My experience of being hospitalized twice for sepsis tells me that early symptoms are so subtle that the proper diagnosis can be missed.
I've had sepsis twice due to a kidney abscess. The first time it took them months to properly diagnose me. When my fever reached 105.5 then I was hospitalized. After a CT scan, I was immediately given IV antibiotics. I was 40 years old at the time.
The second time (age 53), I again had no symptoms until my resting heart rate was 105. I had no fever and no other symptoms. Again I was hospitalized.
Now I believe again I'm septic. My ob/gyn treated me for a bladder infection. As with both times before, after finishing the antibiotics, again I don't feel right. I went to the walk in clinic and informed the doctor of my two previous experiences with kidney infections and sepsis. As in both times before, I was told I "could not have a kidney or blood infection" because I'd have a fever and be very sick. Okay, I'm now lying in bed, with my joints aching, my lower back hurting, difficulty breathing, and generally feeling not well contemplating my next move.
It's frustrating because I don't want to go to the emergency room as I did before, for fear that again I'll be treated like this is all in my head. I have an order for another urinalysis and going to ask the ob/gyn to add a blood test to it. In nine days I have an appointment with the urologist. I'm hoping not only will I still be alive, but that the lab tests will show what's wrong, and I can be treated and be move on.
Why do I keep getting these kidney abscesses that go undiagnosed and go septic? There is a strong family history of undiagnosed kidney problems. Also, I'm fairly certain that I get bladder infections with no symptoms that travel up to the kidneys. Kidney infections left untreated grow abscesses that eventually leak bacteria into the blood stream. I really feel this is what's going on which is why I'm going to a urologist. Why do I keep getting bladder infections?
Whatever the reason I keep getting sepsis, it's starting to happen more frequently and I'm worried about an early death. So don't let doctors tell you there's nothing wrong with you because the typical symptoms aren't present. After I get well this time, I'm going to become proactive and go on the offense learning everything I can. This defense stuff is too risky!