Questions and more Questions

I have a lot of time to think.   Time to think, nap, read and watch TV.  If I didn’t feel like shit, and the weather was better, it would be paradise. 

I recalled hearing a story several years ago about someone I didn’t know.  She had cut herself and then the way the story was related to me was, “it got infected and she died.”  Well knowing what I know now, that must have been a case of sepsis.

Talking with my sister-in-law the other day as she, bless her heart, took me to Joe Fresh to quickly grab some $9 pyjama bottoms, she said she would have likely died from my illness because the stress and potential embarrassment of trying to convince medical people she didn’t just have the flu would have kept her from sounding an alarm.  Well it was stressful and my ambulance ride was embarrassing (more on that later) but I think that a survival instinct also kicks in at some point.  Then again I may be mistaken.  An ol’ high school friend who is now an EMS professional says she has taken more people in comas because of sepsis than she can count.  I can recall the distinct feeling of just slipping away and when you get so sick, that feeling of surrendering starts to have a certain allure.  You’re just so tired of fighting to stay awake and then when you are awake, you feel so horrible – it’s beyond description.  I’d like to think that maybe people will learn from my experience and listen to their tiny inner voice if it pipes up, despite what the loud voices on the outside are saying.

But I am left with questions.  Why didn’t the budding infection in my mouth fully develop?  Why did it get to a certain point and then decide to invade my bloodstream instead?  What created the environment that chose that particular path?  It wasn’t my immune system – that’s perfect.  (In fact it’s the reason I was able to fight as long and well as I did.) 

Was it the “fault” of my particular dentist or just the vulnerability of dentistry as a profession?   Do I have to change dentists or do I simply have to talk to my current one and make sure he gives me antibiotics before he ventures into my yap again?  When can I drive again?  How much of the way I’m feeling has to do with the antibiotic IV and how much is simply coming back from such a major physical event?  Will I always be addicted to navel oranges or is this a temporary byproduct of my experience??!!

As you can see, I have a lot to ask Dr. Hernandez when I see him after my CT scan at the end of the month. None of it is particularly urgent as long as there are fresh oranges to be had and family members and friends around who really mean it when they ask if I need anything.   Except for the Wikipedia entry on sepsis I haven’t googled a single thing to do with my medical situation and I’m proud of that fact.  It show maturity on my part.  I trust my doctors.   They don’t shy away from any question, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant.   That’s lucky because I have a nice long list for them that I may have time to alphabetize before our next meeting.

3 thoughts on “Questions and more Questions”

  1. My son was septic at age 2. It settled in his knee joint and he stopped walking. I STILL don’t know where the bacteria entered as there were no cuts or scrapes. Later my pediatrician told me most kids who have what he had end up in ICU at sick kids. I made an appointment with the doctor within 12 hours of him falling ill. She knew it was bad and admitted him to hospital. I still have nights I don’t sleep thinking about what would have happened if it were a weekend, or I went to a walk in clinic, or I didn’t have such a great pediatrician.

    We HAVE to be our own advocate. And if they don’t listen, go elsewhere. Things can turn badly SO fast.

  2. You are so right Dara and coming from an RN your words carry even more weight. It does happen awfully quickly. We are more fragile than we want to admit. You had a great doctor. I wouldn’t shut up until someone looked into my case!

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