Sometime in early in 2020 I started having pain/numbness in both legs with no answers. In April 2020, I developed what doctors labeled gastroenteritis. Over the next few days my symptoms seemed to get worse. I was suffering excruciating stomach pain, I could not keep anything down and had constant diarrhea and vomiting. My boyfriend took me to Emergency on 3 different occasions. Due to Pandemic restrictions he was not able to come in and advocate for me. I was diagnosed at each visit with a stomach flu, hydrated and sent home. Ten days or so from my first visit to the ER, I called an ambulance. I knew I was dying. I was admitted to the ICU in grave condition. I had suffered an escemic perforated bowel caused by a cytokine storm (blood clots). I required immediate surgery and was informed risks for mortality were high as I was in very poor condition and I was already in Septic Shock.
I was ventilated and an immediate ileostomy was performed. A day or so post surgery my legs started to die and was airlifted to another hospital with a vascular surgeon. I was stabilized and transitioned to a tracheotomy after about a month. I do not remember much from those first 6 weeks except the drug induced hallucinations. My right leg had to be amputated above the knee and I required multiple surgeries to save my left leg; although, I still have no feeling and have developed drop foot. In addition, we discovered a perforation in my bladder when I started passing urine through the open wound in my abdomen. I had multiple infections that required 6.5 months of antibiotics during my 8 month hospital stay.
I am currently 6 months post discharge, I am awaiting an ostomy reversal and abdominal reconstruction. I am an outpatient in rehabilitation being fitted for my first prosthetic. Additionally, I have been dealing with the effects of Post Sepsis Syndrome (PSS). At discharge nobody informed me about the Sepsis recovery process or that I would lose my hair. On top of everything else that has happened, can you imagine how horrifying that was?! Nothing was said! I am very lucky I made it out of 2020 alive!