Pneumonia and Sepsis

Pneumonia and Sepsis

Hi. I am Phil, 65 in June and a retired Police Officer. In January 2015 just after New Year I contracted Pneumonia. I had ben fit and well before those happened so it came out of the blue. My wife woke up and found me semi conscious and so was rushed to the QMC Nottingham. I remember very little of the first day in hospital and was hallucinating a lot. I also for some unknown reason developed Gout in my right knee and was like a balloon. On the second day I was completely with it and told I had a severe bout of Pneumonia. The Dr treating me was ready to discharge me but the Dr treating the Gout was not happy with blood counts so kept me in for a total of nine days and then discharged. Within a month to the day my wife could not contact me at home so came home from work to find me unconscious in bed and wet through. The Paramedics immediately recognised the signs of Sepsis so was taken straight to the Critical Care Unit rather than Intensive Care where treatment began. I have no recollection of any of these events. Apparently it began in the Gaul Bladder, spread to the Liver which shut down and then to the Kidneys. It was considered too risky to operate on the Gaul Bladder so remained in the Unit in their care. I was kept in there for about 11 days and then conveyed with a Dr on board the ambulance to the Nottingham City Hospital Critical Care Unit as the Kidney Dialysis was better equipped there. I then remained there until the final week which I spent in the Intensive Care Renal Ward. Of the total of just over four and a half weeks I do not remember anything, which is one of the things which disturbs me now. What I do remember is having the most vivid dreams which even to this day I could describe to anyone in complete detail and even now parts are added to these dreams. I was eventually discharged back home into the care of my G.P. and District Nurse. Since that time I fee as if I have gone through a personality change. Its like I always describe to people and as if I was put through a scanner tunnel and came out the other end a different person. My whole world had been turned upside down. I get very down and depressed and already suffered from depression so this made it worse. When I used to remember my past I used to smile when I remembered places, people even bits of music but now that has changed and I get very sad with my memories and just want to go back and do it all again. I cannot enjoy memories anymore. I have become quite intolerant of Soap Operas especially one a few weeks ago which showed a character in a hospital bed with Sepsis and the next day up and about. Why don't these people get their facts right as it can cause distress to people such as me. What I Will do in future is use headphones to play music and crayon in my books to relax as I don't want to deprive my wife of her enjoyment of TV. Sorry this has been so long winded but I just find my whole world has changed, that there is no one local to talk to apart from my wife and my Psychologist. The biggest thing though is the loss of four and a half weeks of my life and still cannot comprehend how close I came to death.

Thanks for sharing


13 Replies

  • Hi Phil sorry to hear about what happened it sounds very traumatic. You sound exactly like I did after the coma I was in. Once I got home I was angry, tired beyond belief, confused all sorts of feelings, I know this is not believable at the moment but you will feel better, you will begin to feel like your old self and you will get back to living your life and in the meantime I would speak to your gp. And please don't have blame for anyone about what happened that is what will make you more angry. Take care and feel better soon x

  • Hi, I could cry just reading your post, I am 10 days out of hospital for pnemonia & sepsis I was intubated for 4 days I was discharged home after a few days on a resp ward, ive had no after care I am still exhausted, mood swings , my legs and arms are weak, it's been a nightmare ive never been ill in my life!  Xx

  • Aww I am sorry to hear this,  but most important thing you need to do is listen to your body at the moment and rest and a good healthy diet will help also don't keep things to yourself talk to friends and family if you need to it makes a difference to get things of your chest... Your also welcome to message me anytime x 

  • Thank you for your kind words, I think I am still in shock! I am sure I just need time to heal xx

  • Dear Phil - I agree with JoJoKarak's reply. And I think your psychologist is right.

    If it helps, please look at this website and see other peoples' comments. Your reactions to your very serious illness and treatment in ICU etc are absolutely 'normal'. And having very weird, hyper real, dreams and delusions whilst an ICU patient is normal too.

    I'm sorry to say this, but most people on this site would agree that one year after ICU is not a long time, when it comes to recovery (physical, mental, and emotional) Try to be patient. Of course, it is frustrating not to be able to do all the things you did before, and to find yourself getting emotional over apparently trivial things. But no-one is going to blame you. Don't punish yourself.

