Category Archives: Miracle

Life After Sepsis

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The Lord is MY helper, MY portion, MY everything. No matter how dark things have been in my life, the one thing, many times the only thing that gets me through it,is Jesus. I love that not only is my Savior, my Creator and the Omnipresent I AM, he is also my friend and loves when we talk and when we sit together in the stillness.

I find myself daily apologizing to my family and friends, but most of the time, my family for the bone-tired feelings I get. Some days I only want to rest, and do absolutely nothing else. These are the days where as soon as I sit or lay down, I’m out. Mid conversation some days. Insomnia is now part of my new normal and I do not like it at all. But, until I can figure how to beat it, I just have to live with it.

My thoughts are many people are of the opinion, you had sepsis. You survived. That’s great. Let’s move on. I wish it was that simple. Truly I do. But many days it is not. It is always at the forefront of my mind, what happens if I get it again. How will it affect me then? And for many of us that have lived to tell about having Sepsis, Septic Shock, Septicemia (the terms are interchangeable) it is a reality we face daily.

My maternal grandfather died of sepsis. At age 14 I knew it was some type of blood poisoning, but that was all I knew. After having survived it, I know that any infection that we have in our bodies, can get into our bloodstream and our system starts shutting down and going into organ failure as a response to the infection.  Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. And it does not discriminate. Anyone can get it. For more detailed information about Sepsis, visit The Sepsis Alliance.

The day before this all happened. Before I was in a near-death state, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I stayed up till 10p.m. turned in for the night and that’s when life hit some pretty big bumps, but I didn’t realize it then. I became cold, so cold that no amount of blankets was helping to warm me up. I shivered for several hours, determined that whatever was happening was just a really bad cold and it would be better by morning. I had chills like this in the past and lived. I was up and down to the bathroom several times, but that didn’t seem out of the norm for me, so I just kept hanging on. The next day waking up, I was still cold, but not freezing. I assumed I must have had a fever and it must have broke and that was the reason for no shivering chills. As I descended the stairs, I kept thinking I felt like “death”. I knew whatever kind of bug it was, it would eventually be okay.  How little did I know, I was closer to death than I would have ever imagined.

I recall the paramedics taking me to the cot and when they lifted my legs on the cot, the pain was unbearable. I screamed in response to the pain, having no idea why that hurt so bad. It seems cellulitis had appeared overnight and my leg was severely inflamed. I still had that elusive fever I thought I had shaken and my blood pressure was seriously low (60/40). The next five days were a blur. I can recall bits and snippets but full days are lost. I remember being moved from the step-down unit to regular room and the fear that I would lose my leg if they couldn’t get the infection under control.

I had lived through so many cellulitis infections that I had taken for granted how serious it could be and was. The pain after those first 5 days in the hospital was something I hope I never have to endure again. Therapists would come in the room and want me to try and stand/walk on it and I felt like a baby because I couldn’t. I wasn’t one of these people that whines when I am in pain, very often. I have lived with Fibromyalgia for over 10 years and I have learned to deal with pain every single day, but this pain was something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My total days in the hospital was only 14. I know two weeks seems like a lot, but not when you have Sepsis/Septic Shock. The miracle is you survived. What the doctors fail to tell you is that your life will never be the same again.

Here I am, Post Severe Sepsis 7 months and 6 days and while I am thankful for the Lord keeping me here and alive, I miss the old me. I NEVER had panic attacks or any type of anxiety that couldn’t be calmed by the Lord and His Word. My memory was rock solid. I slept. Insomnia and I had never met. Fatigue, I thought I knew what that was, that’s part of the fibromyalgia too, along with brain fog. In that sense, knowing what it was and living with it for the past 12 years prepared me. I didn’t have to wonder why, in mid-sentence or thought I would just forget. I simply have no idea what I am doing or why and most days I just have to let it go. Trying to remember makes it worse. It reminds me of what I have lost.

