Christina Ziegler

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It all started on November 19th, 2004. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was my 6th child and my only boy. The next morning I went into surgery to get my tubes tied. I was discharged from the hospital later that evening. I was sore in my belly but I just thought it was because of having my tubes tied. I went home and enjoyed my evening with my husband and my children, (sore but not in too bad of pain). Then next few days were ok but my belly was getting more and more sore. There was a red rash forming on my belly right underneath the incision from my tubule. When I touched it, it was hard and itchy. The morning of the 23rd I was in very bad pain. At this point I couldn't even breast feed my baby because I was hurting so bad. The rash had spread and was going up my belly. I just laid on the couch wanting to just 'sleep'. My husband walked over to me and felt my head and I was burning up. He called the hospital to the mother-baby unit and told them I had been hurting and I have a fever. They told him to get me in right away. Of course being stubborn, I did not want to go to the hospital. I thought that if I had just slept I'd be ok. He gave me a choice, either to let a friend take me to the hospital or he was calling an ambulance. I decided to go with the friend. And thank goodness I did or I wouldn't be here today. My husband saved my life! When I got to the hospital I could hardly walk my belly hurt so bad. When the doctors FINALLY came into the room, at first had just said that I was just sore from having a baby. Then I pulled up my shirt and asked them if they were sure because I was getting a rash. The doctor had a shocked look on her face and said to hold on she was getting another doctor to look at it. The other doctor came in and immediately put an IV in and ordered a cat scan. I called my husband and he came up as soon as he could. He had to find a babysitter for 6 kids first. No sooner then he arrived, they took me to get a cat scan. It was so painful just to get up on that table. They took 2 cat scans before the night was over and decided to wait until in the morning to take me to the OR because they wanted to get a second opinion. They said that I had developed an abscess underneath my incision and that it needed to be drained. The whole night I cried not only because I was hurting but because I was away from my children. Especially my 4 day old baby. The next morning, they took me to the OR and drained the abscess, leaving the wound open, packed with gauze to heal from the inside out. The plan for the next few days was to go to the OR and get the dressing changed because it was too painful to do it without being put to sleep. I was supposed to go home on Sunday. I was still going to have to miss Thanksgiving, my birthday, and my 2 year old's birthday, (which was all on the same day, the 25th of November.) but at least I was going to get better...or so I thought. The next morning, the 25th, it was around 9am and I was saying goodbye to my husband because they were taking me to the OR to do the dressing change, and he had to pick up the kids that had been with the babysitter for the last 2 days. The last thing I remember is telling him I loved him and I would see him and the kids later. The next thing I knew I was waking up at another hospital with breathing tubes down my throat and tubes in my nose and IV's everywhere!!! I found out that it was the next day, the 26th.That's when I found out that I had necrotizing fasciitis. They said that I was very lucky to be alive, although I didn't feel so lucky when they told me they had to cut off a lot of my belly. I spent about a week in the hospital without my husband because he had to be at home with or kids because we were in the Army in California, and all of our other family was in Missouri. But that was ok because he called me everyday about 20 times a day. A few days before I was discharged, I was brave enough to look at my belly and when I did, I cried. I couldn't believe how much they had cut off! The dressing changes were painful at first but have gotten better. It is now December 17th and I get my surgery to close it on the 20th of December. Thank goodness I don't have to get a skin graph. They are able to close it with a tummy-tuck like procedure. (I always wanted one of those, just not this way.) The only bad thing that is going on now is that I have to spend Christmas without my kids because I have to get my surgery and get better. But they get to spend the holiday with their grandparents in Missouri so at least they have family around them and next time they see mommy, I will be better! My heart goes out to all of those who has to go through what I went through.