At home – recovering from Sepsis.

Sepsis is a bacterial infection in the body that can, and does, kill people.  The infection is caused by many different factors.  A hospital stay, after surgery, untreated bug bites, animal bites, and in my case a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

Sepsis is NOT something to be taken lightly.  Sepsis can cause serious damage to the internal organs and it can lead to the amputation of legs, feet, hands, arms, or all of the limbs.  The death rate from Sepsis is quite high.


I am grateful for my husband, Joe, and our daughter, Loreli, who is an ICU Trauma Nurse for getting me the medical care I needed to fight this infection and live through it with minimal effects.

I will tell you my story, in hopes that it will help someone else in the early stages to get proper medical care before the worst of this infection can take hold and cause irreparable damage or lead to death.

I was in Arizona with our daughter who delivered twins on Father’s Days – June 12, 2014.  I spent a month with her and our son-in-law as they dealt with getting to know their two sweet daughters and being first time parents.  It was a delight to hold and care for these two precious babies and pass on some of my experience to these bewildered kids.  My main function was to do the cooking and cleaning to allow Carissa and Jaime the freedom to care for these new babies.

While in Arizona, I did not drink water as much as I should have.  Being outside with their cute little dog to take care of his business, sweep the porch of all the falling leaves from the surrounding trees that took over the cute little porch area caused me to sweat a lot.  I did not take care of myself in that unforgiving heat.

Leaving Arizona and heading back home to take care of laundry and few other things before Joe and I set out to get back into our truck driving job for a couple more months I still was not hydrating myself with water.  Working in the heat and humidity of Dallas, Texas in the hot sun doing further damage to myself by not hydrating properly I developed a Urinary Tract Infection.

Treating myself with cranberry juice from truck stops and finally trying to hydrate myself with water was mostly “Too Little Too Late”.  I had a 10 day period of trying to fight off the UTI myself, which only caused it to worsen.  It got to the point that I was leaving blood spots when I used the facilities.  My kidneys were shutting down from this severe infection.

After we delivered our second set of trucks from Dallas, Texas to Wilmington, Ohio and making the return trip for the third set I began having intense pain at my right kidney.  So much pain that it became a burning sensation from my hip to my shoulder on the right side.  Most of the heat and pain was located at my right kidney or “Right Flank” in medical terminology.

We stopped in Effingham, Illinois for the night.  I don’t remember much of the events of that evening.  By this time the Urinary Tract Infection had turned to Sepsis and I was in deep trouble.

I was cold.  I had the shivers.  A bad case of the shivers where my entire body shook in rapid convulsive waves and I could not stop it.  I remember shivering so badly and just wanting to go to bed and get under the covers to warm up.  My next memory is of three men in our room all trying to wrap me in the bed sheets and move me somewhere.  I thought they were trying to roll me up in the bed clothes and kill me.  Joe had called an ambulance for me and it was the EMT’s that were doing their job.  The next thing I remember is being wheeled down a few halls and taken into a room for a CT Scan and a chest X-Ray.  I woke from time to time when my blood pressure was being taken or someone drew blood.

My medical diagnosis in the hospital was SEPSIS, UTI, AMS, HEAT EXHAUSTION.  I was admitted to the ER on Friday night, 8/1/14 and discharged Sunday morning 8/3/14.  Because of the quick actions of Joe, the urging of our daughter Loreli to call for an ambulance, and the medical treatment I received at the hospital I can tell you that I was extremely fortunate in the care I was given.

As to this severe infection, it caused me to hallucinate or be in an “Altered Mental State” or AMS.  According to Joe I began acting very strange.  I called  him “Karen” instead of Joe.  I told him there was a man with gold front teeth that wanted to trade his teeth for my front teeth.  He also told me that I was combative with the EMT’s who came to our hotel room.  I would not allow them to get me on the stretcher and into the ambulance.  Joe tells me that I kept telling all of them I did not need to go to the hospital.  Once in the hospital I continued to be combative with the doctors and nurses telling them  I was fine and didn’t need medical attention for a Urinary Tract Infection.

I don’t remember any of this.  I do remember going into deep sleeps that seemed to be for long periods of time.  The bed I was on in the hospital room had an alarm that sounded with I stood up.  That brought several nurses running to the room and all of them were pushing me back onto the bed and telling me I was not to get out of bed for any reason.  Using the bathroom required the use of the nurse call button, being steadied by strong hands when I stood up and walked.  I had to be supervised in the bathroom and my return to the bed.

I was given about six bags of saline via IV during my hospital stay.  I was also given two to three antibiotics administered via IV and a Sulfa drug antibiotic upon release from the hospital.

I’m weak, and easily tired.  There is not much physical activity I can do that won’t make me extremely tired and in need of a nap.  For the past seven days I have been out of bed most of the day.  This is going to be a long period of recuperating and getting my strength back.  Bouts of dizziness and nausea claim me when I try to do too much.  I am drinking nearly a gallon of water daily along with juices and Gatorade like products.

Today is the first day that I have felt like doing more than napping and watching television.  I won’t be back on this blog for a while, at any consistency, because I just can’t seem to muster the energy necessary.

