Post Sepsis and ICU Syndrome: There are days I feel so down

Posted by EW @ew62, Oct 10, 2022

I have a question for those survivors of Septic Shock and the ICU. I spent two weeks in the ICU this past spring due to surgery complications. I went into Septic Shock from that, and lots of ups and downs during the ICU. I spent another two weeks rehabilitating and allowing my brain to return online.

There are days when I am soooooo down almost think it would have been easier to have died.

Is there anyone else who thinks like that? I am grateful to be alive, but so tired and feel like a veil is over me.

Please let me know if this is common.

Thanks for reading….

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Intensive Care (ICU) Support Group.

@ew62, reading some of the posts in this related discussion you'll see that you're not alone in feeling down after an ICU stay related to sepsis.
– Sepsis: What's your experience recovering from sepsis https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sepsis/

Post ICU syndrome is a real thing and depression, PTSD, fatigue and lack of energy to get back on track are very common experiences. Members like @507 @psd0972 @tickleme1 @oregongirl @cindylb can validate that.

EW, it's not been a long time since you were in ICU. It may feel like it's been long enough, but 4-5 months isn't long to deal with complications of surgery, cancer, sepsis and ups and downs of ICU. Feeling down and lucky to be alive can co-exist. Do you think you are putting pressure on yourself to "bounce" back? Or do you feel like others think you should be "okay" by now?

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@colleenyoung

@ew62, reading some of the posts in this related discussion you'll see that you're not alone in feeling down after an ICU stay related to sepsis.
– Sepsis: What's your experience recovering from sepsis https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/sepsis/

Post ICU syndrome is a real thing and depression, PTSD, fatigue and lack of energy to get back on track are very common experiences. Members like @507 @psd0972 @tickleme1 @oregongirl @cindylb can validate that.

EW, it's not been a long time since you were in ICU. It may feel like it's been long enough, but 4-5 months isn't long to deal with complications of surgery, cancer, sepsis and ups and downs of ICU. Feeling down and lucky to be alive can co-exist. Do you think you are putting pressure on yourself to "bounce" back? Or do you feel like others think you should be "okay" by now?

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I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to bounce back. I went back to work full time and am thinking it may not have been a good idea.

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@ew62

Hello…..I was linked in to your post by the moderator regarding your sepsis experience. I too went into sepsis about three years ago with a cellulitis infection of my arm (due to lymphadema), a result of my breast cancer surgery. Even after three years I still feel 'off'….a little more tired and certainly less emotionally strong. I was fortunate not to be in the ICU but was hospitalized for a week and then had several more months of recovery, physical therapy and other medical needs. I feel more like myself all the time but still – it's just a sudden, random, difficult experience. I never considered sepsis as a possible condition and had little understanding of it until way after my experience and lots of research. I had my sepsis in mid November and was so grateful I wasn't dead I went ahead and hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at my house. It was a mistake. I was unprepared for the exhaustion and recurring waves of anxiety I experienced. My doctors dismissed my experience post sepsis, which was also disappointing. I think they see that you're still alive and don't truly grasp what a shock it is to both your physical body and emotional well being. Read up to understand the medical and physical part but also look at the Sepsis Alliance website. People there understand what you've been through. Also, give yourself permission to back off work and don't let them make you feel guilty about needing this time. I think I slowed my recovery down by feeling I 'should' just get on with it. Take care of yourself and as needed – educate the people around you, including doctors, to what you're going through. Sepsis is a bit of a mystery (why this person, why this infection, why now) and I think it even spooks the doctors a little too. Let's help them, our employers and family/friends to know more about this and help ourselves and others in the process. Hugs to you.
Cindy

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Thank you for sharing your story, it is incredibly frustrating to have this “invisible” condition to have to explain. People who have not had sepsis don’t get it. It’s also weird to feel like I went into surgery as one person and came out of the whole ordeal as a completely different person. It’s unrecognizable, but is only felt. It’s also difficult to explain. Thank you again and I will look into the Sepsis Alliance further.
Blessings to you ♥️

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Yes I think like that too. Very depressed. Pneumonia, sepsis, ARDS. Am I just slowly dying? This definitely isnt my life.

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@cindylb

@ew62

Hello…..I was linked in to your post by the moderator regarding your sepsis experience. I too went into sepsis about three years ago with a cellulitis infection of my arm (due to lymphadema), a result of my breast cancer surgery. Even after three years I still feel 'off'….a little more tired and certainly less emotionally strong. I was fortunate not to be in the ICU but was hospitalized for a week and then had several more months of recovery, physical therapy and other medical needs. I feel more like myself all the time but still – it's just a sudden, random, difficult experience. I never considered sepsis as a possible condition and had little understanding of it until way after my experience and lots of research. I had my sepsis in mid November and was so grateful I wasn't dead I went ahead and hosted Thanksgiving Dinner at my house. It was a mistake. I was unprepared for the exhaustion and recurring waves of anxiety I experienced. My doctors dismissed my experience post sepsis, which was also disappointing. I think they see that you're still alive and don't truly grasp what a shock it is to both your physical body and emotional well being. Read up to understand the medical and physical part but also look at the Sepsis Alliance website. People there understand what you've been through. Also, give yourself permission to back off work and don't let them make you feel guilty about needing this time. I think I slowed my recovery down by feeling I 'should' just get on with it. Take care of yourself and as needed – educate the people around you, including doctors, to what you're going through. Sepsis is a bit of a mystery (why this person, why this infection, why now) and I think it even spooks the doctors a little too. Let's help them, our employers and family/friends to know more about this and help ourselves and others in the process. Hugs to you.
Cindy

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Thank you Cindy, I too had sepsis after pneumonia that wasnt properly killed off so it regrew and I went septic. 2 ICU stays, 1 in a different hospital, intubated…it was awful. I got home Oct 2/22. I was weak and had poor 02 sats. I started feeling better physically but worse mentally. I hosted Christmas and was so overwhelmed I had to have my husband take over. That's not like me. I'm sad, depressed, and feel I'm barely here and contributing nothing. I miss my old energetic life. I hate this. Thanks for listening. Yvonne

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