Stephen Goetsch - Survivor
In 2014, I was working on a project in England, and living there without my family at that point. As a private pilot, I would rent a small airplane and fly around southern England occasionally for fun. One day, I was very ambitious, and flew for more than two hours, flying all the way from south western London area down to the coast, and over and past the White Cliffs of Dover on England’s east coast, and then back to my home airport. I am a Type 2 diabetic, normally well controlled. Of course there is no place to get out and relieve myself while flying, and you can’t go until you land, and I could not land until I got back to my home airfield. Thankfully, I got back, relieved myself in the office rest room, packed up my things and drove home. I remember feeling very very drained at that point (pardon the pun!). This was a afternoon.
I was very tired and went to bed very early. The next morning, I was not feeling well, but had committed to giving a friend a ride to a meeting we were having. By the end of the meeting, I still felt poorly, and dropped the friend back at his home and went back to my apartment and went to bed. So I slept all afternoon, got up for dinner and then went back to bed. Because I was in England, I really did not know what to do to see a doctor, as their medical industry is quite different, due to universal health care. I thought I would have to wait until to see a doctor. Thankfully, I knew I would probably go to church the next morning, as a famous doctor from one of the major universities in London was a member of my church and a good friend, and I would ask him what I should do for my illness.
Before church even started, he suggested that he take me to the emergency room (called A & E in the UK) in the next town. At the hospital, they admitted me immediately, and determined I had a temperature of 104 F and my blood sugar was off the charts. Somehow, I had developed a urinary tract infection (UTI). They immediately put me on Acetaminophen and antibiotics, which brought down my fever and began to make me feel much better. However, they kept me in the hospital with an IV drip of antibiotics for three days. British hospitals are not pleasant.
I really do not know how my sepsis developed. I may have had a slight infection before going on my long flight, which then, due to my holding my fluid for a lengthy period, may have impeded my body’s ability to expel the infection. As my liver dumped glucose to help fight the infection, this only fed the bug, and I just got sicker and sicker. Considering my condition when treatment was finally initiated, I am very glad I was able to get to a hospital that would treat me effectively and quickly.