Losing my short term memory is like watching my grandmother and father in law grope their minds when they were dying with Alzheimer’s disease. I hate the feeling. I despise asking family members to remind me what they might have just told me 10 minutes ago because I need to write it down or put it in my calendar. And some days, mid-thought I can’t speak what I want because of the word being just out of my reach. It is so frustrating to me. Or worse yet, I start to tell someone something I already told them but have no memory of the conversation.

I am cold 99% of the time. This part of me hasn’t really changed that much as I have always been cold due to not having my thyroid anymore and relying on medication levels to keep everything in check.

I really need to get my hearing checked. I have always been known as a loud person. Unfortunately, since sepsis, I am super loud, but don’t realize it. My husband and children are always telling me to stop yelling. I have no idea I am. I can still hear everything ok, just not my voice. To me, my voice sounds perfectly normal. I cringe when I am out alone because I have no idea if I seem to be shouting or not. No one ever says.

The fear of getting sepsis again is pretty huge. I don’t talk about it much because dwelling on any one thing, is not healthy. And since my first bout when I was in Severe Septic Shock, I have already had another Septic infection. That landed me three days in the hospital. My big sign is shivering/chills that won’t go away. I wait a few hours and if not better, head to the ER because I know I need those IV antibiotics sooner than later.

I should have known to go to the emergency room that day when I awoke. I did not urinate all day long. That should have been a red flag that something was wrong. The fact that I didn’t want food or drink of any kind, at all, should have been a red flag, but I was so sick by morning, that I was confused and lethargic by that point. I’m very thankful my husband was home and knew something wasn’t right. Had I been home alone, I wouldn’t have lived to write this.

And I will keep writing about it and spreading awareness. Sepsis kills over 250,000 people in the United States alone every year, millions globally. sepsis org

God gives us one life to live. We must use our gifts and talents as a service to others. My prayer is that I will never have to say I survived Sepsis again for a third time.

I belong to a Post Sepsis support group and I am glad to know that the many concerns I have, how much I have changed, it’s all our new normal. If normal is such a thing. I miss the old me, but in having to take small steps to make it back, I have learned to appreciate life more and not take it for granted. And someday, I hope to make it through a whole day without a nap. That’s my goal for now.

May you know that Jesus is here for you, every single second of your day. When you need him, he’s always available. He loves you~so very much. Jesus can turn any test into a testimony and any mess into a message. #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to you ~ Carlene

 

 

 

 

The Half That Makes Me Whole

I wrote this earlier this evening and posted it to my Facebook pages.

This Season I’m In

I want to scream and cry all at once
I want the fear and worry to cease
I want to know it will all be okay
I want the meltdowns to go away and never come back
I want healing and return to good health
I want peace without begging for it
I want the pain to end
I want one day to be perfect with no problems
I want the storms to pass and the dark valleys to become full of light again
I want to live and not just exist
I want to smile with my mouth and not just my heart
I want to walk with no more pain
I want to know my husband will never have another stroke or seizure again
I want to be all God calls me to be every day
I want to be a light to someone in their darkest times
I know this season I am will not last forever, this too shall pass
I know God will stretch me beyond what I think I can endure
I know God has a plan for my life
I know I may not understand His methods or His plan
I know part of growing is going through stuff
I know He is always with me
I know Jesus is my source of joy, never-ending love, strengthener of my faith
I know everything I go through, He will use for good
I know I am loved without conditions because I am HIS
I want the world to know that the Grace of God is enough to carry me when my eyes cannot see why we go through what we do. Jesus is enough.
I know how blessed I am and my wants are temporary, my love for Jesus is eternal.
©Carlene S. Wooddell/May 13, 2019

 

Hebrews 10:24 New Living Translation (NLT)
24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

 

This past week/weekend, our family had some very scary moments.  Where you stop and evaluate your life. Where you remember that it can all be gone in an instant. My husband suffered a stroke that led to a series or maybe just one seizure lasting over 30 minutes. Wires and monitors everywhere, in and out of consciousness, not remembering the episode or even the ride to the hospital, not knowing how close we came to not having him in our lives.

We both know when it is our time to leave this earth, we will return home to Jesus. There is no fear of dying. The fear comes in when you watch the love of your life, laying there motionless and unable to communicate or even aware you are there. As I worked to maintain control of my emotions, silent prayers were being said, calling and texting all prayer warriors to come to our aid again.

