practicing yoga daily. I call it Yoga After Sepsis because yes I’ve been practicing yoga for years but I started over after my accident. My scar was tight so I couldn't touch my toes or lift my hands above my head.
Life after sepsis hasn’t been the easiest but surviving my trauma made me a stronger person. My life is definitely different but I am thankful for going through it because I know I can conquer anything I set my mind to! Thank you so much for reading my Septic Shock Story! I am so thankful to still be alive and to raise awareness of SEPSIS through my experience. Hope y'all have a blessed week.
Peace and Love,
In June 2016, 4 months after my accident the last thing my body felt was “normal.” I was still very weak but at this point I could at least pour myself a glass of milk. My organs felt like they were floating on the outside of my stomach. My legs were so small they were as round as a quart sized milk jug, to me I felt like I was walking on toothpicks and I could snap any minute. I was eating a lot throughout the day but I knew it was going to take a while for my weight to stick on me again. In June I weighed 110 pounds and was 9% body fat.
Since I relearned how to walk in the hospital, I walked everyday. That was my way of gaining my strength back. I could only walk a lap or two a day then after a few months I worked my way up to a mile. That was very exciting!
When I moved back to Statesboro I would walk on Gentilly Trail. In college I always jogged on this trail so one day during my walk, I wanted to see if I was physically able to. I tried to jog, took one step and that was all my body could handle. My stomach was so heavy, I thought my organs were going to rip through my scar. I was so fragile, I felt like my legs were going to snap from under me. I was so sad, I started crying right there on the trail. Since I was a kid and all throughout high school I played basketball and ran track. I was the fastest girl in my school, so not being able to jog broke my heart.
That moment on the trail I gained clarity and I knew I had a long way to go in my recovery. Feeling weak didn’t stop me, it gave me the motivation I needed to work hard daily and not give up. I was on a mission to feel strong and normal again. No matter how hard it was, I ate 6 meals a day. Every day I walked my dog Benz Marley at least a mile and practiced yoga.
Soon I started to see my muscles coming back in, very exciting! I started noticing I could shoot a basketball, I could open the pickle jar, I could carry my own groceries, I was asking for help on simple tasks less and less. I was starting to feel like Tory again!
Practicing yoga on Gentilly Trail!
June 2017, just a year later I was walking on Gentilly Trail and I got the guts to try jogging again. I was nervous but I told Benz Marley with a smile on my face, “Benz baby here goes nothing!” I took one step and then two and I couldn’t stop, I was jogging!!!! That was the GREATEST feeling in the world. I could only jog for a few strides but that was such an improvement from last year!
If my accident and recovery has taught me anything it’s to never give up. Especially when times get hard and you feel like the task at hand is impossible, that’s when you push through even more. Nothing is impossible with determination and a strong will on your side!
Thank y’all so much for reading my Septic Shock Story! It is my passion to raise awareness of this silent killer we call SEPSIS and to help other Sepsis Survivors through their recovery process. I am posting every other week, so I will talk to y’all soon! God Bless :)
Peace and Love,
Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from plants and have tremendous healing properties! Essential oils are my natural medicines that help to fight my colds and flu symptoms, relax my mind and body, soothe sore muscles, help with my eczema and much more. When I was released from the hospital, I started diving into my essential oils immediately to help my heal through the trauma is had just endured.
My yogi friend Justine believes Patchouli is perfect for Sepsis Survivors in recovery because "Patchouli is energetically about bringing yourself back into your body." I had an obsession with Patchouli before my accident and now I love it even more because it's helping me find balance throughout my body and mind once again! I first started using Patchouli in college because I suffered from eczema. I couldn’t find anything to calm down my skin. After a few hours of using Patchouli my eczema cleared up and I wasn’t itching like crazy anymore.
Nature is awesome and I love anything natural! Here are some other essential oils that can help you to heal in a natural way. Lemon, Peppermint, Frankincense, RC - Respiratory Congestion, Purification, Digize, Copaiba, Lavender, Stress Away, Thieves, Panaway. I love sharing about oils and helping people to better their health. I truly believe oils are the best natural way to heal your body, mind and soul.
