SCARY SCARY Infection -

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stitching star
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/25/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I was in the hospital for a week until a week ago. I had a flu shot, and it weakened my immune system. I have several psoriasis sores on my right thigh. The weakened immune system from the flu shot let bacteria take hold. I slept for 2 days after the shot, and just remember feeling horrible. Dh told me he had a lesser version of the same thing from his flu shot.

By the 3rd day there was a red patch on my thigh about the size of my hand. That was Tuesday. I decided that if it wasn't better I would go to the doc on Wed. I got an appt, got my dad to drive me as I didn't feel safe about driving with my leg hurting so much.

By Wed morning the entire top and outside of my thigh and most of the back and inside of my thigh were bright red and hot to the touch. I was terribly white and had to stop 2x on the way to the doc to get sick to my stomach. I did shower that morning and thought I was going to die it hurt so much.

I managed to walk into the doc office and exam room. The doc took one look at me and said "Oh my G-d! WHAT is going on, I have never seen you look so bad?" She was REALLY worried. I told her my leg hurt and she looked at it. She put gloves on before she touched it, even though she had just washed them when she came into the room. When she touched my lymph nodes in my groin I thought I was going to go through the roof! They didn't hurt when I showered 2 hours before that!

She told me that the best thing was to go to the hospital. I asked if she would be treating me, or another doc. Said I would go to a diff hospital if a certain doc would be in charge (this doc treated me for a seizure in Sept and refused to even speak to me. She would talk to my dh, or my mom, but totally treated me as if I were retarded or a drug addict. I am NEITHER!) . She assured me that doc would never treat me. The doc who was in charge of me was wonderful. My doc helped me make a list of my meds, then my dad drove me over. I have never been taken to a room so quickly!

They put me on extreme contagion measures - EVERYONE who came in was supposed to have a gown and gloves. And a mask for the first night, until they knew what they were dealing with. Until I was released my family could visit but could not touch me. It felt strange not to be able to hug my kids.

I managed to notice when one of the sores opened (from the psoriasis) and got a nurse to take a sample to culture. They put me on IV antibiotics through a PICT line, not a normal IV line. I had CELLULITIS, an infection where bacteria take over and damage a body part. If not caught they can eat your muscles, damage or destroy organs, even destroy bones. The fact that it spread from a spot the size of the palm of my hand to almost all of my thigh was really bad. As was the spread to the lymph nodes.

The doc even drew around the infection area with a sharpie so they could see if it was getting better. I had 5 IV antibiotic treatments the first 24 hours in the hospital!

When they got the culture results I had a nasty staph infection AND 2 days later they found I also had necrotizing fascitis (the flesh eating bacteria)! It just took longer to culture the 2nd bacteria. I was truly being cared for by my Guardian Angel b/c BOTH of the bacteria responded to antibiotics that could be given orally. At first they were going to send me home with the PICT line in and have me do the IV antibiotics for another week at home. Then they learned it responded well to oral antibiotics so they kept me another day to make sure the oral meds worked.

IF you have ANY sores or areas that get painful and get bigger, don't wait. Go in to the doc ASAP. I could have lost my leg completely to this if I had ingored it much longer.

At home we had to do a lot of cleaning, but my mom helped a lot and my aunt flew in from OH to help out. I just am not up to much, so it was wonderful to have them helping me. I still have a lot to do, but it is more do-able, if you know what I mean.

I am glad to be home, feeling much better, and not in danger of losing my leg. I did have a follow up with my doc and she gave me another round of the 2 antibiotics I was on in the hospital. Just in case. I am glad to be back here with you all, and have kept you in my prayers, even though I wasn't around much.
Susie
SAHM, kids are the light of my life
dh of 17 yrs, my sweetie
ds 16yo, great kid, Sr. in high school
dd 13yo, my reward, homeschooled
ds 8yo, amazing kid, great magician
 
2 furbabies - Gracie and Capn Morgan, both cats
1 featherbaby - cockatiel - Goldi the Evil
 
I have always imagined paradise will be some type of library.
     -Jorges Luis Borges
        


jewelrylady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 1/25/2009 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie, Oh what an ordeal.  I am so glad you went to the Doctor when you did.  Was this due to the flu shot or was it because the shot had weakened your immune system & where then did you pick up the bacteria?  Any Idea?  There is so much bad bacteria out there it is so scary.  How are your kids & your husband?  I know they must have been so frightened  My granddaughter still sucks her thumb & is always getting sick.  Her mom has tried everything to get her to stop.  We worry about what is out there.  Well, you take care of yourself & I hope you feel better soon.  Many gentle hugs, Denise

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, depression, TMJ

Meds: Ibuprofen 600mg every 4-6 hours, Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg, Simvastatin 20mg, Citaloram 20mg Melatonin 5mg Sublingual, B12 sublingual, B Complex, Folic Acid, Omega 3

Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren

As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11


stitching star
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/26/2009 2:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the hugs Denise.

