Surviving A Life-Threatening Bacterial Infection
How I survived a life-threatening bacterial infection
This is one of my favorite gratitude quotes. To wake up in the morning and simply say ‘Thank you for this gift of another day to be AMAZING!’. Due to a very unfortunate set of circumstances over the first two weeks of December, this phrase has never been more true for me.
Some of you who are following me on Facebook or with the daily gratitude posts will know that I was very ill and in intensive care for over a week at the beginning of this month (Dec 2014). I haven’t shared too many of the details of my story, but now that I am back, naturally, I have been getting many questions about what happened. This post will shed some light on the story.
First, I really wanted to share with you how I actually found gratitude after surviving a life-threatening illness. And after, if you want to know more details of the actual illness, I will share my story, in the level of detail that I am comfortable with.
What I’m Grateful For
My family. A terrible set of circumstances but I got to see my sister who lives in Vancouver and my parents who live in Mexico. And I would do the same for them (hopefully I’ll never have to).
Truly the gift of another day. When your next day really isn’t certain, you have a very different level of of gratitude when you do wake up each morning. At 38, I thought I already had this level of gratitude. Now I truly do.
My husband. I married the right one, that’s for sure. He did what had to be done, took care of our daughter, spent his days and nights at the hospital and did his best to keep things together and keep in touch with friends and family.
Residual income. I have to include this, cause it’s awesome. I didn’t work or even look at my business for almost 3 weeks. Yet strangely I made more income in those 3 weeks than I have in several months. I have worked for 8 years building a team and a business, this doesn’t happen overnight – but my goodness, it was a very pleasant surprise to see the deposits in my account. I am super grateful for my team and the growth that happened literally while I was sleeping. And I am grateful to be able to continue to recover until the new year as well. What a huge gift!!!
My friends & my network. I had NO idea how truly blessed I am to be surrounded by hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who were praying for me or sending me love and good thoughts. Those prayers were heard, this I know for sure. And all of the visitors I never saw, but who were there to keep me company. I’ve heard this before, build your network before you need it. And I am super grateful that I did.
My healthy lifestyle before all of this happened. I am certain that living the lifestyle that I do, especially over the last 8 years allowed me to recover much faster than others who did not start in the same place.
Finally my daughter. At four years old, she was certainly a little trooper. She didn’t see or speak to mommy for over week. And it only took her a few days after I got home to let me leave her side. Will I ever know what she went through? No. But I am certainly grateful that I choose to be home (before this happened and continuing in the new year) with her 2 days a week instead of sending her to school full time. We are building attachments that I feel will be there for life.
What Actually Happened
On Friday Nov 28, 2014, I was admitted to the hospital due to a miscarriage. I had not shared this unexpected and unplanned blessing as I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, given that I had miscarried two years ago at 15 weeks. It was a few days before 12 weeks. It’s ok, I promise you that I am absolutely ok with what happened. I am still super grateful to be the mom of a singleton.
The next day, I went back to the hospital due to pain and fever. I was there for 12 hours but the fever seemed to be under control. The following day, the Sunday, I went back because something was not right. On the advice of our best man, who also happens to be an ER doctor, my pulse was super fast but my blood pressure was low (dizzy) it was time to head back. I remember being tested for infection and I was admitted that night. It takes time to culture bacteria so we didn’t know right away what was happening.
The following day, the Monday, I do remember having a number of tests done and having trouble breathing. Turns out I had invasive group A strep (same virus as strep throat but WAY worse). Pretty serious actually, feel free to Google survival rates. By the next day, I was very ill and very unwell, having difficulty breathing, due to pneumonia because of the bacterial infection. At this point, I was medically sedated in the ICU for the next 7 days to allow my body to rest and hopefully, heal.
I have almost no memory of this time and cannot imagine what it must have been like for those who saw me like this and knew how seriously ill I was. Thankfully, I have never been through this (from the other side) so I cannot even imagine what it must have been like. What was shared was that it was quite scary at times, not knowing whether I would survive. And that thankfully, my numbers (blood pressure, heart rate, O2 saturation levels) were improving daily. There is only one moment I remember, when my priest came to say a blessing for me. He spoke very closely in my ear and I remember the prayers he said and that he blessed my soul.
One week later, on Monday Dec 8th, I was breathing on my own again. By the following Thursday morning, I was discharged. Once I turned the corner, I was determined to get home a.s.a.p. to see my daughter. That’s motivation enough! Of course, I had no idea that I would still need lots of help and rehab from being asleep for a week. I’ve only been home 5 days but I already feel much stronger. Lots of help from family and friends, especially with meals and cleaning helps too!!!
That’s as much detail as I am comfortable sharing. Please know that I appreciate all of your support and prayers and that I am definitely on the mend! The daily gratitude emails will likely start up again in a few days, I will be taking it slowly. And back to biz in January. For now, Christmas with my hubby and his family and just taking it easy.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!