New opportunities after loosing my hands and feet

First I would like to tell my story in english, as I’ve received several requests for that.

It all started on December 19, 2016, when the worst thing happened.

I got infected with sepsis, and it was only a few hours between being completely normal and lying in the hospital in an induced coma.

Sepsis, also referred to as blood poisoning or septicaemia, is a potentially life-threatening condition, triggered by an infection or injury.

Where I got infected is still under debate, but it most likely started with untreated pneumonia. The bacteria managed to get into my bloodstream and an uncontrolled reaction to the infection led to multi-organ failure. My blood coagulated and blood circulation to several organs, hands and feet stopped.

When the doctor finally woke me up on January 16, after four weeks of lying in coma, I had no knowledge of what had happened to me. The doctor told me I had “slept” for four weeks. I could not believe it. The last I remembered was looking forward to Christmas which was a few days away! But this was no joke. Christmas had come and gone.

Not long after waking up, I was given the awful news that both my hands and feet would have to be amputated.

During the four weeks I spent in a coma, my kidneys and lungs were kept alive using machines. When I came out of the coma, my kidneys and the lungs no longer needed assistance, but my limbs could not be saved. Because my blood circulation had stopped, the limbs no longer got the oxygen they needed and they turned black and rotten. When I saw my hands and feet, I understood that no good wishes, prayers or other magic could do anything to save my dead limbs.

My hands were amputated only days after I woke up. A few weeks after, my feet were also removed.

For months, I hardly moved and lost the use of almost all my muscles.

I practiced every day to gradually get my strength back. As I got stronger, measurements were taken for prosthetics to replace hands and feet.

Mastering prosthetics takes time! In the beginning, it was painful and felt weird. My hands felt like bats with cloth pegs and my new feet crushed my kneecaps for every step I took. But I’ve gradually become better and better mastering my prostetics, and I’m shy enough to say that I’m now among the best hand-protetics-users in the world.

I was back full time at work in less than I year after I got sick. But a whole week at work is much more tiring now than it used to be, so lately I’ve been on a 20% sick leave, having Wednesdays off which works much better for me.

Now I’ve decided to permanently reduce my employment percentage to 80%, and not using sick leave from May 1st. 2019

Instead I’ve decided to use some time telling my story, inspire and motivate others that almost everything is possible if you try hard enough. I will start giving lectures/speeches, but I’m also thinking in other directions…

If you want me to give a lecture in your workplace, or in other associations, you can send me an e-mail to gry@gryhege.com. Note that I have limited time for lectures, and will do maximum 1 per week.

If you want to see my advice for dealing with challenges, you can go to gryhege.com/utfordringer-guide to get a pdf.

Note that both lectures and my advice-pdf is given in Norwegian only.

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