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Dutchess_III's avatar

What is the sickest you've ever been?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36142points) November 26th, 2012

I went down suddenly, about 4 weeks ago, with a collapsed lung. I don’t remember any of it, just what has been told to me. I went to Wichita ER on Oct 4, got out late Nov.
Still hurting, but I’m ALIVE!!
Have you ever come close to dying?

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48 Answers

Argonon's avatar

Oh dear, that sounds awful.
It’s a good thing you made it out okay!
I think the sickest I’ve ever been was when I had Bronchiolitis when I was only 3 months old. I stopped breathing, but luckily I was discovered in time and I spent a couple weeks at the hospital. I apparently suffer asthma now because of it.
I suppose the worst incident I can actually sort of remember was when I went into shock after breaking my arm real bad, but atleast the shock prevented me from feeling any pain because that would not have been very pleasant at all, I could see the bone jutting up beneath the skin. It was rather disturbing. Sadly, my mother took me out of gymnastics because of that seeing as how it happened while I was practicing..

linguaphile's avatar

I’m so glad you feel better! Hang in there… (hugs!)

In October 2009, I was one of the people who got H1N1. I spent 2 weeks in bed, in a dark room, completely oblivious to the world. When I finally crawled out, I eventually learned I had severe mono-like complications that lasted through August 2010.

I lost my short term memory, lived in a fog, and was extremely fatigued and weak. My doctor wouldn’t authorize a medical leave, so I somehow dragged through the school year—I still taught my classes on autopilot, coached cheerleading (champions that year), worked on the school play, sponsored the junior class (including prom planning) and was in a play myself. I was afraid if I sat down too long, I’d fall over and not wake up! Barely remember anything though.

That July, I found out that the Concerta my doctor put me on was likely making the symptoms worse, especially since I had already been depressed before getting sick. When I took myself off the medicine, I immediately started to get better. The combination of depression, Concerta and H1N1 complications just about put me under.

ragingloli's avatar

Food poisoning. For several days, every part of my body was in pain and it felt as if I was dissolving on the inside. Not a pleasant feeling.

TinyChi's avatar

Woah that sounds painful, dude.
I think the worst I had was when I had the flu when I was like 10 or something.
I was stuck in bed for like a week and it was also around Christmas and I didn’t want to go open my presents and stuff. I remember I just lied there all day staring at my reflection in the chandelier above my bed and my dad was all mad because I refused to take my nasty medicine.

bookish1's avatar

Wow, what an ordeal. So glad to hear you made it through that!

I almost died from dysentery when I was 2 or 3. Don’t remember it, of course. I probably contracted the diabetes a few years later because of that initial shock to my immune system.

I had pneumonia about five years ago and was so sick that I just wanted to die. I had to stay home from classes for more than a month. Definitely would have died if not for antibiotics, because my immune system is shit.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@linguaphile Freakin doctors.

Well, I’m gland YOU all are still here! Right now “all” I’m dealing with is where they put a tube in my rib to drain the infection. The insertion point is driving me NUTS. It feels like someone with sharp claws is pinching me, constantly. The only time I don’t feel it is when I’m on my pain meds…and THOSE take me to my knees. It’s a fight to stay awake.

DominicX's avatar

Nothing like that, thankfully. The worst I’ve had was a flu that lasted for a week back in high school; I lost several pounds, which was bad because I was already underweight…thankfully the day after I finally decided to visit doctor, it started to go away. I also had a UTI when I was younger and I remember going to the hospital because of it. And I’ve also come close to being in a bad car accident before…

zenvelo's avatar

Appendicitis at age 47. At first I thought I had severe gas. Then severe constipation. The third day I was in such bad shape my then wife took me to the doctor instead of waiting for the afternoon appointment. As it was, it took so long at he hospital to get everything ready that it burst as they were removing it.

I was amazed at how stressful an operation could be. I didn’t have my energy back for a good three weeks.

hearkat's avatar

It’s good to hear that you’re recovering well, and probably for the best that you don’t remmeber much of it.

I’ve never been close to death (other than the time my car rolled over, but that wasn’t sickness, and I luckily only had minor injuries). The sickest I’ve been was when I had food poisoning from campylobacter, which had me miserable in the summer of 1989 when I was 23. It took a few months for me to get my strength back. Recovering from a hysterectomy a couple years ago was far easier.

marinelife's avatar

No, just wishing I was. I was pretty sick with pneumonia last year.

