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Joe

few months on...

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Hello everyone. Just wanted to share my story. I'm a bricklayer. 22 years old. Very healthy and active.

Before all of this happened, I had no idea what sepsis was and wasn't aware of the impact it would have on my life.

I went in for a routine ACL/mcl knee operation. The first one was fine which was in late January 2019. The second operation was on March 11th. I woke up from the operation instantly unwell with a lot stomach/back pain. I was transferred to Brighton during the early hours and it was descovered that I had sepsis, pancreaitus and pneumonia. 

I was in hospital for 2 1/2 weeks which was the worst time of my life. My whole family at one stage came to visit late at night out of hours and everyone was crying. I really felt helpless as I kind of gathered the dangers of sepsis and how my life could have come to an end. ( I was heavily drugged up throughout my time there). 

I thought I recovered to an extent, then a few months later I suffered a pancreatitis attack and caused me to be in hospital for another week. This attack has taken its toll on me. 

They don't know the cause, I don't drink, smoke and I eat a very low fat diet. The second time has really effected me it's almost been a year from the very start. I'm a bricklayer/builder and I have really lost my confidence to do my job that I use to love. I always seem to be tired and I have had to do rehabilitation for my knee and learn to walk again on top of everything that went on. I have found it exstreamly difficult to get back to things. I really feel like a different person and I never thought something like this would happen to me. 

I'm trying to get back to work but it's really hard at the moment, mentally and physically. Most Employers don't understand that I'm slower at my job and I'm finding my way again. I might have to do something else. 

I really feel for people who suffer from this and I really do feel lucky to be alive. I do hope to do a charity event for sepsis when I feel a bit better. 

Thanks for reading. 

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My best wishes on your journey Joe. 

From what you write you are doing well mentally and this will see you through the tough times you discuss. 

I wasn't as positive early doors and the comments of 'you're lucky to be alive' etc fell on deaf and angry ears - I didn't feel lucky. 

Now much later I appreciate I am a lucky one and proud to be a member of the survivors group. Keep talking and your idea of fundraising will help you just as much as the charities. 

Work wise I wasn't the same but that doesn't have to be a negative. For example I was more empathetic to my colleagues and my slowing down enabled me to be a better listener and I found I didn't make as many mistakes as my gun ho previous self. 

Your body took a right bashing and it will take time to recover but I have no doubt that recover is what you'll do

 

Mark 

 

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 Hi Joe 

Sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time, all of the things you mention in your post are very common experiences of sepsis survivors.  Sepsis recovery is poorly understood and many of the problems experienced are unexpected and hidden from those around you.  It can be helpful just to talk things through with some one who understand; the sepsis support team at the UK Sepsis Trust consists of trained nurses who have a lot of experience of sepsis and the many problems that can be experienced during recovery. You can contact them by calling 08088000029 Monday to Friday 9 -3 pm.  You will be able talk to them about your sepsis and recovery and ask questions that you may have.  We also have a support groups that meets in Hove, meeting others who have experienced similar  problems can make recovery feel a less lonely process, the support team can tell you more about the group if you are interested.

Sepsis Support.

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On 04/11/2019 at 22:10, Joe said:

Hello everyone. Just wanted to share my story. I'm a bricklayer. 22 years old. Very healthy and active.

Before all of this happened, I had no idea what sepsis was and wasn't aware of the impact it would have on my life.

I went in for a routine ACL/mcl knee operation. The first one was fine which was in late January 2019. The second operation was on March 11th. I woke up from the operation instantly unwell with a lot stomach/back pain. I was transferred to Brighton during the early hours and it was descovered that I had sepsis, pancreaitus and pneumonia. 

I was in hospital for 2 1/2 weeks which was the worst time of my life. My whole family at one stage came to visit late at night out of hours and everyone was crying. I really felt helpless as I kind of gathered the dangers of sepsis and how my life could have come to an end. ( I was heavily drugged up throughout my time there). 

I thought I recovered to an extent, then a few months later I suffered a pancreatitis attack and caused me to be in hospital for another week. This attack has taken its toll on me. 

They don't know the cause, I don't drink, smoke and I eat a very low fat diet. The second time has really effected me it's almost been a year from the very start. I'm a bricklayer/builder and I have really lost my confidence to do my job that I use to love. I always seem to be tired and I have had to do rehabilitation for my knee and learn to walk again on top of everything that went on. I have found it exstreamly difficult to get back to things. I really feel like a different person and I never thought something like this would happen to me. 

I'm trying to get back to work but it's really hard at the moment, mentally and physically. Most Employers don't understand that I'm slower at my job and I'm finding my way again. I might have to do something else. 

I really feel for people who suffer from this and I really do feel lucky to be alive. I do hope to do a charity event for sepsis when I feel a bit better. 

Thanks for reading. 

Hi Joe  i hope you may feel some reassurance from the replies you have already received. like you i worked in a physically demanding enviroment and to be honest i underestimated sepsis not surprising really as i knew nothing about it. Its taken me along time and with a great deal of resistance on my part to understand and learn about recovery and what that means for me.push myself too hard and i pay the price.recovery will come but can be painfully slow and with setbacks. but at first it can be important to keep things simple.read as much as you are able both on and off this forum.be good to yourself.rest when you need to.and take whatever help is available. the sepsis helpline is a fantastic resource and offered great support in that first year when i just needed to talk to someone who understood.

kind regards ian

 

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Wow, thanks everyone for replying to my post so fast. They are really nice comforting words and I have found by sharing my story, it has lifted abit of weight off from my mind. Seems incredibly strange reading my own story back. Looking back at the year there has been a lot of stress. 

I have realised that I have kept it bottled up from friends and family because I have felt silly to express and go on about myself. 

I really appreciate you guys taking the time to write back and it's been nice to relate with others in the same/ similar position- reading other people's experiances and how they have coped.  

It's really underestimated and I really hope you guys stay healthy and continue to become stronger. 

I will read up on the group. Thank you Ian, Larry and Red squirrel. 

Have any of you guys got any side effects?

I have had to make a few adjustments in my life. I can't drink alcohol anymore or eat a fatty meal. Not so bad but I find a social drink quite nice and going out having fun is something that I miss ( I never use to do it much anyway) and I get tired with associated back pain. Could be a lot worse. 

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Joe, I get the tired bit myself and many others would call it exhaustion. Like Red said, you've got to listen to your body and take time out to rest when needed. 

My taste was all over the place. Everything was salty and I could only stomach bland foods. Enjoyed a curry before but found even the mild ones too hot. I've always enjoyed a pint but the taste post sepsis was awful. The only drink I cared for was lager and lime, where as before I was a real ale man. 

Now - love my curries, always up for a pint (Blonde, Golden) and now eating out which I avoided for being wasteful. 

Worst thing for me was not being able to add up in my head, mood swings that hurt my loved ones and not instantly listening to people. It was as though I had to tell my brain to listen rather than it being automatic.

Now - still get frustrated and my mood can be low but I sit and speak with my wife and share with her how I feel and this has been a great help to her understanding. 

Best thing I did was to write a diary. In it I'd put pain level, activity, mood, upsets and anything I felt positive about. When my mood was low I could look back and see that I was improving. 

 

 

 

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In addition to aching all the time I have constant rage. My breathing is still sketchy as sepsis wore a hole in my lung collapsing it, my equilibrium is shot and everything seems like a massive effort. Except for cooking which I love to do and that chills me out. My wife is utterly remarkable and her support has been invaluable to me. (No booze for me either, but I quit that in May 2018). 

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