Sepsis is a killer!

We were decorating my sons bedroom, we had promised him it would be done before Christmas, I did most of the work without my legs on, sitting on the floor building the furniture, drilling into walls etc. and crawling around as necessary. It later transpired I had a small graze on the end of my left residual limb. It is thought this was the cause of the infection.

I never knew I had Sepsis, I thought I had ‘Man Flu’!

6th December 2017 –  I felt poorly, ‘Man Flu’ symptoms. I had been told by some people I know, that I looked awful, go home and go to bed. I didn’t, I just carried on.

7th December – I felt worse and had a  high temperature. I called 111 and the ‘out of hours’ doctor came, It was late, I was given a prescription for some antibiotics. I was told ‘get them in the morning’.

9th December – I went to A&E, hands and fingers swollen, I had a temperature of 39+ degrees, and felt the worst ever.  I even had other patients in A&E talking to the nurses, saying ‘that man doesn’t look well’ and the nurses saying ‘we are keeping an eye on him’.
I was in A&E alone, my choice, it was the evening of my wife’s work Christmas party, she thought I would be home later that day. I was shivering even though I was wearing three layers including a jacket. A nurse came over with a blanket asking if I was cold. I said I had a high temperature, I was told to take my jacket and jumper off, blanket was taken away. A short time later after examination, I was admitted to hospital.

After being admitted to hospital, I had two operations to the fingers on my left hand, and four operations to my right wrist to let out the infection, see images below.

I was also later told that I was lucky I came into hospital on the Saturday, and not waited until Monday! Otherwise the outcome could have been very different.

The pictures below were taken over a period of 5 months. My hands and fingers have not recovered fully, but I have been told by the surgeon ‘considering what he saw inside, count myself lucky!’

Even now (mid 2018), I have not regained full functionality to either of my hands, and have been told I never will. For example, I cannot properly grip a knife & fork, or hold a pen. I work in IT, and I cannot hold and use a normal mouse, currently looking for an alternative. I also have voice dictation software installed on my work computer to reduce the amount of typing I need to do. This additional difficulty on top of having no legs is hard work, but life goes on.

This all started less than 6 months after my mother-in-law died of Sepsis. My wife must have gone through hell during this time.

It was only after I had recovered and was out of hospital, that my then 9 year old son found out how serious it was, and how close I was to not being here. That was hard!

Don’t wait until it is too late!

UPDATE : 09/2022

On our way home from a family holiday in Florida, I felt fine, got home about lunch time. A couple of hours later, I went to collect my assistance dog Abbey from where she had been staying about 10 miles from home. On the way there, I felt very unwell, had to stop four times to be ill.

I collected Abbey and started driving home, I nearly crashed the car twice, managed to get home safely, could hardly get out of the car. Went in home and laid down.

Later that evening I was quickly getting worse. I phoned for an ambulance, I had suspected what was going on, I could hardly speak and was uncontrollably shaking. My wife and son were in bed with jetlag.

Ambulance took me straight to A&E (borderline under blue lights) where I was diagnosed with Cellulitis, a UTI, Covid and Sepsis.

What an end to a family holiday!