Pnemonia & Sepsis

Pnemonia & Sepsis

Hi, my name is Sarah I am 37 years old, 4 weeks today I was admitted to hospital with Pnemonia & within 24hrs had type 1 respitory failure, I was intubated for 4 days, after 10 days I was taken from icu to a resp ward & 2 days later home, since then no after care, my arms & legs are weak, I am anxious, mood swings & still exhausted although that is improving daily! I have never been ill in my life & am a bit of a fitness freak, I do wonder if I will ever get over this mentally & physically xx

16 Replies

  • Hi Sarah,

    Sorry to hear of your problem but sounds as though you are on the mend,hope so.

    It really does take a fair bit of time to recover from pneumonia,let alone the issues of being in icu etc.

    A few years ago I was hospitalised with it and was told it would be at least 3 months before feeling that I had actually started to feel more 'normal'.the tiredness continues for some time after the infection is cleared.

    Just allow yourself a gradual buildup, rest as much as is possible,eat well.Its the same old advice I know, but it really does work- but not overnight!

  • Thank you & I am sorry to hear it happened to you too! Its advice I need to hear at the moment & it's good to speak to people who have been through it, Thank you & have a lovely day Xx

  • Hi Sarah,

    It's still very early days for you, most people on here will admit to it taking up to a year or more before they feel some kind of normal again, the body can loose up to 2% of muscle a day while intubated, this along with the sudden trauma of a life threatening illness can cause many psychological problems, unfortunately aftercare support is still very hit and miss in many parts of the country but much better than when I was in ICU 5 years ago when it was almost non-existent.

    ICUsteps is working very hard to address the problem of the lack of understanding of the physical & psychological suffered by many ex-ICU patients, with great support from all our volunteer healthcare professionals, ex-patients & relatives involved in running the charity & local support groups, with currently 25 around the country and growing we offer people the chance to meet others at support group meetings that understand what you are going through, details of our local support groups can be found on the website

    Best wishes on your continued recovery.


  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for your very helpful message, I had never heard of icu steps but will take a look now! I have not seen or spoke to anyone since my discharge & I am feeling a little lost. Think it's a mixture of shock, frustration Ect.

    I will let you know how I get on thank god I found this site, it's skready helped immensely.

    Thanks again

    Sarah x

  • Hello Sarah,

    take it slow as others wrote here, it will take some while. What I have learned from my experience is that the body will recover, but the speed is

    a) not linear, sometimes you make big steps forward and then it feels like a week of constant move backwards again

    b) everyones body is different. Some recover very quickly, some need more time. Don't compare yourself to others, also because the recovery from the treatment does influence the body as well.

    And this not only applies for the body, but even more so for the mind. Short of seeking professional help, everyone also has a different way to "digest" the experience, mine was to talk about it a lot, yours might be different.

    Do not give up, but enjoy a more slow time of your life. Life healthy and understand that the worst part is behind you, the direction is important, not the speed of recovery.

    Good luck and all the best for the recovery!


  • Hi Thomas,

    Thank you for your message, that's a really good way of looking at this to enjoy some "slow time" instead of constantly feeling annoyed by it! It's just I am one of those 100 mph annoying people, but that is good advice.

    It is very early days for me, I hope you have made a good recovery, it's shocking how life can just change in a instant isn't it.

    Have a lovely day & thanks again.


  • One thing I just remembered: I do not know what kind of recovery therapy is covered in the UK, but here in the Netherlands I got physiotherapy "prescribed". it is an adapted physical exercise under guidance of a professional person, which looks at your recovery and vital data. it actually got me hooked into doing sports (again).

    As you mentioned you are an energetic person it might be something to look into.


  • Hi Thomas,

    Thank you for your message, I have had absolutely no recovery care, just a follow up appt for the respitaroy clinic in 4 weeks😩 

    I have had to look in to private physio, sounds like a brilliant & much needed service offered in the Netherlands, unfortunately I have found nothing like that here! Glad your back in to sport, I keep looking at my excercise bike haha! To think I was running 3 times a week!

    Going to have to except this is going to be a slow process, thanks again & have a good evening.

    Sarah x

  • HI Sarah - I hope the replies, suggestions, and encouragement on this site have helped.

    There is certainly a collective wisdom to be found here.

    A couple of points: I've commented before what a shock it can be for someone who is perfectly healthy (and young in years) to become seriously ill, very quickly. It's a horrible reminder of how vulnerable we can be. OTOH - the body's power of recovery is amazing

    Also: as noted by another post here, recovery is not linear: you will have good days, and terrible days. But it does get better, over time. Be kind to yourself, this time next year you will be back to your old self.

    I'm sorry to hear - though not surprised - that you were discharged very quickly, and with no after care. If necessary, I suggest you 'delegate' some tasks  to other people, such as house cleaning, gardening, or shopping (you can always do shopping on line - that was a godsend for me) Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself by feeling you 'ought' to be able to do this and that. Do nice 'pampering' things.

