Recovering from Sepsis. An extremely slow process.

Anyone that has had a massive infection run riot through their body will tell you they are nothing compared to what they used to be.  A previously active and upbeat person will seem to have a total personality change.  The person recovering from Sepsis will be easily fatigued, dizzy, nauseated, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and sweating more than normal.

This is what I am experiencing.  Two weeks ago, when we first got home, we had to go to the grocery store.  I didn’t make it very far in the store and had to find a place to sit down before I passed out.  A week later, and another trip to the grocery store, I was able to make it through the store with the aid of a shopping cart to support my wobbly self.

Grocery shopping

Grocery shopping

Joe is in front of me with the main cart while I bring up the rear.  For the first time in several years….Joe walks faster than I do.  Normally I am far ahead and have to wait for him to catch up to me.  Now it is the other way around.  And of course, there was no way I was going to ride one of those motorized carts around the store :/  By the time we were finished with the small amount of shopping we had to do I was totally wiped out.

Nauseous, headache that would not go away, falling asleep in the car on the way home (a two mile drive), and my body felt weighted down.  Kind of like in that nightmare dream phase when you can’t run away from whatever monster is chasing you.  Once inside the house I had to go sit down for a while.  Joe brought in the groceries and put most of them away.

There were no further adventures for the remainder of the week.

At home I go through periods when I feel energized.  Feeling like my old self again.  Ready to take on a small cleaning chore.  Let me tell you….there are NO SMALL CLEANING CHORES!

Joe’s bathroom needed to be cleaned.  This small bathroom took me about 5 hours to only get it half finished.

Joe's bathroom

Joe’s bathroom

Cleaning the toilet took me an hour to do.  Stooping over to clean the base and the floor around it made me light headed, dizzy, and nauseous.  I squirted a bowl cleaning product in the toilet and left it to do its work while I went to lie down until I didn’t feel so ill.  Swishing out the toilet bowl and wiping down the seat and tank left me drenched in sweat and wobbly on my feet.  Just cleaning the toilet made me feel like I had done an aerobics class.

Cleaning the sink, mirror, and door of the cabinet was the last thing I got done in that bathroom.  The tub still has not been cleaned and I’m not even sure it will get cleaned in the near future.

While I was in Arizona, Home Depot had a mega sale on the Shark Steam Mop.  I picked up one for $48.  That device normally sells for $70 to $100.  That was before I became ill and had all kinds of pleasant thoughts of cleaning my home.

Shark Steam Mop

Shark Steam Mop

I used the Shark Steam Mop on Joe’s bathroom floor.  It did a great job and I was quite pleased with the results of the mop.  Not so much with the results of my physical abilities afterward.  That was the end of my 5 hour cleaning stint and it took me three days to recover from that.

The nausea hits me at the oddest times.  When I get warm, go outside in the sunlight, or exert a bit of energy.  Following the nausea comes a headache that begins at the base of my skull and moves to the top of my head.  This headache remains for several hours and will sometimes make my vision blurry.

Another thing I am experiencing is not quite a depression, but a frustration with myself.  I will feel really great.  I will feel like there is nothing wrong with me.  Do something that entails a little exertion and I get overwhelmed with fatigue and then feeling sick to my stomach followed by a headache.  This is really frustrating.  I don’t want to spend my days sitting on my butt and doing nothing!

I have lost interest in doing my craft stuff because I just can’t muster the strength to even think about being creative.  That really has bothered me.  I have had moments where I feel great and think I could gather a few things together and make a card.  The process of gathering items together to make the card is just as hard on me, physically, as cleaning the crazy toilet!

I thought, how about doing something for myself.  Do a bit of grooming and put on some makeup to make myself feel better.  What used to take about 5 to 7 minutes from this face….

My bare face.

My bare face.

To this face took 50 minutes to do.  A lot of fanning myself between product applications to stop the sweating and heart palpitations.  Thankfully no dizziness or nausea.

Made up face

Made up face.

So, recuperating from Sepsis – even though mine was caught in time – is enough to make me feel really frustrated and wonder if I’m going bonkers.


Today I had a burst of energy and decided to clean my kitchen counters and stove.  This is only as far as I got in 25 minutes before I was brought down to reality.

Trying to clean my kitchen

Trying to clean my kitchen.

The photo is out of focus and wobbly because I was battling myself to stay upright, breathe, and conquer the dizziness.

What I’m learning about Sepsis recovery is that it is not like exercising at the gym or working out.  Pushing yourself just a little further each day to go further or go longer “Ain’t Gonna Happen”.

When I feel I have good energy and want to do something, even vacuuming the floor, is the time to make an effort.  Take the time necessary to sit out the dizzy spell and the nausea.  If it takes an hour to vacuum the floor then take the hour and call your day DONE!

