Life After Sepsis

Friday 7th September. Home and life after sepsis.

I’ve been out of the hospital for a week now and have been staying at my daughter’s. Although I’m hoping to go home to my house next week.

Dad and daughter
Garry about to leave the hospital with his daughter Vicky

I’m still too weak to go anywhere and have a nurse who comes around every day to administer antibiotics intravenously. The nurse also checks my vital stats, which have all been okay since I’ve been home!

I exercise my right hip every day, although maybe not as much as I should. I find it all a bit painful and too exhausting!

Girl giving a manicure
Vicky gave her dad a manicure while he was sedated
what happened

I’ve now worked out or rather been told about my stay in hospital!

On the night of the 22nd July 2018, I was in excruciating pain! I’d had a lot of pain for over a week now, but tonight it had just become too unbearable! So I decided to call the doctors, who in turn called an ambulance to take me to the hospital!

The ambulance arrived, and I was taken to the A&E department at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester. Over the next four days, I was moved from ward to ward! Nobody could find what was causing my pain!

Eventually, after a couple of nights on the emergency floor, I wasn’t actually on the floor. It’s the name of the ward! They told me that if I didn’t pass any water, they were going to put a catheter in me! Not wanting that, I immediately asked for a jug of water which I downed straight away! That was quickly followed by three more, which didn’t work either!

My last memory was dragging a chair across the ward for support to the toilet with my sister, Mary, telling my brother-in-law Pat, “go with Garry!”

Garry McGivern on life support
Garry sedated and hooked up to life support
I Have No Recollection

Everything from here on until my last few days in intensive care is what people have told me! I have no memory, which is probably for the best!

After another day or so of confusion on my part, on the emergency floor. Not knowing who I was, where I was or who anybody else was, nothing new there then! They realised that I had contracted sepsis and transferred me to the intensive care unit.

After a day or two in intensive care, things weren’t getting any better, and my kidneys started to pack up! Soon afterwards, my heart and lungs also started to give up! At this point, they sedated me and put me on life support to give my body a chance to recover!

Apparently, they tried nearly every antibiotic going, but I wasn’t responding to anything! And my infection markers were through the roof at almost 400! (Anything above 35 is considered bad!) And they still couldn’t find the source of the infection! A very worrying time for my family and friends!

After many different scans and tests, they eventually found the cause of all my trouble! I had an abscess on my hip, or rather there were two, and the sepsis had attached itself there!

Now they knew where the infection was. They started to drain the abscesses! They also found the right antibiotic to fight the sepsis!

I remained sedated for six days before being revived! And stayed in the intensive care unit for another 3-weeks, which I don’t remember! I did have some pretty strange dreams that I do remember! In one of them, I thought that I’d been abducted by aliens and they were doing experiments on me!

Things Start To Look Up

Once the abscesses had been drained, and the infection was brought under control. They then removed my hip and gave me a temporary “filler” in its place. Which should have happened several months earlier! (But that’s a different story!) The “filler is a precautionary measure, just in case any infection is still there!

Miss Hook, my surgeon, said afterwards that during the operation to remove my hip, the infection was everywhere! And every time she cut into a new layer of muscle, there was just more infection! Which all had to be removed and washed out before the hip replacement!

So I’ve now got this temporary “filler” in, which will stay in until they decide to replace my hip properly! Which, from what they were saying, is unlikely to be this year!

Man in hospital eating
Enjoying some fish and chips that the family bought in

The only downside to having this filler and it’s a massive downside! I’m not allowed to ride my bike in any way, shape or form, not until I get my new hip! So that’s no cycling until next year! Must try not to get too down about it! Think I may need to lock my bikes up and throw away the keys, then I won’t be able to ride them! That’s if my daughter hasn’t already done so!

Going Home

After four weeks in intensive care, I was moved to the orthopaedic ward. Where I spent a further two weeks before being allowed to go home.

As I said earlier, I’ve not gone home just yet. I’m staying at my daughter’s, so as you can imagine, I’m being spoilt rotten!

It wasn’t until I’d heard all this from various different people that I realised just how ill I was and how lucky I am to be here! Apparently, I was the sickest person in the county at one point! And had I not been so fit or was that Fat!? I wouldn’t have pulled through!

Thank you

I can’t praise or thank the staff at St Richard’s hospital enough, who, let’s face it, without them, I wouldn’t be here now!

Visiting in hospital
Julie and her daughter Hayley pay Garry a visit

I’d also like to thank my family and friends for all the support they’ve given me and are continuing to. Particularly my daughter Vicky, who worries about me at the best of times, god knows what she’s been going through!

Turkish barbers
Garry finally managed to get a haircut and shave

Thanks also for all the comments I’ve received, either on my website or social media. Thank you all. I appreciate and am still appreciating everybody’s kind words and thoughts!

And in the kind words of one of those people that wrote me messages, “keep peddling!” I truly am one of the lucky ones! And proof that there is life after sepsis!

15 Replies to “Life After Sepsis”

  1. Garry, I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on from Zoe. I”m so pleased to read your post and continue to wish you a speedy recovery of strength and fast follow up op. My best wishes, your cousin Penny.

    1. Thanks Penny, it’s already getting a bit boring not being able to do anything! But at least things are moving in the right direction, just very slowly!
      Apparently I’ve got to be patient, not something I’m known for!
      Hope your keeping well.

  2. Hi Garry! That’s a reminder – I need to cut my own nails. Last week I did a Donald Crowhurst. I cycled half way round Langstone Harbour and packed it in. Well, I was knackered before I started. Next time you come to the Island I’m gonna track you down and buy you a drink.
    Best wishes – Malc.

    1. Maybe you’ll have to do the other half another weekend!
      Don’t worry about tracking me down, I’ll track you down if your buying!

  3. So very glad ur on the mend now spikey must have been so scary for Vicky tow watch you like that and for you not to know who anybody was my love and thoughts have been with you all through when I found out
    Sending you a big hug 🤗 and lots of love and hopefully will be able to get to seee you soon
    Take care xxx😘💙

  4. God! All that and they haven’t even done your hip yet. You look healthier in hospital.
    than when you’re on the bike. Today, I cycled from Sandown to Shanklin along the Esplanade.
    Auld Malc.

    1. That’s one of the many annoying things, once I’ve recovered from this, they’ll cut me open again!
      How did you get to Sandown?

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