Septic Scare

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My Best Friend and Daughter

 I’ve been thinking lately on what it means to be thankful.  My husband died in 2004.  He was 48.  I was ravaged with grief, fear and uncertainty of the future, regret, anger – a myriad of emotions.  Less than a month after his passing, I received a call that ultimately sent me reeling on the precipice I was already barely clinging to.

My daughter had traveled to Nevada to visit family and as she waited to board her flight home, she called to tell me she wasn’t feeling well.  When she arrived at Charlotte, it was evident she was feverish so I got her home and put her to bed with Tylenol for the fever.  Four hours later, when I found the fever had skyrocketed to 105, she was so weak I could barely get my 22 year old baby to the car.  I’m sure there aren’t many who aren’t personally familiar with the long wait time in an emergency room.  When we got there her blood pressure and temp were taken and I should have known right then something was seriously wrong.  Instead, I think it was then that the Lord caught me in his arms.

She was immediately put in a room in emergency where tubes and monitors were hooked to her and even a catheter inserted.  None of the nurses or doctors could offer any words other than “we’re trying to find the problem, please stand back”.  Her blood pressure registered – I have to hold my breath right now to type it – 40 over 17.  It was about that time two nurses laid a defibrillator over my daughter’s legs and unhooked the machines.  They then literally sprinted out, pushing my daughter’s gurney as they ran down a hallway that said ‘no admittance’.  I finally realized there was a nurse standing beside me with her hand on my arm, talking.  Through the haze, I was able to make out that my daughter was being taken to the ICU and that someone there would be able to tell me more.

Long story short – they determined that she had a urinary tract infection that had entered her bloodstream and created sepsis, a potentially fatal infection of the whole body.  As I sat down outside the ICU it finally hit me at how close she was to death.  I was in such a state of shock that no tears came, I just stared.  I mumbled “I can’t make it if she isn’t here” and a friend put herself into my stare zone.  She said “God knows that”, then she smiled and kissed my cheek.  At that very moment, I felt peace and knew she was going to alright.  Not because I knew God wouldn’t take her from me, because I knew He could.  But because He let me know in that very peaceful moment that all would be well.  My soul heard the Spirit speak.

The sepsis had been caught at practically the very moment before it became fatal.  She was in ICU for five days and in a room for another three as they continued monitoring the infections that had tormented her body.  Each day as she got stronger, so did I.  I had been wallowing around in a grief that I know now would have carried my life in an entirely different direction than where it is now.  The lesson I learned from my daughter’s sepsis was to let go of the grief and confusion for things that were gone and be thankful instead for the many blessings I still had with me.

My thinkings lately have led me to know that it was during this time that my subsconsious really registered what ‘thankful’ means.   We come across questions where we’re asked what we’re thankful for – whether it’s in a devotional, a Sunday School lesson.   Or when confronted with problems of others, we offer thanks to God for the many blessings in our own lives.  But how do we thank God for dying on a cross? I’m afraid it’s taken for granted as a ‘story’ to the point that we forget what He actually did. I visualize a friend doing the same for me and it becomes horrific – I would be weeping and gnashing my teeth as I gazed at my friend’s tortured, bloodied body. Never would I be the same.

Through my daughter’s recovery, I was made wonderfully and joyfully thankful for her return to health.  How so very much more thankful I am to think of the Spirit’s guiding presence in every day and the confidence of a future where death will no longer separate me from my loved ones. How so very blessed and thankful I am for the many blessings my daughter, and now my granddaughter bring into my life. All as I bow my head at the base of a blood stained cross.

32 thoughts on “Septic Scare

  1. I have five very healthy adult sons and I couldn’t even imagine the trauma of having one of them in that situation. Praise God that He undertook and supplied the right help at the right time. Thank you for sharing this testimony.

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    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, it was a very traumatic experience but one in which, once my friend spoke those kinds words to me, that I felt God teaching what His comforting presence truly felt like. God bless you and all you do!

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  2. Thanks, timi! And welcome from one newbie to another! Yes, it’s a different world when you start opening up and laying it all out there – for lack of better words at the moment. But I’ve found that it is ‘freeing’ and fellow bloggers are very supportive and encouraging. What’s more – honest – which is lacking in a world that can be so superficial and full of pretenses. Thank you for YOUR words of encouragement and I am very much looking forward to following your journey here, May God bless your every moment!

