A North Carolina woman has revealed how a wedgie from a pair of tight jean shorts caused a painful bacterial skin infection, which ultimately developed into life-threatening sepsis that left her in the ICU for a week.
Sam, 25, shared her unlikely medical emergency is a viral TikTok video that’s been viewed over eight million times, recounting how she wore the cutoff shorts on a day-long date with her now-boyfriend three-and-a-half years ago.
Because she was having so much fun, she didn’t think much of the wedgie she had to keep picking — until she discovered a bump on her backside later that night, which over the next few days grew so painful that her mother rushed her to the ER.
‘If I hadn’t gone to the hospital when I did, I could’ve easily died,’ she told BuzzFeed, explaining that her skin was so badly infected that she spent several days in the ICU, where doctors debated surgery to remove some of the severely infected tissue.
Whoops! A North Carolina woman has revealed how a wedgie from a pair of tight jean shorts gave her a painful bacterial skin infection that ultimately turned to sepsis
The look: Sam, from North Carolina, went on an eight-hour date three-and-a-half years ago and wore a pair of tight shorts with boy short underwear
All good: She was having such a good time with the guy, whom she’d been dating for two weeks (pictured with her in hospital), that she ignored the discomfort
Sam was feeling fantastic in 2018 when she bought a pair of One Teaspoon Bandits shorts, which she’d bought on sale.
‘I thought they were the coolest shorts ever, and of course, my whole a** was out,’ she said.
She liked how they looked enough to wear them on an early date with a guy she’d been seeing for about two weeks at the time.
The date was clearly a success, lasting eight hours from brunch until dinner and a comedy show that night.
In fact, she was enjoying herself so much that she didn’t make a fuss about the fact that her underwear and shorts were causing an uncomfortable situation.
‘I was wearing boy short underwear, and the material kept clumping up and I kept picking my wedgie so… I kept picking it. It just kept happening,’ she said.
Though she didn’t let it bother her during the date, when she was home that night, she realized she was in pain.
Flashback: Since the health scare, she admitted she no longer likes to wear denim shorts, and prefers to wear looser cloth shorts instead
Ouch: She developed a ‘bump’ where the fabric had been chafing, and grew increasingly painful over the next few days
Help! It became ‘the worst stabbing pain’ and her mother rushed her to the ER, where she was admitted to the ICU and stayed for a week
‘That night, I noticed that I had a large bump where the chafing had occurred, and as time went on, it started becoming more painful,’ she told BuzzFeed. ‘The pain was isolated to one spot and it felt like a throbbing, stabbing pain.’
She said her backside was ‘sore’ for several days afterword.
‘After a few days, [I] started to feel sick and went to the doctor. They gave me antibiotics for a possible “skin infection” in my a** crack,’ she wrote.
But the next day, she was feeling ‘awful,’ with ‘the worst stabbing pain.’ It was so bad that her mother went to the emergency room, where she learned she was in septic shock.
‘I was shivering, very breathless, could not walk and had extreme body aches. They admitted me to the ICU, and that’s when I realized this was a bit more serious that I had anticipated,’ she said.
That’s when doctors diagnosed her with sepsis and cellulitis.
Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infection, which can be caused when a wound — like raw, chaffed skin — is exposed to bacteria. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and pain.
Thankfully, she didn’t end up needing surgery, but she ‘did endure trauma of my mother taking selfies of me while I [was] asleep in the hospital bed’
Viral: Sam is healthy now, and sees the whole incident as a funny story — and TikTok viewers clearly agree
If it gets bad enough, it can cause sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to infection.
Sam spent four days in the ICU, with doctors telling her that they may need to perform debridement surgery, which is involves removing all infected, necrotic, or dead tissue from her rectum.
She recalled ‘constantly having to show my a** to doctors every day.’
Thankfully, she didn’t end up needing surgery, but she ‘did endure trauma of my mother taking selfies of me while I [was] asleep in the hospital bed.’
She also got a visit from her date, whom she is still with three-and-a-half years later. She said it was the first time he had met her family, but he was ‘literally the nicest person in the world’ and came to stay with her so her mother could go home and rest.
‘He put my hair up for me, he brushed my teeth, he took out my contacts. He was literally the nicest person ever,’ she said.
‘It’s kind of mindblowing, but we’re for sure telling this at our wedding one day,’ Sam said
She went on to spend the rest of the week in the hospital recovering, and needed a whole month of rest at home afterward.
While the sepsis cleared up, her cellulitis came back a month later, requiring another short trip to the ER for antibiotics.
Sam is healthy now, and sees the whole incident as a funny story — and TikTok viewers clearly agree.
Since the health scare, she admitted she no longer likes to wear denim shorts, and prefers to wear looser cloth shorts instead — but she’s still held onto the those particular denim shorts as a sort of keepsake.
TikTokers were also delighted that she is still with her date years later.
‘It’s kind of mindblowing, but we’re for sure telling this at our wedding one day,’ Sam said.
What are the key symptoms of sepsis? The ‘silent killer’ that can cause death in minutes
Sepsis, known as the ‘silent killer’, strikes when an infection such as blood poisoning sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs.
Instead of attacking the invading bug, the body turns on itself, shutting down vital organs.
If caught early enough, it’s easily treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids, but these must be given as soon as sepsis is suspected – it strikes with frightening speed and, for every hour of delay, a patient’s chance of dying increases 8 per cent.
The early symptoms of sepsis can be easily confused with more mild conditions, meaning it can be difficult to diagnose.
A high temperature (fever), chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and rapid breathing are also indicators.
A patient can rapidly deteriorate if sepsis is missed early on, so quick diagnosis and treatment is vital – yet this rarely happens.
In the early stages, sepsis can be mistaken for a chest infection, flu or upset stomach.
It is most common and dangerous in older adults, pregnant women, children younger than one, people with chronic conditions or those who have weakened immune systems.
The six signs of something potentially deadly can be identified by the acronym ‘SEPSIS’:
- Slurred speech or confusion
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain
- Passing no urine in a day
- Severe breathlessness
- Skin that is mottled or discolored
Anyone who develops any of these symptoms should seek medical help urgently — and ask doctors: ‘Could this be sepsis?’