By May 2007, I had come across another flare up. I didn’t think much of it. It started off slow, but I noticed that my bowel frequency had increased. I also noticed that my energy level had gone down. I just thought it was the lack of electrolytes that I was losing every time I went to the bathroom. I remember that I went out on a date on June 28th, 2007 to Bahama Breeze. I think I had to leave early because I didn’t feel good. What was going on with me? By July 4th, 2007, I could not get out of bed. I did not have the energy. I asked my mom to take me to the hospital. I remember she had to carry me to the car.

When I got to the hospital, I figured they would hook me up the IVs and let me go home after some bowel rest, and fluids. Well I was wrong. They started to run tests on me. Of course they did the normal blood tests but something was different. They also started to take blood cultures. Blood cultures? Why? What was going on?

I soon realized that the doctors were taking blood cultures because they feared I had an infection. They believed that I had an infection in my blood stream. The emergency room doctors consulted with an infectious disease doctor. His name was Dr. Joe Hassey. He was a middle-aged man, well kept, and seemed very smart. He started to ask me questions about my travels, and foods I have consumed. I told him that I felt sick after visiting a restaurant in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on May 14th, 2007. Since that day, I felt sicker and sicker until I arrived at the hospital on July 4th, 2007. I noticed his eyebrows rose; I knew he was thinking of something.

He came back a while later and explained that my white blood count was very high, showing there was an infection somewhere in my body. He mentioned that it took time for the blood cultures to grow, so we wouldn’t know for a few days what I had. Dr. Hassey had a feeling it was Listeriosis. Listeria is a bacteria infection that women got especially during pregnancy. This bacterium grows on lunchmeat, and soft cheeses. That’s why women don’t eat lunchmeat during pregnancy. Well I am a male, so there was no way that I was pregnant. How did I get this infection?

Dr. Hassey explained that it could show in older people and people with immune-suppressed systems. I fell into that category, because the medicines I took at the time lowered my immune system. Dr. Hassey had a feeling that I ate food at this restaurant that contained Listeria. The reason why it was not an “outbreak” was because people with normal immune systems fight the infection off naturally. They might just get a stomachache and that’s it. My body could not fight off the infection so it manifested in my blood stream for nine weeks. It was in my body with a chance of heading got my brain causing meningitis. I had an infection that had a chance to kill me. I need Dr. Hassey to save my life!

Read part 2 here!

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.