Mikael Tillman
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My story ...... I understand that my case is far from the worst and realize how lucky I have been. How it started I am a man, 51 years old and live with my dear family in Stockholm, Sweden. My wife Karin 49 and children Lovisa 9 and Axel 13 years old. We spent our Easter 2012 in our summer house as we usually are doing this time of the year. This house is located in the South West of Sweden in a small village located along the sea about 550 km from Stockholm. A beautiful area made for relaxation. This Easter was quite rainy and we were staying indoor most of the time. Friday the 13th April, after a week in the house, I started to feel bad. I shivered, had fever and no strength at all. I really just wanted to lay on the bed. However we were heading for Stockholm, a quite long trip back with our car. We thought I had the flue ....nothing serious. My family did the packing while I was n the bed feeling very weak. Axel told me I was so lazy trying to avoid packing work !! Well, I had good reasons. We didn't realize at this time but soon we were terribly aware of what it was.... Trip back to Stockholm We started the trip back to Stockholm in the afternoun the 14th. I was the driver as my wife do not like to drive long distances. I swerved with the car. We stopped for dinner after an hour. I was not hungry instead I was sitting at the drivers seat, waiting for them and sleeping. My right arm started to hurt. Half way to Stockholm, close to Jönköping we stopped for the day and checked in on a hotel for the night. I was exhausted by fever and it was starting to get dark. During the night I had diarrhea and became worser. Next day we continued the trip and finally early afternoun we were in Stockholm at our house. I went straight to bed and fell into sleep. Dramatic departure from home to emergency In the early evening the 16th I was almost not awake, I wobbled to the toilet and fell to the floor unconscious and blue in the face. I was lying down and holded by my wife who thought it was a heart attack. Axel was calling 112 and asked for an ambulance. My little daughter Lovisa was standing behind Axel and screaming "daddy is dying daddy is dying come fast ..come fast !!! " Very dramatic moments I must say. This is what they told me happen as I was almost not awake. At hospital The ambulance came and brought me to St Görans hospital. My CRP was 260 and I had fever of 41, 4 centigrade. They brought me to intensive care immediately and prepared for emergency surgery of my arm. I am so very very thankful to the professionals who immediately made the right diagnosis and saved my life. The diagnosis was Necrotizing Fasciitis in right arm, NF with sepsis and anuria. They operated me in a so called Fasciotomia with several revisions. This mean they didn't close the wound they kept it open to be able to continuously remove decaying tissue during the week. One week asleep, one week awake on the intensive care followed by two weeks nephrology treatment and 2,5 months rehabilitation They kept me under an anaesthetic from Monday the 16th April until April the 21st. They waked me up now and then. This was a very dramatic week with all nightmares. I had no memories from our trip back to Stockholm. First time I thought I was in Ängelholm hospital, close to our summer house. I had very very strange and bad dreams of wolves on motor bikes that wanted to kill my family and burn our summer house. St Göran hospital sent me on HBO (Hyperbar Oxygen treatment) at Karolinska Hospital in Solna (next to Stockholm City). I am so thankful for that decision and the very well equipped hospitals. Someone told me that the HBO at Karolinska Hospital is world famous. I do not know how many times I have been thinking what could have happen if I didn't got that very special treatment. In worst case I would be dead, in best case only lost my right arm. Now, it is more than best as both my life and arm is perfectly OK. Awake....nephrology next ...followed by rehab... After a week I was slowly coming back to life. I got into a multi organ failure situation which hit my kidneys. I was on intensive care in about 10 days (16th April until 26th April) followed by 10 days on the infirmary for nephrology at Karolinska Sjukhuset in Solna. My kidneys started to work by 40-50% with the help of dialysis. My Kreatinin and Urea values went from 5-8 times the limits and was approaching normal levels. In the end of August (4 months after the incident) my Hb values are at last coming closer to limits going from 65-70 to the lower limit of 138. This means that I am getting stronger and stronger and start enter a normal life. The only two inconveniences left is my week legs that needs exercise every day. Also my very ugly two giant scarfs on the arm hurts me. Although I do love my scarfs as......these are my two buddies who saved my life !! To the Staff at Karolinska sjukhuset and Capio St Göran Intensive care and emergency reception Big thank you is not enough words for what you did for us. Your professionalism, skills and empathy saved my life. I had never felt so helpless. The team at St Görans Intensive care was wonderful. It was a chaotic world with very very sick people, some probably was dying next to me. An inferno of sounds, lamps and lights 24h around the clock. But the staff was calm, fast and consolatory. I can't in earth understand how they get the energy and spirit to keep up and going strong and be glad and full of human dignity in such an environment. You are heroes ! To my wife and sister I am so thankful to my wife, she is the best !! She is a district nursery and got off her job (thank you Råcksta/Vällingby närvårdsmottagning for being human and letting Karin take time off her duties to support me in this terrible drama). She stayed with me and treated me all the time in hospital. exercised my foots (that was constantly blue) and arm. Later Karin stayed home with me and took care of the rehab. This is feeding and exercising me. I had to learn how to walk again. My sister took time off and stayed in our house and supported Karin with all practicalities like making food to Axel and Lovisa etc. What a fantastic sister I have !! Also her husband Sven stayed with us during these very tough weeks. Big thank you Sven ! What caused this? Last days in the summer house the weather was good and we were outside. The following could probably be the cause: Wednesday (11th April, first day outside with activities) I was laying a floor in Lovisa little playhouse. I was nailing beams to hold the floor taut. I remember I stood with my bare arms in the soil under the house. Could the bacterias have entered here ? Thursday activities (12th April) 1. I was sawing up the floor frames, with chips swirled around me and my bare arms. Could the bacterias have entered here ? 2. I was laying out the pieces on the beams in Lovisas playhouse. Could the bacterias have entered here ? 3. We could not light a fire in the stove as something was blocking the chimney. I was standing on a ladder next to the top of the chimney and held my bare arms around the top to look inside. Could the bacterias have entered here ? (Later in July the chimney sweeper found a whole family of dead jackdaws (birds) in the chimney. He filled two black bags.) Friday activities (13th April) 1. I was taking down a dead hornets nest from the garret. Could the bacterias have entered here ? 2. I cut my finger when steaking Irish lamb external file. Could the bacterias have entered here ? The Fridays activities are listed in the hospital records however I remember on Friday I felt already sick, so most probably it happen earlier on Wednesday or Thursday. This is what we do to prevent this from happen again 1. Always keep the hands, arms and legs clean. 2. Keep well dressed and protect yourself thoroughly when doing garden work or other practical work at home 3. If you get a wound somewhere clean it immediately and carefully with soap followed by 96 percent alcoholic liquid (we have bottles everywhere, in car, summerhouse, on travel etc) 4. Be aware of symptoms. If you feel flue tired with NO blocked nose but have diarrhea at the same time. Watch up, get to the clinic and take a CRP and temp ! 5. Check your body if you have pain in arms or legs. My pain was not so big !! 6. My incubation time was 4 days (11/12th bacterias entered in some way.....16th I ambulance to hospital). If we would have acted earlier on ....it would not be so serious. (the symptoms are very very sneaky in the beginning) Arm