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He survived this time. He is home now. I am doing my best to not be the “helicopter wife”, hovering over him and treating him like a baby that needs to be watched over, just waiting for the pin to drop, but it has been difficult to not do that. It is hard to watch him realize he doesn’t know much of what happened and even after asking multiple times, he can’t remember and must ask again. The sorrow in his voice as he apologizes for something he had no control over. The concern on how long these effects of his memory will last and the sheer fatigue that is hard to comprehend when all he does is sleep.

While I do my best to reassure him that the rest his body needs is imperative and the short term memory loss is normal, it does nothing to help him feel better about it. And I don’t know if I were in his shoes, it would make me feel any better or not.

The fact he is required to take new medications to prevent future seizures and the possibility of not driving until he is approved to do so by his Neurologists is scary. Losing any type of independence at any age is daunting.

But we will get through this together, one day at a time.

Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you, show them by your actions, love them daily as if it is their last because when that time comes for them to pass on, don’t leave regrets of words and actions not being said because you always thought there would be time. Settle disagreements quickly. Life is so very short.

Trust that Jesus has a plan for your life and He loves you very much!

Jesus can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings~Carlene

JOY

1 Thessalonians 5:15-19 New International Version (NIV)
15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit.

Joy comes from the Lord. Joy does not come or happen because of our circumstances and thank the Heavens for that.  If we depended on life’s circumstances to provide Joy in our lives, most times we would be sadly disappointed.

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Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  It is not something you can turn on and off at will. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit.  I hear so many people say that they can’t find their joy or have no idea what joy looks like because their lives are so hard or difficult.  Joy has nothing to do with any of that.

It took me many years of prayerful time with the Lord and leaning on more mature Christians who know the Word and could counsel me in Godly ways to understand Joy isn’t something that happens.  It is just a part of who we are. If you are a believer in Jesus and profess to be a Christian and live, walk, eat and breathe a Christ-like existence, you have Joy. Period.  There will be times you can’t seem to grasp it. Times you don’t feel very joyful at all, but it’s there.

If I depended on life to grant me the gift of joy, I would be hard pressed to find it most days.  Happiness comes and goes but the Joy of the Lord is forever.

The past few weeks have been blessings and blessings with challenges or opportunities, I guess if I am being my optimistic, positive self. Our fifth grandchild, our second granddaughter blessed our lives. I call her my little peanut.  She is so tiny and precious. Just weighing a little over 7 pounds. She came into this world, with a good set of lungs and even a little bit of stubbornness. She loves when its time to eat; a little bit of a guzzler, can’t seem to get enough, but refuses to burp, which has been quite a challenge. But she doesn’t cry unless she’s hungry or needs to be changed. She has bright eyes and loves to scoot around on her back when lying in her bassinet. She almost reminds me of a “game-spinner”.  It doesn’t matter what position you lay her on her back, as she gets settled, she usually ends up facing the other way and she is just two weeks old today!

Being able to be in the delivery room, while our daughter gave birth, was so joyous of an occasion. The first time around with her son, Tyson, my other little buddy, that you have read about, I was banished out of her sight. Because I am a crier. I can cry at the drop of a hat. It can be something as simple as a cute commercial on television or something that isn’t even real.  With Tyson, for me, seeing my first-born child giving birth, I was so overcome with emotions, tears were streaming down my face and she couldn’t handle seeing those tears and I was given strict instructions, “Mom, if you are going to cry, you’re going have to back up, I don’t want to see you crying!” So, even though I was in the room to witness his birth, I wasn’t right by her side.

With our tiny Emmalin, I sat and held her hand, bound and determined, that no matter what, I would not let the tears spill out. And I held them at bay.  This time it was watching a miracle.  The miracle of watching our daughter give birth naturally (all the while, observing the epidural not work, pain meds do nothing to alleviate her pain of the harrowing back labor she was experiencing) with pure love, sheer grit, and determination to bring her daughter into view, was one of the most beautiful sights, this grandma’s eyes have ever seen! Praying and thanking Jesus for allowing me to watch and helping me to conceal my tears of joy. And realizing what a strong woman our daughter is. Even though she usually disagrees on being strong, this time she was strong and earned the respect of her parents, her older sisters, and her brother.

