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Negotiating A Cold – Post Sepsis

Lets talk about Negotiating A Cold – Post Sepsis!

Yup! It’s fair to say that after you’ve had Sepsis any little scrape, nick, cut or ANYTHING that hints INFECTION becomes this humungous ‘thing’. Even negotiating a cold is a great big scary event.

Quarantine

For the first few months after Sepsis my white blood cell count had dropped way down to under the normal level – plus many of my other blood markers were out of whack, especially my liver function. So I knew that physically my immune system was down. That coupled with the fact that for many weeks I was still ‘ill’ and for many months still in recovery makes any signs of infection and germs the ENEMY.

I couldn’t get out of bed anyway for about 2 months but I knew that really I should be avoiding anywhere where lots of people might congregate – like a doctors surgery or going to the hospital for tests!!!!!!!!!!

Within the first couple of weeks of being at home one of my girls got tonsillitis and I was so freaked out by this that she got banished to another room whilst she was off school. My poor husband having to check and look after both of us. Its sounds terrible but the fact is that at that point I was so fragile that we just couldn’t risk it!

Then I caught my first cold – I’ve only had two in 7 months since Sepsis! OMG! What a freak out it is! I can’t begin to describe the overwhelm and the fear that even a simple cold can bring. For me this is how it all started last time – with a cold, sore throat and a runny nose. Then as I got worse, thinking I had the flu, to literally going totally downhill with pneumonia in a matter of hours. So having a cold is NOT to be taken lightly.

My Infection ‘Markers’

So I know now to look out for and monitor my own Vitals:

  • Temperature: Do I have a temperature? Before sepsis, with a cold I would rarely have a temperature, but when I took ill with pneumonia my temperature was high 39-40*C. So I have these measures as a guide.
  • Blood Pressure: Whats my blood pressure? I know that just before I got treated for Sepsis my BP had dropped but once they stabilised it it remained high for days in hospital and during my recovery. So again I can monitor changes to this. I have my own blood pressure cuff and I keep a visual chart on my phone to check it.
  • Pulse: Whats my pulse? When I got home from hospital I bought myself an oxidometer so that I could measure and keep an eye on my own pulse rate and oxygen readings. My heart rate was high when I had Sepsis – I think 122 up to in the 160’s at some points. But I know from wearing a Fitbit watch everyday for the past 6 months that my heart rate at rest is in the 70’s.
  • How Do I Feel: I think all Sepsis survivors will remember how they felt and I know that if I ever even have a hint of these symptoms again with any sort of other infection on board, then its straight to A&E. Each time I’ve given myself 3 days! I won’t be taking any chances.
  • Bloods: I’m still getting my bloods monitored on a monthly basis, especially as my liver count is still out. Both times after having a cold I’ve had them checked just to make sure nothing else is out of whack! If I was in any way worried I wouldn’t hesitate now to have these done!
So Learn About Yourself

I have to remind myself that it’s ‘OK’ to have a cold and that this time round I am armed with information and I have knowledge of infection ‘markers’. Plus a few of my ‘alternative medicine’ friends were also reassuring me that it was ‘OK for my immune system to be tested’.

PLUS I remember how truly horrendous I felt when the Sepsis kicked in and I will NEVER FORGET that feeling!

Learn about your own ‘normal’. Learn about your vital signs. Record them if needbe. Keep a diary or a journal.

You know yourself better than anyone.

And remember ‘If In Doubt Check It Out’ and ask ‘Could This Be Sepsis’!

#vitals #selfhelp #mysepsisjourney #sepsisvitality #lifeaftersepsis

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