April Allen

I am 20 years old and I survived NF. I had a C-section on December 3, 2002 and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was 6 pounds 11 ounces and 18 and a half inches along. My life was terrific. She was my second and last so I got my tubes tied as well. The first day after I had my daughter I felt terrific. I was walking everywhere going outside and sneaking a couple cigarettes and moving unlike a lot of women do after a C-section. On the second day I woke up and could hardly walk my abdominal muscles hurt so bad and I was very tired. Visitors came and went and most of them thought it was unusual how much pain I was in but didn't want to say anything because they were afraid it would offend me. I told the nurses about my pain and they said it was just that some C-sections hurt more than others. I knew it didn't hurt this much because I had my son by C-section. Their next excuse was because I had done too much the day before. One of the nurses checked my incision and said it smelt bad so I had to take a shower. I must add that at the time I was 300 pounds and a lot of the time they thought the smell was because of my overlapping stomach. The highest my temp ever got while in the hospital was 99 degrees.

On that Friday a doctor came in and checked out my incision and she said it looked terrific but they had to keep the staples in because of the excess weight. I went home that day in a lot of pain, but I was happy to be home. I stayed at my home on Saturday and my parents stayed with me on the account of I couldn't move very fast. Getting off the couch was like pure torture because my incision had such a raw feeling and I was taking two Percocet every 4 hours. I didn't think anything was wrong though neither did my parents. When my mom looked at my incision she noticed it was gaping a little. On Sunday there was no way I could take care of my children. I had sat on the floor and it took me 35 minutes to get off the floor. I started thinking something was wrong I had woke up that night drenched in sweat and in the morning I couldn't keep my teeth from chattering even underneath 3 comforters. So we packed my children and I, and went to my parents house. Both my children were sleeping and I was starting to smell really bad so I decided to take a bath. I was about to get into the bath tub when I felt my stomach had dropped a little lower so I had felt to see what was going on and my incision burst open gushing brown blood everywhere like a waterfall down my legs. Everyone was asleep except my stepfather who was hard of hearing after screaming a couple times. He finally ran to see what was wrong with me. He saw all the blood and started asking me what he should do (the man was almost in tears). The bathroom carpet was covered in brown blood and the smell was like no other rotten meat I had ever smelt. He woke up my mom so he could take me to the ER. My mom was very upset and as I walked out of the bathroom I started to get dizzy and faint from the loss of blood I fell to my knees and sat there. I had tied a sheet around the incision to stop the blood. I was worried to get into my moms brand new car bleeding like I was so I insisted we take the truck. In about 10 minutes (when it is usually 30) we got to the hospital and they rushed me into a room. A doctor took a look at me and told me I had an infection. I thought it was ok though because my friend had an infection after her C-section and she was fine. She had a staph infection.

They did some cultures of my wound and I had jokingly said that it was ok if I had an infection just as long as it wasn't flesh eating bacteria. The nurse laughed with me and at that exact moment the doctor came in and asked for an Aneobic culture. The results were back and I was being rushed off to the OR so they could examine the wound. I was admitted into the hospital at 2:00 am, and at 7:00 that night a doctor came in to look at the wound she said she was worried and got a surgeon specialist to make sure I did not have NF. The surgeon decided to take me back into surgery and when I came out I had a breathing tube in my throat because my body was not strong enough for the muscle relaxer to wear off so I couldn't breathe on my own. I couldn't stop crying because I was so scared. I went back to my room after I was better and I was diagnosed with NF.

I went through one more debridement (almost going into a coma because my body was having a hard time with all the anesthesia) and after my debridements they sewed the fascia back up. They put a pic in my arm (a little IV they insert under the skin) and I had packings 3 times a day, each time for 3 days. They put me under with Demoral, and another medication to make me forget. They stopped using that medication though because it didn't work. After they sewed the fascia I got regular packing with Percocet. It was quite a change.

On December 17, 2002 I was told I could go home. I was ecstatic and it was my son's 1st birthday. My daughter was already 2 weeks old. My mother lived with me for a month so she could do the packings after two weeks I started to get this bluish tinged discharge so we had to start using a vinegar solution to pack the wound. On January 21, 2003 I was released off all restrictions, but with a promise of a hernia to come due to the attack of the abdominal muscles.

It is now April and I will be 21 next month. My life is back to normal except for the nightmares I just started getting. My children are the highlight of my life and if it weren't for them I probably wouldn't have been strong enough to fight. After all was said and done my doctor had told me that I was very lucky to be alive and I was very near death. I had also found out that a lot of the doctors did not think I was going to make it due to the severity. I just thank god that I still have my life, and I am healthy now.