My name is Maria, and I’m 23 years old. At some point in the past four months I was infected with Sepsis, a deadly infection of the blood. After a month of severe symptoms my angel of a mother talked me into seeing a doctor, which resulted in my admittance to the hospital for treatment. After further investigation, the doctors discovered that the infection had reached my heart, resulting in endocarditis which had destroyed an abnormal valve I had no prior knowledge of (supposedly abnormal since birth). On November 20, 2017 I was moved to Vancouver General Hospital for a surgery with two possible outcomes - a mitral valve replacement or repair. The repair was managed with the use of tissues pre existing in my body.
In two short weeks I have made incredible progress, better than expected actually. I’m still on an array of medications and IV antibiotics to treat both the infection and manage my heart function, I have a lot of weight to gain back and look sicker than I feel due to the weight loss, and a ways to go before I can get back into the swing of my regular routine. HOWEVER, I’ve gained back about 50% of my upper body strength and mobility, I can go for walks without nausea or heart palpitations, sleep without sleeping pills, take Tylenol rather than Oxycontin for pain, have an appetite, no longer feel blue or depressed, I am able to live independently with some help with grocery shopping etc., and have impressed all of my doctors with how comfortable I have become despite the circumstances.
The biggest difficulty though, has been finding other people with similar experiences. I’m not the typical candidate for OHS, as a healthy, fit, young woman. Scars Are Beautiful has been a godsend in finding others with their own yet similar stories, Maria." @mariaesthete
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