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ICUsteps
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Life after Sepsis

Hi everyone, I'm new here.In April 2018 I was in icu when infected cat scratch led to cellulitis in my hand/arm septic shock, then necritising fascyitus and pneumonia set in.I was in and out of coma, horrendous nightmares of people trying to kill me, delirious, believing everyone was trying to harm me .I suffered 2 cardiac arrests and wasn't given much chance of getting out without organ damage if I survived at all .Eventually I recovered enough for the plastic surgeon to try and fix my damaged hand which had infected tissue removed from,but the grafts didn't take, so they suggested a vac pump to encourage tissue to grow over the exposed tendons before attempting surgery again 10 weeks later which took! So here I am now, no organ damage, still regaining my strength, with a usable right hand, albeit scarred ,but that's OK. Just lately I'm hearing voices in my head, at night. I dread the nights anyway as I have nightmares occasionally .I think everyone sees me physically healed,to a point, but mentally I've got a way to go .Anyone else feel like this?

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Hi Rosebudda I’m glad you are on the road to recovery. I can relate as in February 2016 I was in ICU for over 3 weeks as a result of Sepsis due to a trapped kidney stone. I had multi organ failure, pneumonia and bilateral pulmonary embolisms and twice my family were told there was no hope. I have ongoing issues but I’m alive. I still suffer nightmares which are all morgue focused. They have decreased but not gone completely. I practice yoga and mindfulness to try and keep myself calm as when I’m stressed they are worse. CBT is good for intrusive thoughts when awake but so far I have not found a way to control the nightmares. I hope yours diminish over time and I wish you all the best for the future.

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Thanks for replying LesAnne, I used to practice yoga and meditation before my illness but haven't been able to get back into yoga as my joints are stiff since my illness. The meditation has become challenging too as my concentration is so poor but I feel like I'm beginning to make progress with it .When in hospital in the early days post coma I used mindful breathing to get through bad or frightening experiences as it calmed me and I could do very little else to help myself as I was so weak .I hope you continue to improve and wish you well for the future.

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As time passes I’m sure you will continue to improve. It’s very slow so it’s only when you look back on what you were able to do 6/12 months previously you realise there’s an improvement. Best wishes for the future.

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Hi Rosebudda

Three years ago I spent nine weeks in ICU, five of them in a coma, with sepsis. Although I didn't become as ill as you did, it did take me a long while to get over it physically and psychologically. One thing that helped was 12 sessions of psychotherapy, which had an element of the CBT mentioned by LesAnne. Have you thought of asking your doctor to arrange this, or similar psychological help?

All the best.

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Hi Video dragons I did consider seeing the doctor about the psychological effect it's had on me .Things have quietened down the last week so I'll continue with the meditation and see how it goes but thanks for replying, it's comforting to talk with people who've been through a similar experience and hearing what's worked for them .best wishes to you x

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Hi. I had similar experience after sepsis following food poisoning, major organ shutdown and coma. The feelings of being poisoned and in danger were horrendous. Didn't know who to trust including my poor husband. All I can say is that it be kind to yourself and take time to recover. I am only just getting my mind back to 'normal' and the anxiety is usually under control! It has taken a year and a half. Kidney injury healed and I can see the fear for what it was. I hope you start to be more settled soon. No good thinking you can rush it. Mindfulness may help as might pilates or yoga but the best healers are good food, rest, exercise and most of all time! Good luck and best wishes. We survived! 😁Xx

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Yes, it is very emotional people only see the outside and have no idea how long the recovery takes. Find a supporting be friend, cry and let it all out.

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Yes, recovery seems to concentrate on physical aspects. No one warned me of the effect on my mental health. I will be kind to myself and talk and whatever it takes to get some peace of mind. Thanks for your reply all the best

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