Thank you so much for following my Septic Shock Story! You can write me a comment on my blog if you want to dive deeper into the oils with me or check out www.youngliving.com! If you have any questions with ordering I can also help with that as well! If you want to order the kit you can order through the link at:
Once you order the kit of 11 amazing essential oils that I listed above, you'll also become a Young Living member :) I'm here if you have any questions! Have a blessed week!
Peace and Love,
May 2016 was the exciting month I finally got to move back home to Statesboro! I texted Skyler and we went to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Sombrero! I had never gone to Compassion on a Sunday before but when I was in recovery I longed to go to church. I had never felt that feeling before.
While I was in the hospital things were going wrong all the time and I was so scared. The only time I felt peace was when I prayed and whenever someone would come in my room to pray and talk about Jesus with me. I prayed every night with my healing stones and my healing blanket wrapped around me. I prayed every time I was scared. I prayed every time something awesome happened. Every time I prayed I could feel the Lord with me and the best word to describe the feeling is peace.
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
When Skyler and I were at dinner I told her I wanted to join her at church on Sunday! The first Sunday I went, I was so excited to hear her and Andrew sing and be around other people who love Jesus. Everyone there welcomed me with open arms and open hearts! I felt at home. Ever since that Sunday, going to church is now apart of my routine. Sundays are my favorite day. I love going to church to sing and learn about our amazing Lord. I didn’t have these feelings before my accident, I didn’t know what I was missing.
The first time I watched a baptism it was so powerful and it spoke to me. I’m not the same person I was before my accident and I’m not chasing the Old Tory anymore. At that moment I knew I wanted to commit my life to Jesus Christ, to be forgiven for all my sins and to continue walking in His path. I told Skyler and she was so happy for me and that was the moment she told me I was her ONE!!! That was a very special moment for us.
On December 18, 2016 was the special day I was baptized by my amazing friend Skyler Frazier! That was the day I committed my life to Jesus and I have not felt more alive!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11
Skyler Frazier on the left, Tory on the right. "Perfect love casts out fear" <3
I may never know the reason why or how my duodenum perforated but sometimes God doesn't intend to give you the answer. The perforation in my stomach isn't the point of my story. The point of my story is, once I was lost and now I am found. I once strayed away and now I am saved. God might not ever give me an answer to my accident but he answered my prayers.
I may not have always attended church every Sunday but ever since I was a young girl I have always prayed every night before bed. I am very thankful for everything in my life and I tell the Lord through my prayers. Since I was young, I have prayed and prayed every night for God to guide me down His path. He took my hand when I was fighting for my life, and He saved me. Now I am walking down the path He chose for me and I could not feel more alive.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” - James 1:2-3
Thank you so much for reading my blog and following my Septic Shock Story! It is my passion to raise awareness of SEPSIS! I hope y'all had a good holiday weekend, have a blessed week :)
Peace and Love,
May 11th was the exciting day I got to move back home to Statesboro, GA. I was so ecstatic to get back to my old life, working at the job I loved, and being surrounded by my friends. I was only two months of being out of the hospital so I was still in my extensive recovery period. I was still so weak and extremely skinny that you could see my rib cage and every bone in my body. I only had 8% body fat and for woman my age anything below 19% is considered low.
My surgeon re-routed my stomach to the left side of my body and attached it to my small intestine. He also had to cut out a small part of my stomach so my body was trying to adjust to the new changes. I didn’t eat solid food for 22 days in the hospital so my stomach shrank back to the size of a baby. It also went back to the functionality of a baby’s stomach. I had to eat every two hours on the dot or my stomach would hurt extremely bad for hours. Now I know why babies cry when they’re hungry because their stomach literally hurts. I had to stretch my stomach out again so I could only eat small amounts at every meal. If I ate too much then I would have the worst pain for hours. Eating was trial and error for a few months until my stomach got used to eating real food again. I endured a lot of pain but I was very thankful to be eating solid food because my surgeon predicted me never eating a solid meal again a day in my life.
During these few months my recovery consisted of a lot of resting, eating every two hours, walking Gentilly Trail daily, and the little bit yoga I could do. I was very sad for how weak and fragile I was, if the wind blew hard enough I felt like I would blow away. My entire life I was athletic so this was new for me.