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  3. Dear Tammi, I finally had time to scroll through your blog and I am so moved. It takes courage to open up to people, especially about the negative. I am a new blogger as well, and am so happy to find compassionate, brave people out there like you. Keep going and I am sure your writing ambitions will be fulfilled. love, Timi

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  4. That sounds terrifying…nothing worse than being helpless when your child is injured or sick. I spent several nights on a cot at Children’s Hospital when my daughter was seriously ill also. I’ll never forget it.

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  5. Absolutely beautiful reminder. I went through a similar experience when I had my first born and almost lost him. I accepted God’s will and it made everything easier to accept and handle. He is now almost 8 and healthy thank God. I think it was a test of my faith and reliance on God’s fate.
    Really glad she was saved in time.

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    • Praise God your son came through the experience as well! As scary as though times are, when we look back on them we can see clearly how God uses those experiences to path a clearer pathway to Him, taking care of things sometimes that we can’t (or won’t!) take care of ourselves. Very nice to ‘meet you’!

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  6. Oh my heart! Praise God! I’m so glad your daughter was saved. Thanks for sharing your story and for telling how it helped you let go of what was already gone. I know it isn’t easy as I lost my dad 34 years ago and still feel the sting sometimes.

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    • Thank you for your kind words. Losing a loved one is one thing in life that we never fully recover from – I’ve lost my dad, my brother, my husband – but one we can continually draw strength from as we appreciate what we do have. I’ll never forget that lesson.

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    • Thanks Barbara. Now that I’ve made it to 53 I can see the lessons learned thru the tragedies and have finally quit hoarding the blessings from the lessons to myself. Now I live my life trying to make this old world a little better in any way I can. Your blog seems to say to me that you are as well!

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  7. Thank you for your blessing! I remember the doctor’s warning us that it would take her months to fully feel like herself again so you must be going through the same type of recovery. Up until this happened, I was totally unaware of sepsis. It’s a devastating infection and I’m thankful yours was caught in time. God bless you also! It’s nice to meet you here!

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  8. I agree with a previous person who commented: You are one brave lady. I suffered through an episode of sepsis in March, and I have never felt so sick nor took so long to recover (and I still haven’t fully recovered). Thank you for sharing, and may God bless both you and your daughter for many years to come!

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  9. I knew from the title that it would have a happy ending, but phew — that was more than a scare, that was full-blown sepsis. You had me right alongside you every step of the way. I’m so glad that your daughter recovered. You’re a strong woman with a strong writer’s voice — good to meet you here on your blog.

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    • Thank you for your kind comments! Yes, it was a scary bout with sepsis and in the months following, we learned that several people who had swam in Lake Havasu, of which she was one, had had similar experiences. I’ve never been one to swim in lakes, but after that scare – lakes are definitely out! My daughter, on the other hand, loves kayaking on a local river, which in my opinion can’t be much better. It’s nice to meet you here too!

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    • Yes, being thankful for the hard times can be very hard….but in this case I truly believe He allowed the sepsis to get my attention. And I will forever be thankful that He did and that my wonderful daughter is still here! Thanks for the comment!

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  10. I thank God for sending healing to your daughter. He knows how much we can handle and will never test us beyond that point. Thanks for sharing this poignant story.

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  11. I could not even imagine going through what you went through. My oldest daughter will be 18 years old in October and she is indeed my best friend. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that she will leaving for college soon! But as you have written so eloquently, God always knows exactly what He is doing and He knows how to get our attention. Sometimes, we do have to pause and give God thanks for the things that we do have because when we put things into perspective we are truly blessed!

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    • Yes, I will always believe that God used the one thing – my daughter – that would grab my attention like nothing else. She rolls her eyes when I mention this time in her life, but you as a Mother can understand how I’ll never forget it…it’s still very much alive to me and continues to keep me aware of my blessings. Thank you for your kind words. I went thru the college separation also but even through that she and I continued to grow closer. And with you and your daughter close already, I’m sure it will be the same. Our motto to get us both thru those days became – ‘If you’re ok, I’m ok” – and it even remains so today. I will keep you both in my prayers (and I don’t say that lightly). God bless!

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    • This is so true. He got my attention not only with using my daughter’s illness to have me look to the future and not the past, but also to let me feel in a very real sence His loving comfort. From the time of my daughter’s birth, I always had the thought of not being able to survive something happening to her. So many, many years ago I literally placed her in God’s and trusted Him to take care of her. In the ICU waiting area that day, His presence was a real as the two people sitting on each side me when He let me know all would be well. So many, many things I have to be thankful for! It’s wonderful meeting you here! God bless you.

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