The only thing I have wanted to do was to inform my readers of the very real problem of getting an infection and not getting it treated properly or in time.  You can find all kinds of horror stories on YouTube by doing a search for Sepsis and watching the videos of those that have “Survived” Sepsis.  I did not think this was much of anything to be concerned with, and I am extremely thankful and grateful for the intervention of Joe and Loreli to get me the medical attention I needed very badly.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

12 responses to “At home – recovering from Sepsis.

  • Jann Gray

    Oh my stars, Leslie! I am so grateful that Joe and Loreli got you the medical help you needed! Sepsis is SUPER dangerous…and I am so glad that you caught it before it stole you away from us!

    Promise that you will take the time to heal – and let your body fully recover!

    Your words are wise…I am also coming to the realization that one of the simplest things…KEEPING HYDRATED…has a huge impact on our body to be able to function properly – and keep infections away. I know I have been very guilty of just brushing off its importance. Royce and I have begun being very intentional about hydrating all day…every day. It has already changed so many things!

    Thanks for sharing your story…and know we will be praying for you as you recuperate…and are so very glad that you ARE recovering!

    Love you girl!


    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Jann, for your prayers and for your words of support. I’m glad that you and Royce are drinking the fluids you need for your health. Who would have thought that not drinking enough water would result in terrible consequences?! My doctor tells me it could be six months to a year before I fully recover from this.

      I’ve had the pleasure of watching your newest video with the deer, grape wreath, and tree die cuts. Nothing short of splendid and A-MAZing.

      Love you – Leslie

  • Lilie


    I am so happy that you are on your way to getting better. I have been reading your newsletters for such a long time and truly enjoy knowing what is new in your life. I will be praying for you, Joe and your whole family.

    I am so happy that you thought of informing us about Sepsis. Please get all the rest that you need. I will be waiting for you and looking out for some new fun adventures you are always in and scrapbooking projects.

    God bless and I will see you soon :).

    – Lilie

    • Message In A Fold

      Lilie, thank you so very much for your well wishes and letting me know that you have been following my craziness. Thank you for your prayers, they are very much appreciated. I appreciate you very much.


  • healthfulsave

    Leslie… I am so sorry to hear of this dangerous condition. Thank God you got medical help and I will remember your story, especially next time I am in the Southwest. I know your guy is taking good care of you.

    Congratulations on the new arrivals! They are going to have primo scrapbooks documenting their life!

    Take good care in the weeks to come. Jen

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Jen. Indeed, Thank God! And my husband and daughter for getting me through that rough patch. Drink water! I can’t say that enough! Joe is taking very good care of me, much to my chagrin 😀 at times.

      Sadly, it will be quite a while before I will have the energy to make scrapbooks for my new grand daughters :/ Something to look forward to as I get photos of them growing.

      Thank you, once again, Jen for your sweet and generous comment.


  • gardenpinks

    Oh heck Leslie you have been through the wars, wondered where you had gone to! UTI is not a good one to self medicate as you have found out, it can run riot very quickly. Rod had this some years ago caused by strong antibiotics, because the infection tracked back to his kidney there was quite a scary day or so when it was thought his kidney had died. We were very lucky in having an excellent doctor who sorted Rod out and managed to avoid a hospital stay but he was many weeks very poorly.

    Thank the stars for Joe, Loreli, paramedics and hospital staff! Now you do as you are told to keep on with the good work these people started. So very glad to hear that you are recovering but it is going to take time, please don’t take shortcuts Leslie.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Lynn. I appreciate your words of support and love. Poor Rod :/ This was no fun for me so I can empathize with him on what he went through. I’m sure the both of you are thankful for the care he received by his doctors. Just as thankful as I am for Joe and Loreli getting me the help I needed.

      I have seen your newest offering for the Quotes and Lyrics challenge. I’m working on getting the post read and commented on real soon.

      Love you my friend – and I appreciate you.


  • tina

    gee leslie..that’s so scary…so glad you have some really awesome protectors around you. i had wondered where you had disappeared to, but just thought you was spoiling them beautiful grand-babies. and would check in when you could. so glad your on your way to a full recovery..take care off yourself. will keep you in my prayers . big hugs and lots of love. tina

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you, Tina for your prayers for me and your words of encouragement and friendship. I miss those babies very much, and of course their Mom and Dad 😀 but mostly those cute wiggly babies. I appreciate you very much my friend. Returning your hugs and love {{hugs}}.


  • aspot2stamp

    Oh my goodness Leslie so happy to hear that you are recovering What a scary thing to happen. I thought you were caught up with the babies and getting yourself back to the day job so you could start your retirement back up soon. Now you let Joe take care of you and be a good patient and take care of yourself. We will be praying for you, Joe and family.

    Love and hugs

    • Message In A Fold

      Joe will tell you that I am a very bad patient, and I will tell you – being slow and deliberate is not my way of life :/

      I saw your newest post on the kids ALL getting into school this year and you, my friend, will have some long awaited FREE TIME! I’m trying to make my way to all of the blogs I normally read and leave some love for my friends. I’ll get to your blog and properly leave a comment. I promise.

      Love you – Leslie

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