I had so much determination to gain my strength back so I walked daily from the time I was released from the hospital. Walking was the most I could handle physically and at this point I could walk a mile so that was exciting! I walked on Gentilly Trail every day and this was the trail I had been jogging on for years while I was in college. I wanted to try jogging and boy was that a mistake. I could only take one step and I felt like I was going to topple over. Jogging felt so foreign to me and my organs still felt like they were on the outside of my body. This made me so sad because I ran track, played basketball, was extremely active all of my life and at 23 years old I couldn’t even jog. My heart was broken but I was so thankful to be out of the hospital and walking on a trail in nature that my tears were a mix of happy and sad.
I have practiced yoga since 2013 and loved it since the first day I stepped on my mat. I had a gnarly scar from my sternum to my pelvis that kept me hunched over for months because it was extremely tight. My organs still felt like they were on the outside of my stomach so I never thought I was going to be able to practice again. I couldn’t even do something as simple as baby cobra or bend over to touch my toes. I would just sit on my yoga mat and cry, they were happy and sad tears once again; sad tears because I couldn’t move my body like how I used to but happy tears because I was so thankful to be out of the hospital and even sitting on my yoga mat.
Meet my best friend Shelby! My first day back to work and you can totally see the excitement on our faces!
May 22, 2016 was the exciting day I went back to work at my job, A Smokin Place! I didn’t care how tired or weak I felt, I was just so excited to get back to work and being around the positive vibes the shop has to offer. I just wanted everything to feel normal again. I was striving to have my old life back, and kept wishing known of this had ever happened to me. Nothing felt normal, my body, my mind, my heart. I had so many unanswered questions that I was longing for the answers to.
Thank y’all so much for reading my Septic Shock Story and my trials during my extensive recovery period. I am so grateful to be alive today to share my story in hopes to raise awareness of this silent killer we call SEPSIS! God Bless!
Peace and Love,
I always said if sharing my story helped one person then it would all be 100% worth it. I've received a lot of awesome feedback about how my story has helped a great number of people but this time it really hit home for me. This beautiful girl Sarah Rinker, has been dealing with Crohn's flare up for a while now. She thought she was on her road to recovery then one Friday at work, she started to feel nauseous and then the puking began. Then pain in her abdomen started. She knew something was very wrong and thankfully she works with an amazing group of people who brought her to the hospital immediately. Thank goodness because early on Saturday morning she was rushed into emergency surgery to have a portion of her bowel removed due to a perforation, and her abdominal cavity was cleaned to prevent infection. SO CRAZY! That’s kind of like my story, with my duodenum perforating!
Sarah said she read my story a couple of months ago and because of that, she went to the ER way sooner than she would have normally gone. How cool is that, to see my story helping people all around the world! It's so amazing and heartwarming to see. I am so blessed she read my story and that helped her make the decision to go to the hospital sooner.
Sarah, I am very happy my story helped you not wait another minute longer in going to the hospital. You’re very beautiful and you are in my prayers to have a speedy recovery! God Bless!
It felt like magic being in the comfort of my own home after being bedridden in Vegas hospital for 25 days. Cuddling up with my blanket, in my clothes, with the smells of incense and candles was right where I wanted to be. I was so blessed to be out of the hospital, and home safely from Vegas.
My mom started washing all of my clothes that were in my suitcase from my business trip. She wanted to wash off all of the bad vibes and I didn’t blame her.
When I went into cardiac arrest and arrived at the hospital on February 1, 2016 I was wearing leggings, black boots, a black shirt with a plaid shirt over it.
The craziest thing happened when my mom washed all of my clothes and pulled them out of the washing machine. My plaid shirt I wore during my cardiac arrest, was now torn and ripped from every stream. It was also covered in a red color which looked like blood to me. It did not enter the washing machine with anything on it but awful memories of excruciating pain, cardiac arrest and me fighting for my life. My black shirt was cut straight down the middle. These shirts witnessed it all.
All of the other clothes were totally fine. My parents have a nice washing machine so it hardly ever ruins clothes. That was very scary. But it was a clear sign to me, to leave everything in the past and move forward with your beautiful life today. I didn't know what life had in store for me. I had very little hope until my friend shared this bible verse with me while I was in recovery and now it is my guide through life:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11
Thank you everyone so much for reading about my Septic Shock Story! My purpose of sharing my story is to raise awareness of SEPSIS and it's signs and symptoms so if anyone suspects they have SEPSIS, then they know to go to the hospital immediately. There is no time to waste! Have an awesome week. God Bless!
