By Rebbetzin Irene Kramer
Many of you have noticed that I have been missing for many services and activities over the past 8 months. I know that the Rabbi must often answer questions about my whereabouts.
So, I thought it was time to let everyone know what has been going on. As some of you may know, I had a knee replacement in May of 2019. That surgery went incredibly well, and I was 2 weeks into my recovery when I developed sepsis. Fortunately, it was not from my new knee, but I was quite ill.
After 6 hours in the ER, I was tentatively diagnosed with a possible heart attack, pulmonary embolus or sepsis. The final diagnosis was sepsis and I was treated vigorously with antibiotics and monitored on the telemetry unit for 5 days.
It’s been a very slow process that has taken all my patience to deal with it. I have symptoms that are very similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, however, they are calling it Post Sepsis Syndrome. I am very tired at times, unsteady at others and experience joint and muscle pain.
I fought the process for a long time and would work very hard at being my usual, busy, jovial self. Then I would have several days when I couldn’t do anything. So, I’m learning to pace myself.
I have good days and bad days. I pray that the good days will soon outnumber the bad days. However, this syndrome can last up to 18 months or longer.
I truly never appreciated the challenge of chronic illness until this episode of Post Sepsis Syndrome. It can be so discouraging and some days it’s all I can do not to cry, not from pain, but from frustration.
I’ve been speaking with others who suffer from chronic illness and I am thinking of starting a support group for those in our congregation who struggle with chronic illnesses. If anyone is interested, please let me know. We could try it once and see how it works. I know it might be a challenge to get everyone to feel well enough to come to a support group, but it might help those who can make it there.
In the meantime, thank you for understanding and know that I am focusing on healing my body, mind and spirit.
Love to you all!
Your Rebbetzin, Irene