After changing my tampon again in the afternoon I started feeling worse, but I mustered up enough energy to get out of bed and take a shower. Before heading to the party, I changed my tampon once again. After reaching the restaurant, I remember hearing my friend’s say, “Lauren you don’t look so well.” At that moment, I felt like a truck had hit me. I stayed all of few minutes before heading home. As soon as I walked through my front door, I removed all my clothing (I had a high fever I was unaware of at the time) and went straight to bed.
My mother and I are very close. We talk every day, throughout the day. She knew instantly that something was wrong when I didn’t respond to any of her messages. Concerned, she called the police asking for a welfare check. I remember coming to and hearing the sound of my cocker spaniel, Madison, barking out of control. She was trying to get me up because someone was knocking on my front door. I threw my hoodie around me and stumbled to the door (I had no idea what time of day it was). I opened the door and let the officer inside. He looked around and at me then said, “You’re really sick. You need to call your mom because she’s worried about you.” Then, the cop left. Somehow I made it back to bed. I called my mom, who at the time was in another county and recovering from surgery. She could hear the strain in my voice and asked if I needed an ambulance. I told her no and to check on me in the morning.
After that, I only know what I’ve been told. The police agreed to check on me again and this time found me face down on the floor. I was unresponsive, had a fever of 108, and was covered in my own feces and vomit. They immediately called the paramedics and rushed me to the hospital. The doctors and nurses were confused because I was this young, healthy, 24-year-old girl. It wasn’t until the infectious disease doctor was called in that things started to make sense. He knew I came into the emergency room wearing a tampon, so he immediately sent it to the lab for testing. Three days later the results came back with signs of TSS-1 (toxic shock syndrome). In the meantime, I was placed into a medically induced coma, all of my organs were shutting down, my blood pressure was unstable, I suffered a heart attack, my fever was out of control, and I was on life support.