The Faces of Sepsis
Jill Thomas - survivor
It was a beautiful March morning in Colorado in 2007. My parents were visiting and my husband was out of town. I took them out shopping and they were scheduled to leave in the morning.
I have Lupus and was taking Enbril at the time. And I was actually feeling pretty good. We got home from a busy morning and I went to take a nap. When I woke up, I was having some serious cold shakes and my temp was 102. I took some Motrin as this often happens to me with my inflammatory fevers. However, my temp usually goes down after. It didn't, it kept rising.
I called my doctor and got the after hours doctor who doesn't know me from Adam. I gave him my medical history and meds I was on and he said (over the phone) that I have the flu and that he would call in an order of Tamiflu for me. And told me to call my doctor in the morning. Took a dose of Tamiflu and went to bed.
During the night, I was so weak. I started to throw up and have diarrhea and I could barely make it back to my bed. I was alone in my bedroom. My parents were sleeping way down in the basement and my kids sleep on the other side of the house. I was laying in bed barely able to mutter "help!" My daughter, who was 11 at the time, woke up from a dream where I needed help and she came to see if I was ok. She saved my life.
I told her "no, go get grandma and grandpa...I have to go to the hospital." My mom and dad were actually just getting up to get ready to leave but instead they took me to the hospital.
At the ER, my temp was 104.8. The doctor yelled at me for not coming in sooner (I thought I just had the flu). I barely had a blood pressure. I had no urine output.
There was a lot of yelling and running around the ER as I remember. They placed a central line and there began my 2 weeks in ICU. The source of my infection was never found but my blood had strep in it.
They told my parents to call whoever wanted to be here because I wasn't going to make it. But I did!
Note from SA: the girl standing next to Jill in the photo above is her daughter, Tracy. Tracy is the one who dreamt that Jill needed her, saving her life.