As far as we can figure it out, the flu shot weakened my immune system. Then the bacteria were able to enter through a sore (I have psoriatic arthritis and am terribly itchy all the time. I end up scratching in my SLEEP sometimes, and then I get nasty sores. Also if I bath even every other day my skin just peels off when I towel off. And if I air day the skin comes off later, and this leaves nasty sores also.)

Anyway, these bacteria are EVERYWHERE and normally the body fights them off. If you have a tear in your skin from a sore, pin prick, bug bite, etc.... (even cracks from dry skin) then the bacteria enter there.

Cellulitis can be caused by all kinds of different bacteria. It is very serious, and important to have the doc culture it to see what it best response to.

It WAS scary for my kids. They spent the entire week at my parents' house, with dh eating with them and then going home to sleep b/c we have 2 cats and a bird who go nuts when we are not home (esp if dh isn't home). Since I got back my Siamese love bunny cat has been sleeping right in the middle of the hall leading to my bedroom or right outside the bedroom door. He wants to make sure I don't go anywhere!
Susie
SAHM, kids are the light of my life
dh of 17 yrs, my sweetie
ds 16yo, great kid, Sr. in high school
dd 13yo, my reward, homeschooled
ds 8yo, amazing kid, great magician
 
2 furbabies - Gracie and Capn Morgan, both cats
1 featherbaby - cockatiel - Goldi the Evil
 
I have always imagined paradise will be some type of library.
     -Jorges Luis Borges
        


Thirteen
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 1/26/2009 2:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Susie, we're so glad to have you back!! Sorry you had to go through such an ordeal.
 
Denise, I got a lot of sicknesses due to germs when I was little from thumb-sucking... I sucked my thumb for a very very long time, couldn't grow out of it, don't even want to say till what age LOL it's kind of embarrassing hahaha blush but just know that I DID grow out of it and my parents and even TEACHERS tried all they could to get me to stop and I eventually just stopped on my own, out of nowhere.
 
_________________________________________
21 years old
 
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar, OCD, Dependent Personality Disorder
 
"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you." -Mary Tyler Moore

Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 1/26/2009 9:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry you had to go through that but happy you are okay now.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


SleepyBug
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 1/26/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
oh my goodness, susie! what a terribly difficult thing to go through! i am so sorry you experienced this, but i am happy to hear you're ok now!

i have psoriasis on my hands, and have had my doctor tell me to be watchful of of cracks in the skin-now i know why!! thank you for sharing this story-i will definitely be very careful about looking out for cracks and sores!
love and hugs
~danielle


fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.~Erma Bombeck


kelly71
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 726
   Posted 1/26/2009 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
susie,
 
I'm so thankful that this was caught in time.  My dad went through something similar this summer, and he was hours away from dying, but they caught it in time.  Did they say if the bacteria was MRSA?  Even if it isn't, you still have a long road ahead of you.  We are here if you need us (and you are welcome to email me personally if you need someone to talk to).  
 
Anyway, I hope I speak for everyone when I say that we will all be thinking about you. :-)
FINALLY dxd with fibro on 06/13/08
Neurontin, Ibuprofen for pain-which doesn't help
Zoloft & methadone (NOT for pain) for sanity-which doesn't help, BTW
Klonopin for anxiety (Guess what?  Doesn't help!)
Aciphex for reflux
Quit smoking 08/29/08 (used Chantix)
 
"I'll take the Chivas instead"
-Kelly Clarkson


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17095
   Posted 1/26/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
That DOES sound scarey!  I'm glad you caught it in time and got the help you needed.  Thanks for sharing that.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


K9
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 1/26/2009 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
geesh - how awful!
Glad to have you back and feeling better.
Cheers,
K
I have Fibromyalgia, and nothing else!
I take Lyrica 225 mg/day and Tramadol (150mg time-released) and amytriptilene 7.5mg


jewelrylady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 1/26/2009 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Susie, thank you for explaining this, I will take better care of my skin.  I have very dry chapped skin which cracks & bleeds sometimes, especially this time of year.  My daughter, Misty, has Fibro & Mixed Connective Tissue disease, a smorgasboard of Auto Immune diseases.  I will let her know as well because her immune system is suppresssed with medication & she has the thumb-sucker.  What a world.
 
I am glad your children had someplace safe & loving to go.  I am sure it helped them immensely.   I'll bet they are just so happy to have you home & on the mend. 
 
Jenna, thank you for the encouragement.  Emily is in kindergarten this year & I keep hoping she will just grow out of it.  She is embarrassed because her top front teeth are now discolored & the dentist said they need to be pulled.  She get's teased about them alot.  I feel very sorry for her. 
 
Many soft hugs, Denise   

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, depression, TMJ

Meds: Ibuprofen 600mg every 4-6 hours, Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg, Simvastatin 20mg, Citaloram 20mg Melatonin 5mg Sublingual, B12 sublingual, B Complex, Folic Acid, Omega 3

Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren

As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11


stitching star
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/27/2009 10:47 AM (GMT 0)   
I did NOT have MRSA. I know someone who had this with MRSA and he had 3-4 IV antibiotic treatments a DAY for 4 WEEKS. That much antibiotics ate through his teeth, even though they were not oral antibiotics.