I hope you are feeling better.

Kardamom's avatar

I just sent you a PM.

JLeslie's avatar

If we only are including illnesses we remember and not ones a parents told of us during the first few years of our lives, the sickest was probably when I was about 6 years old. Fever was over 105, soooo sick and miserable. I remember my parents wanting me to get in cool bathtub and I wouldn’t. My dad held me still while I was standing up screaming, and my parents wrapped a cold wet towel around me. It was awful.

Also almost tied was food poisoning, most likely samonella, after eating a chicken dish, only I had eaten it, and I was the only one extremely sick. Really bad.

cheebdragon's avatar

Last year I ended up getting hand foot & mouth disease, not entirely sure how I managed to pick it up, I just know it started the day after I got a flu shot. It was really awful, first you get ulcers on your tongue, then you start to get these little red dots on your hands and feet and every dot feels like there is a needle being pushed in your skin. I couldn’t eat for 2 weeks and i couldn’t walk very much because it hurt so bad. The doctor didnt know what it was at first because its very, very rare for adults to get it, and even then it’s usually not as severe as I had it. I was perfectly fine after 3 weeks, but the first 2 weeks were brutal. I read somewhere that every year it kills 100’s of people in china, its kinda scary & really weird.

Mariah's avatar

Whoa, I am so glad you’re okay, dear. Hoping for a speedy end to the pain.

I’d be amazed if there’s anyone left here who’s been spared this story, but my worst was sepsis. Intense full-body pain that ER doctors brushed off as a medication side effect until it was almost too late. Went into septic shock, blood pressure crashed, uncontrollable shaking, fever, pneumonia. When all was said and done I couldn’t stand up without help and it took me the whole summer to be able to climb stairs again. I was 17…

I was really lucky I didn’t die. Fatality from septic shock is pretty high and I went into the ordeal already very ill with a colitis flare up. What saved me was I was already at the hospital when shock set in and I got immediate attention. It’s so lucky I was at the hospital – I almost let the initial misdiagnosis of med side effect comfort me into seeking no further attention.

zenvelo's avatar

@cheebdragon You probably got that from a kid at the doctor’s office. It is highly contagious, most people go through it by age 3 or so.

Unbroken's avatar

Wow, I hope you feel better. And best of luck with a speedy recovery. Do you have enough people around you to be a support group?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve had food poisoning twice. Both really shitty experiences but definitely not the worst. I’m allergic to nuts so one of my MANY reactions was probably my worst. The most recent one was pretty bad, had my stomach messed up for a couple weeks. The reaction and treating it went as usual but the following days my stomach was all messed up. I couldn’t eat anything without getting sick, I had constant intense abdominal pain and was passing blood. Ended up spending 3 days in the hospital. I had colitis. Not fun.

Blackberry's avatar


Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry I guess pneumonia is what caused all my problems…. :( Don’t know why it took so long to catch it.

Coloma's avatar

I had a congenital kidney blockage that was finally discovered and repaired when I was 21. Oh man, the suffering from chronic kidney infections was horrible. The pain, nausea, complete, damn near passed out, from the pain. I am happy to report that I have never had another kidney infection and if I live to be 100 I swear, if my kidneys go I will pull my own plug.

Horrible pain!

I actually woke up today sick, some sort of chest and head thing unfolding.Bah! I have the chills right now and it is a glorious sunny day. Grrr…I hate being stuck at home sick on nice days.


@Dutchess_III So glad you are better! How does one get a collapsed lung without an injury? How does it happen?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma :( for your today. Bleh!
I do not have the answer for how it happened. No one said anything about an injury.

YARNLADY's avatar

When I was 12 years old I was hit in the midriff by a ball during a so-called game at school. It caused my appendix to rupture, but we didn’t realize it until later when I developed a high fever.

The poison spread inside my body, and the first doctor who operated botched the operation. Two days later, another doctor went in and tried to get out as much as he could, but I nearly died.