Peace and Love,
I was released from the hospital on February 25, 2016 and flew to Atlanta that same day. I was so fragile if a gust of wind came by, I would blow away. I had to carry my two drains that were coming out of my stomach and pelvis. We had to bring a pillow from the hospital for me to sit on in the wheelchair because my butt was so boney.
I was so excited to be leaving the hospital but once I left and wasn’t hooked up to IV antibiotics anymore it hit me; I have been hooked up in the hospital for 25 days and now I’m living on my own. Am I ready for this? What if I left too soon? What if I die again? I didn’t even know what put me there in the first place and now I’m out in the real world again. I was surprisingly terrified.
My dad loves Pawn Stars so being in Vegas, of course we had to stop by. It was SO weird walking outside, breathing and feeling the fresh air. I had to walk super slow because if someone touched me I would topple over like a sack of potatoes. I love Pawn Stars too so that was cool being the first place I visited after coming back to life.
I spent the first part of my recovery at my parents house in Marietta, from February 26, 2016 until May 11, 2016. Moving back in with my parents was the only option because I needed around the clock help. I couldn’t pick up a gallon of milk or put my dishes away because they were so heavy. They helped me with everything from making my plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to my mom bathing me. I was so skinny and weak I couldn’t lift my arms to wash my hair or even hold my balance. We also had to be very careful because we couldn’t get my 15 inch scar on my belly wet.
Showers were a lot of work, and they were physically and emotionally exhausting. I would stare at what was left of my body which was skin and bones and would just cry my eyes out. I scared myself because I was literally a skeleton.
I was so skinny I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs without someone behind me making sure I didn’t topple backwards. I couldn’t do much but rest and I barely had any energy.
My family was by my side throughout my entire recovery and did not let me give up. My dad and I worked hard on gaining my strength back daily by walking up and down my driveway. In the beginning I could only handle once a day but after a couple of weeks I could handle 3 times a day. We walked daily and in April I could proudly say I was walking a mile around my neighborhood! At the beginning I never thought I would get past my driveway, hard work really does pay off!
My excitement when I got my last drain pulled on May 4, 2016. I had this drain in since my surgery on February 2, 2016.
I was basically starting over like a baby, physically and mentally. My stomach was also starting over like a baby too. A small part of my stomach was cut out and then it was rerouted to the left side of my body. We didn’t have a manual on what just happened to me and we didn’t know what my stomach could and couldn’t handle, so it was all trial and error. If my stomach didn’t like it or if I ate too much it would hurt so bad for hours. We figured out quick my stomach liked simple foods. Not bbq chicken, just chicken. Not chicken, mac and cheese with green beans. Just chicken.
I dealt with awful nightly stomach pains for months. I went to the ER one time due to my pains and they told me my intestines were twisting. My intestines weren’t tightly packed inside me anymore, so that was very possible. I dealt with horrible stomach pains every night from the time I got home until May. We couldn’t figure out a solution. Is this what the rest of my life was going to look like? This is when my obsession with candles, incense and oceans waves really began to crank up because I spent night after night dealing with fist quenching pains.
My doctors visits didn’t end when I left the hospital. I had to see Dr. Schwab, my general surgeon once a week until my drains were ready to come out and I was in the clear health wise. Dr. Schwab was handsome so I didn’t mind seeing him once a week. May 4, 2016 was the exciting day my last drain was pulled and I was that much closer to moving back to Statesboro! I felt human again! I stayed a week in Marietta after my drain was pulled to make sure everything was still going well. May 11, 2016 I packed my bags for the last time and moved my happy butt back to Statesboro. My rehabilitation in Statesboro now begins.
I want to thank my readers so much for following my Septic Shock Story! I’ve had so much great feedback with people learning about SEPSIS and learning from my story. At the beginning I said if sharing my story would help just ONE person, then that would make me extremely happy! I hope everyone has an awesome week, see y’all next Monday! God Bless.
Peace and Love,
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