Ty & Emma

Big brother holding baby sister/Ty & Emma

As our family is growing, and we are learning new routines, Tyson is doing is best to be a good big brother. There are many challenges that go along with bringing a baby home to a home with a toddler that has had the rule of the territory for four and a half years. And while he proclaims to everyone and anyone, that’s “his baby”, he doesn’t understand why she can’t get on the floor and play with him or why he isn’t allowed to carry her around like a rag doll or why it’s not a good idea to poke her with his fingers in her face.

As we are ever vigilant, hyper-vigilance has become our new norm when he is awake as we have no idea what he may or may not do next. The jealousy of a new baby isn’t as noticeable as I thought it might be, because his mom and my husband and I are making special times for him too and there are many days you will find the baby in her arms, while she is sitting on the couch and him right beside them as close as he can get.  As with everything new for him, it will take some time for him to realize how “babies” actually work. He doesn’t comprehend why she can’t share goldfish crackers with him, but I think it’s great that he wants to share with her, just the same.

I am doing my best to hope and pray that the similarities I notice with Emmalin and Tyson are because they are siblings and not for any other reason, but it has always been on the forefront of my mind if she too will have some or all of the special needs he has and I continually pray that whatever needs she has, God, will continue to equip us to care for them as they need.

As an update for Tyson, he is thriving at his ABA (applied behavior analysis) therapy sessions. He loves going and right now he is attending 3 afternoons a week after he gets home from school.  On days when the weather closes the center, he is sad and doesn’t understand why he can’t go. As we continue to add more structure to his day, his aggressive behaviors and sensory meltdowns are not as bad. Instead of 6 hours a day dealing with them, some days it may only be a couple of hours to only 30 minutes. What a lifesaver this has been for all of us; as well as changing to ADHD medications that are working better for him than the ones he was previously taking.  We have also found, that playing with dominoes that his great-grandmother gifted him last year, can usually keep him focused and entertained for a while, without bouts of throwing or screaming.

Galatians 5:22 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

May you know how much Jesus Loves you~right now and always! He can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony.  #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings until next time~Carlene

 

 

 

 

 

Prayers for Mary

**Note: Mary went to be with the Lord early this morning (1/11/19). This was originally posted on 1/10/19. She is in no more pain, but remained faithful in trusting the Lord in all. She was full of grace, dignity and peace as she went home.

Please keep her family in your prayers.

Thank you.

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Hello readers, today I choose to use this platform to ask for prayers. Prayers for very dear friends of mine.

My friend Mary has been struck with a very aggressive form of unknown cancer and is fighting with all she has to live. It could be hours or days, only God knows when her time on earth will end.

There are hundreds of friends, family and unknown prayer warriors standing in the gap for her and interceeding for a miracle.

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Her husband and two teenage daughters are with her. We know that at any time Jesus can change the direction of the course she is on.

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They are hanging onto hope and praying God’s Will for her life. We will continue to pray and cry out to the Father for His Healing touch.

Lord Jesus, 

We come today to thank you for the gift of Mary. For the light and witness she has been to each life she has crossed paths with during her lifetime. We stand on the Promises in Your Word that if we earnestly seek you, knock and ask You will hear our prayers and answer. Holy Spirit, we know You have a plan for each of our lives, a plan to prosper us and not harm us, a plan to give us hope and a future.We fervently seek You and ask that all disease in her body, cells, and every system You created and designed be restored to perfect health and any and all strongholds of negativity and evil be broken and crushed with Your Mighty Hand!  Please continue to strengthen each family member and pour out Your Peace upon each of them. By the Power and Authority in the Name of Jesus. Amen 

Thank you.

*posted with permission from the family.

Jesus loves you ~ right here right now. He can turn any mess into a message and any test into a testimony! #HopeAlwaysHaveFaith

Blessings to all ~ Carlene