I was sent home after two weeks and my mother had to apply suction and change the drainage bandage every couple of hours.for another couple of weeks.

augustlan's avatar

I was just thinking about you, wondering if you were okay. So glad to hear that you are! What an awful couple of months you’ve had. :(

I’m sure mostly everyone knows this story already, but mine happened when I was 15. Apparently, I’d had Graves disease for quite some time, but had never known it and so hadn’t been getting treatment for it. Then I got hit by a car, and supposedly that trauma caused my already-hyper thyroid to suddenly dump massive amounts of hormone into my body, throwing me into thyroid storm. I lost a ton of weight in less than two weeks, ended up weighing 114 lbs at almost 5’ 8” tall and looked skeletal. Had the shakes, couldn’t sleep at all, and was literally starting to go insane. It damn near killed me, and at times I hoped it would. I missed 3 months of school while being treated for it. It took over a year to get somewhat back to normal, and then my thyroid died. I’ve never been the same since.

ucme's avatar

I’m never sick & I do me never, for my constitution is of superhuman status.
Maybe all the bugs are waiting until i’m old & vulnerable, the sadistic bastards.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@augustlan no I didn’t know that. How horrible!!!!

@ucme Yeah…my constitution used to be of superhuman status. :( Hopefully this is just a bump in the super-human road.

Sunny2's avatar

I had walking pneumonia without knowing it and it damaged my heart so I had atrial fibrillation. This went on for a good 10 years and then the medication took over and the Atrial fib stopped. I’m taking half the meds I did and am not having a problem anymore. I didn’t know that could happen, but I’m happy it did!

poisonedantidote's avatar

I have never come close to death from sickness. I was born dead, strangled by my own unbilical cord. My heat and lungs had stopped, but they got me going again. When I was about 10 I drowned, but they got me going again.

The worse condition I have been in from sickness, was when I was about 9 years old. I had a real strong fever of some kind, I even hallucinated all kinds of insane things, that was quite a bad one.

YARNLADY's avatar

@poisonedantidote What a startling story.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Coloma The primary cause of a collapsed lung is trauma to the chest cavity, but sometimes very tall, thin people are prone to a spontaneous collapsed lung, as well as smokers and recreational drug users.

@Dutchess_III I’m so glad you are doing better. I had two lung biopsies this past summer and a collapsed lung after a lung biopsy is very common. Luckily it didn’t happen to me, but the thought was scary enough. Good to have you back here. :)

I was prone to throat infections when I was young and I would often miss two weeks of school at a time. This happened every year I lived at home. I spent the two weeks on the couch sick as a dog and watched television. I have a feeling I got as sick as I did due to my mom’s smoking in the house.

Earthgirl's avatar

@poisonedantidote I would have had a big brother, but he died from the very thing you say, strangled by his umbilical cord. I am glad that by the time you were born they had the means to save you! Oh, you sound like you have had a couple close calls!
As for me, I’ve mentioned before that I am a cancer survivor. I had Hodgkins Disease (cancer of the lymph glands) at age 19. It’s quite common in the 20’s and the 40’s. They still don’t know why as far as I know. But I toughed it out through 2 rounds of chemo, the initial one and one for a recurrence a couple years later and now I am healthy and well and living to telll. It changes you, looking at your own mortality.
@Dutchess_III I’m glad you’re doing better now. I just realized how you haven’t been around much. Welcome back!!

AshLeigh's avatar

I am such a baby when I’m sick. I will tell you it’s the sickest I’ve been, every time I’m sick.
The worst thing I’ve had was probably the Shingles, at 11. That was terrible.

Earthgirl's avatar

@AshLeigh I feel for you! It’s pretty unusual to have shingles at age 11! I had shingles twice because Hodgkins patients are especially susceptible to that virus for some reason. Once I got it on my face and I still have a couple small scars above my lip to show for it. Ah, battle scars. Nothing too ugly, just a little reminder. The nerve pain was bad for a while. I had to take leave of absence from college for it and missed some of my finals.

ETpro's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m glad they were able to get you to the ER and pathed back up and running. I hope the healing proceeds rapidly.

When I was 20 I developed acute appendicitis and on the way to the hospital, they perforated and I developed some peritonitis. All I knew is how deathly sick I felt. But I had enough presence of mind to notice that the ER staff looked pretty concerned about whether I’d make it or not. Thank goodness I was able to get help in time to flush out the toxins that had spilled into my abdominal cavity, and have the offending appendix banished into Outer Slobovia.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I’m glad you are OK now. I have come close three times now after surgery. The problem is that my heart doesn’t wake up well after anesthesia. The third time was in October. I wouldn’t let them use general anesthesia so they did a spinal block. It was a knee replacement. The same thing happened. After surgery my blood pressure bottomed out and they had a hard time getting the pressure and rhythm up. I was back in cardiac icu. A week later I lost consciousness at home (actually I’m at my sister’s house) and ended up back in the hospital. Now I’m the project of a cardiology group and an internal medicine doc I met in the hospital. I’m 3,000 miles from home but they will not release me until they find out what is wrong. Right now I’m wearing a heart monitor 24/7 for 21 days. I’m not sure what’s next. I’m thankful to finally have this as I’ve asked doctors my whole life why I pass out and no one has ever tried to find out. I just miss home so much.

