Generally I find that these topics can be difficult to digest, but as it’s World Sepsis Day tomorrow (13 September), I wanted to show my support for this awareness day. Read on as I share my own sepsis story.
What is sepsis?
If you’ve heard about ‘sepsis’ but never understood it, I’m hoping that I can shed some light on this topic today as it’s a global health concern and affects millions of people each year.
Sepsis is a response to infection which can lead to extremely harmful consequences.
Our bodies are like one of the mightiest machines on earth, they can withstand so much – colds, flu, various forms of sickness etc – and the way that our bodies respond to these illnesses lets us know that something is wrong. So whether you have a fever or high temperature, ongoing cough, rash etc, you’d do good not to ignore any of these symptoms and at the same time, be able to spot the symptoms of sepsis.
Although some of the symptoms of sepsis might resemble less serious illnesses, you shouldn’t delay if you suspect that you could have sepsis.
It’s worth noting that anyone can get sepsis but some people are at a higher risk, particularly people with a weakened immune system such as people with HIV, AIDS, diabetes, people that have recently had surgery, women who have recently given birth etc.
With this in mind, students should do everything to take care over our health. Understandably, studying can be stressful and the pressure can bring on all kinds of anxieties. The student lifestyle can heavily influence a lack of sleep, poor eating habits, nutrition and hydration, smoking, alcoholism etc, making you vulnerable in becoming poorly as your immune system becomes weaker.
My Sepsis Story
It was an exciting time for me as I eagerly awaited the arrival of the new addition to my family in 2016. Just two weeks after I had given birth, I was re-admitted to hospital as I felt generally unwell, my temperature was around 39°C, I was shivering and getting aches and pains all over, and my pulse was racing. I later found myself experiencing shortness of breath and I hadn’t peed for a long while. It first felt a lot like some sort of flu but the symptoms were sudden and my condition felt like it was rapidly becoming worse.
Despite the intensive investigations, monitoring and antibiotics, I wasn’t getting much better and it was clear to the medical staff that there was need for further intervention. After being given oxygen and having a CT-scan and x-ray, the decision was made for me to have surgery to clear the area of infection.
This was a real life-threatening experience for me but I was discharged from hospital after one whole week and thankfully, I made a full recovery so I’m here to share my story.
I really want to end this blog on a positive note but there is no way to sugar-coat this sepsis thing!
I hope that this has raised your awareness and if it has, then my job is done. Please feel free to share.
If you think you could make a difference to people’s lives, maybe you’d like to consider studying nursing or a similar course at UCB?
Thanks for taking the time to read. Have a great weekend.