MRSA cannot be treated with oral antibiotics. It can be PREVENTED by proper handwashing and by actually AVOIDING the antibacterial soaps and products. These antibacterial products only kill roughly 2 % more germs than reg soap and water AND the antibacterial products are teaching the germs to adapt and become resistant to them. So that is a MAJOR contributing factor to the existence of MRSA. (Proper handwashing means using warm water and soap, and rubbing your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. And then using paper towels to turn off the faucet, especially if you are in a public restroom. To make SURE you are getting the 20 seconds, you can sing "Twinkle twinkle little star", one animal worth of "Old MacDonald Has a Farm", "The Alphabet Song" all at a normal tempo - not like Speedy Gonzalez and not super slow either. I have found this to be a very useful teaching tool with my kids, and even more so with my bother and husband! To figure out how much of a song to sing, set a timer for 20 seconds and sing your preferred song until the 20 seconds are over. It will give you a feel for how long 20 seconds is when measured by whatever song sticks in your head.

I was terribly relieved to hear I didn't have MRSA. The doc was pretty sure it wasn't that the first morning in the hospital. he looked at my leg and started yelling! My leg was just so much better than it had been, it was less red and the red area had retreated by several inches at each margin. He didn't have cultures back at that point, but he said that if it had been MRSA we would have seen only a very small improvement if we saw any improvement at all by that time.

One thing I did was notice that the night nurse on Friday did not wear gloves. She actually came in and was going to mess with my IV line w/o the gown and gloves, in spite of a HUGE cabinet hung on the door and a 2 foot by 2 foot sign warning that they were needed. I stopped her before she touched me, and had to be very insistent about gloves. Through the night I had to remind her every time seh came in to put on gloves. I even had to remind her when she went to open the packets my meds were in.

Once Monday came around (I was released on Saturday) I called the hospital. I spoke with a patient representative and told her how scared this nurse made me feel. I had the nurse's first name, the room I was in, what the nurse looked like all to tell her. I had told the doctor in charge about it when he did rounds, but he didn't seem to care. he was NOT the doc I had the rest of my stay - the good doc was not on duty on the weekend.

The hospital thanked me, and said it was important for them to know. Esp with the precautions being there b/c I had to nasty bacteria. The nurse could have taken those bacteria to any other patient, herself, or even home to her family, or seh could have brought other bacteria and disease to me on her clothes. My immune system was quite compromised b/c the infection. The patient rep said they would look into if the nurse has had other complaints and see what measures are needed. From talking to friends who work there, nurses get ONE complaint and they are retrained. If there is a second complaint then they think about firing them. If for some reason they don't fire a nurse, a third complaint is guaranteed firing. And this is when they consider each time they enter the room w/o gloves/gown an "incident". This nurse prob racked up 10 incidents that night with me repeating that she had to have gloves/gown on to enter the room..

I was just glad I stood up to the nurse and told her she needed the gloves and gown, and that I let the hospital know since she was taking risks with the health of a LOT of people. Even if they fire her, I am glad I called. I spoke with my ex-SIL about this and she was HORRIFIED that a nurse would walk past a sign like that and not take precautions (ex-sil is a nurse).

So, if you are in the hospital, NEVER be afraid to speak up and tell someone that they need to glove up! It could be a major factor in YOUR health!

Thanks for all the kind words and support. Any of you with skin that cracks, keep it clean and keep moisturizing as much as possible. I have had wonderful luck with keeping my hands from cracking by using CO Bigelow Chapped Hands Cleanser sold at Bath and Body Works. It is a petroleum Jelly based cleanser and really seems to work. (Being rather anal, I wash my hands with soap, dry them, and then use the chapped hands cleanser b/c it is a petroleum jelly based product that is great but I am nervous about bacteria right now!) You put this cleanser on dry hands, work it in and then rinse and dry your hands.

for cracks and dry skin on any other part of the body, after a shower, put on baby oil, skin so soft, neutrogena body oil or any other body oil. Then use your towel and dry off. You seal in the moisture in your skin by putting the oil on wet skin, and you don't have that greasy, gobs of oil feeling by toweling off afterward. This is what the dermatologist recommended to me for dry skin and to my 2 youngest kids to keep their eczema in check. For the kids and the eczema, it works better than the creams the docs used to give us (and is a whole lot cheaper).

Have a good day all!
Susie
SAHM, kids are the light of my life
dh of 17 yrs, my sweetie
ds 16yo, great kid, Sr. in high school
dd 13yo, my reward, homeschooled
ds 8yo, amazing kid, great magician
 
2 furbabies - Gracie and Capn Morgan, both cats
1 featherbaby - cockatiel - Goldi the Evil
 
I have always imagined paradise will be some type of library.
     -Jorges Luis Borges
        

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