Irony can be fun, but it wasn’t in my case.

On March 11 2016, my family and I jumped on a plane for San Francisco – for a week of visiting friends and fave sites in Silicon Valley.  As the plane lifted off, we were all excited and full of anticipation.  But by the time we had our rental car and were settling in for sleep in San Mateo, I knew something was wrong…

I had a pain in my midsection, and felt an aching fever all over my body.  Within about 4 hours of landing, I was cold-sweating profusely, and knew I  was really sick. By 11 am on March 12, my mind was hard to control as a form of drunken delirium set in. My family was INSISTENT that we go to the hospital, but I didn’t think it was warranted. Luckily, I lost that argument. Within 2 hours, I was in emergency triage at Mills Peninsula Hospital in Millbrae, California. The triage nurse put me on sepsis alert and the care machine flew into action. And when I say “care machine,” I mean the sepsis protocol defined by The Surviving Sepsis Campaign.

Within minutes, my blood had been tested and they were pumping broad spectrum antibiotics into me. It didn’t take long for the antibiotics to work and for me to start feeling like a more normal-ish sick person.

Kudos must go the clinicians who oversaw my treatment:

Dr. Barbie Barrett, MD

Dr. Ed Abratowski, MD

Within a day of being admitted, I was in a car headed to a party hosted by dear friends in Silicon Valley. I wasn’t back to 100{300f18f9449b12b5a52f6978a173ee9682c7e4d9ecd43c314e9761c12287ae37}, but I was well on my way. The miracle of modern science combined with the good fortune of reporting early to a good hospital.

Of all the people afflicted with sepsis, I was among those who knew the most about the condition.  I knew that sepsis is the most expensive illness treated in US hospitals. I knew that sepsis accounts for more deaths than prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined. I knew that I was dancing on the edge of massive personal disaster.

There are several benefits to having had this experience:

  1. I feel a deeper gratitude for my life and the general state of “healthy-ness” that I enjoy daily
  2. I’m that much more aware of how insidiousness of sepsis
  3. I have extra motivation to fulfill on the company plan

So here goes…