    Lovely photo, by the way!

  • Hello,

    Thank you so much for your lovely message, this site has helped me immensely and still is.

    That's a fab idea to delegate some chores! I think I am going to have to learn to be patient & except this is going to take time both physically & mentally.

    Thanks again & take care

    Sarah xx

  • Hi Sarah. First of all welcome to Steps and without knowing it you have already taken action to help get better by telling us your Story. I am only new here and took a year to find out about Steps. By keeping in touch with us al and chatting you will feel there are others out there, like you, who desperately need support. I have always been a big advocate of using my G.P. as a route to recovery. I am probably a bit biased because mine is great. Another thing I do is sometimes if I have quite a bit to tell him I will write it all down and take to Surgery prior to appointment. There is nothing worse than coming away feeling you have forgotten something to say. If you feel you cannot talk to your G.P. because they will not listen then find one who will even if that means moving to another Practice. The Patient has more choices today than ever. (Bit different for me 60 yrs. ago!!!) Support is your biggest step AMD finding it. Well you have done the first bit. Just carry on thinking about YOU and getting well. I really wish you all my best wishes and we are all here for you.


  • Hi Phil, 

    Thank you for your kind message, I had a call from GP today so had a good chat, she was very supportive ive got to have bloods Ect & she thinks I should have some physio, so is on to it!

    I am sorry to read your story, you have really been through it & with depression as well must be awful, I hope you are being supported.

    I haven't had a great day today, My Mum has gone back to DEVON & today was my first day alone & I even managed to put the milk in the cupboard haha! 

    I am hoping tomorrow will be better, it's helped  immensely knowing there are lots of us in the same situation & think it's great how we can all support each other.

    Thanks again


  • No problem at all. Glad could help. I had a really bad day yesterday and possibly like you was on my own. Something didn't feel right inside when I woke U but tried to be positive and just go out and do all the jobs I wanted to get done but made sure I didn't rush them. Once I got home and had lunch I suddenly had this immense overwhelming feeling of emptiness and loneleyness. I send an Email to my brother to say how I felt I had lost my family and from then on I just kept crying uncontrollably. I was still the same when I met my wife and just couldn't stop. I had rung my Surgery only an hour before to book a telephone call with my fantastic GP. I managed to get the last slot on Friday so would take 2 days to try and update one of my meds to control my depression better. I rang the surgery again this time to ask for help and to see the Emergency Dr only to be told I couldn't see anyone until Friday. I repeated to the Receptionist that I wad desperate and actually felt suicidal. She then said what I will remember for the rest of my life ''WELL I SPOKE TO YOU AN HOUR AGO TO BOOK A PHONE CALL WITH DR JONES AND YOU SOUNDED FINE TO ME THEN'' I couldn't believe it. She eventually tried to put me through the Triage Nurse but she never answered. I managed to compose myself enough to take my wife for her appointment and, bless her, she got me in with another Doctor who gave me an increase in my Diazepam just until Friday and having taken them on my return home I calmed down and managed a conversation with my Sister in Law on the family issues with me. The point of my reply today Sarah is that we have a wonderful forum which you have joined and even just doing this reply today makes me feel better and know there are friends out there who will read this and listen. You can't put a price on that. I woke today more calm and doing little bits and hopefully meet a friend later for coffee. Its ICUSteps which helps me get back on the level. Keep with it Sarah. You will be OK. Hi Bill hope you mange to read this as well.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Phil,

    I am so sorry to hear you had such a bad day yesterday, that must if been awful but so glad you had support from your GP & family & hoping today has been better, as for the receptionist people need to realise that what they say to people can have a huge impact, that is so wrong.

    This forum is a great help and always here if you need s chat, ive had a much better day, my friend picked me up we went for a coffee that's me done now, & to think I used to run up to 3 times a week really missing my excercise 😩 Hopeyour GP helps you Tommorow, keep me posted & take care.

    Sarah x

  • Hi Phil & Sarah,

    It's really nice to see two new members giving each other great support, having spoken to you both I know what a difficult time you're both having, it's not easy trying to make sense of what turned not only ours but also our families lives on it's head , sadly some family members will never understand how traumatic it really is and lack a lot of empathy.

    I was taught a breathing exercise to help you relax by my psychologist called the 7-11, you breathe in for a count of 7 and out for a count of 11 unfortunately it was no good for me as my lungs suffered a lot of damage due to ARDS, but it worked for my wife.

    I hope you both continue to recover well and most of all you get the support you need and if I can offer any more help you have my details.


  • Hi Sarah, I to was in medically induced coma for nearly 5 days, and It did not even occur to me to ask what the heck I was in the hospital for until my 4th day out of ICU. I have no memory of it except god awful nightmares that went on and on. My legs are still quite weak, and unlike before the coma where I was a out going very well spoken strong female role model, I suffer with social awkwardness, Panic attacks and seudo seizures that no one has been able to medically explain away. Hang in there. Redboots

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