Post Sepsis Syndrome

Hi I am Phil and in January 2015 I was struck down with Pneumonia and was in hospital for nine days. My longer stay was thankfully down to a Dr who was not happy with my blood tests and therefore kept me in until they improved. About a month later and without any warning I was fortunately found by my wife in bed and taken to the QMC Nottingham Critical Care Unit as the paramedics had agreed it was Sepsis. The point of my note is this. I spent 11 days at the QMC ITU and then transferred to the City Hospital ICU and spent a total of four and a half weeks in ITU and then Renal Unit. I have no recollection of being found or my stay in the QMC but when I was in The City I had such incredibly crystal clear dreams that I could even write down every one of them a year on. I now feel as if I was put through a tunnel scanner and came out the other end a different person. I feel my personality has changed. I am still weepy at times and always feeling down most of the time. I know I think differently and get upset when certain storylines occur on TV Soaps to such a degree I am now considering putting headphones on and listen to music as I do not want to deprive my wife her enjoyment of TV. I still have flashbacks and my throat is still sore after all this time from the tracheotomy which was in place. Does anyone else out there feel the same. I feel ad if I will never get better. With other illnesses they happen and you recover but Sepsis and being in what was an induced coma at times seems to make me feel different. I have no local group to turn to and only my Psychologist to talk to. She tells me that I have survived a near death experience and nearly died. She says that I am still recovering and possibly have Post Sepsis syndrome or PTSD. And that I am being hard on myself and need time. Does anyone else feel the same or have experienced similar. It is continually putting me in a deep depression when I think about it.


3 Replies

  • Hi Phil,

    I had sepsis with multi organ failure in 2008 and also had a trachi. I went back to work too soon afterwards and in 2009 I was then diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and PTSD. My flashbacks were vivid and happened at times that took me by surprise. One day we went kitchen shopping and I had to get out of the shop quickly because the white kitchen and bright lights sent me into a spin!

    I found that writing down the dreams really helped me, it was really difficult at the times and I was very tearful doing it. I did get some closure especially after sitting down with family and going through it. They let me know what actually happened which was quite often different from what I thought had happened! You need to get closure and work through the flashbacks. I went to a psychiatrist for 4 years which also really helped me come to terms with what happened.

    8 years down stream I get the occasional moment when I have issues (I'm not good going into hospitals and have the odd anxiety attack when in a hospital) but generally I'm in a good place. After going through what I went through I think I've changed for the better but it has taken me a long time to come to terms with my journey.

    Keep strong, it does get easier and the flashbacks do fade if you get treatment. Flashbacks are due to unprocessed information in the brain.

    There are certain things that you learn to live with and my crooked tongue is one of them (after the ventilator tube!).

    I wish you lots of luck in your recovery. You are not alone, there are quite a few of us out there who have had very similar experiences. There is light at the end of the tunnel, you will get there, but it won't happen over night it is a long process.

    Best wishes,


  • I have had an assortment of emotions from feeling happy to being suicidal, even now eighteen months later. Please be patient and very kind and compassionate with yourself.

  • Hi Phil. sepsis and multiple organ failure

    I couldn't have expressed it better than Lucy, particularly freaking out in the kitchen shop. Lights and white tiles were a major feature of my nightmares/dreams too. I'm lucky that after 2 years it has almost all gone. I'm still emotional at times but, hey, that's not such a bad thing. We are all lucky to still be here, so of course we are emotional. I am an oldish (75) guy so marvel that they even tried so hard to keep me alive!

    I was lucky that the ICU staff kept a 'diary' filled in nightly by different nurses. As well as 'telling me' what had gone on that day, each page ends on an upbeat note with a smiley and personal good wishes. Now THAT does still have me tearful!

    I, too found it helpful to write out my nightmare visions almost as soon as I got home (still tube fed for another 4 months after that!). My ICU held 6 month and 12 month individual reviews as part of an ongoing research project. I took my 'dream writing' in for them - and it's now on the ICU staff notice board! Perhaps the only other thing left is a lack of confidence compared to before, for example I find large social events difficult.

    Stick with it, it will improve. We all understand and support you.

    Tony S

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