ETpro's avatar

@MollyMcGuire I hope they figure out what’s causing your heart troubles when under anesthesia and can resolve it. Get well quick.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@ETpro Thanks. They don’t even know if it is a heart problem. I’m really tired of tests, but at the same time thankful.

AshLeigh's avatar

@Earthgirl, it was pretty bad, but I never got it on my face! That sounds terrible. I just had it on my stomach, which I also have a few scars from. But I can’t imagine getting it on my face! It was irritating enough just on my stomach!

augustlan's avatar

I got shingles in my thirties, for no apparent reason. They really do suck, don’t they?

AshLeigh's avatar

YES! And I’m such a baby about being sick already. I don’t need anything extra. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@MollyMcGuire My father gets very low heart rate and blood pressure from a particular medication that is used during procedures like colonscopies. I don’t know if the same type of drugs might be used during a surgery or even when someone has a block. I don’t know the name of the drug, but I recommend you have your doctor or yourself, see if you were administered the same drug during all three procedures. Multiple drugs are given, but there might be one that was given in each surgery that is the antagonist. There are alternatives for most drugs that might not give you this bad side effect.

I have a friend who after her first surgery, a hysterectomy, wound up with a heart arythmia, her heart was going too fast. Anyway, they insisted it was not from the sugrery, she wound up needing heart surgery to burn a part of her heart to correct it. Years later she had knee replacement, and wound up again with a racing heart. They still want to say it is not from the surgery. Really? But, you know me, I tend to be easily annoyed with doctors. Even if the doctors are right, why not err on the side of caution I think? Obviously you did try to prevent this by getting the block, which is what I wish my girlfriend had done for her knee surgery. She is on disability now, they cannot fix her heart this time, at least not so far.

Anyway, the main point of my story is not to scare you, but just to suggest the posibitility of the medications being part of the problem.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jonsblond I’m tall and thin (even thinner now!) Maybe that’s what happened. I don’t know. I have yet to talk to the Dr. at the ER who treated me. Anything he may have said to me before I left I don’t remember. I have a follow up on Dec 11.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Aw…well…for what it’s worth, we’re here for you. Keep us updated, ‘K?

downtide's avatar

I had a perforated stomach ulcer when I was 25 – I was told it was probably due to a virus. I was in terrible pain, went to A&E (what we call the ER in the UK) and had an x-ray, they didn’t see anything and just sent me home. The next morning I got a phone call at 8am from my GP telling me to go to hospital NOW. Two hours later I was in surgery. I was told afterwards that if I’d waited two more days I probably would have died.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III What were your symptoms? Did you just “collapse”?
Whew…you poor thing!
I ust got in from the doc with drugs myself.

Jesus, it was all I could do to freaking keep my car on the road with my head and ears exploding. lol
Aaaah, but relief is on the horizon. I am now all cozy in my house with 4 days of major storms rolling in and YAY..I have the Z-Pak! I swear, I was thinking about what the hell people did 200 years ago when there were no antibiotics. Suffer and die I guess. :-(

jca's avatar

As far as feeling bad, it was probably food poisoning I had when I was 15.

As far as possible life threatening disease, about 4 years ago I had Guillain Barre Syndrome, and could not walk at all. I ended up in the hospital for almost a month. I won’t go into the details about how it progressed and was diagnosed, but I was happy that it was something that I recovered from fully.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma I don’t remember anything from about a week before a more local hospital sent me by ambulance to a respitory hospital in Wichita. Maybe two weeks before. Maybe a month before. I was still going to work but….. I just don’t remember.

After I made it to Wichita, they did surgery that evening (drained my lungs and stapled the right one up so it wouldn’t collapse again) ....the next morning I was talking to the nurses and suddenly said it sounded like a hive of bees buzzing around my head….then became unresponsive. Like a coma. For about two weeks, I guess. I don’t remember any of it.

Coloma's avatar

@Dutchess_III Wow….amazing! I’m so glad you’re okay! I wondered where you were a few times.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks, @Coloma…. So glad to still be here….but wouldn’t have known it if I wasn’t. :(

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