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8 months after sepsis
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8 months after sepsis

My husband, age 66, nearly died in June this year from sepsis. He was in the ICU for 2 weeks. It was 6 weeks before he had the strength to feed himself. After 2 months of hospitalization and rehab, he came home in August. I am so worried because he is still very weak. He has a physical therapist who spends 1 hr per day, 4 days a week with him. He just isn't getting better. Plus he has cognitive dfficulties. He takes lactulose, but because he had serious diarrhea, the Dr added Xifaxan 2 weeks ago. Now he has very serious edema. Any input would really be appreciated.
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Hi Bvrly,

Welcome to the Senior Health Forum. I am so sorry to hear about your husband June illness and his very slow recovery.

I know that sepsis is a very serious insult to our system. I experienced it four times in less than a year.  I was younger then your husband when this occurred but it still took many months for my strength to return. However after six months you would think your husband would have made more progress.

I haven't a guess as to why he is not snapping back more quickly. Does he have underlying medical issues that could explain his slow progress? What is his cardiac status? Does he have diabetes? What caused the sepsis?

Edema can have several causes. Do you know why he has edema? What parts of his body are effected by the edema? Is it dependant edema... in his lower extremities? What are they doing to treat it? Is he on steroidal therapy?

I understand your concern and know you must be very worried. Your husband is still young. If I were in your position I would discuss my concerns with his PCP (Primary Care Physician) ...or whom ever is in charge of his medical care.  I know that you will require a signed release (from your husband) to allow the PCP to discuss your husband's medical condition. This will satisfy HIPPA concerns. I assume he has signed one...if not have him do so.

Be assertive and demand answers. Ask to see his Plan of Care and have it explained to you. If you are not comfortable with the PCP response and explanations, seek a second opinion...or even a third. Too often you don't get "do overs" in the game of life. I'd get to the bottom of his medical issues.

I wish you both the very best. My heart goes out to you as I know this must be very stressful and worrisome. Your husband is so fortunate to have your love and concern. Please keep in touch. If you can share more information we may have additional suggestions or thoughts for you.

Don't forget to take care of yourself too! I'll look forward to hearing from you again soon.

~Tuck  
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Dalubaba
Indore, India