Drink A LOT OF WATER!  Don’t get hot.  If going outside in the hot sun makes you feel sick then just don’t go.  I think my having been dehydrated and having Heat Exhaustion along with the Sepsis has made me more intolerant to the heat than normal.

When a headache starts, after the nausea, get sat down or lie down until it passes.  Exerting more energy and pushing yourself further to complete a task will do your body more harm and lengthen the healing process.

I have been working on this blog post for three days now.  Updating it and adding stuff to it as I go.  It is time to get this uploaded and hopefully help someone else who is going through this know that they are not alone in the frustration and feeling like a fraud when we tell our family members that we just don’t have the energy to do something.



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

8 responses to “Recovering from Sepsis. An extremely slow process.

  • healthfulsave

    Leslie… I am so sorry to hear about these trying days! When I was recovering from an esophageal dilation on about day 3 my daughter said “it’s getting kinda messy around here!” Grrrr!
    Can I say you look like Judy Collins! And you are talented with make-up.
    I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, but with the sweating could you be having electrolyte imbalance?? I am training for a 5k with church and our coach made us aware of these … Maybe something to run past your dr.
    Hope better days are coming very soon, Jen

    • Message In A Fold

      Grrr! I agree. Trying to recuperate from your esophageal dilation had to have been a trial all on its own. Yikes…that sounds like a painful procedure. Swallowing and just breathing :/ Hope you are much better now and the procedure was helpful.

      Thank you, I must say, for saying I remind you of Judy Collins. She is one gorgeous lady.

      I also thank you for your recommendation and link to the Nuun Products webpage. I have some powdered stuff that our Son-In-Law gave us in the spring to help with hydration and electrolyte replenishment. I’ve been using that. Still, it would be a good thing to check with my doctor and do any necessary tests to see if I am unbalanced….more than what I usually am :D.

      Thank you for stopping by my blog for a friendly chat 😀 I appreciate you.


  • aspot2stamp

    Hey Girlriend don’t fret about what’s not getting done instead rejoice in what you did get done !! You are still recovering from a very serious illness and you being well is more important than housework. With that being said I know how easy it is to beat yourself up for all you didn’t accomplish on your list of stuff to do and not acknowledge what you did do. The housework wont go anywhere while you recuperate well that’s been my experience anyway although I do hope sometimes the housework fairies would sneak in and surprise me, you know like the elves and the shoe cobbler. Take care and know I love you my friend.

    Big hugs and lotsa love

    • Message In A Fold

      Hey! Thanks for the boost! It helps to have a friend tell me to look at this mess in a different light. Success is what I have accomplished! Instead of whining about what I have not accomplished! The mess will be there tomorrow and even next month 😀

      I hope you are looking forward to several hours of total quiet in your house when all the kids are back in school. You and Brian will have some time to yourselves. Woo Hoo 😀 That can always be a good thing.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Thank you so much for finding the time and energy to visit my blog and leave a comment, so appreciated 🙂
    I totally second what Shelly said. As I said to our daughter who is always madly cleaning her house instead of enjoying life -“on your death bed are you going to say Oh No I didn’t get the bathroom cleaned??” If you haven’t noticed Leslie you are seriously poorly and therefore must take time out to get better not do bloody housework! Stop fretting and know that one day you will feel better and can then do the flaming housework – sorry but there is more to life than cleaning 😀

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx

    • Message In A Fold

      Yikes! I just lost a big chunk of my butt :D. I told Joe you just chewed my a$$. His response was “Yes, you did. And you DESERVE it”.

      Laying around and doing nothing is not something I do well. I’m a terrible patient.

      Thank you, my friend. For being the one person I can count on to not sugar coat ANYTHING! :D. I love you for that.

      Still won’t stop me from cleaning or doing things :D. When I feel like giving it a try 😀

      Love you ever so much.


  • healthfulsave

    How are you doing Leslie?
    I had you on my mind… my mom (in her 70s) is in Kazakstan. Very dry and hot. I implored her to drink lots of water (not just Russian vodka!) and gave her some hydration tablets. So far, so good!
    I read that we are more susceptible to UTIs perimenopause/menopause as estrogen is a factor. Never knew that! Good to know.

    • Message In A Fold

      Crapazoid! I’m so sorry for not even noticing you had left a comment on my blog. :/ So, shame faced I beg your forgiveness. I sincerely hope your Mother is doing better. UTI’s are nothing to take lightly. Your Mother is far from you, I think anyway. Some reason I think you live in Canada. Just my brain screwing things up – possibly. I hope you are doing well, and I wish to thank you for checking in on me.

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