    Good luck with your recovery

    (and I've never liked Soap Operas)

  • I would like to thank all the wonderful replies I woke up to today. My Mail In Box was full of letters of support and help. It was a truly amazing experience and has really lifted my spirits. Thank you Bill and Muncie, you are right I probably am punishing myself and a year probably is a short time since it happened so Thank You Each and Everyone of you


  • Hi Phil - What you are experiencing is quite normal after spending time in critical care although I do understand how you find the way you feel so alarming and depressing. Please ask the hospitals where you were treated if they have an ICU Steps group. These groups are set up by clinicians, patients and their families and meet on a regular basis to enable people to discuss their fears and concerns in a very supportive environment. Having the medical staff attend is a great help as they can explain quite clearly what happened to you during the time you were in your coma which often gives an explanation to some of the nightmares and dreams you experience. My husband was ventilated for a while and consequently suffered vivid nightmares that he was having his teeth pulled out and it coincided with the time he was having a tracheostomy fitted. Whilst he was in critical care his nurses and doctors kept a daily diary which we continued to keep on his return home. I found it particularly useful to write in the diary explaining how I felt watching him fight for his life and also I used to write down who I had seen that day and any messages people were sending to him. The ICU Steps group is a wonderful support for relatives and carers too as watching and caring for someone so desperately ill can be exhausting and so upsetting. When m husband returned home from hospital he was able to read through the diary regularly to see if there was anything that happened to him that could become an interpretation of his dreams. Perhaps you would like to look at the web site for ICU Steps at Good luck with your continuing recovery, you seem to have a good medical team around you which is so important. Val

  • Hi Phil,

    It was nice to speak to you yesterday on the phone, I hope it helped speaking to a fellow survivor who's a few more down the recovery road, as you explained you don't currently have an ICUsteps group in your area, there is a lot of interest in starting new groups and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes for a truely national network that hopefully will benefit a lot of people like yourself.

    As I said if you ever want someone to chat to about your concerns you have my number and I'm always happy to help where I can.


  • Hi Bill. I want to thank You and everyone else for all the replies of Support. When I woke up and eventually opened my Mail In Box I couldn't believe the amount replies. It was like getting loads of Birthday Cards. Because of our chat and everyone else I have started to get things moving in Nottingham. This afternoon I contacted the ICU Critical Care and luckily spoke to the Matron who is aware of ICU Steps.She listened to all I had to say about lack of Support in this area. Well the good news is she is going to put things into motion to create an ICUSteps Forum/Group. I have offered to help but am mindful I have to be careful not to overdo things so will help as much as I am able. I organised a Cancer Research Event many years ago which raised £25000 clear profit but had a Stroke as a result of it so being older now I have to be cautious. The main thing is that if a Group is setup here it will be Thanks to you and all who sent support to me.

    Best wishes to you and everyone


  • Hi Phil, you have discribed exactly my feelings to a tee. I couldn't have put it better. I am so very sorry to read that you are having such a hard time and I wish you all the best on your road to a recovery. If you read and listen to Bill and the others who are further on in their recovery there is hope for us both. So we must listen to them as only they know and understand what we have been through. I wish you as much support and help that I can give as I'm in the same position as you. It's a year since I was in ITU. So listen to Bill and the others and good luck a year isn't long in the road to a full recovery if you know what I mean xx take care

  • Hello there, greetings from Canada. I am sorry to read about your experience and I pray you will feel better soon. I have also spent time in ICU due to Sepsis / Septic shock as a result of perforated bowel caused by a surgeon who operated on me. I spent more than 3 months in hospitals, over four weeks in ICU, followed by more weeks in Acute Surgery Care unit, then 3 more weeks at another hospital for physio therapy to get my leg muscles strong enough to walk with a cane. At the hospital under sedation, I had night mares. I am still seeing these night mares from time to time. Flash backs come and go frequently. After I came home, I tried my best to be strong but eventually depression hit me. After 3 months of hospital, I thought I can get up and run. Now I know I have to give myself time to recover physically and mentally. I have a temporary colostomy and it makes me so angry every time I have to clean my bag. I am not as angry now and I think about the day when my surgeon can reverse my colostomy in the near future.

    Fortunately my doctors have been supportive and I am also getting support from my local Ostomy Association. My psychologist also advised me I have gone through a near death experience and it will take time to recovery from such a traumatic experience. Time will heal. Keep on writing about your experience and live a meaningful life each day. In time life will get better. You are not alone. I will pray for you. I wish you and your wife happy and sunny days. Best regards. Haly.

  • Thank you so much for your Support. It is a real help to both of us.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Phil

    I can relate completely to your feelings and how you feel your life has changed.  I also cannot remember most of my time in ICU, about 8 weeks, but can remember all my dreams in great detail! I hope that as time goes on, and with the support of those around you, you will start to feel better. take care

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