I had finally been discharged from the hospital after a week of highs, lows and face planting. Feeling happy I was out, I also felt like something was missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing though. There were subtle changes in my body, like walking up the stairs would get me out of breath. I mean, I wasn’t exactly a fitness freak, but pre-sepsis I could do stairs at least!
I felt it more, taking a shower and holding the head above me would make my arm bow. It was weakness. I would feel sleepy all the time. We aren’t talking a normal amount of sleepy, it honestly felt like someone was diffusing sleeping pills into the air *conspiracy theory? -plays X File theme song-*. I would fall asleep pretty much anywhere and everywhere. Just to clarify, I had been told by doctors to avoid going outside until I’d had my blood tests done. So, I was pretty much on house arrest.
The next biggest change I felt was my stomach. Solid food was a firm no. Soup worked for me, but I found after a few spoonfuls I would either vomit or have extreme bloating! I felt like a crappy version of Kirby, where I ate my enemy but didn’t inherit any cool superpowers. I mean, does soup even have any superpowers?! Even if my stomach went unprovoked, it would feel heavy and would ache. In a sense if felt like my stomach had got worse and a lot more sensitive since being discharged.
With the weakness in my body, and not even being able to climb stairs my mood fluctuated too. I had naively assumed that being discharged would mean I could get back to my normal routine, going to work, enjoying my meals and so on. But, it felt like Sepsis had slammed the pause button hard on anything I used to do before I got sick.
When I went to see my local GP three days after being discharged, she stared at my report with wide eyes. ‘OH MY GOODNESS! You have been through a lot! Do you realise how sick you were? You are lucky to be alive!’. She told me I would need rest when I told her how tired and weak I felt. I was reassured by her that after a few weeks I would be back to normal. She wrote me a sick note, and booked me in for a blood test the hospital had recommended for the following week.
During the drive home, I thought about the shock on her face and telling me I was lucky to be alive. See, it hadn’t really hit me, until it did. I lay on my bed, and I felt a grey cloud submerge me. That is the only way to describe it. Being 22, my existence could be wiped off the face of the Earth, and that’s it. I cried a lot that day. I felt this heaviness to how I felt after that. I found it hard to grasp how fleeting existence can be. I think it comes with the territory of being young, and feeling invincible.
The more I thought about it, the more I felt myself slipping. My mentality became ‘is there a point in being so keen to return to routine, to work?’. Life is writing in the sand, and the sea is death which will wash it all away, leaving behind nothing. This became something I started to constantly tell myself. Why am I here? Chimed in my ears as I went to sleep that night.
Check back for a post next week on how I attempted to beat this mindset!